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The power of commenting

Commenting isn’t just confined to blogs, it affects us right across the digital spectrum.

Let’s get interactive!

One of its biggest factors is interaction. That is what makes online marketing tick. Sharing content around the web creates a much bigger impact than appreciation of a well-written post, or getting your point of view across in a reaction to what somebody else has written.

It is pretty vital to encourage commenting on your blog. It reveals to the author that someone has read that post, but that they understand it, either like or disapprove of it, and feel compelled to add their penny’s worth to continue the subject or conversation.

Continue the conversation

In fact, commenting is very much a continuation of the conversation, so it is wise to comment back accordingly. I remember a lively interaction I had with another blogger some years ago that resulted in 20 comments. This not only looked good, as it extended my post considerably with another person’s point of view, but was also seen as extra content by the search engines and indexed accordingly, as well as adding to the entertainment of other readers.

When commenting on a post, be helpful by providing more than ‘Nice post’. This cursory comment doesn’t help anyone, and I often feel compelled to delete such offerings, as it doesn’t contribute to anything. People think that by adding something it will help them, and yes it will link back to their site, especially if they fill in their details in the commenting process, but it doesn’t add any content or information that is worth reading, extend the subject or provide extra food for thought, let alone prompt a reply from the author.

Not only on blogs

As I said at the start, commenting isn’t just confined to blogs. Enthusiastic, appropriate and encouraging commenting on other forms of social media are just as beneficial. A lot of good can be accumulated via commenting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest or wherever.

Commenting is a form of interaction, which what makes social networking happen, and maybe activating a ‘like’ is better than nothing, but it doesn’t allow the author to fully understand why you did this, or what reaction you had to the information supplied. Also not leaving extra content onto a post won’t stimulate the search engines or other algorithms involved to index it further, which can affect and benefit the comment contributor as well.

Negativity isn’t necessarily bad

Don’t be afraid of negative comments. Many people are very apprehensive about this, and you certainly should activate the monitoring facilities for comments on your blog and set up spam filters.

My reaction is to wait for the anger or disappointment to such comments to subside, and then respond rationally. It may be due to mis-understanding of your information supplied, a reaction to their experiences to the subject, or just that they are mis-informed and need correcting (nicely). Everyone is allowed to express their point of view, and as long as no slander or expletives are involved, a healthy interchange could result in an interesting continuation to your post.

Commenting is a big subject, and I will be returning to this later, especially regarding good practice and how to implement it successfully and appropriately on your blog.

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
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