Blogs and social media: how to write #blogversational comments on others’ posts

blogs,comments,blogging,social media,blogversationThe importance of how you write comments on other people’s blogs has shifted over the last two-and-a-half years since I wrote this earlier blog post. Here’s my idea of how those recommendations should be updated…

Why? Two key reasons.

One, more than ever before, a good old cyber chin-wag via comments on a blog post is worth a lot in terms of brownie points on Google.

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I don’t have any hard statistics to hand on this but many of my more technically/analytically minded colleagues do. Unless you like to wade in facts and figures, just trust me: lots of comments = lots of Googlie gold stars.

Two, as I have indicated in other posts here over the last 2-3 weeks or so – e.g. this one, this one, and this oneblogversations driven by comments are moving around. No longer are they constrained to comments on your blog or someone else’s. Comments are made wherever a blogversation is first spotted, and more often than not this means where it has been highlighted on a social media platform – not someone’s blog.

Comments on others’ sites need to be relevant but should hint at why you’re qualified to say that

Much as we all love the freedom and altruistic nature of the internet, many of us have a living to earn. So when we make comments on other people’s blogs or websites, although we know we mustn’t try to use those as a vehicle for selling our goodies, we still need to use the commenting opportunity to demonstrate our knowledge and/or expertise, and hope that readers appreciating our skill will be tempted to click through to our own sites to find out more.

Here, then, is an adaption of what I wrote before, angled towards helping you write comments for others’ blogs (whether on those blogs or on the social media) in a way that also encourages readers to view more about you…

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. Polite disagreement is fine within comments provided that a) it’s respectful and b) relevant. The original poster shouldn’t mind such polite disagreement because it encourages further discussion, which is favored by Google.

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 and particularly the original poster would agree with that.

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

5.Don’t add anything to the thread that isn’t 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. Don’t add cottonwool padding that establishes your presence without contributing something useful.

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 45 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 “above” 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 really like to see them and I know many more HTWB readers would too.

What do you  think?