Do Comment Clubs Work? What If They Aren’t?

BlogTrafficQ&As Have you tried joining comment clubs, comment circles or comment exchange groups to boost the comments on your blog and build your traffic?

It can be a great way to make connections and get conversation going.  But sometimes… it doesn’t quite work the way it’s supposed to.

This is the question that Roy Ackerman of Adjuvancy asked (when I invited blog traffic questions here).  And here’s my answer:

What has your experience been with comment groups?  I’d love to hear what’s working for you (and feel free to share links to the groups you DO find helpful).  Or, if groups aren’t working for you, does this video help you figure out how to handle it?

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  1. Informative video. It’s nice you pointed out that maybe the group isn’t a good fit, but also that maybe we need to tweak our posts too to make them more comment worthy. It’s not always the other people, sometimes it is an internal issue that needs fixed!

    1. Yeah, a lot of times when people do complain they skip over the step of starting with themselves and just looking at what they can do to improve, how they can be a better group member and more supportive, etc. Sometimes it’s the group, but it never hurts to check out ourselves for area to improve, too. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… One Cool Way to Achieve More of Your GoalsMy Profile

  2. I’m loving the UBC group but I also am part of a smaller group that is a two-for-one group as well. By doing both, I’ve steadily increased my blog traffic which has increased my newsletter as well.
    Arwen recently posted… Feathers, Virus + 5 MinutesMy Profile

    1. Awesome! Sounds like those two are working the way they should be. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways You Might Be Driving Your Readers Crazy (Without Realizing It!)My Profile

  3. Hi

    Great video and tips :) I was not getting many comments, so I have been going back over blog post to see how i can fix

    Audrey recently posted… Spaghetti Squash~My Profile

    1. Hey Audrey, thanks for stopping by and tuning in. I’ve got a video ready to go next week about what you can do to get more comments on your posts that may help you with that. :)

  4. I have found that most of these clubs work well for a while. And, then folks start to slide…
    So, be prepared to start new groups or join other ones, if you expect long term results.
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted… Get Your Message Out!My Profile

    1. I’ve seen that too, Roy. It can be challenging to find the groups that aren’t sliding but as you said – you can start your own or move to others as needed.

      And for what it’s worth, your blog is definitely engaging and thought-provoking enough to get people to leave comments. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… What is Your Big Dream?My Profile

  5. Great post. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of something that isn’t working – but we can be spinning our wheels and wasting valuable time and energy. Also so important to look at what we can change ourselves. So much easier to change ourselves than others. :)
    Erin Hatton recently posted… Where have I been? Where am I going?My Profile

    1. Great point — our own behavior is much easier to modify!

      And yep, it’s important to know when to let things go and spend our time/energy wisely.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways You Might Be Driving Your Readers Crazy (Without Realizing It!)My Profile

  6. I’ve been involved with a comment club for approximately 8 months and as @adjuvancy stated “folks start to slide.” The people in my group have good intentions but important events in their personal and business life take precedence. For me, that’s OK. There are a few people who will honor their commitment and catch up afterwards. My group is small about 11 people. Not everyone in a group is going to vibe with your work and it’s impossible to be in a group where everyone does. As with anything in life, on the average, from my experience, 20-30% of the people will stay committed and that’s a good thing.

    The tips you shared in the video are very important. A few months ago I started editing my posts that were written before I knew what the heck I was doing. Not just for comments but for overall improvement.

    The comment club has been a good experience. I created some long term friendships and learned a thing or two along the way.

    Your tips will help others to be strategic in forming or joining one.
    Adalia John recently posted… Inspirational Poem: I Wish You EnoughMy Profile

    1. That’s awesome, Adalia!

      In most groups there’s a core of committed bloggers that are the ones to really connect with.

      At some point I may do the same and go back and edit older posts–I know quite a few of mine could use serious work. But then it’s also fun to read through some and see the progress. So I kind of like that.

      I’ve created great friendships through blogging communities and comment circles as well. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Revealed: The Easiest Way To Activate Your TribeMy Profile

  7. Good advice, Michelle. I actually gave up on a couple of groups last year because of these very reasons. There’s no reason to be in a group that breeds resentment for you. Or, like you said, is a waste of your time.
    Kerry Swetmon recently posted… Want to know how I became a multi-business owner?My Profile

    1. Exactly, Kerry. Spend your time where you’re getting results AND love being. :)

  8. First, Michelle, it was nice to see a video with you in it – I enjoyed seeing you in action! (this is going to tie to a blog post I plan to make in the next few days asking if I should post a picture of myself on my blog, and explain why, up to now, I haven’t.) I have not joined any comment groups up to now – I don’t feel I can fulfill the commitment. I enjoy the “comment on 2 links above” feature on the UBC Facebook page and have used it, because it is manageable. I don’t like to make promises I can’t keep. My blog is not to promote a business or a career – if it was, I would probably feel differently about this.

    1. Yes, that’s a very different perspective to come from, Alana. :) I’d approach it differently if my blog weren’t part of my business and marketing strategy.

      That’s a smart way to work within comment groups and that desire to fulfill commitments is what makes some groups work so well– lots of people like you in them. ;)

      And glad you enjoyed the video. I know I’ve had several people mention I come across totally different when they see me on video or speaking than in my photos so I figured more video would be a good idea.

  9. GREAT video! Great insight; being new to this I don’t know what typeof results I should be looking for. I am definitely trying to do my part and raching out to others and sharing comments as well as thanking those that check mine out. I’m just gunna keep my head down and keep DOING IT! It can only get better! Thanks for the suggestions! :)

    1. It sounds like you’re doing just fine on your part, Jeff. Generally you should be getting as many comments as you’re leaving on other blogs (not specifically everyone you comment on will comment back, but more overall activity).
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… What is Your Big Dream?My Profile

  10. Excellent video. I had never even heard of comment clubs before. Interesting!
    Liz recently posted… I am the HedgehogMy Profile

    1. Thanks Liz. Yes, they’re an interesting way to kick start the comments on a blog. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… One Cool Way to Achieve More of Your GoalsMy Profile

  11. I’ve never heard of commenting clubs. Do you have a recommendation for where to hook up with one?
    Suzi Shumaker recently posted… Susan E. Kennedy: Other PlansMy Profile

    1. Hey Suzi, they come in a lot of different formats but can be anything from a few friends/colleagues who get together and agree to comment on each others blogs (best to set a specific day of the week or # of times a week, and have clear expectations), to bigger groups like those within the Ultimate Blog Challenge. There are lots on Facebook if you search blog comment circle, blog comment club, blog comment exchange, etc. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Revealed: The Easiest Way To Activate Your TribeMy Profile

  12. Very Interesting I’ve never heard of this technique of using clubs before.I’ll definitely try to implement this.
    Rahul recently posted… Blogging Goals of 2013 to Make More MoneyMy Profile

    1. Hi Rahul, great! Enjoy making new connections! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are You Missing This Essential Ingredient to Success?My Profile

  13. Thanks, Michelle, for spearheading UBC and suggesting that, while it’s wonderful for many, it’s not perfect for everyone. No one “comment club” could ever be. As you point out, it’s a match-up between the group’s focus and our own blog’s focus.

    I imagine it’s like searching for the perfect match on an online dating site. Although I really don’t know about that.

    Your advice and enthusiasm for blogging are inspiring thousands of us to see the big picture, as we learn day-to-day details. Please keep it up.

    – Robbie
    Robbie Schlosser recently posted… Holiday Party — How Music Makes It WonderfulMy Profile

    1. Hey Robbie, I appreciate that, thank you for the feedback.

      That’s a great comparison! LOL I don’t exactly have online dating experience but I’d imagine it to be very similar as well. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are You Missing This Essential Ingredient to Success?My Profile

  14. I’ve never even heard of this type of thing but it does sound interesting! Everything isn’t always right for everyone. No worries.
    Bernard Charles recently posted… Do you know your Life-Path in numbers?My Profile

    1. That’s very much the approach I take to promoting blog posts, Bernard. Some things will work well for each of us, some won’t. It varies by person and blog, and it’s about finding what works for you and focusing on that. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are You Missing This Essential Ingredient to Success?My Profile

  15. Cool beans! I could hear this video. Again, I like how you reinforcedyour point by adding the written words.
    thanks for the validation that if somethng isn’t working try something different.
    Malika Bourne recently posted… I Finally Got It All Together, Now I Forgot What I Wanted to DoMy Profile

  16. Michelle, in all honesty this is something I’ve not actually considered doing in the past.

    It’s definitely something that I’m going to look into moving forward, thanks.
    Adam recently posted… 24 Easy Ways to Build a Targeted Twitter FollowingMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome, Adam. It can be a fun way to both build relationships with other bloggers and get some activity happening on your blog. :)

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