Crafting Quality Blog Comments

two chat bubblesComments are powerful. We all love to receive quality comments that are specific and personalized; timely and on-topic.  They provide the necessary fuel for discussion and include ideas for future posts.

The truth is that comments are NOT a real measure of how good your posts are. According to Michael Dick’s Rules of Engagement, 75% of readers are passive and only 5% are somehow engaged.

Commenting Creates Connection

Crafting quality blog comments connects you to other bloggers, increases your online presence and attracts new readers to your blog.

For some crafting high quality comments is easy. For others, it’s very difficult. When it comes to commenting the degree of difficulty you experience is rooted in your personality type.

Are you an introvert (reserved) or extrovert (outgoing)?

Your writer’s voice is the way your writing style sounds to your readers. Finding out your personality type can provide insights into your writing style and help you work on improving your comments.

Commenting Advice

Let’s see what the expert advice is on crafting high quality blog comments.

In Stay Connected we find these 5 commenting tips:

  1. Read thoroughly.
  2. Contribute something of value.
  3. Keep your comment bite-sized.
  4. Avoid shameless plugs.
  5. Above all, be patient, be respectful, and be yourself!

In the WordPress.com blog article Are you well-versed in comment etiquette? are 5 basic tips to keep in mind when you comment on others’ posts:

  1. Be specific.
  2. Don’t leave a link to your blog.
  3. Stay on topic.
  4. Be nice.
  5. Keep it brief.

In How to Write a Great Blog Comment, Grammar Girl provides 9 simple rules for writing great blog comments.

  1. Determine your motivation
  2. Provide Context
  3. Be respectful
  4. Make a point
  5. Know what you’re talking about
  6. Make one point per comment
  7. Keep it short
  8. Link carefully
  9. Proofread

Motivation matters

The way bloggers communicate and present themselves and their opinions online is important, but even more important than online presence is “to thine own self be true”.  If we lose our sense of balance,  and cross the “to thine own self be true” line online,  in order to secure friends, readers and/or customers by projecting a phony “nice” personality we will sacrifice authenticity.

Four Commenting Guidelines

A quality blog comment contains valuable information and ignites discussion. These are my 4 guidelines:

  1. Make your comment simple and memorable.
  2. If you have a question ask it clearly.
  3. If you have relevant information to add state it briefly.
  4. If you have learned something new express your appreciation.

Warning: Think before you type and click “submit” because it is not possible to edit or delete any comments you have left on other WordPress.com blogs.

Related posts found in this blog:

WordPress.com Comments and Discussion Settings
Anonymous commenting on a WordPress.com blog
How to handle negative comments
Why blog comment moderation is a good thing
Crazymaking Blogger Comment Settings
Blogging: Comment Baiting
Encouraging blog readers to comment
A Comment Policy for your Blog

62 thoughts on “Crafting Quality Blog Comments

  1. Comment etiquette and what makes a good comment was yet another thing I learned as I was feeling my way into this new blog world. Have you ever considered consolidating all your beginner blogger posts into a book or e-book? You have such good advice and well researched tips on all aspects of blogging. I would have loved to have all this at my fingertips when I was a new blogger. (And I am grateful to get them now, as well)

  2. TT everything you say here makes sense. I occasionally have trouble with ‘Above all, be patient, be respectful, and be yourself!’ I can only be myself if I like what I’m reading. I am patient and respectful of people whose opinions are different to mine. Generally, in those cases, I leave without commenting. I try to steer clear of people and topics that I know will make me see red. Whether I’m right or wrong, it’s not something to be proud of. When I lapse I feel really bad and redouble my efforts. That’s the best I can do. What about you? Do you read an article when you know you will violently disagree with it?

    1. Hi Mary,
      I think steering clear of reading blogs that give rise to negative emotions makes perfect sense and I do the same. That’s not because I lack knowledge or because I do not hold strong opinions. It’s not because I’m unable to articulate my points of view and back them up. It’s the exact opposite.

      If and when I read an article expressing a political or environmental POV that I disagree with then I don’t waste any time clicking out while laughing out loud. Laughter is a very useful game-changer that can lift anyone up and out of anger. Joining an improvisational comedy group helped me learn how to use it.

      I’m also keenly aware that everything we share online will be there to either credit us or haunt us forevermore, and I feel no compulsion to share my POV online with people I don’t really know.

      1. You’re right about laughter being a game changer. Thanks for reminding me. I had a friend like that once. She was a great influence on me when I was going through those teen years. I think I’ve lost the knack since then.

        1. I’m a retired warrior princess type who has learned how to laugh and let go. It wasn’t an easy lesson to learn and in fact I have to relearn it continually but I’m determined not to let anger become the author of my responses.

  3. While I’ve been know to speak to mannequins and fire hydrants (they didn’t respond), I sometimes wish I was more eloquent in my comments. I have read many interesting blogs and have tried to respond in kind. I am delighted when someone makes a humorous, witty or thoughtful comment on mine. That’s jet fuel for the brain. Thanks for the information, timethief.

    1. Hi Judy,
      It’s comments like this one that I love to get but they also scare me. As I don’t have the words required to respond in kind I’m inclined to become silent. I love reading books yet I don’t like discussing the books I read. I like reading blogs and the comments too but I rarely find that I want to type a response to them. I was absolutely blown away by the historical information in this article of yours but had no comment to make as the others had said what I would have said. http://earth-rider.com/2013/09/28/the-safe-haven/

      1. Sometimes, there are no words … adequate ones, that is. But I always appreciate knowing that someone read it what I wrote and, maybe, it touched their heart. Thank you for the link to my blog. That thoughtful gesture spoke volumes to me. :-)

        I remember my Mom telling me that still water runs deep. Don’t underestimate the power of your words. I am in awe of your ability to put technical info in terms I can understand. Thank you.

  4. I’m an introvert who likes to chatter with folks I’ve come to know reasonably well. It’s what I love about this blogging world. It seems I’ve developed an entire community of folks I’ve come to know (somewhat) and love through comments and interactions through the blogs.

    I’d like to see a ‘love’ button added, since there are times when I’d like to go beyond ‘like’, but the blogger is seemingly inundated with so many comments by the time I get to the post, that it’s all been said or it feels like adding yet another repetitive comment would be burdensome… that is, unless I can think of something truly original to say. Not always possible.

    Having said that, I loved this post of yours because it did highlight things I’ve pondered about the art of commenting. ;)

    1. Gunta,
      Chatting can be fun but finding the time to chat is not an easy task. I think a love button would be popular as I experience exactly what you describe. By the time I read superb posts I find those who have commented have said it all. Thanks for the read and the feedback too.

  5. You didn’t note that if people provide their URLs in the proper spot in the comment form, their name will link to their blog when the comment is published. When I have a commenter who seems unaware of that, but who leaves an appropriate comment, I remove the URL from the comment and put it in the proper place.

    1. Avoid shameless plugs ie. signature links.

      Good point! Thanks so much for expanding on that. I do the same.

      In the early days of blogging having a signature link at the end of every comment was acceptable. However, due to the redundancy you point to it has not been acceptable comment etiquette to include one for years now.

  6. On blogosphere, I find myself straddling between nearly chatty or succinct. It depends on the blogger since they may be writing in an area very different and unfamiliar to me and vice versa, they are unfamiliar with my blog niche areas.

    I should an extra 30 sec. to make more of my comments more memorable.

  7. I like to comment. Though having said that i have sat for a bit and stared at the screen trying to think up a comment with engaging content. No pressure!! Ah well. Not a brain in my head tonight apparently. But if i read a post that makes me think then i do like to comment. have a lovely evening. hope you are feeling well!! c

  8. What to say to you TiTi who has taught me so much!?! Thank you is a good starting point and please know how much I mean that!

    (Remember all those “Congrats on being FP’d! . . . .! They were such a useful tool in the value of meaningful comments!)

    1. Hi Patti,
      I bet that I have learned as much from my readers as they have learned from me. I appreciate that high praise coming from you. Thank you so much.

  9. I think, more than just about anything else, comments are how we find our ‘family.’ Whether it’s comments on blogs or tweets, facebook et. al. (and sometimes ad nauseum) … It’s how we find out what’s going on on the interwebz too. I’ve discovered communities I didn’t know existed until I followed a link someone left in a comment.

    Bring ’em on, I say.

    P.S. remember to edit before you hit ‘send’ though. :D

    1. Hi widdershins
      The word “family” makes me really nervous. I’m immediately concerned that I won’t “fit in” or be able to keep pace. There you have it – the real me. lol :D But that’s not to say I did not hear you and did not appreciate what you shared because I did, as it is truth, for sure.

  10. I did learn something new! The chance to express appreciation for learning something new from an article. Thanks for that. I like your four guidelines the best, although I did pick up some tips from the others as well.

    1. Dear Sandra,
      I have learned so many new things from you since you began to blog and we have so much common ground. I have been reading blogs I follow when I can but I’m not up to full speed yet. All my favorite bloggers like you probably think I have abandoned their blogs but it’s not true at all. I’m still coping with the backlog in our business and in my contracted work due my health issue which has blessedly come to an end.

  11. Great post TT ! Once again you give your followers food for thought – As a novice blogger, any likes and comments are a reward, to know that there is someone out there that values/appreciates what I have to say. I wondered about the etiquette of putting your blog links to a comment. Now I know :) What is the etiquette with someone re-blogging your post?

  12. I use the “Like” button just to let the blogger know I read the post and liked it. If I don’t like it or didn’t really read it I just move on.
    Leaving a link to your own blog seems a little over the top, but I have done it when my own post seemed relevant to the conversation. Sometimes I just mention that I have a relevant post on my bog and the reader can follow me back if they want to.

  13. [ Smiles ] An excellent topic and great advice too!

    I LOVE your insight to the art of commenting!

      1. [ Soft Laughter ] I would have never known that you are a reluctant commenter, since part of having a very successful blog is having the ability to comment in an effective and polite manner.

  14. “Comment something of value” “Avoid the plugs”
    Everyone loves comments, and it’s better when the writer actually thinks about the post and the comment relates to it. “Love it” is OK – but a thoughtful reflection or opinion is a real jewel. Totally appreciate those comments!

    1. Hi there,
      I should think most bloggers prefer thoughtful comments and as the majority are extroverts one would think they would be more inclined to comment themselves. The stats say otherwise. They reveal most don’t comment. That didn’t make me feel good about my own commenting infrequency. To my way of thinking there must be many busy and tongue tied people like me who don’t excel at commenting.

      P.S. I was pretty sure the name I dropped into my off topic comment would get you. ;)

  15. Thank you for another valuable post. I wonder how to handle comments that leave links asking you to follow their blogs or shamelessly leave plugs to follow them on Facebook and/or a challenge promotion? Most of these come from bloggers that contribute nothing to your content and appear out of nowhere – so it seems. I am going to check on your related links now – you may have the answer there. Thanks.

  16. I remember when I first started blogging I said, “Nice post.” without reading the flash fictional piece. As I perused up through the comments, I read, “Wow. That was hot!” “Man. Now I need a shower.”
    I read the story and realized it ended in a three-way!

    1. Dear Susie,
      You just made me LOL :D. You have a sparkly personality and a great sense of humor and I adore those thing about you. I read the comment sections below your posts and envy all who post there. From where I sit words seem to come so easily to your readers and you.

  17. I think too, if you genuinely enjoy reading the blog you are commenting on, that will show through.

    This post was a lot of fun to read. Short, sharp and to the point. You are a great teacher. :)

    1. Hi there,
      OMG! You blew my cover. No one is supposed to know I’m a teacher. I acknowledge that my writing tends to be very cut and dried. It’s embellishment that I’m not good at and I’m glad to know you liked this bare bones post.

      In person I’m taciturn but also somewhat humorous. My body language, facial expressions and gestures are a large part of my communication. More so than with most other people as I’m told everyone can read me like a book. I excel at sarcasm but it doesn’t doesn’t go over well online so that and the clown in me are a whole part of me one does not find in my blogging.

      1. Your teaching style is wonderful. You explain really difficult things well.
        I have been encouraged (by your posts) to try different things.
        I have learnt so much from you and feel much more confident “web wise”.

        1. Oh sheesh, you just brought tears to my eyes by making my day. I’m so happy to know I’m truly helping you. Thank you so much for the kind words.

  18. This is great advice. I hadn’t thought about looking at my motivation when leaving a comment. However, I often do appreciate when folks leave links, as it helps to build community–introduces my readers to something relevant they might appreciate. But then maybe that’s the key–relevance.
    Thanks for more helpful information.

    Blogging from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Without doubt high quality comments are relevant and the person making them is motivated by a desire to share information or an opinion or both. This is a post could be labeled “advice to myself” as commenting has never been my strong suit. The introduction of the like button gave me a way to express appreciation that doesn’t require a comment. Sometimes I think that’s not a good thing but most of the time I’m glad we have like buttons we can click.

  19. Sometimes I prefer a comment over a Like (although both is best!) because I get feedback on what I’ve posted. It helps me gauge what people actually enjoy seeing and if I am getting my decorating point across. Thanks for the info!

    1. Hi there,
      truth be told I’m pretty sure we all prefer comments to likes but like you I’m grateful for what I get. Thanks for sharing your decorating innovations. I’m enjoying them.

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