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6 Blog Tips on Commenting Etiquette

As I’ve discussed before, commenting on other blogs is a great way for increasing traffic to your site. But there is a right and a wrong way to do this so I’ve listed below 6 blog tips for commenting etiquette.

We all make mistakes and there’s no shame in that so long as we learn from it. Have you ever made any of these commenting mistakes?

1. Making personal comments that are negative in nature.

No, I’m not talking about disagreeing with the writer. That is acceptable as long as it’s done in a civil manner. What I am talking about is making personal attacks.

Remember, when you are visiting comeone else’s blog it’s not unlike visiting your neighbour’s home. You wouldn’t tell your host they suck while sitting in their living room with guests around would you? No, of course you wouldn’t (unless you are a rude and impertinent person).

So don’t do it on someone else’s blog either. If you really feel the need to say something controversial then be discrete about it and send them a private email instead of embarrassing them in their online home in full view of the blogosphere.

And please, if you really must disagree, do try to be polite and constructive with your criticism. That includes no bad language or name calling.

2. Don’t leave comments as an excuse to promote your own site.

People aren’t dumb and will see right through this.

Let’s face it, most of us will leave our blog address in our comments hoping that someone will follow the link, and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I personally check each and every link that is left on my posts.

But some comments are too obvious. For example – ”Hi. I enjoyed your blog and when you get a chance please visit mine too.”

That is considered spam. So please stick to the topic and say something that contributes to the overall conversation.

3. You will get a lot further with sugar than you will with salt.

Most of us are not great communicators. Some have told me that I’m a decent writer, but if I am it’s only because I have been writing professionally for more than 20 years. But along the way I’ve also made my share of mistakes and in my opinion I still have a long way to go.

When we write we can’t see the other person’s body language or hear their voice inflection, and it is hard to understand the real intent behind the words.

For example … sometimes we might use humor to inject a little personality into our writing . It can be an effective tool, but not everyone will appreciate our sense of humor so it can sometimes backfire on us (and if I have ever insulted anyone on this blog please accept my apologies). :-)

That’s why I have a tendency to use smiley faces (emoticons) because I know that my tongue-in-cheek sense of humor (sorry but I watched too much Monty Python) can sometimes be taken the wrong way (and in some cases even hurtful).

All of us have an ego, (some more than others - LOL) so do what you can to make it obvious to the other person that you are not being disingenuous or belittling them.

4. When I see doggy-doo on the street I walk around it.

My advice is to ignore the trolls. There will always be a few unsavory characters out there who have nothing better to do than be mischievous and looking for trouble. They need a victim to prey upon and cause trouble.

No matter how nice you try to reason with them, in most cases you are just wasting your time, and they will keep coming back as long as you give them a soap box to speak from and a little attention.

So don’t encourage them. Hit the delete button because that’s what it’s there for.

5. Don’t try to control the conversation.

Remember, everyone’s opinion is valid even if you should disagree or believe they have a brain the size of a peanut.

The blogosphere is all about the conversation so be generous and let everyone have their chance to speak. In the process you just might also learn something.

6. Commenting etiquette is also for blog owners.

Be polite and make it easy for readers to add comments. Create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Make an effort to respond to everyone who has taken the time to write a comment. (See also #5, 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog.

Remember that commentors are also your readers, so give them the respect they deserve and they will come back. Active commenting can turn your static blog into a living, thriving community.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head on a lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s raining cats and dogs outside and nothing much is on the television. Do you have any more ideas that I might have forgotten to mention?

Similar Reading:

  • 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Your Blog
  • 10 Ways to Email a Blogger: A Primer in Blog Etiquette
  • Written November 12th, 2006 by | 4 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips , , ,

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    There are 4 Comments so far to “6 Blog Tips on Commenting Etiquette”

    1. You are quite right. Too many people leave weird or hateful comments or ones that have absolutely nothing to do with the current topic.


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    2. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this comment. I have to say that it is probably spam, and the person who left it has brass kahunas.

      How would I know that? The giveaway are the links that he left behind. Motion your mouse over them (but don’t click them) and look in the bottom status bar of your browser. You should see the url address of the links and you will note that they all go to sites that are selling something.

      The joke is on him because he will get no pagerank benefit as I put a (rel=”nofollow”) attribute on the links. I highly doubt if anybody would ever buy from someone who litters the net with obvious spam.

      Now, if he had a product or service that was directly related to this post that might have been a different story. So long as it was mentioned indirectly and not in such an obviously spammy manner.

      But he has done us all a favor by offering an example of what I’m talking about in number #2, so I think I will leave it as a case study for everyone’s edification how NOT to leave a comment.

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    3. Good list Bloke. I especially like #5. There are too many boors out there who love to hear themselves talk but won’t listen.

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    4. Thanks Dave. I think that is a problem that the whole world has, not just the blogosphere.

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