Pen Write

Blog comments, and the practice of commenting in general, seems to have a weird mystery surrounding it. Is it like online chat and messaging, a forum, email, dinner conversation, or a networking function? Depending on the blog, it can be any, many, or all of these.

Reg Adkins recently posted some excellent tips on commenting. From the standpoint of the small business blogger, or a writer looking to get some eyeballs on their stuff, his first tip – adding value – is key.

Good Point… Who Is This Guy?

From the questions I get asked, many folks are confused as to what commenting is good for. To me it’s just like anything else in business, you provide something of value to someone, and chances are, it’ll be reciprocated. Add value to a blog post with insightful comments, and readers will want to know more. I’ve seen it happen in my own writing, and I do it all the time.

If I read a comment that makes a good point, or really adds to the conversation, I’ll check out the commenter’s site. 9 times out of 10, if I find many of their comments interesting, I find their blog interesting enough to subscribe to. And from what I’ve learned, I’m not alone. This seems to be a fairly common practice. I’ve found a lot of the blogs I subscribe to from comments on other blogs.

So how can you make sure your comments are interesting enough to draw traffic?

  • You have to have something interesting to say about the post in the first place. Rambling on about some off topic subject, that you just happen to be an expert in, won’t work. You end up looking like that guy at a party who keeps steering the conversation to topics he actually knows something about.
  • You have to actually contribute something. “Nice post” or “Like your writing” is not going to intrigue anyone. Using the dinner conversion metaphor, that’s like just popping your head in the window and saying “Hi. Nice house…” and leaving. You won’t get a lot of invites to other parties that way.
  • You have to be authentic. Whether you are agreeing or not, you have to be genuine. Readers aren’t stupid. They can pick up on the essence of your comment. If you don’t agree with the post, make you’re point, and do it politely and respectfully. Don’t badger, but be real. Trolling is not a good practice, but neither is sucking up.

The idea is to approach writing comments with the same sense of contribution that you would writing for your own blog. You have something to say, that you think someone would want to hear. It’s all about communication – and adding value to the conversation.

Tony D. Clark writes, draws cartoons, designs software and websites, and spends a lot of time talking others into working from home, being creative, and doing what they love. His blog Success from the Nest focuses on helping parents who want to do meaningful work from home and have more time for their families, and their dreams.

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