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5 Things You Should Do Before Commenting On A Blog

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015

In March of 2014 I wrote a post titled 5 Commenting Courtesies. That post talked about some things that are fairly common that people who aren’t used to commenting seem to miss. Well, those people and spammers, but we’re not going to change them any time soon.

Mr & Mrs WordPress
Nikita Kashner via Compfight

This time around I’m looking at the process before you comment, not necessarily being courteous, although it’s in the same vein. In essence, I’m going to teach people how to leave a blog comment. This comes from when I wrote a post about blogging 10 years on my business blog at the same time I was part of a blog carnival. A lot of the comments I got were… well, they just weren’t all that good (our buddy Troy was a part of it and he’d agree).

So, my intention is to hopefully give 5 nice tips on how to address the process of writing better comments on blogs. You don’t have to write War and Peace, but if you want people to take you seriously and decide to visit your blog you’re going to have to put forth a little bit more effort. Here we go!

1. Try reading the article.

You wouldn’t think I’d have to say that but I know I do. I get lots of comments to posts where I’m doubtful that the person read the post at all. I mean, one or two lines addressing a post that ran close to 1,000 words, even 500 words, is kind of disappointing, especially on those posts where someone has taken the time to explain something. So many comments could pertain to almost anything someone writes; I delete a lot of those here.

2. Find something in the post that you liked and mention it in your comment.

This is a great way of making sure your comments have at least a modicum of respect for the writer. For instance, if the article points out 5 things, 9 things, 20 things, finding something you believe has touched you in some way and mentioning it works wonders in boosting a writer’s mood. Try not to always make it either the 1st or last point; that’s so passé.

3. Don’t tell people what the article means in your comment.

If I write an article about good SEO principles, your comment shouldn’t say something like “following good SEO principles is crucial to a blog’s success.” Really? Didn’t I just say that? Maybe you didn’t read the post; see #1. Maybe you’re trying to help reinforce what the article meant; trust me, it’s not needed.

4. Offer an opinion on the article when you can and not the author so much… unless the article is about the author.

On the article I linked to about the 10th anniversary of my business blog, many of the comments said something like “there are some valuable lessons here that will help me blog better.” Really? Like what? One in particular? All of them? I know I gave you #2 above, which is pretty good advice, but how about some feedback on it, whether you agree with it or not?

5. Read the comment policy.

Not just my blog, but a lot of bloggers who’ve had blogs for a long time add some kind of comment policy to their blog. Mine is just above the box where people can leave their comments, and I even made the text a pretty dark blue and bolded it.

Although there are a few people who end up going to spam because of some kind of conflict between Chrome and my blog (odd thing, but it’s not only happening to me), a lot more end up there because they violated one of the principles contained within the comment policy. Of course, these days the majority of first time commenters end up in the spam filter because they haven’t added a gravatar to their email address, but that’s also in the comment policy.

Here’s the overall thing about commenting. People do it for 3 reasons. One, because they have something to say. Two, because it’s part of their strategy of either getting links or trying to get people to come back to their blogs. And three, because they like the person blogging and want to offer some encouragement.

If your reasons are #1 or #2, then you should be taking more time and devotion in leaving your comments. If it’s #3… well, we all forgive our friends and are just happy they stopped by, because most of our friends and family don’t read what we have to say… come on, we all know that’s true! 🙂
 

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37 Comments »

Hi Mitch,

These are 5 great tips on commenting that aren’t “common sense” to everyone – but they should be!

“Try reading the article.” – LOL – You mean you can’t just scan an article, pick up on a few keywords and reply with a random/generic comment about the general topic?

Okay, I’m being sarcastic here but that is what many people do and it’s a red flag that it’s spam. After all, that’s what some spam is. Software programs can scan posts and leave generic comments.

As for people who sincerely want to leave a comment and can’t think of something genuine to say, just be real. If you have an experience that is related to the post, share it. Make it personal.

Still don’t know what to say? How about letting the author know how you found them? For example, I saw your post on Twitter and followed the link from — and give a shout-out to the person who tweeted it.

Most bloggers appreciate knowing how new readers found them and mentioning someone else (who the author probably is familiar with) is another way to build credibility.

Commenting is one of my favorite topics Mitch. I’m glad to see you trying to help make it better. I hope you have a great week!
Sherryl Perry recently posted…SEO Resources Bloggers Can Use #FridayFindsMy Profile

June 8th, 2015 | 11:38 AM

Thanks Sherryl, and that’s a great comment. I really think there are a lot of fly-by readers, people who are just looking to drop links and hoping for something easy to comment on. Then they run across someone like me, who often doesn’t write “simple” stuff, and they don’t quite know what to do with me. Not that I’m exclusive; there’s a lot of brilliant stuff out there. Still, if you’re going to “waste” your time leaving a comment, you might as well try to make it something worth leaving.

June 9th, 2015 | 1:28 AM

Hey, Mitch! Fabulous post! I despise those one liners that are like “Hey, great post” and done basically to get a link back out of it. I like this “2. Find something in the post that you liked and mention it in your comment.” So that is just what I’m doing. I liked what you said here and it makes sense. Let the author know you’ve read the article and this is what you are getting out of here. I’ll admit, sometimes I do comment short however it’s because I want the author to know I read it, but I’m short on time. Then I will mention the post to the author at a later date on other social media. Tim is always of the essence my friend.

Passing this along! Happy Monday!
Brenda Lee recently posted…Poor Customer Service Can Cost YouMy Profile

June 8th, 2015 | 1:32 PM

Good seeing you here Brenda. I never leave the short comments on blogs of those who don’t know me. Every once in a while, I might do that on a blog someone who knows me writes, but it’s rare. I like to give something because I figure just because they know me doesn’t mean others who comment on those blogs know me, and those are the folks I’m hoping to entice to stop by. Like this is so hard to do right?

June 9th, 2015 | 1:31 AM

@Brenda Lee, I feel you on that Brenda. There’s a person who does that on my site and I’d rather “they” not leave a comment at all. When I don’t have anything to contribute, I share the post on my social sites.
Marcie recently posted…What Are Your Greatest Productivity Killers?My Profile

June 12th, 2016 | 2:33 PM

#6- If you are going to roll out of bed at 5:30am and jump on Feedly to see if any of your favorite blogs have posted anything new that you feel is worthy to read / leave a comment about, be sure to have your coffee first!
I admit, sometimes the comments left on my blogs are lame and I realize this week that leaving comments while not fully awake may not be the smartest move and that humor, especially super dry humor like I have, often doesn’t come across in text.
Finally- Buy Mitch’s book today!
Troy S. recently posted…#845 What is garage sale junk for one is treasure for anotherMy Profile

June 8th, 2015 | 2:15 PM

LOL! Thanks for the book plug! 😀 As to your #6… doesn’t work for me since I don’t drink coffee but I almost never leave blog comments early in the morning. Probably because I don’t get up that early.

June 9th, 2015 | 1:33 AM

Oh yeah, the blogging carnival. Seemed like a good idea on paper. If anyone would like to read about my experience and get a better idea of what Mitch is talking about, I will pull a #2 AND a #3 (… trying to get people to come back to their blogs and because they like the person (Mitch, Motivational Marvel. The Tantamount Trainer. The Boss of Bloggers.) blogging and want to offer some encouragement.) and say they are certainly welcome to at troyswezey dot com/blogelina-commentathon/
Troy S. recently posted…My experience at the Blogelina CommentathonMy Profile

June 8th, 2015 | 2:29 PM

For sure folks, follow Troy’s link here in the CommentLuv area and read about this thing that happened to us. It was… well, what it was. lol

June 9th, 2015 | 1:34 AM

Hi Mitch,

I have to tell you that I sure got a belly laugh when I read #1. Read the blog! Sometimes I wonder when I get a comment so off base of the content. Is this person serious? Or maybe they have a learning disability. Or maybe they just don’t care and want a back link.

I do find it funny sometimes. If it is way off base, it won’t show up in my comment section. Why let someone make a fool of themselves?

The one liner comment never gets through. The only exception I have is if I know someone is a new blogger. Then I will contact them and let them know why they didn’t show up. (I have a cheat sheet on a document)

Sometimes I can read a pillar post with 20 different things. Whatever resonates with me the most, I will choose and elaborate on that specific topic. It is difficult to do when reading something like that.

When I’m really stuck, especially on a techie blog, I will read it twice to get a bit of understanding. Then acknowledge the blogger for that step by step process, but tell them the truth that I’m no techie, but I do know others that will benefit from this post. And I will shout it out to them. Something like that.

I can go on forever, but I’ll stop here because comments are one thing that reflect us wherever we go.

Have a great week ahead,

-Donna
Donna Merrill recently posted…The Nature Of Your BlogMy Profile

June 8th, 2015 | 3:39 PM

Hey Donna. You know, I believe a lot of people look at titles, figure they know what the post is going to be about and write their comment based on that. In a way it’s not their fault as much as it is those people who write about blogging and say that people should create titles so people know exactly what they’re going to be reading. Well, sometimes writing just doesn’t go like that; sorry, but y’all have to read my posts most of the time to know where I’m going with them. And read everyone else’s posts while you’re at it. 🙂

June 9th, 2015 | 1:36 AM

I try to adhere to all of these guidelines although I do sometimes rephrase what I understood the post to mean. That falls under your 3rd point and if I do this it’s mainly because I don’t have much to add to what was said or I’m trying to clarify if I understood what I read. I try not to just regurgitate what was specifically written in the post, but just say it another way. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing–I don’t mind if I receive a comment of this nature. At least it’s an indicator that someone has read and attempted to digest the post.

It is disappointing when a person obviously didn’t read the post or just leaves a comment that appears as such.

My post today seems like an extension to what you’ve posted here. I think it’s kind of related at least.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Arlee Bird recently posted…The Problem With Written CommunicationMy Profile

June 8th, 2015 | 3:41 PM

I’m coming over to check out that post Arlee. Repeating what you’ve read for clarification is one thing; that’s a technique I remember being taught in school and in business. Repeating it as an affirmation when it’s already in the post… that’s not cool at all. You’re right, it is disappointing when a comment comes in that looks like someone just wanted a link. I don’t think you have that issue as much with Blogger.

June 9th, 2015 | 1:38 AM
Anja Skrba:

I always read the comment policy! I think it’s the best way to show your respect to other blogger by sticking to his or hers comment policy…Call me crazy, but that’s really something I value a lot 🙂

Kind regards
Anja

June 9th, 2015 | 10:19 AM

That’s my thought Anja. I don’t worry about it all that much because I tend to leave relatively good comments most of the time, but it’s nice to check out here and there when things look a little different.

June 9th, 2015 | 10:44 AM

Hey Mitch,

I hate to say this outloud at times because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but what you’ve shared here is just good old common sense. The problem though is there are way more people who don’t have any then there are that do.

Of course I do know that everyone is in a hurry and we all have things to do. When you read a lot of blog posts it’s hard to grasp every single last word so there are a lot of skimmers. I’ve done my share I admit but that’s mainly when I’m reading about a topic that I already know a heck of a lot about.

I think your point though of finding something in the post that you can mention is important. I prefer sharing my thoughts about that or my own experience. I think that helps us relate to what was shared.

Very few people read my commenting policy. At least I have it though so when they do something wrong and I call them out on it I just reference what they should have read first. LOL!!! I’ve gotten use to it now but like I said before, everyone is busy and they don’t have a lot of time so they try to rush though the process. I’m come to finally accept that whether I like it or not.

As always, great share. You definitely bring up some good points and I hope anyone serious about blog commenting will read what you have to say.

Have a great day Mitch.

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted…How To Blog Your Way Out Of A JobMy Profile

June 9th, 2015 | 10:54 AM

Thanks Adrienne. I agree, all these things should be common sense, yet they aren’t. I’m starting to wonder if we have to move the “sense-o-meter” as it regards so many things these days, things we knew better about when we were younger. lol I also skim stuff I know, but when I hit on something I didn’t know, I slow down, consume, then think about it, whether or not I agree. And if I’m going to comment, even if it’s not a tome it’s going to mean something… I hope.

June 9th, 2015 | 4:19 PM

Hi Mitch,
It is really a great post indeed. Commenting on other blogs is very beneficial for a blogger. I have posted a similar article on my site. Do check it out too.

June 9th, 2015 | 9:19 PM

Anshul, I’m sharing this comment because, unfortunately, it’s not a good comment on a post about good blog commenting and I thought I’d help you learn why, especially since you’ve written a post on it.

See, you didn’t follow any of the tips I mentioned. One, I’m not sure you read the post; saying it’s a “great post” is pretty generic. Two, you didn’t mention anything about the post, whether you liked it or not. Three, You told everyone that blog commenting is beneficial, but that’s what my entire post was about. Four and five don’t apply in this case but you did make a crucial error, that being to ask me to come check out your post when you didn’t really give me anything to encourage me or anyone else to stop by based on your comment.

Sorry to call you out like that but based on your comment, on this post, I’m thinking I deserved to see something more viable.

June 10th, 2015 | 12:13 AM

Hey Mitch, there are a lot of posts out there about blog commenting, several of which are mine, but yours goes to show that you can always include a new angle.

I’m sure a lot of people who don’t leave a comment fail to do so because they’re not sure what to comment on. Especially if it’s a large post, which is why your second point is so important.
Peter recently posted…Welcome To EZ eSports Betting Popular Online Sports BettingMy Profile

June 10th, 2015 | 12:54 AM

I think sometimes a post can seem to be overhelming Pete, but there’s always something to comment on if one is predisposed to comment at all. If there’s nothing to say but you liked the post then share it on social media. At least that’s helpful. 🙂

June 10th, 2015 | 3:34 AM

Hi Mitch,

I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that almost everywhere I go online, almost every blog I follow, I always find the same people commenting and following each other’s blogs.

Yourself, Sherryl, Adrienne, Peter …
I think that real bloggers understand this concept, that you can’t build a successful blog by yourself, you just have to make some friends in the blogging community and help each other out, offer encouragement and pay it forward.

So here’s a 4th reason why people do it, not for links, not for getting a click or two, but for building relationships within the blogging community!

But just like reason #1 and #2 if you are here for reason #4 you should also be taking more time and devotion in leaving your comments.
Mitch recently posted…Mask up Date Time | Dating Ideas WorldwideMy Profile

June 10th, 2015 | 4:44 AM

Good deal Mitch (oh no, another Mitch! lol). You’re right, there are a lot of us who show up on the same blogs and then show up on each other’s blogs. Community is a big deal in blogging; at least it should be. Showing how much you respect those folks by not only commenting but offering at least a little something helps them, you, and those who might actually read some of the other comments. Glad you noticed! 🙂

June 11th, 2015 | 1:13 AM

Hey Mitch,

I’m guilty as charge when it comes to reading blog posts. There are many times where I read the blog posts all the way through and leave a great, detailed comment.

But there are other times where I just go straight to the points i like within the article and base my comments specifically on them which is good up until I ask a question that the author already answered on a point that I overlooked. Yes that can be embarrassing but I keep pushing forward.

So in this case it would be wise to make sure that before you ask a question the author already answered it. Some authors have a tendency to call people out on it and this will definitely wake you up.

Great share Mitch!
Sherman Smith recently posted…How To Make Blogging Less Time ConsumingMy Profile

June 11th, 2015 | 11:34 AM

Thanks Sherman. Luckily I’ve never missed something that someone said because I wasn’t reading. I have missed something because often I tend to speed read, but my comprehension is pretty good so it’s rare for me to miss something.

June 11th, 2015 | 9:10 PM

Hey Mitch,

A wonderful article, I must say. Most of the points are mere common sense. But how many of the commenters practise these simple tips? That’s the question isn’t? And I am sure your post will help open their eyes.

For one commenting without reading a post is absurd. How can one give out genuine opinion or a “comment” without actually reading what the author has written? Without knowing the author’s stand on a particular topic, how can one write a reply? or an opinion, for that matter?

Point #3 is a nail in the forehead. I receive a lot of such comments where people simply repeat what I’ve said in the article. I trash those comments (some even actually copy paste the words from inside the post or the heading of the post itself).

Given that blog commenting is a crucial part of the game for blogging, I appreciate your efforts to bring these points out to the public.

Have a wonderful weekend ahead!

Cheers,
Jane.
Jane recently posted…On sticking to (or accepting) your editorial calendarMy Profile

June 12th, 2015 | 12:05 AM

Hi Jane; long time no see! You know, these days I sometimes miss those comments that have just repeated things I’ve said, or copied someone else’s comment. When I notice them I remove them also; they add no value and of course they’re just spam.

As for reading the post… seems the simplest thing in the world to me. Either read it or leave it alone and move onto something else you like reading right? 🙂

June 12th, 2015 | 1:46 AM

Well, aren’t I the guilty one! I have a keyword name. And although I always read a blog on which I comment, I really can’t remember if I always cite something within it.

Since I’m not a cruiser of blogs…I only follow those whose thoughts and ideas interest me…and so sometimes I make a one-line comment because of time and yet to acknowledge that I have read and appreciated and been by.

And I am sure I have come by your blog and commented on how YOU have helped me rather than specifically on the content of the blog content that helped me. Generally, if I comment, it is a given that the content either intrigued me or helped me.

Sigh…

I can only hope that I am considered with the group of friends and family who are forgiven.
Mother recently posted……on Leaving Middle SchoolMy Profile

June 13th, 2015 | 10:55 AM

You know you pass the muster… even if I won’t use the name. lol Actually, you’ve always commented on the topic at hand, and I don’t think you’ve ever left a one line comment. Talking about how you enjoyed a post or how something helped shows you read the content. Thing is, people need to earn the right to occasionally leave a one line comment. First time out… for many bloggers your comment would probably be seen as spam and deleted. In retrospect, since so many comments come in that way you can’t blame any of those folks for doing it.

I had to learn how to do it better also, but back in the early days, people were just happy you stopped by. That was before the spammers took over; sigh, those were the good ol’ days… 🙂

June 14th, 2015 | 3:00 PM

Hi Mitch,

Writing a blog post is no walk in the park and hence blog post comments should be thoughtful and sincere. But there is no way a blog comment can be either of those if the commentor did not obey your rule #1: Read the post. On my blog I sometimes get comments from people who obviously only glanced at the title of the post then went straight to write a generic comment.

What many people don’t understand is that blog commenting is a way to build relationships not backlinks to your website. Blog commenting is about contributing to a conversation not about being a sleazy, rude marketer.

If #1 is obeyed, then all others (like #2 and #3 and #4) will fall into place. I appreciate your rule #4 because it not only shows the commentor read the article, it also adds value to the article.

I loved reading your article, Mitch. Shared it too 🙂
Look forward to reading more.
Chioma Anozie recently posted…Facebook Rejected him but what happened next will shock you.My Profile

June 14th, 2015 | 5:02 AM

Thanks for your comment Chioma. I agree with your assessment, which is why I try to leave pretty good comments. At worst you might get only 3 lines from me, but you’ll know I’ve read the thing and that I have an opinion on it, good or bad. Frankly, if people wrote good comments there wouldn’t be a need for a comment policy, which I only have to give me validation when I delete some comments.

June 14th, 2015 | 3:07 PM

Hi Mitch,

Just came across this post.

I like especially the “don’t tell people what the blog post means in your comment” I get this type of comments at times, and I’m wondering what the heck? Maybe they totally lack imagination and can’t find anything else to say about the post. Not sure why, but I found that to happen especially with people who may not master English too well.

Ah, yes, read the article is a pretty good start too 🙂

Great points you have here.

~Sylviane
Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…5 Tell-Tale Signs That You Are A True LeaderMy Profile

June 16th, 2015 | 6:07 PM
Aaron:

The reason you want people to comment is to stir up conversation and opinions. Reiterating what was said in the blog/article does no help but instead can kill the conversation. These 5 tips should be required to leave a comment. I don’t think this blog could have been wrote any better.

June 23rd, 2015 | 4:42 PM

Definitely Aaron. Commentary that gets people talking works well. It’s what I hope happens on this blog and what I see happening on many other blogs.

June 23rd, 2015 | 11:10 PM

Hi Mitch,

Good to be here again man. Been off and on doing some really crazy stuffs. Now, I just ‘fired my boss’ so hopefully, I’ll be more stable.

I love the first point you mentioned above. I think that’s the almighty step towards being able to drop a meaningful comment.

If you don’t read the article, my doubt is what are you saying in your comment?

I love it when people bring out points from my posts and comment on. That shows me at least they got something from the publication.

I think like Sherryl said above, these tips ain’t common sense to everyone. I must appreciate you coming up and expounding on them.

Do have a wonderful rest of the week buddy.

I’ll be back!
Enstine Muki recently posted…I fired my ‘BOSS’!My Profile

July 1st, 2015 | 6:07 AM

Thanks Enstine, and thanks for reading it. lol You know, I’ll admit that I don’t always name one particular thing I like in an article when I comment on blogs. However, I write enough to make sure the writer knows that I read it, understood it, and have a point of view on it. It’s those generic comments that could go with almost every post in the world that I really hate the most.

July 1st, 2015 | 11:19 AM

@Marcie, I hope you remove those comments you don’t want on your blog & treat them like spam. I do that; if a comment doesn’t advance the conversation then it’s pretty worthless.

June 12th, 2016 | 4:48 PM
Before you leave a reply; please see the comment policy if this is your first visit. This blog doesn't accept keyword names. I need a real first name or a legitimate nickname that you're known for. If your name has more than 3 words or the email address begins with "info" or "admin", the comment automatically goes to the spam filter; same if there are any links in the comment or if you don't have a gravatar. If your comment goes to spam for any of these reasons, or any other reason listed in this post, it may never show up on the blog (I do forgive the link issue if you've commented on the blog previously and I'll forgive the gravatar thing for first time visitors). If it goes there for any other reason (and I know some do), I'll pull it out as I don't intentionally moderate any comments on this blog.

One last thing; if your link is an affiliate link or goes back to a strange website or webpage I don't like, if I keep your comment I'll remove your link. That's why I have CommentLuv for blogs; if you have a legitimate business just leave that link & no sub-links. Trust me, it's best to read the comment policy if you don't get it, or never see your comments showing up here.

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