Okay, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this advice before “Write great comments, and your inbound Blog traffic will grow exponentially”. While this is totally true, what would be a huge help is if there are easy to understand signs that indicate you are a lousy commenter.
It’s true, writing great comments is definitely attention grabbing. A great comment is going to catch the attention of a super-connected, authority blogger. When that happens, it’s as though the universe has brought all things together to perfectly (and rapidly) multiply inbound traffic to your blogsite.
The downside is if you are a lousy commenter then all the multiplication of inbound traffic to you Blog site instantly vaporizes and all your efforts at commenting come to naught.
The only problem?
You haven’t a clue what a great comment really is. Does this sound oh! so very familiar?
- Do you heap praise on the Blog post author?
- Do you persuasively argue an alternative point of view?
- Do you rant loudly and pointlessly?
- Do you simply thank the blogger for delivering an in-depth, well-crafted article?
While many Blog posts extol the virtues of writing engaging, value add comments, almost no Blog post explains exactly how to do this.
This can (and usually does) result in bloggers spending a lot of precious time writing comments they think are great, but in reality their comments – Suck – big time.
- Step back a bit and have a think, blog commenting is a lot like dating.
- You’re really trying to woo another person, by leaving a great comment, right?
- You want the blogger to notice you, right?
- You want a reply to your comment from the blogger, right?
- Secretly, you want them to visit your Blog, follow you on social media, and become BFFs, right?
But is all of this possible if your comments suck?
It’s time to improve your commenting. To help achieve that, let’s look at rookie mistakes that make you a lousy commenter.
#1 – Using A Novelty (Or Non-Existent) Gravatar Image
Hey! Let’s face it, would you show up on your first date in a disguise? Or worse, wearing a brown paper bag over your head?
Then why would you choose the cartoon image a constipated cat to represent you in Blog comments? Why would you settle for a faceless silhouette that screams – I’m a nobody?
Unless off course you are a close relative of – Freddy from Friday the 13th Or Jack The Ripper.
Let people see the real you. People feel a connection when they see a friendly face, and please, please, show that brilliant smile you have.
Besides, you know you look sexy, don’t you?
#2 – Using A False Name (Or “Fun” Nickname)
Hey! Among friends and family it doesn’t matter what – Name – you respond to.
But unless you’re a spy, or in witness protection, using your real name on a first date is just the right thing to do. Unless, of course, it’s a blind date and Batman’s – Joker – sits down at your table. Hey then using discretion is fine, I’m with you on that, honest.
This rule holds good in Blog commenting. Bloggers, just like dates, want to know who’s trying to woo them. Anyone who hides behind a false identity definitely isn’t a long-term BFF prospect.
#3 – Dumping Links In Your Comments
Imagine you’re on a date and, halfway through, your date suddenly asks if you have medical insurance? You try to wave it off, but they begin discussing rates, policies and benefits with you.
You think to yourself. “This isn’t a date … hell this is a sale’s pitch!”
When you embed links in your comments, bloggers are likely to react similarly. This really comes across as a cheap attempt to peddle your lemonade on the blogger’s lawn.
It won’t matter how insightful your comment is OR how relevant to the comment your link may be; the blogger will feel an irresistible urge to kick you off their property.
#4 – Failing To Read The Post Before Commenting
Have you ever been on a date from a match making site who did not bother to read your profile?
“Do you have any hobbies?” they’ll ask despite your profile’s thousand-word tribute to macramé. “Fancy a juicy steak?” they’ll suggest despite your publicly stated veganism.
Huh! No? Ah! well experience it sometime – Such a joy.
It’s the same with Blog commenting. Yes, yes I know you’re busy. You only skim the head line and sub headlines before commenting. Don’t, reading a post thoroughly before commenting does takes time.
Ah! BUT this is time well spent is you do not want your comment to make you look like a complete idiot. Comment on a post after skimming it, and you multiply the chances you’ll say something silly by at least 300%.
#5 – Droning On And On (And On)
A long blog comment, almost ensures that it’s not read. One-sided conversations on a date are not much fun and neither are enormous Blog comments that last forever and a day.
Now, that said, I know that many great comments are on the longer side, but be meticulous not to confuse quantity with quality.
Example: A 500-word comment isn’t better than a 100-word comment. It’s just five times longer.
(And probably five times more boring OR not.)
#6 – Repeating What The Post Says
Ever been on a date where the other person repeats everything you say?
You love Gary Busey movies? So do they.
You adore Chinese food? Oh Yes! Them too.
You hate Mondays? They hate Mondays.
In the blogging world, this kind of parroting is a – (re)Pete Comment.
The Blog comment:
- Doesn’t add to the conversation
- Doesn’t ask questions
- Doesn’t challenge an idea
It simply repeats what was said in the post.
Have a quiet think about this, what’s the point of writing such a comment?
The Anatomy Of A Noticeably Superior Blog Comment
Okay now that you’re clear about all the major reasons of why your comments suck, it’s time to look at the structure of a comment that stands out for all the right reasons.
If there is indeed such a structure, then (Oh! Joy) maybe crafting great Blog post comments does not require an IQ of 300+, ordinary people can come up with engaging, value add, comments.
Let’s take a look at:
How a great comment begins?
What’s the content that goes in the middle?
How does a great comment end?
And so on.
#1 – The Friendly Greeting
All Bloggers look for personalization. All it takes is that you start all your comments with a pleasant – Hi<blogger’s name>
Yet too often I’ve read tons of comments, that are written which do not bother to acknowledge the Blog posts author in any way, shape, or form.
Do such commenters believe that:
Robots wrote the post instead of a human being?
Personalized greetings are an outdated ritual?
Are they simply too lazy to scroll back to the top to find the author’s name?
If you’re hoping to catch the attention of a popular blogger AND strike up a relationship, a healthy dose of the correct etiquette goes a long way.
So say “Hello” to them. Greet them. Definitely refer to them by their names. It works!
The Best Way To Do This?
Scroll back to the top of the post and find the author’s name.
If you are prone to misspellings, copy the name and past it into Notepad to strip all formatting. This makes it perfect to paste it into your comment.
Remember to add – Hello Or Hi Or Howdy if you’re feeling folksy – before the their names. These few seconds get your comment started off on the right foot. It’s time well spent.
#2 – Pay Them A Sincere Compliment
Authors always feel terrific when their work is appreciated / validated.
You meet your date for the first time. You might say:
- Wow! I love your outfit
- I really like your car
- Your SpongeBob tattoo is arresting
The details are different each time, but the act is the same. When you’re on a date, you pay the other person a compliment. It’s what you do in civilized societies.
Blog commenting isn’t any different.
Remember, you’ve chosen read this person’s blog post, not someone else’s. You must have a reason to want to connect with them over any of the other million bloggers you could be trying to connect with at that moment.
Chances are, you like them. You value them. You respect them.
So pay them a sincere compliment…
Tell them how much you enjoyed their post…
Make their day…
How To Do It
Focus on the blogger, the post itself, or a combination of the two.
Are you a fan of the blogger’s body of work? Tell them so. Say how much you enjoy their writing.
Even better? Tell them about a specific example where their writing has helped you.
If you choose to focus on the post itself, talk about a particular point within the post that truly hit home for you. Did it change your outlook on the topic? Did it motivate you to go out and take action? Did it rock your world?
Tell them so.
NOTE: In order to sound sincere, refrain from heaping too much praise onto the bloggers themselves. A smidgen of praise goes a long way. For this reason, it’s often best to focus on the post rather than the blogger.
#3 – Add Value
It’s undisputed, great comments add value to a post.
- Perhaps they add a personal experience.
- A different perspective
- Raise a new question or questions
Truthfully, greeting the Blog post author by name and paying a compliment are nice. Unfortunately, these niceties are instantly forgotten, if the comment content itself is like a garbage sandwich with no mayo.
Your goal is that every comment should add value, hence if the comment does not then it’s wasting everyone’s time, right?
Well honestly – Adding Value – has become an overused and meaningless phrase in blogging. Like soya sauce, people tend to pour it on everything and call it Chinese food.
So what does – Adding Value – actually mean?
When – Adding Value – is viewed in Blog commenting context, it means crafting a comment that makes you valuable, useful, insightful, entertaining, or interesting – to the blogger you’re aiming to woo.
Anything comment content that establishes you as a person worth knowing and helps develop that invaluable personal relationship with the Blogger.
You do that by making a positive impression, then building upon it. But how?
Let’s do a quick review of some tactics that work every time.
Value Tactic #1 – Share Personal Insights Or Anecdotes
Did a particular point in the post hit home for you?
Did you find something particularly relatable?
Did the post bring up an area in which you’re struggling?
When you share a personal insight, you become easy to relate to. You’re no longer an unfamiliar name making a comment . . . You’re a blogger with a story!
How To Do It
Comments don’t have to be long to be effective. Amanda Formaro demonstrates this perfectly in her succinct comment about email subscribers as shown in diagram 1 below.
Jenn establishes a connection by sharing her struggles as shown in diagram 2 below.
There are almost unlimited ways you can share insights and examples.
The more personal your insight, the more unique it will be. The more unique your insight, the more memorable your comment will be. The more you’ll stand out to the Blog post author.
Value Tactic #2 – Ask Thoughtful Questions
Was there an idea presented in the post that you didn’t fully understand?
Did you want the author to expand on a certain point?
Did the post set you off on your own journey of discovery?
Asking thoughtful questions is an excellent way to build relationships. It starts a one-on-one conversation with the blogger i.e. you ask them a question, they answer.
It’s pure, simple, poetry in motion. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to bloggers you enjoy communicating with.
Sometimes for brevity’s sake, a Blog post author won’t fully flesh out a detail in their blog post. If the article contained a detail you want expanded upon, don’t be afraid to comment and ask.
Value Tactic #3: Contribute To The Discussion
Where there 5 ideas presented in the post BUT you know the 6th?
Want to flesh out a point raised in the post?
How about exposing a detail that did not come up at all?
If your comments enhance the overall value of a post, few bloggers will fail to see that they have benefited by your contribution.
Often they will update their post because of your comment. This is a major validation of your ideas.
Bloggers love it when the comment count for their posts goes northwards. It’s a validation that their work is reaching people.
When you write a great comment that adds to the discussion, it often has a domino effect. Others will respond to your comment, which fuels even more comments.
The result is more people reading and discussing the blogger’s work, which means a higher comment count.
Bloggers love this – Most of all, they love the commenters who made this happen.
When you add value to a Blog post via a great comment, you’re investing in the blog post.
Blog owners love that.
They appreciate it . . .
They learn from it . . .
They remember it. They remember You.
Value Tactic #4 – The Parting Promise
And when wooing a popular blogger, let them know you’re interested in a longer-term relationship.
One great way to do this is to promise that you’re going to share the post on your favourite social media channels.
Tell the blogger that their post is so good you have no choice BUT to share it on your social media channels.
Tell the Blogger you will back to read their next Blog post as soon as it’s published.
Whatever promise you make, be sure to keep it.
Tweet the post like you said you would. And when you share the post on your favourite social media channel, be sure to use the blogger’s hashtag, let them know you followed through.
Read the blogger’s other posts, and leave more comments.
In other words, do exactly what you said you would do.
The Rewards That Flow from Carefully Crafted Comments
Okay you may be wondering at this point:
Is it worth it?
Is it worth putting all that time and thought into a single blog comment?
Well, that depends on what you’d like to achieve from your blogging efforts. Would you like influential bloggers to notice you and follow you on Twitter?
Would you like blogging icons sharing your posts with their followers?
Would you like to be invited to participate in expert roundups, conferences, and other great networking opportunities?
Would you like to receive emails out-of-the-blue from talented popular people asking you to write for them?
Because this is what can happen when popular bloggers begin to notice you.
Yup! This isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. Clearly, great comments alone won’t catapult you to world domination.
Great comments are a critical, often-overlooked component and unfortunately most people who write comments generally suck at it.
In a sea of sameness, great comments with great personalities stand out. They’re capable of getting other bloggers to sit up, take notice, and ask themselves: “Who is that?”
So tell me, now do you think it’s worth it?
Let’s Find Out Where Great Comments Could Catapult Your Blog
Comments are perhaps the most misused – and often the least understood – weapon in the ambitious blogger’s arsenal.
That’s why most blog comments suck.
You now understand the anatomy of the perfect blog comment, so you can start crafting your comments with purpose.
Comments that get you noticed.
Comments that woo popular bloggers.
Comments that cause opportunities to drop into your lap.
Are you ready to discover where it could take you?
Then let’s do this.
Please Leave Your Comments They Are A Huge Help
If you liked this Blog post, I’d love to read your comments. If you thought that this Blog post was not up to your expectations, I’d love to read your comments.
I promise that I will answer all comments. I promise that I will engage with you.
It’s your comments that helps me get better each day. Please pass on your comments in the comments section right below.