A big part of traditional blogging involves commenting on other blogs. Why, you say? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Interacting on other blogs is a great way to make friends, share links to your own site, and get involved in the online community for whatever it is you blog about. Not to mention staying inspired and keeping an eye out for trends!
Commenting online has it’s own form of etiquette which is pretty similar to IRL etiquette with a few tweaks. I’ve only been blogging for about 2 years but here are five tips on commenting I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) in my blogging adventure.
1). Be Nice
Above all this! Common sense says this should be the #1 rule of the internet.
I can understand when the comments get heated on political or religious blogs but don’t you kind of have to go out of your way to be mean when it comes to lifestyle blogging? (“You disgusting little crafter, how could you even THINK of making a painted flower pot! That chevron stripe makes me want to throw up!”) Haha, okay, that’s not an actual comment but you get the point.
The way I see it, someone is opening up and generating positive energy by sharing cool stuff they made or did. Let’s send some good energy back!
2). Think About It
Let’s say I’m on a great fashion blog like Scathingly Brilliant and Kate is showing off a cute outfit. I could write, “Pretty! xoxo Mollie” except that doesn’t look like I’m actually very interested. However, if instead I comment, “Wow, super cute! I love the way you paired that pastel houndstooth skirt with a floral print shirt. I never would have thought of that!” I sound much more genuine, right? Thoughtful comments stick out and show that you’re interested in the cool post you’re reading instead of just promoting your own site.
As a pleasant bonus, if other readers find your comment interesting they might click on your link to learn more about you!
3). Offer Info
If you’re reading a post about a book the author recently finished reading why not suggest one you enjoyed on a similar topic? Or if they mention a favorite photographer you could include a link to one who’s work you think is excellent. I know that Rosie over at Every Word Handwritten loves to make cocktails so if I was commenting on her blog I might add a link to a cool site like Liquorious.
Not only will the author appreciate the tip but it will also make you a valued reader. Personally, I love it when you guys do this for me! I’ve found out about a lot of cool stuff thanks to you. :)
4). Don’t Follow For Follow
Ugh, just avoid this one like plague!
I know it might seem tempting and it is an easy way to increase your numbers but with this method do those numbers even mean anything? I’ve been asked to follow/follow by a blogger who has 2,000 followers on Bloglovin but she “followed” 5,000 different blogs. Um, how can one person read that many different blogs?
Besides for annoying serious content creators the Follow For Follow game also defeats the whole purpose of blogging! Time spent playing it could be much better spent creating solid posts that naturally draw in kindred spirits.
(For anyone who doesn’t know “Follow for Follow” is when a commentator promises to follow you if you follow them on Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter, etc.)
5). Focus On Them
Just like in real life conversations nobody likes it when the other person only talks about themselves. Be aware of this when commenting online too.
That sounds pretty straight forward but sometimes the way you comment can speak just as loudly as the comment itself. For instance, I never add my blog link in the comment body unless the author specifically requests it. To publish a comment you’ll often have to type in your name, email address and website which is where I include my blog link but I don’t type the link in the body message as well. Why? Well, personally I guess that this:
…feels less polite than this:
I know lots of commentators don’t follow this so please don’t think I’m saying it’s rude if you decide not to. I just personally feel like it’s more respectful to only add a personal link once! With that said, I do make an exception when I’m letting another blogger know that I mentioned/linked to her in one of my posts.
Of course, when in doubt a good (golden) rule of thumb is to always consider how the comment would look if a stranger posted it on your blog or site. :)
That’s all I can think of for now but maybe you have a tip of your own or a crazy commenting story? If so, please don’t be quiet. I’d love to hear from you!