Quit or Quid Pro Quo? The Winding Road to Beatles Blogging

Posts by Anthony

Sorry, Folks. Blog Park’s Closed…

“it’s like if I can be interested enough to comment, why can’t you as the author…”

Quid pro quo, agent Starling…  How invested are you in your brand?  To me, it’s my ‘business,’ something I created, which  (hopefully) readers find of value.  It’s not a vanity mirror.  It’s for you, readers, to engage, communicate, learn, teach, and prosper with me.  It requires reciprocity.  As the Fab Four put it: …and in the end…the love you take is equal…to…the…love…you make.

Imagine going through the effort of reading, cogitating, offering insight/addition to someone’s post.  Imagine partaking in a blogging system, (you know a social platform) which beseeches reads and comments, but gives

Wait.  So some ‘opened’ an establishment…but may/may not wholeheartedly serve ‘customers’? The irony is atrophying me…  Honestly, I personally take notice.  If you observe some don’t ‘hangout’ at establishments as much of late, it could be due to an (hopefully unintended) impression.  I know.  They don’t have to.  But it’s in part why readers came along for the ride…to share…to connect…to further associate with a blogger’s brand.  Isn’t…that…what…is…wanted?

The Love You Make

I actually have ‘love you make’ and ‘love you take’ tattooed on my forearms (#forrealsies).  I have an inkling; it’s a sentiment some bloggers put to the wayside or momentarily lapse upon.  It’s okay.  We’re bringing comments back; (but still) some modern bloggers don’t know how to (re)act.

Which brings me to this post on commenting on comments.  Actually, allow me to allow one of my readers to illustrate my point:

  Paul Gailey (@paulgailey)

“…I used to comment almost everywhere I read but rapidly gave up on vanity posters who did not engage with the comments – it’s like if I can be interested enough to comment, why can’t you as the author be bothered to respond?…”

Great question, Paul.  We’re going to explore some points here.  Actually, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and kinda-sorta wanna turn the screw of my prior post a bit.  I don’t think the lack of commenting is due to commenters altogether; in fact, I think the atrophy is due to the lack of blogger response…perhaps moreso.

I got to thinking well (did you catch that one, Alessio?)…thinking of a paragon example.  Who’s someone who diligently addresses peer questions and concerns, one who appreciates the art of empathy?  I didn’t have to think too hard to contact Dan Shure.  Cases in point: Dan’s title post then WordPress post on Moz, garnering 148 and 146 comments respectively.

Oh yeah, take a gander at Dan’s closing sentiment on that first one….

“I will respond to all…”

Take a look yourself.  Homeboy’s responses are abundant.  Dan’s a great citizen of the community.  He helps tremendously regarding critique and encouragement.  Why does Dan place so much effort in responding?  Someone should ask him (gets in DeLorean).

You do a super job at responding to comments.  Why is that important to you? 

“Its important to me because a post is as much a discussion as a piece of content. It’s alive. It breathes. Each post is a plant, and you have to come back and water it once and a while.

 It’s about me LISTENING as much as being listened to.  And sometimes its just to show people that I care about what they have to say, or I’m here to answer their questions. And that a post isn’t just about me, its about the community and its all give and take.”

“It’s all give and take.”  I like that, Shure :)

Here are some other good examples of diligent blog hosts:

In this one, Alessio interviews Bill; But Alessio ensures his readers are welcome on his blog.

Alessio gave me this for being interviewed:

That’s expressed appreciation methinks :)

Point Blank is creative about responding and expressing appreciation to readers .  I observed this transaction recently:

Anthony Pensabene  Smooth move RT @KaneJamison Jon from @PointBlankSEO sprang for embroidered logos on his shirt – Classy! http://pic.twitter.com/r7x54k6s

There are other good examples.  But hopefully you get the point.

So You Wanna Be an Inbound Superstar?

I wanted to do something extra special for my 30th birthday.  I thought, “WTF can I do that would really be mucho fun for those who come?”  Like marketing, it’s not about ME. It’s about THEM.  Who’s the (wo)man?  You are, reader.

In investing further thought on the celebration, I was like, “Pff, I’ll throw a skating party jammy jam and party like it’s 1989.”  But we’re not 11 any longer; we’re adults.  Hmm… well I’ll just hire a bus to take us to the bar, then to the rink, then back to the bar.  Oh yeah. I think I’ll buy everyone milk and cookies for the bus ride too… #allaboutthedetails #borrowedideafromAndyKaufman

Dude/ette bloggers, I understand it’s a time/resource investment; but, why did you put this thing in motion to begin with?  Have fun with the participation; do your thing.

People still talk about the skating jam.  Why?  I invested the time and energy.  I placed much thought upon expressing appreciation to partygoers.  (Anthony, Awesome. Why are you discussing man-child parties?)  (Because it’s a metaphor for hosting a blog.)

Quid pro quo…

Quit pro quo…

How many readers notice those who kinda have lopsided, ‘love-you-take only’ comments?  What do you think such actions do to some readers?  Do you think they ‘influence’ thoughts you don’t want readers to have?  Perhaps.


“…There’s still a sense of hesitancy at times, wondering if I am saying something stupid or worthless, but more often than not I go ahead and say what I have to say. I tweet @ people who won’t know who I am because I know they’re people, mostly nice people, and if I were in their position I’d be happy for people like me to engage. If I don’t get a response it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean I’ve been judged and found unworthy, even if that thought had played into any initial trepidation…”

I know this feeling.  I had it. I still get crickets at times.  I don’t take it ‘personally'; yet, if you spoke to someone in a 3D fashion, you’d probably (at least) expect recognition of your existence?  That’s respecting/appreciating others.

Whether you’re a rock star or a bing bang in the making, don’t forget to remember your consumers.  Don’t be a big business that has learned to ‘expect’ the readers, the popularity, the comments.  Be the boutique brand with the vision to create something people want.

Keep that beginning twinkle in your blog step.  People notice.  People respond to it.  As I suggest in a Joker of a guest post, remain faithful to your ‘Gotham.’  Don’t ever stop becoming the hero.  As I’ve referenced before, a little feedback/encouragement/participation goes a very long way.

Anthony Pensabene

10 thoughts on “Quit or Quid Pro Quo? The Winding Road to Beatles Blogging

  1. Thanks Anthony for the mentions. You know you are one of my SEO hero! :)

    I have to say that I like to engage through comments because I’m having fun doing it. If I don’t have nothing to say, or I think TOO much before posting, it means it’s better not to place a comment.

    Comments are good when natural, when you can add something to the discussions.

    Plus, I am a strong believer of saying “thanks” to all the people commenting to my blog, just because it’s cool they took sometimes to read the post :)

    As I said in the latest AJ Kohn post, we live in an age of quantity, so it’s not always cool what you read, or it’s not always cool commenting on something.

    I decided to take more time for reading some good stuff, and if I feel good, I’m gonna even comment.

    thanks again for sharing Anthony!

    1. Thanks (as always) for the read, share, and participation, Alessio! Sure, I don’t want some people to get the impression in the last posts that one *has* to comment. It should be natural – like conversation. I’ve oft been called ‘quiet.’ That makes me smirk a bit; it’s not quite true. It’s just that I’m observing and don’t have anything to say at the moment I feel would add or is of value.

      I DO think there is a responsibility of blog ownership- why I choose the ‘restaurant’ or ‘establishment’ metaphor. A ‘thanks’ does fine. I don’t think people expect the blogger to become their best friend; I do think people expect a bit of courtesy when they come and add to your establishment, when they take the time to be ‘your consumer.’

      Cool, your closing comments hits on something I want to explore next…the sheer quantity of information and more places of online social exchanges other than blog posts.

    2. I love that your snapshot of Alessio’s responses has him answering EVERYONE…except me! Made me smile.

      I think the blogger’s purpose is a huge factor in his approach to comments. If he’s blogging to say he has a blog, he’s going to respond differently than if he’s blogging to share ideas and spark discussion, for example.

  2. Insightful and interesting post again my friend. Two small (sort of) counterpoints to bring up, as a matter of learning from experience.

    The Moz post you cite – that was definitely an intentional move (saying I would respond to all) to have my first Moz post make the biggest splash and spark the best conversation possible. I simply wanted people to know they’d be listened to.

    But the counter to that is – as you get busier blogging, and with your business – commenting on EVERY comment becomes a little impossible.

    For one, time is an issue. I could literally spend all day sometimes responding to things.

    But secondly, the more you start doing something, and the less “unexpected” it is, the less value it carries. After a while, if you respond to everyone, the value of those responses must get diluted along the way.

    So now I focus my responses on those comments that as a direct question or those that spark a natural response (like I may have spoken up in real life).

    1. Thanks for reading and adding, Dan. I understand (in theory) the level of ‘stoke’ coming from a first Moz post. And I understand the ‘big splash’ impact notion; yet, I want to point out that I chose you as an example because you’re consistent in communicating and engaging with people in the community. —–> “I simply wanted people to know they’d be listened to.” <—– BOOM!

      We understand the difference between saying and doing. More importantly a brand's consumers do. Marketing, consists of a lot of 'talk.' It's needed and understood. What a brand does to make that talk viable is most important and inextricably associated to branding.

      I understand some people get a lot more regular comments than others; but, I stick to my intuition. If people think enough of a blogger's content, think enough to respond or ask a question, it deserves attention or the blogger is not 'walking the talk.' My pointing out the EVERY comment served more as a shining example than hard rule. Does every.single.comment. need response – no. If it's done too often does it alienate readers? I think so.

      "Time is an issue." I'm going to use a dog metaphor. The idea of having a dog sounds awesome! Oh, but it's not all cute and play time. Sometimes the dog wants to play, needs to go to the bathroom, is hungry, needs to go to the vet. It's the owner's responsibility to attend to the dog. The blogger is the 'owner' of the blog. If a blogger doesn't want to invest time, then maybe they can turn comments off; but then I would question their intention again.

      I don't want people to read my last two posts in a polarized, all-or-none fashion. I want people to start thinking about how blogs are presented and used for learning, sharing, and branding. This particular post is a wake up call to some bloggers who may need a reminder of the original fervor or purpose of their blog and decision to leverage a social platform. Thanks for sparking some more thoughts.. and for previously adding to my upcoming post :)

  3. Well, thank you Anthony for using my comments as an example. I try very hard to answer as many comments as I possibly can on my blog. I feel it’s the least I can do when people take the time and effort to contribute. I sometimes don’t reach that SLA but … I keep trying.

    Another reason I do it is because I know how frustrating it is to leave a comment and have it sit there like a brick on a blog. There’s no positive reinforcement to make me feel good about my contribution.

    Worse is that many commenting systems just make it difficult to comment and the presentation of comments is still pretty abysmal IMO (blog post forthcoming).

    One of the things I tell every single client when we talk about blogging is this:

    Respond to every comment.

    I believe in the idea of 1000 True Fans by Kevin Kelley. Responding to that comment is an effective way to get you to that 1000 goal.

    1. Thanks for adding value, AJ. I definitely observe and understand different approaches to one’s blog, especially if it is a personal one. My professional intuition and personal character leads me to engage and fully support commenting. I enjoy exchanging thoughts and picking brains. If I leave a comment, I’ve enjoyed the read, topic, and would like to add or further discuss.

      I look forward to your post on commenting systems. Horrible function, UX, appearance could deter such. I plan on writing a followup to this post later today and that was one of the factors thought of in regard to lesser comments.

      ‘True fans’ – I like that concept. Isn’t that what any brand could hope for, others who truly enjoy coming by and ‘consuming’ what you have to offer, those who enjoy and want to come by again and again?

      I understand the sheer logistics may be tough to address.. but, if you want to build something involving people.. you must build upon them and those relations too.

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