Commenting on a blog is the first step in relationship building.
Good writers put a lot of effort into writing blog posts that attract attention and encourage comments. When you find a post you enjoy, the best way to build a relationship with the writer is to leave a comment.
Unfortunately, social media hasn’t done bloggers any favors when it comes to leaving meaningful, interactive comments. Readers are so used to the click-and-go method, they often fail to leave good blog comments, if they leave them at all.
But that doesn’t have to be how you operate. You can choose to leave high quality comments and use each opportunity to build relationships with the bloggers you love.
So how do you say what you want to say, like a boss?
1. Say something meaningful
When you find something that resonates with you, don’t just say “Nice post” and move on. Tell the blogger why you liked it. Expand on your opinion. Share some insight with them about how it affected you.
Writers need feedback. The Facebook LIKE button is not enough for emotional, emotive bloggers. They need more. Give it to them.
2. Agree to disagree
One of the negative aspects of blogging, especially for women, is that we write safe things, hope everyone agrees with us, and then pat ourselves on the back when they do.
This is not the rule, of course, because there are some very thick-skinned, controversial bloggers out there. But for the most part we just agree with each other, spew out platitudes and move on.
It’s okay not to agree with everything you read. And it’s okay to say so in a kind and uplifting way. If we would practice this more with our comments, I think we’d move closer to being able to do it in our real lives too.
It doesn’t matter if you are non-confrontational. What better way to practice disagreeing with someone than in writing where you can craft a thoughtful response?
Learn to say “I respectfully disagree” and then explain why. Use your words to build your argument. The more you practice, the better you will become and it will spill over into other areas of your life.
3. Ask a question
There is nothing a blogger loves more than a comment that leads to interaction. Most bloggers ask you questions in their posts. So why not ask one back?
Ask why they said something they did. Ask them how they came to their conclusions. Ask them how you can find out more about the topic or for a recommendation for others talking about the same subject.
Questions are an integral way to get into the head and heart of a writer. In a good way. When you ask a question, the writer has an opportunity to share something more and that’s why most of us write.
4. Community starts with you
When you leave a blog comment, take a look at the other comments and if appropriate, reply to some of those as well. You could say “Hey, I was wondering that too” or “I like your perspective, thank you for making me look at this from a different angle.”
It’s ok to respond to a few others in the stream. You don’t want to hijack the conversation, but jump in and make some new friends. Comments show you who else is reading and how they feel about a topic.
Too often we see people barge in to comment threads and muddy the waters. It doesn’t always have to be like that. You can insert yourself into the conversation in a positive way and make some new friends in the process.
5. Announce who you are
None of the things I’ve mentioned above amount to a hill of beans if you don’t say who you are. There is nothing worse than getting a comment from someone named SweetiePie’sMommy. Listen, that’s great that you are her mom, but I have no clue who you are and maybe no way to get a hold of you, if I like your comment or want to check out your blog.
Use your name (or your pen name). Then add your blog name. Don’t comment just as your blog name, that’s impersonal. What are you a robot?
All comment systems are different so here’s the rule of thumb when signing in to comment.
If possible, sign in as your name @ you blog. So my name appears as Debi @ DebiStangeland.com. You know who I am and where I live on the web. Simple.
Now some systems make you sign in through one of the big social media platforms, that’s ok. Just make sure you’ve filled out your profile there so people can find you.
Other systems, like WordPress.org, automatically redirect to your site if you enter the address in the registration form, but even then, it’s so nice to think, “Oh, Tina from The Gracefilled Table.”
I love to see my blog friends stop by to chat and it’s helpful to put their names with their sites, because so many times, I forget.
If you are on Disqus, fill out your profile, so that when I click your name I can see your blog address.
They are building blocks for relationships between writers. They encourage and make you think. Comments make writers better. Feedback gives bloggers something to work on.
Learn how to leave quality comments. Remember, what goes around, comes around. The better you are at leaving comments, the better the comments will be on your site.
Which of these 5 tips will you put into practice today? Pick one or two and then say it like a boss.
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