Successful bloggers know that writing a good post is only half of blogging. Community building is the second most important half of the blogging equation and where the majority of the work should take place. If you do not understand community building then no matter how good a “message” you put out you will not become a successful blogger.
A good blog is one in which the blogger establishes their message and voice, puts out a good product, earns their readers trust and then works diligently to build a community around their blog. This is really a win- win for those who are able do it well.
An important component of community building is the art of blog commenting.I tend to think of commenting as a cross pollination process. I am encouraging a blogger I like and in the meantime my comments can also bring new readers and opportunities back to my own site. I have had both happen.
Commenting is an art that successful bloggers work on honing. It is a learned process over time, but there are a few very simple tips that you can use right now to help better your commenting skills.
1. Read the post
I visit quite a few blogs each week. As previously stated, I do this in order to community build. Last week I was reading a very heartfelt post about a woman’s recent loss on a blog I had never visited before. I felt moved to reach out to her in compassion via a comment on her post. As usual I scrolled through the other comments only to find this as the first one.
“Popping in from ____ hop. Love your blog, you can visit me at ___.”
I guarantee you that this kind of comment is the wrong one about 99.9 percent of the time and the blogger who did this is setting themselves up to fail. They are setting themselves up to fail because they don’t understand that successful bloggers are community builders.
2. Pull out a specific item to comment on within the post
You do not have to comment on everything in the post, but if there is one particular section that speaks to you then comment on it. This lets the author know you actually read their post and didn’t just skim through the pictures before posting your comment.
3. Share equal experiences
I admit that there have been some posts where it was very difficult for me to hit the publish button. Mainly because I felt so strongly about what I was writing and worried about what others would think. If you can help give insight or boost up another blogger with shared experiences, then do it! This is an important part of community building and besides that as humans sharing and caring is generally a good thing to do.
4. Read some of the other comments
It’s not that you have to be 100 percent original and witty all of the time, but you don’t want to say the exact same thing the person before you did. Try and genuinely add to the discussion with your comment or if you get stuck you can comment on someone else’s comment saying you thought the same thing. The author will see this and you are community building in 2 ways.
5. Generally one liners stink
Sometimes I have commented in one sentence, but I try not to. Pull something specific out of the post and comment on it, then add in your one liner. For example don’t have your only comment be, “Thanks for sharing!” Thanks for sharing what… Add the what and you are good, because now you have a short, succinct and meaningful comment!
6. You do not need to write an opus
On the opposite side of the spectrum you should not feel you have to write a long and detailed comment. You may want to because you find so much in common with the author, but keep in mind that sometimes too much personal information shared is too much.
7. Be nice
Thumper’s mom had it right , “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” You are better off just closing the tab and moving on rather than looking like a donkey.
8. Reciprocation is king
Respond to commenters on your blog in a timely and thoughtful manner. Then make sure to visit their blog in return. This is a very important element of community building and one I truly enjoy. I have found so many wonderful blogs and bloggers by doing this. Community building can be very fulfilling if done properly.
Something else to keep in mind with this is to have commenting widgets or apps installed on your site that will email alert someone that their comment was replied to.
9. Know when to cut bait
This is an old saying fisherman use when it’s time to reel it in and go home because the fish aren’t biting. The same applies to commenting. This may sound harsh, but personally, I have a very limited time in which to blog ( 4 children and all) so I have had to drop my comments on some blogs. I still may enjoy what they write and periodically stop in, but if they are unable to be a part of my community then it is time to move on. It’s not a “Tit for Tat” kind of thing it is just the reality that we can give more to those who can enrich our own lives in return.
What tips and tricks have you found useful when commenting?
Stay Happy! Stay Informed!
Go ahead and share this post, you know you want to!