Hey there, I'm Jonathan, a freelance digital consultant, specialising in UX/UI Design.

I help companies design and develop beautifully simple user interfaces. I work with a huge variety of clients including companies like, Smith & Nephew, KLM, Durex and the National Aids trust.

Engaging in conversation on other peoples blogs

Posted By Jonathan Clift on 19 July 2014

Over the last few weeks, I've decided to really step up my efforts to engage in conversations on other blogs. Using a simple blog reader called Feedly, I've got a list of most blogs in my industry which I can easily scan through to check for any topics of interest.  I've read so many articles in the past that I've had an opinion on but never put in the time to actually post a response. 

So far I've posted 25 comments across 14 different blogs, which I think is a pretty good start. My theory is that if this becomes 1000 comments on say 100 different blogs, it will be very interesting to see what impact this has on my own site traffic, if any at all. So far I've reieved a handful of click throughs from comments I've posted, which will hopefully increase, relative to the number of comments I post. One of the most interesting things I've noticed from this exercise is how few of the blog articles I've posted on have even acknowledged my comments. I don't think any of them have so far, which I am a bit surprised about. When people comment on my blog (not many!) I make a concious effort to reply and encourage further discussion. The one site that did post a particuarly interesting response was www.1stwebdesigner.com. I posted a comment on a blog article about successful freelancing and received this in response:

1stwebdesignerblog

Hopefully I will receive a response to my comment too but the fact that they actually said "Thanks!" is a great start and their feedback mechanism was something I was quite impressed with. I also found it very interesting that they claim that less than 1% of their readers engage in conversation, on a blog that is very popular. (40,000 readers on Feedly alone)

A few other things about commenting

Since I've been commenting on other peoples blogs I've noticed quite a few things that really need improving. The first is definitely feedback, you have to confirm to people that their comment has been posted. Most sites say it's gone into some kind of moderation phase, which is ok but a few sites I've commented on, my comment has just disappeared with nothing showing after submission, other than the comment form. In an ideal world, provide good feedback telling people their comment has been posted, maybe even with some idea of how long this will be. Another point, which I mentioned above is about responding to peoples comments. Especially people who run relatively small blogs, if someone posts a constructive comment on an article you absolutely have to respond to them. At least say thanks! It really doesn't encourage me to follow or engage with that person again if they have not even bothered to respond to my comment.

Final thoughts

The main reason for stepping up my commenting on other peoples blogs is because I think my opinions/advice/thoughts could be helpful to other people. The fact that people have not replied doesn't really bother me personally, as thats not why I'm commenting but I think it's incredibly important in order to encourage people to engage in conversation with you in the future. I'm going to continue my commenting quest for at least a few months and will report back in the future. Feel free to post comment with your thoughts, I promise I'll reply!