Comments are an essential part of many blogs. The primary purpose they serve is to contribute to the knowledge provided in the post and (hopefully) add to the general discussion by providing outside points of view. A secondary purpose is for outreach – getting your name and knowledge out there with the goal of driving traffic back to your site. Comments are not meant to be a place for inane remarks, unwarranted criticisms, or the place to profess your undying love for the author.
We’ve included some helpful strategies on what you can do to leave great comments that contribute to the conversation and will help you look good in the process.
Say/Ask Something Intelligent
Make sure what you say is intelligent and insightful. Add to the conversation or at least attempt to show a different point of view. If you have relevant knowledge or experience, share it.
You can also ask intelligent questions. Don’t sound pompous but asking questions that open new (but still relevant) areas of thought are always appreciated. Follow up questions will help the author help clarify his message to his readers.
“I didn’t quite see the connection you made between bat speed and the number of home runs someone hits. Do other factors come in to play such as the weight of the bat and the speed of the pitch?”
Don’t Show Up The Author
Even if you know more about the topic than the author, don’t attempt to “show up” the author in the comments. It is completely ok to disagree and raise an issue or two but leaving comments attacking the author’s knowledge and character just make you look bad.
“Are you completely stupid or something? First off, using Remedy A in that way will lead to a rash. I know because I’m a doctor. Second, who are you to make recommendations to people? I don’t think you know a thing you’re talking about.”
“I’ve seen in a few studies that Remedy A may cause a rash for some people. It might be a good idea to consult a doctor before using it.”
Add To The Conversation
It always seems in long comment threads you get the troll – the guy who feels the need to criticize the other commenters without really providing much to the conversation. Don’t be that guy! Use the old improv technique of “Yes, and…” to actually contribute to the conversation. Don’t use it sarcastically. You can politely disagree with someone by using the “Yes, and” technique while still showing your intelligence and keeping the other commenter’s feelings intact.
Which of these sound better?:
Adam: “No, the social policies are stupid. We should all just convert to communism.”
Eve: “Yes, there are some potential drawbacks to the social policies however the benefit to society will largely outweigh the financial cost in the long run.”
Give Specific Compliments
Simply saying you loved a post is nice for the author to read, but we can do better. Be specific! Tell the author what you liked about the post. How did it make you think differently about X than you had before reading? How did you apply the technique described and what were the results? What did you like about the photos? Show the author that you both read and understood the post, not that you’re just there to leave a comment.
“Really great post!”
“Great post! I never knew potatoes could be used in so many ways. Number 3 was funny!”
“Really great post! I tried technique number 5 and I was shocked how well it removed paint from my fingers. I’m going to have to try a few more of these, especially technique number 3. That one made me laugh.”
Don’t Leave Contact Information
Don’t leave your website or email in your comment (unless it’s directly relevant or you were asked to). No one wants to see a comment followed by a website url. It just looks spammy. Most comment forums have some way to integrate contact information so if someone enjoyed your comment and wants to connect with you elsewhere, they can do so fairly easily.
“Oh man I loved this post! Check out my blog at http://checkmeout.com”
Realize that your comment says a lot about you. It is often the first impression many people will have of you so make sure it’s saying the right things.
Have you come across any of these comments before? How did you deal with them? Let us know in the comments below.