To comment or not to comment, it’s all about interaction

Both kinds of blog

One of the aspects of a blog is that it is interactive. This means readers are able to contribute to your blog if they have something to say. Blogging programmes automatically add an area after posts where readers can add their point of view. The ability to comment is also part of the phenomenon Web2.0, which is about interaction on the web.

So, what is special about blogs and commenting? Ordinary websites don’t have areas to put your point across, unless it’s a form to leave your details or send an email. Therefore what you have written is not automatically showed to you afterward for others to read, something that naturally occurs on a blog (unless the blog’s administrator wants to moderate your comment first, to make sure it isn’t spam).

But why should you comment on blogs? Apart from sharing your opinions, your comment may increase the value of the blog post, making it more interest to other readers. The author may also be inclined to respond, and starting a conversation – all adding to the entertainment factor.

Another thing to note, comments are viewed by the search engine spiders as new material, so the more interaction, the more the blog post goes up the search engines.

Comments can vary in content, as their authors can agree or disagree with the topic of the post. As long as you continue to be polite and forthcoming, and your contribution is relevant and resourceful, any comment is good. Sometimes comments lead onto other blog posts, especially if backed up by links. As spiders thrive on links, there are opportunities for comment authors to leave their details.

How do you induce a comment? Simply ask for one, as sometimes it won’t occur to the reader to leave one otherwise. Positioning a question at the bottom of your post may also encourage a response, as well as controversial subject matter. Those who comment are usually used to interaction on the net, and are likely to be avid social networkers, but anything that stimulates a reader to take action is advantageous.

Why is it good to comment? If you want to find your way in your chosen field, visit as many relevant blogs and leave a comment where you can. Then you will begin to get noticed by other bloggers and blog readers, and commenting will also enable you to link back to your blog or website, thus increasing your visitor rate. If you get a name for yourself by leaving good quality comments, visitors are more likely to visit to read your articles, subscribe to your blog and even leave comments themselves.

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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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  • Good points here about visiting relevant blogs and leaving messages.

  • Alice says:

    Which is exactly what you have just done Jill! Now, what about everybody else?

  • LouiseBJ says:

    I don’t know if I qualify for ‘everybody else’ but here goes! One of the things that stops me from commenting more often on blogs is that I believe I have to write something really ‘clever’, when all I can think of doing is agreeing with a well written post that echoes my sentiments.

    Thanks Alice for reminding me that I need to get over myself and just get commenting!

    • Alice says:

      Thanks Louise – there now, was that so terrible? It’s a myth that you have to think of something clever to leave as a comment, anything decent will do, as long as it’s more than just ‘Nice blog’. Oh, and it really should be relevant to the subject of the post you are commenting on, or the moderator will just treat it as spam.

  • Great blog post, Alice. I was a bit reticent in my early blogging days about leaving comments. However, after the first few, I developed a new confidence. I love both leaving and receiving comments; it adds to the interactive experience and it is certainly gratifying for the blogger. I also love the fact that you have invited commenters to leave a link to their latest blog post. Here’s a link to mine. Thank you.


    • Thanks Lindsay. If you had joined up with Comment Luv you would have been able to leave a link to your latest blog automatically! But it’s always nice to hear from you.

  • Great article as always Alice. This is something I’ve been doing more since I read about it in one of your earlier blog articles or heard it in a talk you gave. I feel it adds to the value of a blog when the comments are added but facebook usually swallows them – ie people leave their comments on the link leading to the article rather than on the article itself. Obviously any interaction is great but when it’s on the blog directly you get a better sense of people actually having read & found interesting the content (rather than the subject matter).

    • Thank you Claire, you are quite right. Comments are extremely important to a blog, and really need to be place in situ rather than elsewhere such as Facebook. How will later readers of the post know if anyone provided feedback if it has disappeared long ago on a Facebook thread? Or evaporated into the ether within a nanosecond on Twitter? Blog comments have staying power, which is extremely important for social proof and building a community of followers.

  • Ros Kitson says:

    Great blog and definitely something I need to do more of. I always like it when I receive comments on my blog posts.

    • Thank you Ros, and yes, you’re right, it is lovely to receive a comment on your blog post. I’m experiencing that pleasure right now! The answer is to go forth and create some more joy on other blogs and make a difference to their authors’ day!

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