Commenting on blog posts is a great way to connect, to share, and to meet new people. But, how many of us understand the proper way of commenting? I found a blog post recently that made me stop and think about the whole commenting thing.
Comments are more than recognition of a good or bad post. Comments are a personal message to either the blogger or another person who left a comment. They can become the conversation of the day, if enough people participate. Tom has been having a nice “conversation” via comments, about commenting and building engagement, over on Dan Zarrella’s blog – well worth your read. The comments there are NOT relative of most comments, on most blogs. They are relevant of what we would all like to happen, at least occasionally, on our blogs.
One might think a comment is such a personal thing that however the commenter wishes to comment, is okay. Proper. Personal. Nothing could be farther from the truth. People forget one important aspect to blog commenting: it’s LIVE on the Internet. It reaches far and wide. It stays there forever. A comment (unless the blogger deletes it, and the blogger has the right to do that according to his or her feelings about the comment), a comment becomes a testament to the blog post, the blogger, and the person who wrote it. It identifies you – by the tone, the language, the words, the perception.
Because comments never go away – be careful what you say in a comment. Here are some basic rules:
- Be polite. Rude, inflammatory language is not worth reading or sharing.
- Stay on topic. Writing, “Great post!” does nothing to support the blogger whose blog you’re commenting on. Trying to sell on the blog, via your comment, is an insult. You wouldn’t walk into a retail store offline and set up shop for yourself, would you?
- Share you URL – THAT is the best selling you can do. A great comment linked to your blog, will get people’s attention and drive traffic to your site.
- Don’t go on and on. It’s a comment, not a blog post. If you’re writing full paragraphs, try to sum up your point and go do a full blog post, which you will trackback, right? Be careful of “mansplaining“… and yes, women do it, too!
- Give people the benefit of the doubt. In other words, if the post is rubbing you the wrong way and you have to comment (without being rude or angry), try to imagine that the blogger was posting a personal opinion and while yours may not be the same, both of you are entitled to disagree. If another commenter is being rude or angry or outrageous (in a bad way, there are ways to be outrageous in a good way – like raging against puppy mills and pit bull bans), tread lightly. It may be that the person is mad but not “mad”…if you get my drift. Don’t go all Postal on him or her…
A comment is a gift – but when it’s offered with strings attached, or when it’s thrown instead of gently served, it becomes a bomb. Most bloggers, when they see a bomb on their blog, get rid of it right away. Let it blow up somewhere else.
Like, on your own blog.