This post about commenting will give you an idea about what it feels like to read your comments from a blogger’s perpective.
There’s no new recipe today.
Instead, I’m going to share something a little different. I’m going to write about something many bloggers struggle with, in an attempt to let you understand what’s going on on the other side of the computer, so to speak.
I’m talking about comments; yes, the messages you, as readers, leave below our recipes, stories, photos, on Facebook posts, Instagram shots, and tweets–you get the picture.
- 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 (I’m a messy cook!)
- 1 – 2 hours uploading and editing those aforementioned shots
- 1 – 8 hours writing, researching and editing the actual post and recipe
with no monetary compensation, it means a lot.
Sometimes we carry our creations up mountains for photo shoots, and that’s not included in the time frame!
In fact, most of the time, comments are the only reward we receive, and that’s if they are complimentary. This means for each post, most of us are spending 4 1/2 to 14 hours working without pay, and that doesn’t include the time we spend promoting it on social media to lead readers to our sites.
Why Bloggers Love Positive Comments
Those 50 words that April wrote below my sticky toffee pudding recipe post (top photo) made my day. However, most readers never comment, and I do understand why, because it takes time to do so and many of us just feel so rushed all the time that we don’t do unnecessary things, like comment on blogs.
However, if you come to my side of the the blogging world for just a moment, you’ll also understand why it’s so frustrating for bloggers not to hear from readers, or to only receive negative feedback after all of our hard work. It doesn’t take much to give a little in return in appreciation for the work we do on the recipes, reviews and articles we post.
Comments such as Adrianna’s are so enthralling to receive; it’s truly a tonic!
Picture this scenario: you are doing your job without a paycheck (or 5% of what you’re currently earning), and no one really acknowledges you, or better yet, berates you for how you are doing your job. This is how it feels to me when I receive a comment dictating that my recipe is wrong, made incorrectly, didn’t turn out properly due to their mistake, or even worse, attacking me personally (it’s happened.)
Of course there are some bloggers who do well monetarily with their sites, or get so popular that they cannot respond to all their comments. Then the shoe’s on the other foot and the reader is the one who’d love to get a response from that celebrity blogger, for example.
Look at this lovely comment from a reader on the very last post on one of my favorite sites, Poires au Chocolat, when Emma had posted that she was retiring her blog~
Another reason bloggers love comments below our recipes is so that readers can look at others’ opinions of the recipe. When you see lots of comments saying how great my sausage roll recipe is from lots of random commenters, doesn’t it make you feel as though it’s a more reliable recipe? I know I do. It’s like reading the reviews on Amazon before purchasing a product, or Tripadvisor comments before booking a hotel.
I wanted to add to this post about commenting, that if no one comments on our posts, there’s no barometer for other readers to know if it’s a good recipe, other than taking the blogger’s word. I know I pride myself on putting the best quality, tried and tested recipes on my site, but it’s great when readers tell me it worked for them in their kitchens, too.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me, “Oh, I made your Sicilian whole orange cake recipe and it was amazing!” or “I make your 5 minute lentil 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!
WHY MOST BLOGGERS HATE FACEBOOK
Then there’s the nemesis of almost all bloggers: Facebook. Facebook used to be great; they used to share our posts with all, or almost all of our followers, but later decided to go a different route and charge us to have that happen. So this post about commenting isn’t only about commenting.
Most of us cannot afford to spend $60 to have something like this cream of mushroom soup post be seen by all of our readers; and as you can see, Facebook showed this post to only 392 of my over 12,400 readers. Nice, huh?
Clicking “like”, sharing or commenting (which includes just an emoticon, like a smiley or thumbs up) helps keep us in readers’ news feeds, but if we don’t ask, and I hate to ask, it doesn’t happen, except for a handful of super great readers who always “like” and comment (thank you, Dottie and others; you know who you are)!
And of course I’m not implying that readers should write a comment on every single post you see, it’s just that a lot of loyal readers never comment or give feedback.
Comments We’d Rather Not See
Once in a while, we will receive a nasty comment, something hurtful or rude and it is hard to completely ignore it, but we try. Even just reading “yuck” on a post, after all the work we’ve done can feel like being hit below the belt, so please, think twice before writing something that actually doesn’t accomplish anything.
If you don’t like something, I’d advise looking for another recipe or photo that you do like. We’re offering a free service, and it just doesn’t seem fair to be chastised for it, don’t you agree? Megan at Country Cleaver wrote a post describing how these comments can spiral out of control. It’s simply unnecessary.
Re: Companies and Bloggers on my Post About Commenting
To add insult to injury, many times companies will approach bloggers and ask us to create a brand new recipe and blog post (the time for creating a new recipe is not included in the list above) in exchange for a handful of coupons for their $4 product, or better yet, for “exposure” on their site. Where else in the business world does a company expect another company to work for free?
I can’t finish this post about commenting without mentioning the wonderful companies which truly value bloggers, such as the Idaho Potato Commission which even features bloggers on their site (you’ll find me there)!
(May 22, 2015) I am editing this post to add another company which really appreciates bloggers, Tieks! If you’ve never heard of them, you will and it’s because not only is their product fabulous (Italian leather ballet flats), but just look at this surprise gift they sent to me as a thank you for supporting their company!
This beautiful Tieks hat box held a Thrive Market Gold lifetime membership and gift card, Alex and Ani bracelet, Thirdlove gift card and lingerie, Yogitoes mat, Coola sunscreen, custom Tieks notebook, Anastasia Beverly Hills make up, Philosophy moisturizer, Sprinkles cupcake mix and two tickets to a Broadway show (yes, in New York City!) It also included a lovely personalized hand written card, which to me really is the icing on the cake! I love Tieks, and now I know the feeling is mutual!
On the other hand, 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–I mean, just look at these doughnuts!
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 thousands of dollars each 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. I hope this post about commenting gives you a little perspective from my side.
Thanks for reading my post about commenting, and the commenting love–in advance. (New York cheesecake recipe from the photo below.)
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