10 top tips to make blog comments that increase your own traffic

When this post was originally published in 2011, we didn’t have quite so much trouble in those days with “internet trolls” – unlike today, when it seems one relatively innocent comment on a blog or social media post can trigger hundreds of comments varying from total agreement to threats to strangle your cat. What has caused this escalation of social media and blog “hate mail?”

writing good blog comments on HTWB

Great stuff – but don’t forget to comment on others’ blogs, too!

It’s hard to say, but there does seem to be a direct correlation between the vastly increased political sparring both in the UK and the USA during 2016, and the increasingly harsh antagonism we see in blog comments and Facebook threads – even about relatively bland and innocent issues,

So in addition to the original 10 tips below, what about the trolls?

The advice generally given is to ignore them if you can. This is harder than it sounds, because when someone lashes out at you in writing over something you believe to be true and valid it’s a very natural reaction to lash back.

However this only makes things worse, or “feeds the trolls,” as the saying goes. And before you know it you can find yourself in the most horrendous battle of wits and words that certainly doesn’t help your business and that can be very hurtful at a personal level. Don’t be tempted!

If you want to look into the troll problem further, this is an excellent article that explores the topic in some depth.

The value of commenting on others’ blog posts

When you comment on a blog post written by someone else, contrary to some people’s opinions it actually does get noticed … by other readers, of course, and also by Google et al.

Here are my own tips …

1.Don’t go “off topic.” Not only is this distracting to readers of the whole blog, but also it’s incredibly rude to the original poster.

2.Don’t be afraid to disagree. Disagreement is fine within comments provided that a) it’s respectful and b) relevant.

3.Don’t introduce notions that aren’t directly connected with the original post. You might see a connection, but make sure you’ve thought through whether other readers would agree with that.

4.Don’t lose your temper, no matter how much you disagree with what the poster has said. Blog posts with comments are not battlefields; they are, or should be, fora (that’s the plural of forum, OK?) for eloquent and informed debate. That means no four-letter words, flames, or bitchy rants…

5.Don’t add anything to the thread that’s anything other than useful and interesting. This can happen in a number of ways, but always be conscious of the original poster’s point and develop your comment on that basis.

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6.Don’t add an irrelevant experience of your own – but by all means add one which either agrees with the poster’s notion, or perhaps disagrees with it (provided that you explain why you think there is an alternative way of looking at it.)

7.Don’t use a blog comment to sell your own product or service. If, however, something you sell or do is DIRECTLY relevant to the original post, you could mention it as an option for readers to consider. But hardsell is a BIG no-no.

8.Don‘t be afraid to cut and paste bits from the original post, or – where relevant – from other topics. Readers are not clairvoyant and most will not spend time scrolling up and down to find out what bits from the original post or other comments you’re referring to. Cut and paste such sections into your comment and put quotation marks (inverted commas) around them, then make your own comments directly underneath.

9.Don’t be pompous, condescending or boring. Face it – those of us the wrong side of 50 may have loads of experience and all that, but we’re not necessarily “up there.” Even if we are, appreciate the readership of the blog concerned and write for it, not against it.

10.Don’t lose your sense of humor. Blog post comments are, of course, serious and very meaningful in the main, but a touch of humor helps everyone assimilate the serious content and also enjoy the experience.

Any tips of your own you’d like to share? I’d certainly like to see them. In the meantime though, enjoy!

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Comments

comments

Thoughts

  1. don’t go off topic… darn,,, that’s me buggered for a comment then!

    It’s hard for some people not to be boring and condescending in their comments as that is how they are in real life, it’s not until you meet them that you work this out. They are being their authentic self. The problem with this is it can come off as incredibly rude.

    Let’s hope people take on board your wise words Suze

  2. LOL @ Sarah … I think we all drift off topic a bit in comments! But there’s a big difference between that – which usually results in adding value to the whole thread anyway – and using the comment box either as a platform for advertising (which should go to the spam folder anyway) or to bang on some other totally irrelevant drum.

  3. ”Disagreement is fine within comments provided that a) it’s respectful and b) relevant.”
    Intelligent and as you say, respectful disagreement can be so refreshing. I get so tired of all the ‘Oh wow, what a great blog – see I’m one of your supporters, and I know you’re going to write my blogs too’ remarks.
    But.. great blog post, Suze! I tried to find something to challenge you on… not this time.

    • Thanks Lisa! And I think you may find that those people who write vague comments about how much they like your blog – without saying anything more specific – might just be spammers…. !

  4. (Whoops,— ‘i know your’e going to Like my blogs too’.)

  5. By the logic of that list, I’d never be able to comment anywhere! 🙂

    What strikes me most about this post is that the list of things to do is (pretty much) exactly the same as you’d give for face-to-face conversations (albeit that scrolling up and down isn’t something one does in ‘real life’). Can we sum them up as “Do online as you’d like to be done by face-to-face”?

  6. “Don‘t be afraid to cut and paste bits from the original post …” I use this one a lot. People don’t always go back to re-read, do they?

    I agree with Simon when he says that these are ..”exactly the same as you’d give for face-to-face conversations”. It’s so true 🙂

  7. Jennifer Cunningham says:

    Good points about focused comments and politeness. Try to comment daily and always get back to commutators on my blog.

  8. brilliant post, and some very valid points, I think the coolest thing was where you bring the attention of the reader to keep the blog author’s feelings in mind when commenting, the same as if they were hangin’ together in person, and certainly getting fired up and angry isn’t the way to go on a blog post, thanks!

    • Thanks Nick – you’re right. The real differentiating factor between online comms like blog posts/articles and the printed variety, is that online comms are interactive – they are conversations, not one-way monologues. Making comments that don’t fit into the conversation don’t help anyone and certainly don’t encourage other readers to visit your site to see what else you have to say.

  9. Great advice Suzan. Thanks for posting this. Most of the points seem obvious when you read them but it’s amazing how easily forgotten they can be.

  10. Johnnie Jazz says:

    An excellent post Suzan! You gave me a lot to think about! I am guilty of number 2. I prefer not to disagree because I always feel that people may misinterpret what I am trying to say.

    • That’s a good point, Johnnie. It’s so easy for words to be misinterpreted when you’re not there face to face to refine them with body language, smiles, etc! Thanks and glad you enjoyed the post.

  11. This is certainly timely. It’s common enough to bemoan the loss of civil discourse. But we who read comments on blogs and other online fora know that sometimes we’re correct to bemoan it.

    If I were still blogging, and I asked myself, “How do I want people to comment on my blog posts?”, the answer would look very much like this list. It’s also how I try to network in person, as Simon noted.

    • Thanks Michael, I appreciate that your list would look like mine.
      Have you ever experienced an attack from internet Trolls on your blog or social media posts?
      I have and believe me it’s terrifying. Mine merely was a slightly pointed comment about bicycle riders and I had nearly 400 scathing comments all over my social media with threats to come to my home and insults even on my Amazon author page.
      99 percent hot air, of course. But especially for a woman on her own like “moi,” very perturbing.

Trackbacks

  1. BizSugar.com says:

    10 ways to make blog comments work for you…

    You can use comments to support your online profile and get more traffic to your own blog, website, etc. But what do you say? Here are my own tips on how to avoid writing bad comments that die a death for you, your business, your reputation and more…….

  2. […] people’s blogs has shifted and slid around over the last two-and-a-half years since I wrote this blog post. Here’s my idea of how those recommendations should be […]

  3. […] Commenting on other people’s blog posts, provided your comments are useful and constructive, is another good way to spread you and your blog’s presence around. For more on that topic have a look at this article here. […]

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