Blogging // Community Interaction

INTERACTION

One of my favorite things about blogging is the sense of community that it encourages. It’s crazy, but I’ve met some of the kindest, most creative, most encouraging people ever because of this career. And especially lately, as you lovelies are becoming a little more vocal, I find myself so thankful for the Lovely Indeed community in particular. Your comments and your interactions on social media are so gracious, funny, and real. And I love it.

The idea of community interaction is something that I’ve been trying to improve on lately. For a long while in the beginning, I was blogging to almost absolute silence, because I didn’t really have many readers to speak of (except for my ever lovin’ mom). And then when people started leaving comments, I obviously enjoyed it but I never occurred to me to actually turn it into a conversation! Duh. So that’s where I am now, doing my best to facilitate conversation and share with everybody.

The idea of comments on a blog is kind of tricky. As bloggers, we all want to engage our readers and get people chatting. But sometimes I look at the really huge bloggers with hundreds of comments on a post, and I have no idea how they sort through them all. I suppose at a certain point, it’s just plain impossible to reply to every message. Add to that the tweets, Facebook messages, Instagram comments, and emails, and you could start to spend all day just replying to all of the correspondence.

So how do you manage it all? For myself, I’ve started a sort of priority list when it comes to responding to all the fine folks that reach out. A personal email always gets a response, even if it’s a quick one. Same goes for comments that include a question, unless it’s already been answered in the post or in another comment. Next up is general blog comments. After that, I hit social media. My Twitter and Instagram tend to be the most active, so I’m trying to improve my response time there. Finally, Facebook is kind of sleepy for me but I try to at least “Like” any interactions there to acknowledge that they happened.

So what about you? Do you find yourself getting bogged down in responding? Or do you have a different system? If you’re a blogger, I’d love to know your thoughts on the whole thing! And on a related note, just another heartfelt thanks to you all for sharing while you’re hanging out here. It truly makes my day to hear from you. xoxo


25 comments

  1. I like your idea of a priority list. I personally get most comments on my blog posts via Facebook (because I post the links there) and e-mail. Of course, my biggest fan/reader is also my mom. LOL!

  2. JC on said:

    I am still in that begining stage where there isn’t a whole lot of conversation going on, but I would love it to expand. I think its wonderful that you make it a priority, I know that I appreciate any and all feedback from comments that I leave for others.

    • chelsea on said:

      Totally! It took a long time for my readers to get a little more involved, and even now I’d love more conversation. But each blog seems to take its own path in its own time. And I agree, I’m always so grateful to hear back after I leave a comment somewhere!

  3. Tania on said:

    I respond to every comment and email I get, and go visit the persons blog to comment as well. That sounds real fancy, but I average like…3 comments a post. I have a pretty decent readership, but not a ton of interaction. I’m not sure how to improve that- any tips? Or any advice on how to find some bloggers to network with? Thank you! :)

    • chelsea on said:

      Yeah, it’s tricky! I find that the more I interact and comment back to reader’s notes, the more they feel like they can reach out. I think it’s key to be active in responding to show them that there’s actually someone on the other end, if that makes sense. And as far as finding bloggers to reach out to, I addressed it a bit here: http://lovelyindeed.com/blogging-progress/
      But really, it’s just about reaching out. Try to find out who blogs in your local area and see if they want to get coffee. Or join in an Alt Summit chat or Blog Brunch. There are more and more ways to connect, it’s just a matter of jumping in! :)

      • Tania on said:

        Thank you! Your advice was awesome. :)

  4. Aileen on said:

    I think it’s awesome that you make responding a priority. I don’t usually expect a response if I just leave a comment saying, “What an sweet idea!” (although it’s nice) but I do feel less inclined to keep commenting if a blogger that doesn’t respond to questions (and I do try to check first to make sure it hasn’t been answered).

    • chelsea on said:

      Agreed! Some comments are clearly not looking for a response. But I’m grateful for those as well, and I feel like even comments like those add to the conversation.

  5. At this moment I think my mother in law is my only faithful follower and so far when I do receive a comment from someone, after the initial shock wears off, I always make it a point to reply. I love that you make this a priority and I appreciate it.

    Janeane
    http://www.designwithj9.wordpress.com

    • chelsea on said:

      Haha! “After the initial shock wears off.” I’ve been there, girl!

  6. Kristina B on said:

    I am still also only on Level: Mom. But I LOOOOOVE getting comments and respond to them all (2).
    I always respond to Instagram tags because I think that is my biggest satellite for readers. The friendly chat that goes on on Instagram is amazing! In fact, just today, I was invited to go work for an artist I love if I could be paid in glitter! Sigh.
    If only…

    • chelsea on said:

      Bahahaha Level: Mom. I swear, literally every single one of your comments makes me laugh. And paid in glitter?!? I would take that job in a heartbeat.

      • Kristina B on said:

        Right?? I asked Bank of America if glitter is legal tender so I can pay the mortgage but they haven’t responded…

  7. Mallory on said:

    Add another blogger to Team Mom. I do my best to comment on other blogs that I really enjoy to strike up conversations. I’ve also noticed that posts exactly like this from bloggers can be what really gets a larger discussion and group engaging with one another. It encourages those of us who are a little shy to come on out of the woodwork and say hello :-D

    • chelsea on said:

      First of all, go Team Mom! I think everybody starts there. ;) Also, I just popped over to your blog and saw your incredible post on the West Elm workshop! I didn’t realize this was you! (Sometimes I get mixed up putting faces to blog names.) So happy to see you here and I’m so glad you were able to make it to the event. Hope to see you around more! xoxo

      • Mallory on said:

        Thanks so much for checking it out Chelsea. I had so much fun at the workshop!

  8. Victoria on said:

    I try to respond to every comment and email also. But I just started blogging so I definitely don’t have 100 comments lol. I really love and appreciate the people who take the time to visit and leave a comment for me though. However, it’s not always easy as you know life can get crazy and I can’t even respond to text messages, so during that time I try to respond as soon as I get an email or message – I know if I put it off, it’ll never happen! I love that you try to reply to everyone, Chelsea! That means a lot to us readers :)

  9. Jess on said:

    I feel the same way about the people I’ve met through the blogging community (esp. you chica!) Everyone is SO inspiring and great to be around! I agree about the whole comments too, If someone asks a question, I always reply, and I always try and say thank you to the kind things people say. :) Oh and of course, can’t forget about my mom who is a loyal reader.

  10. Lauren on said:

    I have no idea how those big name bloggers do it all! I am just glad if a few people see my stuff & like it enough to comment. I feel the same way about the sense of community – it is strange that I can feel “community” with my commentors from Canada, San Francisco, Utah & all over… But in a weird way I do feel like we are all a lot closer!

  11. Kate on said:

    I think it is so lovely that you respond. I did send you an email once and nearly fell off my chair that you responded. Your blog is so lovely to read and with posts like this you come across as someone who doesn’t just care about getting readers. I like to think that if we lived in the same town we’d be friends. Hah!! Replies to comments are always appreciated as to tweets. I was actually a bit hurt this week that I tweeted a blogger a video id seen that I thought she’d really like and she didn’t even bother to respond. Keep up the good work. I don’t blog but I definitely enjoy this one.

    • chelsea on said:

      Yeah, it’s tough sometimes when you’re expecting or would really like a response and it’s met with radio silence. I’ve been on both sides of that exchange many times. On one hand, you really want the person to respond and interact. And on the other, who knows? Maybe the person is out of town/a really busy mom/sick/whatever and they just miss the comment completely. It’s a tricky world we live in, because we’re almost 100% accessible all the time. But really, I suppose people have the right to withdraw from the technology and the contact if they choose. So tricky! And truly, thanks for your comment and for reading along. xoxo

  12. So I’m basically a billion years late, but I just wanted to chime in and say I know how you feel. I don’t think I have all the answers, and I’m still figuring it out… but I love the communities built around blogs and connecting with folks all over the globe, so I try to respond to comments, as well as e-mails and just interact as much as I possibly can. It’s a tough balance, and I don’t always do a good job at it, but I think we all encourage and inspire one another, and I want to keep up with that and with everyone, so I continue the interactions because they’re so good for me… and for the community.

  13. I feel forever stuck in the no to little comments stage. You say that this “lasted forever”. How long does it realistically take to build a community?

    • chelsea on said:

      Hi Malinda! That’s an awesome question. Lovely Indeed has been around for about 3 1/2 years now, and I would say that around the two year mark things started to pick up. I started having “regulars” who would come and comment and have conversations. And that is continuing to build still. While Lovely Indeed still isn’t a huge blog, I feel like there is a community there now that feels connected and loyal. It’s a really wonderful feeling, and I’m so grateful for all of those people! (Truly, from the bottom of my heart.) Keep persevering! There’s no substitute for consistency and quality, and in time I’m sure you’ll see it pay off.

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