Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
April 4, 200910:45 PM

Six Ways To Leave A Better Comment

In this past week, there were multiple people from very different parts of the Marketing and business world that asked about Blogging, its relevancy and how to really dig deeper into these conversations.

Without question, the whole "is Blogging dead?" conversation is taking another turn. More and more people are turning to the online channels for text-based content, and they're wanting to know two things: One, who can they trust in terms of valuable and real content? And, two, if they're feeling the desire, how does one add comments without looking stupid, like a jerk or like they don't know what they're doing?

Here are six ways to leave a better comment: 

  1. Read the full post. It's easy to skim the content, jump to a conclusion and lash out with the keyboard. I'm consistently shocked when I read the comments on some of the more heavily trafficked Blogs, and see how many of the people who are commenting think they are being contrarian when - in reality - all they're really demonstrating is that they did not take the time to really digest what the Blogger was saying.
  2. Read all of the comments. This is really difficult when someone has a popular Blog. It's not uncommon to see some Blog posts generate 50-100 comments. If you really want to leave a better comment, you have to know and understand how all of the content (the original post and the comments) flow and form.
  3. Add a new perspective. This is the usual showstopper for most. I often hear feedback from people who say they read the Blog and follow the comments, but feel like they have nothing more to add. More often than not, I bet those people are just being too hard on themselves. Here's a trick: take some quick notes as you read a post and the subsequent comments. Odds are, by the time you're finished, you'll have a couple of interesting things to add - a whole new perspective.
  4. Continue the thought. Sometimes it's not about a new perspective, sometimes the original post was just a quick thought that deserves some kind of follow-up and continuation. Some of the best comments on Blog postings start with, "to continue on this thought..."
  5. Do not linkbait. The temptation to leave a comment like, "great Blog post, I completely agree!" with a link to your space might be high, but resist. Yes, Google might find it and give you some link love, and a Blogger loves to know that someone is reading and agrees, but if the comment looks more like a way to generate links to your own space, then all is lost. Instead, follow the steps above, add value and people will click to find out who you are because you're interesting. And, those clicks will be much more valuable... and real.
  6. Come back and see if there was any follow-up on your thoughts. Just because you left a great comment does not mean that your job is done. If you really left a great comment, that should generate some kind of addition comments from others as well. Make sure to come back, respond and take ownership of your thoughts. There's nothing more frustrating than reading a great thread of comments and seeing it die because those who took part, and turned it from a monologue into a dialogue, never took the additional time to come back and keep it going.

Did I miss anything? What do you think people can do to leave better comments?

By Mitch Joel