We've all been in the situation of not having enough time to write a full blown blog post.
You, and your readers, will be able to notice the publishing gaps between posts. I'm sure you can see this phenomenon in this blog!
Unfortunately, your readers won't understand how busy you've been. To them you've just been a bit quiet, or even neglectful.
What you need is an alternative to writing a post
I want to let you know there's no need to worry about this. Writing a post can sometimes be a bit of an ordeal, especially if you have that nagging feeling behind your head reminding you that you haven't written anything for a while.
In fact, sitting looking a blank screen without any ideas can be demoralising, not to say mind destroying! You can watch what little inspiration you had slowly eking away...
Regardless of whether you've run out of motivation after a massive blog run, or requiring a huge effort to wake up your writing muscles again, you need to know there's always an alternative to writing on the horizon.
Let's look at the ordeal of blog writing
Updating your blog can sometimes feel like a chore. It shouldn't be, of course, but you need to think of a topic your readers would like to read. Then you need to do some extra research to pad out your idea to make your post long enough.
Once you've finished this, then you've got to plan your post. Draft an outline to give it some structure. Make sure there is a suitable beginning, middle and end. This is supposed to make the process easier, as well as help you towards that all important first paragraph summary that hopefully makes the reader read on.
Then there's the angst of composing the headline. You know this needs to be attractive and enticing to encourage your readers to click on it. You write many versions, agonise over them for a while, and abandon them all in despair.
Commenting takes away these decisions
There's no need to worry about which subject to write about when you comment. This has already been taken care of by the 'host post'. All you need to do is to respond to what is on offer in an appropriate manner.
Planning your comment takes very little time compared to writing a full blown blog post. All you need is to understand the main structure:
- starting with an acknowledgement or confirmation introduction
- the main area which consists of your opinion or provides added value that can make a difference
- a closing paragraph that sums everything up and draws attention to the bigger picture
And you have no need to worry about a headline. This particular encumbrance should have been successfully accomplished by the post's author, suitably providing an alternative to writing your own.
Relax your writing style
Writing a comment works better if you are free to provide your own insight into the subject. Adapt this into sharing a story or explaining an anecdote. In fact doing this can make a big difference as to whether people read it or not. Everybody loves a story, especially if they can relate it to their own experiences.
Think of commenting as a written way of expressing an opinion. Write this in a conversational style, as if you were transcribing what you would have said if you were able to. In the absence of recording your comment, this style is a great alternative to writing that reaches out to many more people.
Use commenting to share your tips and offer advice. How can this help make a difference to someone else's life? Answer a question with a suitable solution. Establish yourself as the go-to-expert in your field by coming across as friendly and approachable. Become an influencer for that topic by providing value and sense.
Commenting is easier than blog writing
There is so much more expectation in writing a blog than in commenting. It's not just the fact that you have to write more in a post, but what you say has to be in greater depth and explore the subject more detail.
However, a comment has to be a lot more than just a few words. Those 'one-liners' are not suitable, neither are they helpful nor do they contribute properly to the conversation. And that's what commenting is – it's all about continuing the conversation started within the blog post.
As long as you can write a minimum of three sentences (which isn't very much), you will have easily written a decent comment. This is the perfect alternative to writing "Nice post!" or scrawling a brief repeated acknowledgement of what the author said.
Build up trust and loyalty
Save the time taken to sit scratching your head and worrying about writing a blog post by writing some comments instead. You'll probably have found you've written the same amount, but more effortlessly and enjoyably.
Find posts within your niche or written by influencers, and read what they have written thoroughly before you reach for the comment box. If you are able to set up a feed so you know immediately when they've published, you could be one of the first to comment. This is a great way of drawing attention to yourself for the right reasons.
Regularly commenting on these blogs, and providing value and sense, will soon get you noticed. Showing your loyalty in this way will help build trust in you and what you do. This can be very useful to get promotional help and invitations for guest posts.
Think about how much you write
Commenting may be an alternative to writing a blog post, but it doesn't give you carte blanche to write War & Peace within the comment box. Even though there may be many commenters are who are unable to think of anything worth-while, there are still some over-enthusiastic readers who will happily give you their life story!
Remember, as a commenter, you are invited to express your opinion on that blog. This should not be abused. You need to respect the subject, honour the author and be mindful of other readers. It isn't your right to comment, especially if it is unsuitable.
And if you suddenly get the urge to write the equivalent of a full blown post as a comment, stop. Here's that blog post that had been evading you at the beginning! Transfer it over and rewrite a précis for the comment. Commenting is a great way of summarising what you could write in your own blog.
Could you see commenting as an alternative to writing posts?
A comment is a place to strike up a conversation, ask or answer questions, build relationships with blog author and readers, and show your human side and that you care. It is also somewhere to fill in any gaps, correct anomalies or make helpful suggestions.
Remember, the same criteria of good writing practice still applies to comments as well as blog posts. This means writing meaningful sentences, focusing on good spelling and grammar, and providing short paragraphs to aid faster reading.
The art of commenting provides good practice for succinct, coherent and summarised writing. Do you have the skill to pack what you want to say within a few well chosen sentences? The more you comment, the better you will get at doing this.
What do you think?
Now it's your turn to have your say. Let me know in the comment box below what you think about commenting being an alternative to writing blog posts. Do you think you could do this? Could being aware of this make you a better writer? Have you ever been in a similar situation?
We would love to hear from you!