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What Makes a Good Blog Comment?: 6 Tips to Get Yours Noticed

How to leave a good comment on a blogYou’ve heard about the 90-9-1 rule. Or maybe you haven’t.

It goes like this: 90 percent of blog readers never make a comment. 9 percent will comment every so often. And 1 percent will comment regularly.

Why do so many smart, creative people freeze up when it’s time to make a blog comment? We’ve all been there, staring at that big old comment box full of white space. It seems to mock you,

“Okay, smarty pants. You think you have something intelligent to say? Bring it on.”

We’ve heard the advice before: Add value to the conversation. Say something original. Be a thought leader. Man, I don’t know about you, but that’s just too much pressure for me.

So how can you get noticed in the comment section of someone else’s blog? Here are a few ways:

6 tips to get your blog comment noticed

1. Keep your goal in mind. Why are you commenting? To prove or extend your credibility? To drive traffic to your own blog or website? To start building a relationship with the blogger? Knowing your goal will help you decide what kind of comment to write.

2. Stay on topic. The blogger, whose site you are a guest on, is the one who introduced the subject and invited comments. Do not, as much as you are tempted to, stray from that topic. It’s about respecting the blogger. If his or her post gets you thinking about something else, write about it on your own blog. Other people’s blogs can give you lots of rich ideas for new posts of your own.

3. Avoid the generalities. We’ve all seen the comments before. “Great post!” “I agree with everything you said.” That’s just not helpful-to the blogger or to the other readers and commenters. If you are stuck, take a sentence or two from the post, reproduce it in the comment box (with quotes around it) and tell why you agree or disagree. Also, say who you are responding to. Because wading through all the back comments is just too much work for the readers who come along after you.

4. Feel free to disagree. As a blogger, some of my best posts have been the ones that stirred things up a little. And often it is because someone dared to offer a different opinion in the comment section. I’m not giving you permission to be rude, but don’t be afraid to challenge someone’s assumption or point of view. Most bloggers love a good discussion.

5. Leave a link-if it makes sense. It depends on the blogger, of course, but I’ve found that most don’t mind if you leave a relevant link, something that adds value and continues the conversation: a blog post or article you wrote, for instance. But if you include a link to your website’s home page, well, that’s just lame-and might even be construed as spam.

6. Make your comment easy on the eyes. White space and bullets (or numbering) are good, especially when so many readers are skimming and scanning for the key messages. And, while you’re at it, try not to make more than two points. If you have more to say, consider writing your own post.

Now get out there and start commenting. If you’re looking for a post to practice on, you can start here : )

25 Responses to What Makes a Good Blog Comment?: 6 Tips to Get Yours Noticed

  1. Daniel Drake January 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    We’ve all seen the comments before. “Great post!” “I agree with everything you said.” That’s just not helpful-to the blogger or to the other readers and commenters.

    Sometimes you just want to give a thumbs-up but don’t have anything to add. We have the “Like” button on Facebook, and the “retweet” on Twitter. Never really sure what to do on blogs. :)

    • Bob Dunn January 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

      You are so right Daniel, there are those times you just think, “wow, what a great post”. In that case, find one specific point in the post that makes it so great, something you relate to or have experienced, and that might help you to find something to really comment on.

    • Susan French February 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

      All great points but my question is this: doesn’t it feel better to writers to have people leave a generic comment that is encouraging rather than leaving no comment at all because now your writing is on the line?

      I always try to be specific but my philospophy has been that saying something is better than saying nothing.

      I’d like to read other opinions on this.

      Susan French
      Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy

      • Bob Dunn February 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

        Hi Susan, good question!

        A couple thoughts here. Yes, you are right, sometimes that’s all you really feel like saying. Short, brief and to the point…

        Leaving a more detailed and thought out comment has two advantages 1) if your comment inspires more thought, or even controversy, this will encourage even more readers to leave a comment – good for the blog you are reading. Then 2) for yourself, if you leave a comment that draws interest from other readers, and even the blogger, they are more likely to click on your link and learn more about you — which is good.

        Finally, one big issue is that most spam comments are exactly that, generic. And although most will be caught with a plugin like Akismet, because it looks at the number of links, certain words, etc. some will get through. Then you need to determine if it is merely a simple comment from an interested reader or a spammer. And unless you know the commenter… that can sometimes be tough to figure out.

  2. Laurie Barrera January 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Thank you, makes sense to write exactly what you got from the blog and why. Helps the writer and the audience. But as I always say, keep it short and sweet.

    • Bob Dunn January 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

      So true Laurie. It’s nice to keep it short and sweet, but on the other hand I do find some nice meaty comments that really add to the conversation. The key here is to make your point and don’t ramble or go on and on and on… : )

  3. This one dude January 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    “I’m not giving you permission to be rude” —– but what if I ask nicely and put a cherry on top? Will you then?

    Although sometimes when I read a blog all I want to do is say hey nice job! and be on my way. It takes some considerable thought to leave a comment that goes beyond the spam filter when it seems like all we want to do is give you a high five an keep rollin.

    These are some great points that are valuable takeaways from this experience. One thing that I would like to add, is that you should not be afraid to leave a comment. That is what the blogging thing was set up for was a way for everyone to communicate right? The bloggers love comments :)Get out there and express your viewpoints. You might just meet some rather fascinating individuals.

    • Bob Dunn January 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      Hey Chris, love your opening line : )

      Yes, that is big, about not being afraid to comment. Especially for those just jumping into the blogging waters and leaving comments is part of their strategy. And that is exactly what any blogger wants, conversation! As we have found out in the past, when asking people to comment on a post at a conference, they just froze when they sat at the computer. There were smart, professional people, but they hesitated when it came to commenting. Thanks for bringing that up!

  4. Wayne McEvilly February 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Just dropping in to make the observation that, as an admittedly novice blogger, I have noticed in visiting blogs that some of the most effective are quite simply blogger based. I agree that it is essential to keep your goal in mind when commenting. My goal was simply to see your work, and compare the “look, feel, and content” with some of the other non-wordpress blogs I visit. I am convinced for now I’ll stay with blogger. Thanks. I appreciate that you tweeted me.
    Wayne

    • Bob Dunn February 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

      Hi Wayne, thanks for dropping by. And I agree, whatever works for you, stick with it. I must admit though a lot of people have approached me over the years and felt they just couldn’t do what they wanted with their blog and were considering moving to a self-hosted WordPress site. The limitations to making a very “robust” blog happened not only for users of blogger, but Typepad and WordPress.com. I believe it boils down to your own goals as a blogger.

      Interestingly enough, many are also moving to self-hosted as they feel more control and ownership over their blog content versus having it on someone else’s platform. Unless you are self-hosted, unfortunately they can shut down your blog anytime they feel like it … got to love the internet! : )

  5. Practical Parsimony February 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Some days, I think that people comment just so others can click on their name visit their websites. But, that is okay with me. I do hope others don’t see my remarks as a ploy to have others visit my website. I have been blogging for about nine months, reading others’blogs for several years. Still, I am not sure what is proper.

    • Judy Dunn February 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

      Hi Linda,

      Judy here (CatsEyeWriter). Good to see you here!

      You know, you are probably right about that. Getting a link back to their own site is a very powerful incentive for people to leave a comment on your blog. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long asthey are leaving a valuable comment at the same time. (“I agree with what you say and here is why” or “What you say about ______ is interesting and this is what I can say from my experience,” etc.

      But when someone says, “Nice post” and leaves a big old link to a sales page on their website? Not so much.

      I guess what I am saying is be authentic and say something meaningful/helpful and don’t feel bad about the link back to your blog. Readers who were interested in your comment are going to want to check you out to find out more about you!

  6. Daniel April 13, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    hello ,
    My name is daniel and I own nigerian forum
    I’m an ardent reader of your posts and not just to leave leave without writing a comment this time around, I love the informations you share through this post especially where you wrote ” It goes like this: 90 percent of blog readers never make a comment. 9 percent will comment every so often. And 1 percent will comment regularly.

    Why do so many smart, creative people freeze up when it’s time to make a blog comment? We’ve all been there, staring at that big old comment box full of white space. It seems to mock you,

    “Okay, smarty pants. You think you have something intelligent to say? Bring it on.”

    We’ve heard the advice before: Add value to the conversation. Say something original. Be a thought leader. Man, I don’t know about you, but that’s just too much pressurefor me.

    So how can you get noticed in the comment section of someone else’s blog? Here are a few ways: ”
    Keep it up friend.

    • Bob Dunn April 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      Hey Daniel, I appreciate that you find my blog useful and glad you left a comment this time around. Hope to see you here again!

  7. EscapedRebelious October 21, 2011 at 4:42 am #

    hi.

    Hmmm wow its a great blog for the new commers in blog commenting..for me as well and its help me alot to learn.All the material and information in it is quite informative and easy to understand .Thanks for sharing such a blog with us.

    “If his or her post gets you thinking about something else, write about it on your own blog. Other people’s blogs can give you lots of rich ideas for new posts of your own”.. Awesome idea really before reading you i didn’t know about it.This thing will help me a lot in my development in future.

    Thanks for sharing such a blog with us.

    • bobWP October 21, 2011 at 5:43 am #

      @EscapedRebelious So glad to hear you have found this useful and thanks for stopping by!

  8. Amily January 9, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Yes, that is big, about not being afraid to comment. Especially for those just jumping into the blogging waters and leaving comments is part of their strategy. And that is exactly what any blogger wants, conversation!

    Amily Stery. HYTC manager.

    Use information below to contact me. my email: Amily_Stery@gmail.com my blogs: http://notthick.com

    • bobWP January 10, 2012 at 6:53 am #

      @Amily So true, I have found seasoned professionals that still find it difficult to comment. I was at a conference once, blogging about it, and asked a few people I know to sit down and add a comment. You would be surprised how many just froze.

  9. Gustav September 20, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    Great informative post, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. I’m a newbie to blogging, so found it most valuable to get some proper tips and guidelines.

    I am in the process of putting together a wordpress site/blog. Would love to know, what are your thoughts on the adding of a “share to facebook” option with every blog post?

    • Bob Dunn September 20, 2012 at 7:00 am #

      Thanks and yes, I think it’s very important to have those share options. And it doesn’t matter how active you are on any of the platforms. What you want to do is make it easy for your readers to share you content.

      The key word is easy. For example, if I come to you blog, as a regular reader, or even first time reader, love the post, likely I will want to share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. And I want it to be easy. I will not take the time to open up Twitter, copy your post title, paste in a Tweet, go back and copy your link, paste again, and then post. Not going to happen. I want the one click easy share.

      And don’t we all want our readers to share our content : )

  10. Kim Martin September 25, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Nice good work ad good tips to give suitable comments on blogs……….

  11. glc-sx-mm October 24, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Really useful tips, I agree about sharing though. We all need to keep the blogs alive!

  12. Doni January 5, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    I’m newbie at all in this field, and looking for “leave A good comment for blog”. Finally found this blog from Bing.
    Actually my target is for drive a traffic also i’m start do blogging for spare my time
    And i think your article is make sense at all, particularly this one “Keep your goal in mind”.
    Because i found on other site many comment are SPAM, like “Great post !, Nice post, etc”.
    so can you explain me
    “how to find a great blog for leave a comment then they would drive a traffic to our own site?”

    But thanks for this post, very helpful i like this !
    will wait for another tips sir !

    • Bob Dunn January 5, 2013 at 7:42 am #

      Thanks and great to hear you found this through Bing :)

      And yes, I find myself, unless I don’t have something to really say, just not commenting. I think that is why the number of comments from blog to blog can be so different.

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