Getting people to write great comments on your blog can be an uphill struggle, but that’s no excuse why you can’t set an example by writing your own great comments on other blogs! Here’s some points to consider:
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 to help them write great comments!
It’s not second nature to think of including the blogger’s name at the beginning of the comment, but if you do it will show you have taken the trouble to find out who the author is. Keep it brief and simple to avoid unnecessary sincerity, otherwise it can get a bit creepy – include the name naturally somewhere within the first paragraph. The same thing applies when responding to your own commenters on your blog, thank them with their name at the beginning of your reply.
During that first sentence, it would be also wise to confirm the post’s subject in a single sentence, summarised into your own words. This proves you have read the post and have taken the trouble to understand it thoroughly – a necessary requisite for you to write great comments that are intelligent and balanced. You’d be surprised how many people skim read posts so rapidly they miss the main point entirely, so that their responses are inadequate, inappropriate and irrelevant.
It would be wise to validate the post’s subject as useful information, even if you are going to add to it, or even oppose it with an alternative suggestion. The author has taken time to write this post, and may have researched into its content, so don’t undermine it by saturating it with your knowledge or belittling it with your point of view. You don’t need to go overboard doing this, a simple acknowledgement will suffice.
A comment needs to be succinct and focused, therefore keeping strictly to the subject matter at hand. Don’t go off at a tangent, especially if your preferred topic is totally different to the post’s content. Do not write too much, since this is not your blog; when you write great comments they should not be longer than the post they are contributing to. Keep to the main point introduced by the author, and remember to be as relevant as possible within your reply.
Not many commenters offer helpful suggestions or advice within their feedback. They are quick to criticise, offer observations, acknowledge a point well made or provide ingratiating praise, but rarely do they build on the information given within the post. Another tip for you to write great comments is to offer examples that clarify the advice given, enhanced by referring to a personal experience or a favourable outcome, and these work best as a story or in a scenario the reader can relate to.
You don’t have to agree with what the author says in their post, but if you must express an opposition to the subject or content provided, it’s much better presented in a nice and helpful format rather than a tirade of criticism or derision. It’s also useful for other readers if you can offer a full and valid justification to your disagreement, complete with examples or references that clarify your point of view. Be insightful with your responses so others can learn or defend themselves accordingly.
It’s always worth being nice when you write great comments, not only to give a good impression, but to set the scene for other commenters. Showing respect through politeness is more likely to result in your comment passing through moderation to publication, and receiving a positive and constructive reply from the author or other readers. You will gain nothing by submitting a contribution full of harsh or insulting words, except that you’ve got your grievance off your chest; this will help no-one else and undermines the tone of the host blog.
The kind of words you use will encourage and excite people into reading your comment, therefore it’s worth considering which examples will help them to recognise the passion and enthusiasm you have towards your mission or cause. Readers will relish a well-written and positive response, and this positivity will certainly be infectious enough to result in similar contributions from others. If this leads onto more engagement and discussion within the comment section, it can only benefit everyone.
Nobody likes reading bad prose, and this also extends to when you write great comments. Concentrate on producing good spelling, grammar and sentence syntax to ensure your contribution passes through moderation, as a sloppy and inferior comment not only places you in a bad light, but lowers the tone of the host blog and the comments it could attract. This practice may arise from mobile devices where thumb-work and predictive text may be to blame, but that’s no excuse for a bit of proof-reading and editing before publishing.
When you write great comments, think how your readers will respond. Don’t produce feedback that’s so aloof nobody responds to it, use language that would encourage a discussion, stimulate a debate or result in a flurry of approvals, confirmations or even opposing responses. Being controversial, providing value through useful tips, extending the conversation and contributing helpful and constructive comments will focus other readers to check out your blog as well as stimulate an appropriate response.
It’s really worth taking the time to thoroughly read the post, consider your options and formulate your point of view so that it is constructive and helpful towards continuing the conversation or extending the content. A well thought out contribution will result in a much better comment, something that is useful and adds to the post and provides a good impression for others to follow. Don’t fall into the trap of rattling out a quick series of comments just to satisfy your SEO requirements, really think about the implications and follow ups your comment could create.
Don’t leave your comment hanging in mid air. You wouldn’t do that in a post, so the same criterion should apply when you write great comments. Structure your response quickly and concisely towards a natural close, drawing it back to a wider context to leave the way open for other commenters to contribute.
As well as encouraging more comments from others, the points you raise may invite the author to visit your blog to read what you write and comment in return, thus resulting in a positive and useful blogging relationship.
Some of the comments I’ve had from other posts have questioned the function of leaving such responses as outlined above. Many comments are usually quickly composed affairs, resulting from the natural impulse to ‘have your say’, and these do have their time and place.
But if you have an ulterior motive of creating awareness about you and what you do, spreading knowledge to benefit others, helping others out of kindness, forming new blogging relationships or even gaining more traffic back to your blog, the practice of when you write great comments is more likely to result in a positive and responsible outcome.