One way to gain new readers and make new connections in the blogosphere is to make comments on other people’s blogs. I found a good article on the art of commenting titled “How to Write Amazing Blog Comments,” but unfortunately it can’t find its way through the school’s filter. If you’re reading this at home, you should be able to go directly to the link. For those of you who are reading at school, I’m going to copy the most relevant part of the post below.
“But Queen Carol,” you may ask, “aren’t you violating copyright laws by doing that? Are you even possibly plagiarizing?”
The answer to both questions is no. I can copy a portion of a copyrighted work as long as I give credit to the author, which I did by linking to the original article. Also, special consideration is given to educators when it comes to copyrighted material, and I believe I’m within the guidelines. Finally, I’m going to send a link to this post to the author of the article and make sure it’s OK with her that I post such a large portion of her post here.
So, without further comment, here are some pointers for writing comments. My thanks to author QueenMomJen for her wise words.
Read the Post
I visit quite a few blogs each week. Last week I was reading a very heartfelt post about a woman’s recent loss on a blog I had never visited before. I felt moved to reach out to her in compassion via a comment on her post. As usual I scrolled through the other comments only to find this as the first one.
“Popping in from ____ hop. Love your blog, you can visit me at ___.”
I guarantee you that this kind of comment is the wrong one about 99.9 percent of the time, and the blogger who did this is setting themselves up to fail. They are setting themselves up to fail because they don’t understand that successful bloggers are community builders.
Pull Out a Specific Point
You do not have to comment on everything in the post. If there is one particular section that speaks to you, then comment on it. This lets the author know you actually read their post and didn’t just skim through the pictures before posting your comment.
Share Equal Experiences
I admit that there have been some posts where it was very difficult for me to hit the publish button. Mainly because I felt so strongly about what I was writing and worried about what others would think.
If you can help give insight or boost up another blogger with shared experiences, then do it! This is an important part of community building. Besides that, as humans, sharing and caring is generally a good thing to do.
Read Some of the Other Comments
It’s not that you have to be 100 percent original and witty all of the time, but you don’t want to say the exact same thing the person before you did. Try and genuinely add to the discussion with your comment. If you get stuck, you can comment on someone else’s comment saying you thought the same thing.
Write More Than One Line
Sometimes I have commented in one sentence, but I try not to. Pull something specific out of the post and comment on it, then add in your one liner. For example, don’t have your only comment be, “Thanks for sharing!” Thanks for sharing what…? Add what you liked and now you have a short, succinct, and meaningful comment!
Don’t Write an Opus
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you should not feel you have to write a long and detailed comment. You may want to because you find so much in common with the author, but keep in mind that sometimes too much personal information shared is too much.
Thumper’s mom had it right when she said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” You are better off just closing the tab and moving on rather than looking like a donkey.
Reciprocation is King
Respond to commenters on your blog in a timely and thoughtful manner. Then make sure to visit their blog in return. This is a very important element of community building and one that I truly enjoy. I have found so many wonderful blogs and bloggers by doing this. Community building can be very fulfilling if done properly.
Something else to keep in mind with this is to have commenting widgets or apps installed on your site that will email alert someone that their comment was replied to.
Know When to Cut Bait
This is an old saying fisherman use when it’s time to reel it in and go home because the fish aren’t biting. The same applies to commenting. This may sound harsh, but personally, I have a very limited time in which to blog ( 4 children and all) so I have had to drop my comments on some blogs.
I still may enjoy what they write and periodically stop in, but if they are unable to be a part of my community then it is time to move on. It’s not a “Tit for Tat” kind of thing, it is just the reality that we can give more to those who can enrich our own lives in return.