Sunday 25 October 2015

How my 300 in 30 days blog-commenting challenge measured up.

I finished my 300 in 30 days blog commenting challenge last weekend; you might have heard the sigh of relief from wherever you are.

If you don't know why I would attempt to do such a thing then my initial post will explain more; plus, it's better than me trying to tell you about it now, as that earlier post was written while the idea was still fresh, while I was still hopeful for what it could achieve, and before all that typing aggravated my old war wound [well, my dodgy elbow/tendon from the time I fell off my bike and met a pavement rather suddenly back in 2008.]

Like I say, my 30 days ended last Saturday, but I'm only just writing about it now as I've been ill ever since. Whether those two things are connected ... who knows?! It could be a nasty case of blog-commenting-itis.

So if you're joining in with the challenge yourself ... just watch out ... if you wake up one morning and your partner says "Your voice has gone down an octave overnight" ... you might want to think about taking the next week off work and finding a way to sleep upright.

You might also want to squeeze in some sexy voiceover work before you get better.

But ... back to the commenting challenge:

It started with a noble intention: 30 days of aiming to maintain and broaden my blogging network. But the reality was more taxing, more time-consuming and yet ultimately more enlightening than I ever imagined it would be.

Another time I'll share some of that enlightenment, some of the broader lessons I learned during my 30 days ... if nothing else, it might save you some time and effort if you plan to do something similar. But until then ....

Here are some of the statistics I clocked up during my challenge: 
[BTW: if you're a fan of tracking things with statistics then you might like to join in with My Month in Numbers one time - everyone's welcome.]

First things first ... no, I didn't reach the 300 I set out to:
  • Instead I made it to 270 comments, which felt like a huge achievement considering how far behind I fell at one point. 
  • 300 in 30 days may well sound feasible when you think of it as an average of 10 per day yet ... that doesn't take into account the fact I had to FIND 10 posts per day that I felt I could genuinely comment on. 
  • On most days this just did not happen and on the days it did that still meant READING 10  posts first. Again ... not as easy as it first sounded!
Another reason it took me so long [and one which you can easily bypass!] is that I kept detailed records of the challenge!

I kept a record of where I'd left each of my 270 comments on a colour-coordinated spreadsheet:

This allowed me to analyse what I was doing as it showed that those 270 comments were shared out between:
  • 137 individual blogs.
  • 26 of which were familiar to me prior to the challenge and were places where I regularly left comments already.
  • Then there were 11 places which I had visited before ... but mainly as a reader/lurker, so I corrected this by leaving comments this time round.
  • While the bulk of the challenge saw me leaving a comment for 100 new-to-me bloggers. [Yes, I did work hard at the end to make that a nice round number!]
I saved each of the 137 blogs I commented on [plus a few extras ] to my 300 in 30 Days Pinterest board:
If you're looking for some new-to-you content ... visiting the board and clicking a few of the likely candidates will cut out a lot of browsing time for you. [You can thank me and my aching elbow later.]
Pinterest board of bloggers

And, in case you don't use / can't view Pinterest I also added each of the 137 blogs to a Google doc [just click the image to visit and save the full list.]
Of those 100 new-to-me blogs [up to now] I've added approximately 12 of them to my regular blog-reader. 

While I feel I've made a genuine friendly, reciprocal, connection with maybe 5 or 6, a handful, at most. 
And while that's quite some attrition rate ... I'm not despondent; there's a lesson in quality over quantity in there somewhere; which I'll no doubt explore further in my 'Lessons I learned while leaving 300 blog comments in 30 days' post soon. 


So ... what could you take from these stats [apart form the obvious stuff like I've clearly got too much spare time and am a little obsessed with giving myself 'projects' to play with.]

Well ...
  • you could visit some of the 137 blogs on the list and maybe find new places to visit, new bloggers who you'd be happy to hear more from in the future.
  • you could dip your toe into just seeing what else is out there, beyond your usual blog visits, by visiting just one new blog.
  • you could think about how and where you're connecting with people these days. You could blog about it. You could send me a link and I'll come and visit. 
  • you could send me recommendations of blogs you think I'll like ... I'm still open to finding new connections.
  • you could share my challenge with someone you think would be brave/eager/experimental/misguided enough to try it out!
  • you could come and massage my overstretched elbow*. [*You couldn't. That would be freaky. I'm going to leave that to the nice lady who does my deep-tissue massage. She's a professional.]
Right ... my virus-riddled-after-leaving-270-comments voice is on its last legs [last chords?] so I'm going to go and drink something useful. 

I'm still deciding between whether that will be 5ml of 'Catarrh Relief Formula' or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc ...

Catch you soon. 



  1. Go for the wine, definitely!
    I wonder how many comments Sian leaves in 30 days. She seems to be the most avid commenter of any blogger I know.

    1. I might do just that Rinda!

      Yeah - Sian's taking the challenge - not sure how far in she is yet. I think the answer to leaving that many is having that many in your regular reader. If you have to find them first it's almost a non-starter!

    2. Probably because I talk a lot can't say "shut up Sian" the way everyone here can :)

  2. I second the wine and might I also recommend Sambucol? A useful supplement through the cough and cold season. It has kept me relatively germ free since I started taking it. My lot dropped like flies with a horrible virus at the beginning of September and I was the only one left unscathed.

    100 new blogs? That's very impressive. I plan to take up your challenge in November, when there are 30 days, making it nice and neat and more importantly easier to remember!

    1. I will hunt that out - thanks!

      And I'll keep an eye out for your experiment - give me a nudge if I forget. x

  3. Well done Julie! I got ill whilst taking part in the challenge too!!! I did find some lovely new blogs though and have started up drawing and painting again as I felt so inspired by some of the blogs. Like you, the trouble was finding 10 blogs a day which was difficult because not everyone updates their blog weekly let alone daily. I didn't put my stats in a spreadsheet. I rather tediously copied them into a word document - never again!!! Thanks for the challenge as I rediscovered your blog again too and have noticed you are getting more comments now than before you started the challenge. Oh, enjoy your wine! :-)

    1. Maybe there's a curse on blog commenting challenges ...

      Yep - one of the main lessons is that you need to know many blogs to be able to leave comments on many blogs!

      And yes, I do seem to be getting more comments ... I'm thinking it might just be a [second]honeymoon period! Although it would be nice to think it'll stay a long-term relationship!

  4. Well done on achieving the number of comments you did. I hope you feel better, and the wine gets my vote. I have found most of my favourite blogs following links in memes but this is limiting in the type of blog you find. I don't like the advice/lifestyle type blogs, I prefer the chatty 'normal' ones.

  5. LOL --- but not too much laughing - anyways, I found YOU through your 30 day marathon ---- so sometimes it's not what YOU gain but what others gain through you which is a bit immeasurable, right??? Or wrong. Sounded a good thought as I was writing. Something to be said for all the extra work with the spread sheet etc. WELL DONE!!!!!! Hope the wine fixed the elbow too ;)

  6. I applaud your end efforts Julie, it was a brilliant idea and lots of good things came from it (and I'm not talking elbow injury or loss of voice here! Wishing you a speedy recovery.
    I can see the problem of writing 10 comments a day if people you follow do not post regularly or you do not have enough blogs in your feeder. Iike you I would only want to comment or visit bloigs that have interest and much time could be spent or wasted looking for new blogs. I'm sure you have learned a lot, some of which you have already shared and I look forward to hearing more some time.
    Enjoy the wine, it is well deserved.

  7. I love it! What a great idea, although the fallout seems a bit harsh. Hope you feel better soon! So I might try this. but I might go for a smaller target. I used to have a 20 blogs a day rule, but I just could not work it and it fell by the wayside. Then social media exploded and that has fast become mine and I'm guessing, most other people's why of commenting. But I really miss blog commenting, as you say you put so much work into a blog post that when it doesn't get a comment it can be a bit of a kick to the gut. You rule Julie! I love this and well done. Now, go and rest up :) Kx

  8. Wow! I'm a bit blown away by all those numbers. Just wow. Someone asked me how I was keeping track and suggested I put pebbles in a jar, which I thought was a lovely idea. I've been racking up at least 10 a day, to keep a little ahead in case I run out of steam. It feels like a few more than normal but not too many more. I have quite a few blogs in my Reader because I've been staying in touch with a lot of bloggers who have joined in Storytelling Sunday etc over the years...though of course keeping up with everyone means less time for finding new blogs I could love. I tend to read and comment over my lunch hour, or when I making the dinner. But I'll be slower this week because it's half term and I'll have company, so I can't be bent over the computer as I eat my lunch. Oh, and my laptop is dying. I keep having to turn it off before it gets too hot.

    Well done!

    1. Story Telling Sunday....wistful - audible - "sigh"...

  9. Well done you on 270! So sorry you're not well: new term germs? Awful things! Hoping you're better soon and that you've been doing lots of -non-blog- reading (only silent 'in your head' commenting needed for that kind of reading!!)..H xx

  10. Your post on the decline of commenting certainly got a lot of people talking and I know that personally I've made a conscious effort to comment more since reading it. Interesting though that all this extra commenting has taken its toll on your immune system! I love the fact that you've found new blogs to visit regularly, I sometimes try finding new blogs by checking out those on 'following' lists of blogs I read regularly. Maybe we need to try a 'pass the blogger' system where everyone recommends a new blog to the next person on the list!

  11. Commiserations (blooming colds) and congratulations (clinking glasses with you) are both in order :). That's a great achievement, Julie, and I know I have always appreciated and looked forward to your comments, and am touched that I am on your list. Your insights into the whole process have been fascinating reading, and I'm looking forward to more! I think you've started something which has benefited a number of bloggers :). You are a movement in yourself!

  12. I'll stand back a bit from the keyboard so as not to catch your virus (col). Congrats, well done, WOW to your success in your challenge of 300 in 30. I want to thank you for the challenge because it created a few unexpected visits with comments on my blog & it was really nice. Thank you. I am new to blogging & still trying to find my voice, my style. I think a side note to your challenge was to ask why are we blogging, who are we looking to connect with? On another note, not sure if you can get Buckley's in England, it is everything its advertising claims - taste awful but works. I wish you a speedy recovery. :)

  13. I'm truly in awe of you, and I'm sooo impressed. I will check out your Pinterest board as I love finding new blogs of like minded friends.

    Hope you feel better soon

  14. Congrats on getting as far as you did. It sure does take a lot of time. I know I won't reach 300 but at least I'll be in the 200's. :) I'm having problems adding some of the blogs I've found into my feedly reader. Don't know what's with that but it just doesn't recognize them when I do a search on the name etc. Oh well, I've got them bookmarked instead. :) Once I'm done on Friday I'll check out your pinterest board. BTW, so far no bugs here (knock on wood).

  15. I am amazed you did 270 - well done Julie! Also very humble to be one of the 137 you commented on. Thanks for stopping by it really is appreciated and gives me a warm glow to get a nice comment. Will take up your suggestion and visit a few on the list and add to my reader (and comment of course when I visit - I'm doing this more now anyway after reading your original post) Thanks for the inspiration x

  16. Well done Julie! 270 comments in 30 days is quite an achievement!! I'm up to 250 and have 1 day to go. My computer has gone on a go-slow and it's taking me ages to comment on each blog:( OtherwiseI'd be more or less on track. Maybe my computer has caught the virus!! I'm looking forward to reading more about your thoughts on the challenge, and loving your statistics! I have kept a record in excel, so will do a bit of analysis later.

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