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From the title of this post, my friend Scott probably thinks I’m going to talk about his site called All In A Name, which you should visit because he’s got a lot of cool stuff which lets you create things based on your name and have them customized in many different formats for you. There’s my plug for the day.

No, what I’m going to talk about today is the names people use when they’re commenting on blogs such as this one. Our friend Sire wrote a post called Commenting 101 – important Rules For 2009. Point number six was this:

Name And Not Keyword! I know that everyone is trying to get maximum exposure for their keywords but I really think that blog hosts would like a name rather than a keyword such as ‘Ultimate Blogging Tips’ when people leave a comment.

I’ve been thinking about that lately as I see some of the names coming through from people where I know, and of course everyone else knows, it’s not their name. Not to call anyone out, but the last ten names that I’ve seen which aren’t really names are: Sire (that one’s a nickname, so it really doesn’t count); Trade Show Guru (although Steve always puts his name after his comment); School Proxys Blog; Boyz II Men; Offshore Software Development; iip; Busby SEO TEST; work at home blog (Peter also always puts his name after his comments); Market Secrets Blogger; and Make Money Online Tips. And, except for the two guys who wrote their names after their comments, and of course Sire, I chose one of the words for each person and used that as a name when I responded to them, to make sure that, when they got notification of a response, they knew it was for them.

There’s always some folks who question this thing as to whether they should be using their real name or using the name of their blogs or websites. Here’s the reality; you should use your name, or nickname, where it says name. Let me ask you this question; what’s more important to you, having people come to your blog via a link or having them see the name of your blog and hoping that they’ll come by?

Now, I actually understand where some of this comes from, and, yeah, I’m going to rant once again about hating Blogger blogs. If you comment on a Blogger blog, you pretty much only have two choices. One is that, if you have a Blogger account of some kind, you can leave your name, and a link to your blog will appear because you’ve created the account, but that’s it. Two, you can decide to leave your name and your URL, but, because it assumes you don’t have an account, you don’t get to leave an email address, and therefore you’ll never get email notification of any responses to your post, or after your comment has been posted. If you’ve chosen the second one, you might be inclined to put the name of your blog instead of your name to try to highlight your link, kind of an SEO trick that I talked about in my post on Five SEO Tips.

WordPress blogs work differently, because they’ll allow you to put in your name, your email address, and your link, which is great because you now know that you’ll have an opportunity to interact more often with a person whose blog you like. And that’s whether you have a blog on the WordPress.com site or your own hosting service. If you happen to visit a blog that uses CommentLuv, like this one, it’s even better because it’ll actually highlight posts for your blog, and if that’s the case, then there’s really no reason to put in your blog or site name because, hopefully, you’re topic will drive people to your site if it interests them, as names rarely do. And, when people respond to you, they don’t look silly or goofy referring to you with something that’s not close to a name.

So, think about it folks; how do you want people responding to your posts, by name or by the name of their blog or website? I guess it only matters if you’re interested in engaging your visitors in conversation, which I am.

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