Are you guilty of making any of these commenting mistakes?

commenting mistakes

Is there a right or wrong way to comment on a post?

Even so, it might be a good idea to be aware of these commenting mistakes so you can avoid doing them.

How you respond will be different from another reader. However, understanding the best way to comment means your contribution is more likely to be accepted and published on the blog.

This Infographic outlines the 10 most common commenting mistakes:

Are you guilty of making any of these commenting mistakes?
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And here’s some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Not reading the post thoroughly

I know we’re all very busy, but it’s not worth cutting corners. Skim reading is all very well, but unless you’re an expert at it, it’s likely you won’t understand everything in the post.

As a result you will probably make this commenting mistake if you haven’t properly read what the post is about.

Properly reading it means you won’t go off target, repeat what’s already been said, miss the point completely or look like an idiot for saying something that has no relation to the post’s subject.

Not being relevant

Even if you have read the post and understood its meaning, it may spark of all sorts of different things that are important to you.

However, it’s necessary to concentrate on what the author has written, rather than only harping on about your cause, as this is neither suitable or clever.

One of the most frequent commenting mistakes is when people only write what they want to write about. This means their comment is more likely to be perceived as spam and not get past the moderation queue.

Not being helpful

It’s very easy to write a comment that appears to be encouraging and complimentary, but what have you actually said?

Leaving a load of pithy prose is one of the comment mistakes that doesn’t contribute to the post and its message, and can easily be mistaken as spam.

If you don’t have anything helpful to say, don’t bother leaving a comment. The post’s author would much rather receive some constructive advice that adds value to what they have written, rather than something that’s empty and useless.

Not being polite

It’s not clever or kind to write a horrid or undermining comment, as you will only annoy or upset people and not gain anything except getting a gripe off your chest.

Showing respect for the author and what they have written will go a much longer way rather than submitting cutting language within an unpleasant or unnecessary monologue.

Becoming a troll that takes delight in upsetting others will win you no favours. These sort of commenting mistakes will reduce your point of view getting across or even noticed.

Not interacting

Comments should be a continuation of the conversation the author has started within their post.

Your response should not only be enthusiastic, forthcoming and positive, but also contribute something that may stimulate a discussion within the subject.

A lively and thriving blog post should encourage commenters to respond appropriately to each others contributions, resulting in a valuable and interesting extension that is exciting for other readers to participate in.

Not saying enough

You need to write more than just ‘Nice post’. Not thinking of anything more to say is another of the many commenting mistakes.

Blog authors look for comments that show their post has been read, understood and appreciated. The contribution should confirm the subject, offer a point of view, provide some helpful advice, and encourage others to respond too.

Ideally a comment should contain at least three sentences to make it suitable to pass through moderation onto publication. Only readers that can’t be bothered to comment properly will write less.

Not being original

Comments that are repeated on many blogs could be construed as spam.

Every comment should be an original, relevant contribution, and not a reconstituted version repeated again and again.

The main purpose of spammers is to saturate as many blogs as possible with the same crappy comment. The idea is to eventually get at least one published. Repetition of the same comment on multiple blogs is not tolerated by the search engines.

Not justifying what you mean

You may not agree with every post you’ve read, and with good reason. The author may have made some unsuitable points, or some widely inaccurate claims need to be corrected. Or what is written may be just plain stupid!

If you need to write an opposing comment, take the time to think carefully before contributing a valid response. Use reasonable justifications for your point of view and relevant references to back up your story.

There’s no need to lay into the writer with accusations and demonstrating language. This will infuriate other people before you can get your message across, which isn’t helpful to anyone.

Not checking before publishing

If I come across a badly written comment, I am much less likely to bother reading it.

This may seem discriminatory, but nowadays we don’t have the time and resources to waste trying to understand poor pieces of prose.

More of an effort is needed if you want your comment to be accepted, read and responded to. This means focusing on good spelling and grammar. Take extra time to check what you’ve written to make sure it is suitable to be published.

Not returning to reply

Writing comments without returning to them later is another one of our commenting mistakes.

It’s a good idea to find out if your comment has been accepted. You could read what others have contributed, and if the author has replied to you.

Keeping a discussion thread going will help create relationships with the author and other commenters. The other readers visiting your blog to comment will result in much welcomed traffic.

Which commenting mistakes have you done?

Hardly anybody is such a commenting expert they can safely say they never perform any of these commenting mistakes. So come clean and let us know if any of these resonate with your commenting processes.

And if you can think of any more commenting mistakes that I may have missed out, please let us know in the comment box below.

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Alice Elliott has been explaining blogging to beginner bloggers for almost two decades, specialising in using ordinary, everyday language to make the process as simple as possible so that anybody can understand.
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