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Commenting on Blogs: Why We All Should Do It

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I recently stumbled upon a food blog that really captivated me. Despite the content and photos being great, its the voice in which the posts were written that really won my interest. There are a lot of food blogs out there filled with gorgeous photos and recipes but they don’t always offer a good read and, to me, that’s most important. I’m not going to subscribe to a blog I don’t find pleasure in reading.

Christina at Christina’s Cucina had me grinning and nodding (kind of excessively) while reading her post about how Buzzfeed got it all wrong with tomato sauce.

I immediately knew that I had to hit the ‘Subscribe’ button because I needed this sort of food blog in my life.

I’m so glad that I did, because what she wrote as her next post was unbelievable!

Okay, that sounded like clickbait. There is no clickbait here, I promise.

It was about commenting on blogs and lack of commenting on blogs; mostly the latter.

I want to preface this by saying that this post isn’t to condemn my readership for not commenting much. I’m guilty of it too, trust me! This post by Christina has inspire me to change that about myself though, because it really hit the lights for me. This post isn’t to make anyone feel bad; this post is to simply give you, my readers, some perspective on what your comment is worth to a blogger (myself, or any!) and why feedback is so valued. When I read Christina’s post I was so wide-eyed; I’d been feeling this way for quite some time – I just didn’t know how to properly articulate it.

One of Christina’s points that nearly made me shout out in agreement was this:

These may seem inconsequential to you, but to a blogger, especially a blogger who has spent…

  • 1/2 – 3 hours going to the grocery store to buy ingredients he/she didn’t have in order to make a dish, or looking for specific equipment needed for that recipe
  • 1 – 3 hours making and shooting photos of each individual step
  • 1 – 2 hours cleaning up
  • 1 – 2 hours uploading and editing those aforementioned shots
  • 1 – 4 hours writing, researching and editing the actual post and recipe

with no monetary compensation, it means a lot.

Wow. Yes. That’s basically me every weekend. I have to make plans around my food blogging time and I’m very fortunate to have family and friends that are so supportive of me and what I’m doing – but after all of that…some accolades or even constructive criticism would be fantastic.

I feel as though Facebook ruins this for a lot of bloggers. Perhaps I’m sabotaging myself by bringing my work to Facebook? I get tons of “Likes” and comments on there and I am SO grateful for that, but it doesn’t show as activity on my blog nor does it stick around as a reflection on the actual post. Down the road, when someone visits that recipe page, none of those comments are there. Instead, they are lost in the shuffle on my Facebook post somewhere – never to be seen again! Bummer.

Another point on Christina’s post that really resonated with me: hidden readers.

She says:

I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me, “Oh, I made your _____ recipe and it was amazing!” or “I make your _____ soup all the time and my family loves it!” or “I love your blog. I really enjoy your writing and pictures”, but I had no clue they were even looking at my site. Of course, this most often comes from a few friends, family members, and acquaintances and I am dumbfounded that they don’t write me a little note below the recipe, just to say so. I mean, it’s me, they know me–so why so “hush-hush”? I don’t know, but after talking to many other bloggers, the consensus is: our family and close friends are our worst fans/readers. Most of them don’t even follow our blogs, which is why it’s so easy for me to write this–they’ll never see it!

That first part happens to me a lot. I’m always overjoyed to learn that someone whom I had no idea was reading my blog is, in fact, part of my readership. It’s a great surprise! But…

Short-lived feeling of excitement < consistent contentment in knowing you’re being heard.

Does that make sense?

Another thing: I had a friend once tell me that she was reading my blog. I told her I had no idea that she’d been checking it out, and she replied with, “Well, what am I going to say? I can’t cook like you, and I’m not creative, so I really have nothing to offer. You don’t need MY input.” 

What? NO! Everyone’s input is welcomed and wanted and her saying that made me want to start blogging about all of my failures in addition to my successes (which I’m still actually contemplating!) The Internet is a great place to glorify things and when you are constantly posting about successes, like successful dishes for example, I can definitely see how people might view a food blogger as a master in the kitchen. Not me, yo. But you wouldn’t actually know that, would you? I haven’t posted my dilapidated cakes and broken salmon fillets! (I seriously think I might start doing this, guys. It could be fun and great and hilarious).

And finally, Christina touches on a food bloggers favourite type of comments – a show and tell of sorts.

She says:

Sometimes a reader sends in a photo of something they made with one of our recipes and that is the absolute best! Seeing our recipes in action is brilliant…

…Whether each blogger is writing and posting as a hobby or as a means to support their family, or is going in the red for their page or making $20,000/month, we all love to know that you’re seeing our work. So please keep these things in mind the next time you use a blogger’s recipe, or you see one of our posts on social media: a “like”, double tap, smiley face, “thanks!” or a few words can make it all worthwhile for us to continue cooking and baking up a storm for you–it’s simple, we love what we do.

It’s just really nice to hear that you’re out there reading our words, appreciating our photography and using our recipes.

Yup, I’ve definitely been told by people that they’ve made something that I’ve posted…about a year after the fact. At least I found out eventually?

But really.

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As if I wouldn’t LOVE to know that. Even if you found yourself tweaking the recipe – tell me about it! Maybe you have figured out a better way of doing something. Or maybe you just loved it as it was – but either way, let a sister know, yeah?

To sum it all up: your voice matters and your attention is what keeps my food bloggin’ tank full of gas. Every time someone “Likes”, “Shares” or comments on my foodie Facebook posts I am filled with happiness and appreciation – but why not make it a permanent mark on the blog post if you have a sec? Let’s discuss things and get into conversation about it! I know, I know. It’s extra work for you. BUT – if you’ve read this far, at least you can understand the method to the commenting madness. A little goes a long way.

In Christina’s words: Thanks for the love…in advance!

You can find her full post here.

I’d like to thank Christina for giving me permission to review her post and put excerpts from her post here on my blog. Check her out at christinascucina.com 

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Yang Yang
    April 1, 2017 at 11:37 pm I think part of the reason is - speaking for myself - until we worked on a project (e.g. blogging), we didn't know how much efforts was invested. I didn't know how much a comment would mean to a blogger who created the recipe before I spent endless hours myself perfecting a recipe for a friend who asked me for it... and you know the ending, sometimes I never receive the feedback afterwards. So thank you for taking the time to write this! I think it resonates with many creative type people out there and serves a good reminder for the readers including ourselves. I spent a good part of today browsing through food blogs for inspiration, as I am considering purchasing a WP theme but can't decide on which one. Glad I came across this old post of yours, and I am obligated to leave a comment here to let you know that I really enjoyed your blog, Dana!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      April 2, 2017 at 4:47 pm Hey Yang! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, despite this being an old post. I'm glad it's still resonating with people. You bring up an excellent point, and I agree! People very likely don't realize how much work goes into our craft, until of course they put together a similar craft themselves, so they likely don't realize just how much the feedback means. I'm really glad you stumbled upon my blog and this post, and thank you again for taking the time to say hello :)
  • Reply
    Dottie Sauchelli Balin
    February 3, 2015 at 12:50 am Hi Dana, Just wanted to say hello and tell you that I enjoyed reading your post. I have been a friend and a follower of Christina's Cucina for a while now. She has an amazing blog. Her food, photos, and her writing is a perfect combination. I like your blog as well and I totally agree with you on all of what you wrote. I am also a foodie and a blog writer "Family Plus Food Equals Love", so I understand what work is needed to make your followers and readers happy so they will come back to read your next post. I enjoyed your prospective and I thank you for what you wrote. Have a great week.. Dottie :)
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      February 3, 2015 at 10:23 pm Hi Dottie, Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! It's definitely incredibly easy to adore Christina. I'm so happy that I stumbled upon her blog not long ago - she's a true breath of fresh air. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting. I'm going to check out your blog - I look forward to it! Have a great week as well, Dottie!
  • Reply
    Mary Beth
    February 2, 2015 at 6:07 pm I had enjoyed @Christina's Cucina's blog and then to read your follow up was not only enlightening but so true to the actual happenings. I love your page and now to see that I should have commented when I visited inspired me to do the same with other pages I visit. Thankyou.
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      February 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm Thanks so much, Mary Beth! I'm really tickled that you enjoyed the follow up and that you were able to find some commenting inspiration - much like I did with Christina's blog! I've liked your Facebook page and am really looking forward to getting to know you and the things you do! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)
  • Reply
    Christina
    February 2, 2015 at 5:19 pm Dana, I don't even know how to begin to tell you how appreciative, humbled and honored I am to read this post. Honestly, coming from such an accomplished blogger, photographer and writer as you, it means so much to me! Thank you for all the lovely compliments and for helping to share the importance of commenting, not just for us, but for all writers and bloggers out there. Christina :)
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      February 2, 2015 at 6:18 pm Gosh, thanks SO much for all of the kind words! The pleasure really is all mine, Christina! You are everything that is fantastic and I'm so happy that we've crossed paths and touched base in this rather large world of food blogging :)
  • Reply
    Tiffany Mayer
    February 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm Relish those moments when people tell you in person how much they love your blog. It's so much more meaningful to meet a reader in real life and hear the sincerity when they compliment your work. Enjoy the victory of X likes on Facebook. Celebrate (!!!) the buzzfeed list. When I graduated journalism school, the best advice anyone ever gave me was that you don't have to reach a big audience to have big impact. I'm in my seventh year of blogging and my site meter will never crash from an ambush of hits. I don't get a lot of comments on my site either, but no one owes me anything just because I spent time writing something. In the end, whether it was a story for work, my book, or a post on my blog, the most important thing is whether you are happy with your work. Comments — compliments! — are great but the best validation of your work comes from you alone. Do you feel good about what you're doing? That's all that matters. Keep it up and don't let numbers get you down. T.
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      February 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm Thanks for the honest and encouraging comment, Tiffany! I certainly do embrace everything you mentioned in the first paragraph. I think why I tend to put so much pressure on myself in order increase my audience is for the sake of possible monetization in the future. I'm moving to another country this year, and I won't be able to work for a while. Sure, it will be glorious to have a nice break from the grind, but I always need to be doing something productive. So, I've decided that I'll be working on the blog here full time while my husband is at work and it would be great to live the blogging dream. I'm making sure that I don't lose my passion in the process, though. I really do love what I'm doing and I'm elated with how far I've come in the past year. The self-validation is there - but it's great to sit down and write a post knowing that it's going to be appreciated. And, well, I feel like exposure in addition to an audience increase is proof (for myself) that I'm moving forward and progressing. I feel like I need that, since I've set myself personal/blog goals. But at the end of the day, you're right about what matters most: me feeling good about it. Thanks again!
      • Reply
        Tiffany Mayer
        February 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm I totally get it. Congrats on the move. That's hugely exciting and could lead to a new and uncharted niche for your blog. New places are great for fresh eyes. Enjoy and best of luck! I look forward to reading about your new adventures. T.
        • Reply
          danakristen.b@gmail.com
          February 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm Thanks! Yeah - I'm moving to North Carolina and the culinary scene there is pretty unreal! I'm very happy to know you'll be reading and I'm definitely going to keep your sound advice in mind.
  • Reply
    CakePants
    January 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm Thanks so much for sharing this! I can relate to pretty much everything you and Christina have said. Once my mom told me that my brother made and loved one of my recipes. My *mom.* So my brother told my mom, but never bothered to tell me, the creator of the recipe?! Baffling. I'm so glad I'm not the only one experiencing these things :)
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      January 31, 2015 at 5:24 pm Haha - totally know what you mean. Like, you want to feel happy knowing that someone (your brother, in this instance) has been following your work and making your dishes himself BUT - had your Mother not mentioned it, you'd have never known! It's a simultaneous feeling of happiness and being bummed out. I'm really glad that you don't feel alone anymore. Before having read Christina's post, these were all unspoken thoughts and feelings that left me thinking, "Okay, am I being self-important in thinking that people should be acknowledging my stuff? Am I being whiney?" NOPE. It's a thing :)
  • Reply
    Natasha
    January 31, 2015 at 12:30 pm Superb!!! (Slow clap) Bravo for real!!! So well done Dana!!! You have such an eye for identifying great topics and posts! Loved this! Keep Em coming!
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      January 31, 2015 at 2:54 pm Thanks, girl! You are too kind and awesome. Such a positive force in my life <3
  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 31, 2015 at 12:22 pm As a fellow foodie, I look forward to, and READ, every single blog! I love the inspiration. I rarely follow recipes, so I don't often attempt your dishes, but most times, they spark my creativity to make something with a similar flavour profile! Every time you put those beautiful diagonal-cut spring onions (and you do it a lot!), I have to run out and buy some for myself! I love your Asian flavours, so I really should just keep those onions as a regular staple in my house! I don't usually comment when you inspire me, because I hate reading recipe comments where a reader says something like this, "I followed the recipe exactly, but I used bow-tie pasta instead or rice, added tomatoes and zucchini, omitted the potatoes and cheese, and only used half of the broth. I also don't eat salmon so I used beef instead, and I added cinnamon and bay leaf for flavour. I didn't like your recipe!" That INFURIATES me!! They didn't follow the recipe at all! Anyways, keep up the great work. My favourite ingredients are red onions, tomatoes, lemon, Brussels sprouts, apples, and red wine vinegar, so anything with those ingredients makes me happy! Love your taste, style, and love of food!
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      January 31, 2015 at 12:28 pm Thank you SO much! That means a lot to me. It also really really excited me (maybe more than it should have) to read your appreciation for my scallion chopping, haha! I take pride in presentation and that it one little simple garnish that I love the most (for both appearance and flavour!) - especially with Asian dishes. Love, love, love! I totally agree about the recipe following/not actually following comments - haha. That made me laugh. Though, feel free to comment with what sort of dish mine might have inspired - you might just inspire me in return! Thanks so much for the great comment. This was awesome.
      • Reply
        Liss
        January 31, 2015 at 3:09 pm I will! I'll share my dishes that were inspired by you! Great idea! By the way, have you tried sprouting? I think it's right up your alley! I like to do my own mung bean sprouts and they work really well with OUR favourite flavour profiles! They take 36 hours to sprout, they taste great and very healthy! Also very cheap! Google it, or ask me for tips if you decide to try it!
        • Reply
          danakristen.b@gmail.com
          January 31, 2015 at 3:22 pm Awesome, I can't wait to see what you come up with :) Sprouting really does sound like it's right up my alley! I'm going to have to look into this! Thanks for the tip!
    • Reply
      Laura Sandonato
      January 31, 2015 at 1:28 pm This comment made me laugh because I hate that too! Sometimes I think that is why I use Cook's Illustrated so much.
  • Reply
    Chris
    January 31, 2015 at 12:10 pm I totally agree with this. Readers can spend a minute or two writing something on the post. Especially considering how LONG it takes to write quality pieces! There wasn't a single point I didn't agree with. I'm feeling it.
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      January 31, 2015 at 12:19 pm I feel the same. I mean, if someone has the time to be perusing Facebook or the Internet, they can likely make the time to throw out a comment – even small! Thanks, blogbuddy <3 As per our discussion yesterday, my wheels are still turning. Stay tuned ;)
  • Reply
    Suzy R
    January 31, 2015 at 11:56 am I think a post every once in a while about failures is a good idea! And thanks for making a post like this...I'm totally a lurker on so many blogs and I didn't even think of it! <3
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      January 31, 2015 at 12:17 pm I think so, too! I just really love to be seen as "human" and I love finding humour in imperfections. This is going to happen! Get ready for some lawlz ;) Thanks for commenting and appreciating this tidbit for what it is <3
  • Reply
    Laura Sandonato
    January 31, 2015 at 11:49 am I'm guilty of not commenting on anything too. Sometimes it's a time issue. I tend to do my online reading while I'm in waiting rooms or while I'm cooking. Excuses aside, I'm definitely going to comment more. You inspired me! And thanks for the comment you left on my blog!
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      January 31, 2015 at 12:15 pm I think a lot of people are guilty of it, myself included. It's also my responsibility as a blogger (and any blogger, really) to reply to comments. I think that acknowledgement is really important and it's beneficial for everyone involved - the blogger, the commenter, and the readers. More comments might also influence others to take the time to write something! This is something I'm going to focus on hard from now on.
  • Reply
    Jyoti
    January 31, 2015 at 11:03 am Dana! What a good post! It definitely made me think about my read-only habits. I will be the first to admit that I read every post on this blog but never comment. I definitely fall under the category of people who are intimidated and aware of their lack of culinary creativity, and who feel like their input is pointless. I'll work on changing that :).
    • Reply
      danakristen.b@gmail.com
      January 31, 2015 at 11:06 am Jyoti! Thanks so much! Honestly, I was guilty of it too and am working on breaking the read-only habit myself. I definitely look forward to hearing from you and I'd love to cook with you sometimes once I'm in Raleigh - I have no doubt that you could teach me some awesome dishes!

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