the second half of this short article regarding finding your voice and validation in blogging (#5 here is also good).
So why would I want to I comment on your blog?
I suppose the question is: how do you get readers to connect with your content? I think you have to work backwards to answer that. I think you have to write what you care about (to sustain your blogging) and then people will come along over time who get excited about the same stuff. Might that take time? Yes, but I'd rather have readers who like me for me, then me wondering what they want. Read more about that here and here in English and here in German.
a) I can subscribe to comments/receive comments by email. This is so awesome for those blog posts that are meant to inspire discussion. I will likely forget to to go back to your blog and see the updates, so getting them via email is great. Firefox also has a habit of periodically eating my saved tabs, so email is a guarantee. It's also nice when there's a post on, say, 'reader suggestions for favorite shops in Helsinki' and I'm planning on going there, so I sign up for the comments. Then I have the list in my inbox, bonus!
b) When the you periodically jump into the comments to respond. The time factor is huge here, but when I ask a question, chances are that I'm not the only one with that question. Answering publicly means the you only answer it once and you still connected to your readers, which is cool.
c) When you reply to my comment via personal email. Again, this is a time factor issue, but it's such a friendly touch, even if it's only occasionally possible. Also, if I signed up to receive comments via email, you usually only have to hit 'reply' to write me back. Handy.
d) CommentLuv is enabled to show the commenter's last post title on their own blog. This thing is so cool, have you seen it? I've seen this on blogs like Holly's and need to make it happen on my own. I have found some cool posts/blogs/people after seeing something interesting on a CommentLuv comment. It's a little vanity incentive for the would-be commenter, too, right? ha! It's an easy plugin for Wordpress users and there's also a version for Blogger folks. Check the CommentLuv site if you're on a different blogging platform. This is totally on my to-do list for the blog this year.
Also, if you use some kind of external login feature for comments like Disqus, that's another turnoff for me. Most people have accounts with Blogger or Wordpress, so if you want them to comment, make it easy for them. Don't require them to create yet another account somewhere else or force them to figure out some strange new interface.
I know that's a long list and most of us can't provide everything there, but the more of that list I see in a post/blog, the more likely I am to comment. I definitely would like to improve in some of these areas myself.
Oh, Hello Friend! recently had a post discussing comments (read the comments, too!), but I have to say I though, Joanna nailed it in her recent post on Liebesbotschaft (alles auf Deutsch geschrieben) and I think it's totally worth reading if you can read German/sort through Google's translation. She talks about knowing your motivation to blog, being authentic, not comparing yourself, ignoring critics, and -shocker- not everybody is a blogger, and that's ok.
What about you? Why do you comment on a blog post? Why would you not comment on a blog post?
*bonus: I comment on your blog because I'm actually reading it. Here's 5 reasons why I would read your blog.