“I love your blog!” “that post on jeggings changed my life!” “keep it up- I love your posts!” If I had a dollar for how often I’ve heard comments like these during the past week, I would be able to buy happy meals for myself and at least, like, seven of my friends.
My friend and blogger Grace and I were recently lamenting how difficult it can be to encourage people to comment on our blogs without sounding like needy, desperate comment-junkies. The truth is receiving comments on a blog is one of the best things about blogging! When I began Sidewalk Theologian two years ago, in response to God telling me to blog (yes, I know that sounds weird, but Jesus can be funny like that) receiving comments helped me to keep writing. At the time I was really struggling with the question “is it really o.k. to be myself?” especially in writing and sharing my thoughts on the worldwidewebs. Looking back my blogs weren’t especially insightful, but each post was a step of obedience in honoring God by using a tool he’s given me- to write and help people think about him in different ways. Your comments were and are a gift to me that remind me why Jesus nudged me to start blogging in the first place- to help people relate to him and to another. Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting! I love interacting with you all!
So here’s the nitty-gritttay; In 2011 I’d love for you to keep or start commenting! Comments are in part what makes a blog a blog- a community where people interact with ideas and each other. I know there are a lot of blog-lurkers out there; people who read but don’t comment. I’d encourage you to take a small step to use your voice and share your thoughts. I know it can feel scary but they don’t have to be profound, deep or even well thought out- share what you think and what you feel when you read a post.
Still not convinced and think I’m just a comment-hog? Here are some tips that might nudge you to hit the comment button (borrowed from Grace’s comment encouragement post):
- Whether you are reading this in a feed reader, an email message, or a syndicated blog post somewhere, click here for the actual post.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and follow the directions to add a comment.
- Type in your 1st name -or alias. I understand that for privacy reasons you may not want to put your real name out there- so if you want to go by “captain glitter-pants” on my blog, that’s fine by me.
- Type in your real email address (which isn’t shown on the blog) so I can email you privately, thanking you for de-lurking.
- Type in your blog address, or your corporate website, or maybe your Facebook page. Somewhere where I and others can click your name (your web link will be linked to your name) and read more about you (if you’re into that sort of thing- otherwise just leave it blank).
- Type in whatever text you want, maybe it’s simply a “encouraging post!” “I like unicorns too!” Pretend that we bumped into each other somewhere and you happen to mention what you liked about a recent post or what you had been thinking on the topic at hand.
- If you want to read subsequent comments of other people, you need to check the applicable box under the text box to receive emailed updates. This is fun especially if it’s a post you’re interested in reading what others have to say about it.
- If you’re a new commenter, I’ll need to approve your comments for the first time. After that, you can comment away without any approval from me or your mom.
WordPress recently sent me an overall summary of my blog stats since I began it & it blew me away. In the course of a year, readers of Sidewalk Theologian jumped from 6,000 to 20,000. what?! I was as shocked as you likely are. I’d love for 2011 not only to be a year of great posts, but a year of comments on how you’re being challenged, encouraged, disgusted or inspired. Thanks to you blog readers/commenters and blog lurkers alike! Here’s to another year of spectacular and ordinary stories of how life and faith intersect as a Jesus follower!