That's me! I have been blogging for a year on "As Told By Kathryn" but previously had a YouTube channel for almost a year, and have had two other blogs as well. As much as I loved my YouTube channel, it wasn't for me. It was a very cliquey community and very limiting. Whatever you classified yourself as was what you had to make videos on, otherwise it was not accepted. And when you would be classified as "lifestyle" then that produced the assumption that you would do Daily Vlogs. It was just a lose lose situation. So I started a blog. But I was a newbie and thought that I still had to abide by these non existent "rules" and posted really awkward posts about nail polishes and my favorite drug store makeup and it was just awkward and forced and weird. So when people would comment on any of these posts, I would never know how to respond to comments. If it was a question, I would answer it, and if it was a statement I would just let it sit there. I didn't know what to do with them! I also had my "comment approval" on as well as a "captcha" (that really annoying thing trying to convince you that you're actually a robot).
Then I started "As Told By Kathryn." A blog where I could talk about what I wanted to talk about it, how I wanted to phrase it, what pictures I would post, when I would post. I was comfortable with my blog and loved it. And that is when comments became a thing. These weren't comments from strangers or a random person. These comments were from friends. They were thoughtful comments, comments that I wanted to respond to. So, with all of that: When and how are YOU supposed to respond to comments?
I like to respond as soon as I can. This being said, it is difficult to always respond right when I get the comment. Life happens, you will get busy, things will come up, and that comment notification or email will get buried before you know it. I try to respond to comments within the week it was posted. Just because it is fresh in your mind, their mind, win win situation. To help with this, be sure to have your comment notifications sent to your email! This is a new tip that I just added, but the comments are posted on my blog but are also sent to me as an email, so I can respond right away from my email if I have my phone on hand. With this, though, your response comment will not post on your blog, so if that if something you wanted, be sure to respond directly on your blog (thats's how it works for blogger at least)!
Now that we have the "when," we get the how. BE REAL. I cannot emphasize this enough. Your blog is you, it is your personality, your life, your day, your experience, so let that shine through your comment! Even if it is just a simple "thank you! xo" or if you don't like that, at least something. Why? Because they took the time to read your blog, and leave a comment, letting you know their opinions, or just them telling you they read your post! It was an act of kindness, and we want to keep the world running so respond with another act of kindness. I get really giddy when people leave comments on my blog because I am still shocked that people actually read it.
Luckily, I have not had to deal with hate comments on my blog, but I did have some of these on my YouTube. They aren't fun, but you just have to be the bigger person, because the bigger picture is that you are putting yourself and your life out there, on the internet, for everyone and anyone to see, and they are hiding behind a computer/phone/iPad/whatever other technology you can get internet on now-a-days. This is when people turn on their comment approval notifications, but I feel that that isn't necessary just because my blog community experience has been so positive that it has not been an issue. Either way, my rule of thumb is to respond to all comments! Even if it is just a quick "thanks" or a "hi" or anything! They took the time to let you know they read your post, the least you could do for them is let them know you appreciate them for that!