I routinely have folks approach me in the halls, or through my email inbox with comments about my blog. When I ask them why they don’t write a comment on the blog page, they look at me as if I have asked them to light themselves on fire. What? Me? I can’t comment on your blog! I am not ___ enough (insert any adjective you like, I have heard them all). Really? Some people also think that the blog will yield up too much information about them. Not this blog. So I thought I would take a few minutes and offer advice for first-time commenters.
- Was there a part of the post that moved you? Was there a phrase that you particularly related to? Was there a statement you disagreed with? Was something particularly poignant, or did it relate to your life or work in a specific way? If so, that is going to determine the CONTENT of your comment. Most bloggers are hoping their content will CONNECT with their readers in some way; strike an emotional chord. When you respond to the topic, or to a specific piece of the post, it helps us know what interests you.
- Your comment does not have to be fancy. Just let the blog author know you were there; you read the post and you agree or not; like it or not; want more of this or not. Nothing fancy. No one will judge you for writing a short comment.
- However, don’t feel you have to say: “Hi, I love your blog” every time you read a post. Say what moves you. Perhaps you can add a perspective that the blogger doesn’t routinely see. Perhaps you have knowledge or experience that would make the blog post more interesting, or that helps to support OR refute the blogger’s opinion. A comment that adds value to the entire post will be read by others; maybe a conversation will start up because you took the time to add your two cents.
- You can generally choose the name that will be associated with your comment. You may have to register first (such as on this blog). On some blogs you can “sign in” with twitter or facebook. The fact that you have to indicate your email address does not mean that anyone who reads the blog has access to that. Forcing you to list an email address is one way to limit the number of spammers that are able to litter some blogs with meaningless comments.
- Bloggers in general LOVE comments. We want to engage a community. We want folks to read not only the blog itself, but the comments, and reply to them.
- So, don't be afraid. Give it a try. Some bloggers will reply immediately, some not for a while, some not at all.
- In general, I try to reply to all comments. I APPROVE all comments, unless they are clearly spam. Sometimes it could take me a few hours to approve a comment, depending upon how often I can check my email.
What are you waiting for?
Do you have other tips for first time commenters? Do you have questions about commenting that I didn't address?
Please leave them below. Let's get a conversation going.