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?”
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.
For more ideas to improve your blogging, help yourself to over 250 further articles on that topic right here on HTWB…
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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