Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How to Comment on a Blog

I’m a blogger.

I know. So is everyone else, these days, so that’s not especially news. However, in addition to sharing my soul and my life with total strangers and ‘net passers-by, I also participate in the other side. I also read lots of blogs.

Blogs are cool that way. You can write what you want to, put it out there, and other people read it. It’s like having a column in a paper. If you’re good enough and clever about it, you can even make it pay. It’s a little different than paper columns, though, because if someone wants to, they can talk back to you. They can leave comments. It becomes interactive and turns into a community.

Bloggers have an interesting relationship with commenters. In a lot of ways, getting people to comment on your blog is like validation. It’s like someone else out there acknowledged your existence. In some ways, the more comments your blog generates, the more your perceived value. If there’s lots of discussion, then you’re getting people thinking, and you generate a bigger audience. Even if the comments disagree, it feels good to the blogger that people are buzzing.

Some bloggers take that to an extreme, becoming intentionally controversial just so that they can get more comments.

As a reader of blogs, I can join in the party. Not only that, but it can also help promote my website, since many blogging systems allow me to set up a linkback to my site when I post a comment. Doing that is fraught with danger, however. If you just show up at someone’s blog and post a flagrant (or even a subtle) ad to your site, you can be perceived as a spammer. At the very least, your link will get deleted, and you could get a really bad rep.

So, how do you go about leaving an effective comment on someone else’s blog?

1. Make it relevant

This is the key. What you write has to not only be relevant to their blog, it should be relevant to that posting on their blog. If it’s also relevant to your audience, even better!

2. No “AMEN” comments.

In the world of internet forums, few people are more annoying than those that take up bandwidth posting “Me, too” messages. The same is true in the Bloggosphere. If “Amen!” is all you have to say, don’t say anything. You want to add value to the conversation, not just be a dittohead.

3. Keep your comments short.

Of course, you don’t want to write an encyclopedia, either. My rule of thumb is: If I can’t say what I want to say in two short paragraphs or less, then I should write about it in my blog. Then I can come back and post a comment that points to my blog entry.

4. No empty ad comments.

And while we’re at it, simply saying, “Hey, come check out my website!” is a short trip on a fast train to deleteville. If your comment is going to get deleted anyway, why post it in the first place?

5. Don’t get snarky.

You can disagree, but disagree politely.

6. Be passionate, make your point

Even though you want to keep it short, and keep it polite, don’t hold back your energy. Write what you want to say and show ideas and evidences that support your point. Put it out there, and people will click to see what else you have to say.

7. Include your address

Most blog commenting systems have it setup in the comment form to create the link. If not, include your address in your comment.

If your comment is good, insightful, and relevant, the blog owner won’t mind you getting a link out of it. You’re also giving the blog value by adding to the comment pool and the conversation. And it’s a great way to promote your site as well.



Mark is the co-director of http://seotrafficmagnet.com, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome (http://clickincome.com). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.


2 comments:

  1. Must resist urge to say amen here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, It's alright. Go ahead...

    MRKH

    ReplyDelete