101 points that help you to improve your commenting focus
This list will maintain your commenting focus by stimulating new ideas and reminding you of the importance of commenting.
Enjoy! And let me know what you think of it in the comments below!
1. A comment is a response or reaction to what you’ve just read
You’ve just read an excellent post. So excellent, you want to express how you felt about it. I could have inspired you, made you think differently, or opened your eyes to a new concept.
Maybe you agreed with the content, or not at all! Perhaps you related to it with a past experience you had. Whatever it was, your reaction is a response to what you’ve just read.
If the opportunity is available, you will want to express what you feel by writing a comment underneath the post. This is what this post is all about.
2. A comment is the opposite to silent acknowledgement
There are many people who read content on the Internet and do nothing about it. They may be inspired, etc (see above), but they pass by the incident without any reaction.
They may nod in agreement, chuckle to themselves, or smile contentedly at the screen. But none of this will be picked up by the post’s author, as they cannot see the reaction their post has had on the reader.
The right commenting focus allows the reader to express that reaction verbally. A written acknowledgement. Responding with words. A literal contribution everyone can see.
3. A comment could also be seen as a post review
Plenty of people are willing to review books they’ve read, especially on places like Amazon. Why can’t other forms of posts on the Internet receive the same treatment?
A comment is your opportunity to say what you think of what you’ve just read. Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. The author would be so pleased to know.
Sometimes comments are the only way an author knows whether what they are doing is right, whether it works or not, or if they need to go back to the drawing board.
4. Comments should be meaningful, worth reading and full of value
Comments are also read as well as the main text. People are interested in finding out what other people think. It fulfils their nosey desires and satisfies their curiosity.
Therefore make sure that your commenting focus is about writing a comment that is worth reading. It needs to be full of useful stuff, be easily understood and appeal and attract to whoever reads it.
Comments should contain as much juicy content as the post itself. And be written in the same style that suits its readers. Anything else will just get ignored or forgotten.
5. Good writing, spelling and grammar sets a comment apart from spam
Bloggers across the land constantly get terrible comments. It’s so disheartening to open the comment folder and find a load of worthless and rubbish contributions ready for the delete button.
This phenomenon is becoming all the more common. Readers don’t make an effort when writing a comment. They think any old stuff will do, as long as they actually write something.
However, any terrible delivery of an opinion will receive the same fate: treated as spam. If such despicable examples manage to pass through the moderation systems, they will soon get short shrift from the author as well.
6. People welcome constructive, supportive and positive comments
Whenever an author sees there’s a comment waiting for them to review, they receive a happy jolt. Eagerly they go in to investigate what someone has written about their post. It’s like having a present outside of Christmas.
Therefore finding a worthy comment is extremely gratifying. They proudly publish it, and review it with admiration underneath the post it is attributed to.
This is why readers need to know why comments are so important. Also that they need to be written well, contain valuable information and should suitably enhance the post.
7. Comments need to be enthusiastic, polite and forthcoming
There are too many people out there who fail to take commenting seriously. They see it as a vehicle for being either horrible, argumentative or just plain rude.
Stop and think about the recipient. How would they feel about getting a comment? If it was enthusiastic, polite and forthcoming, wouldn’t that be a much nicer thing to receive?
Commenting should be a positive pursuit. A chance to say something really constructive and helpful. Your commenting focus should offer something that would make the post author’s day.
8. Comments should add value to enhance the post’s content
Both the commenter and the author will benefit if the comment is able to provide value to both the post and the readers who read it.
Added value can come in many forms. Helpful tips that enhance the post’s subject. Answering a question posed by the post. Correcting a misconstrued mistake so everybody knows the truth.
Your commenting focus should be to increase how the post is viewed by its readers and the search engines. Provide something everyone can benefit from, and which ultimately is indexed for the right keywords.
9. Comments should be helpful by filling in knowledge gaps
If you want your post to get comments, avoid including absolutely everything in your content. If there is nothing the reader can add to enhance your post, they won’t bother leaving a comment.
I suffer from this. There is this desperate need to make sure all the necessary information is included. Whereas if I left some stuff out, or divided what I’ve learned into multiple posts, it would make it easier for my readers to think which of their own facts they could add.
Your readers need to feel comfortable in contributing. Let them feel able and worthy to add to the list. Ask for extra items to fill in the gaps, and your readers will then be more likely to comment.
10. Comments allow you to express opinions or points of view
There is nothing more disconcerting than being inspired to leave a comment, only to find the blog has closed its commenting section. It’s like the author doesn’t care what their readers think or isn’t interested in what they have to say.
Readers’ points of view are extremely valuable. Everybody is entitled to have an opinion, and to express it near the source of that inspiration. Comments are the prefect place to let off steam, show appreciation or set the world to rights.
Authors should welcome any point of view. As long as it isn’t detrimental or slanderous, there is no reason why it cannot be published. And responded to in the most appropriate manner.
There are nearly 12,000 words in this post.
Do you have time to read all of this?
This is a very full post, packed to the gills with valuable information. But unless you have time to put the kettle on for a cuppa to read this all in one go, wouldn't it be better if you could download a pdf version to read later?
11. Disagreeing comments require justification and backed up evidence
As I said above, everybody is entitled to have an opinion. And there will be posts that contain content you don’t agree with. So go ahead and write an opposing comment, as long as you do it the correct way.
Contrary comments are good for a blog. They show it has a diverse readership with their own minds. These in turn can spark discussions around the subject. This is entertaining for other readers and stimulating for the search engines.
Try to back up your argument with facts and figures, or refer to another source to justify your observation. This will put your comment in a more positive light, and make it more likely to get published.
12. Comments can ask for clarification or equally clear up a matter
Another commenting focus tip is to leave your comment open by asking a question. Doing this allows others to contribute as well, which is good for all concerned.
Questions can request more information to make a concept more understandable. Or act as a continuation of the conversation to ensure your comment gets a reply.
And the author should end their post with a question to encourage more comments. Ask for the readers’ opinions, to fill in the knowledge gaps, or to contribute an extension to the post that could benefit others.
13. Comments should spark discussions that encourage others to join in
Comments should not be one-sided conversations. However, most of them are, because they fail to be written in such a way to encourage others to join in, thus creating a discussion.
A comment should at least provoke an answer from the author. If that answer cultivates others to respond, then this is an added bonus. It does depend, of course, on the readers the author has managed to attract in the first place.
Discussions in the commenting area reveal the social proof of the author, and popularity of the blog or social media account. Popularity will be instantly attractive to other readers, which in turn results in more comments, which hopefully will develop into discussions.
14. Comments that tell relatable stories are much more appreciated
Everybody loves a story. We have been conditioned to like them since we were children. And this medium fails to stop in adulthood if the style and content is good enough.
The stories that succeed the best are those which the readers can relate themselves to it. If they can imagine themselves in the story, or can envisage the antics happening to them, then suddenly the story becomes interesting.
If a commenter wants to refer to himself, the best way to do this is via a relatable story. This way he will guarantee an audience, and more success in getting his message across.
15. Comments shouldn’t be directionless, and ideally have a purpose
One of the symptoms of spam is directionless, meaningless and irrelevant comments. They are delivered with little thought, inappropriate content and too many links.
Alternatively, comments that say very little, and appear only to be noises for the sake of it, can also be construed as spam. The best comments are the ones that have an obvious purpose, as long as it is relevant to the post it is attributed to.
Your commenting focus is to think what you want to achieve by commenting. Is it to add value to the post? Show your appreciation? Spread some knowledge? Spark a discussion? Draw attention to yourself for the right reasons?
16. Comments should not be lengthy, rambling or go off subject
Remember, as a commenter, you have been invited to respond to the post in question. As such a guest, it is polite to mind your manners and respect the commenting rules.
Thus your comment should not be longer than the post itself. Especially if it full of woolly and useless facts. And especially if it doesn’t keep to the main subject presented by the post.
If your commenting focus is to write a huge amount about the topic broached by the author, take your ideas and write a post of your own. There you can write to your heart’s content, without upsetting another author’s feelings.
17. Comments should not consist of single words or short sentences
Contrary to the point above, writing not enough in a comment is also a cardinal sin. And this is frequently committed by readers who can’t be bothered to write a suitable response.
There is no use in receiving a single worded answer. Nobody benefits from it. It has no place under the post, and can be construed as an insult to the author’s hard work writing the post.
This also applies to a few words or an incomplete sentence. It has no purpose, little respect, and is considered to be just a ‘noise’ for the sake of it. Its fate is a move for the delete button.
18. Comments should never be meaningless or irrelevant
Relevance plays a large factor your commenting focus. A comment that goes on about another subject is just plain rude. It shows the reader hasn’t bothered to read the post, or is definitely a spammer.
The author has spent time in writing their post. They have probably undertaken research to clarify their subject. So to receive a comment that speaks of another subject entirely is irritating, annoying and obnoxious.
If you want your comment to be published, focus on what is being written about, and don’t stray from the content’s path. Going off at a tangent may happen in social media, but it’s not tolerated in blog comments.
19. Commenters should always read the post thoroughly first
Reading the post thoroughly is a requisite that is not often carried out. We live in a time-poor world, and skim reading posts is commonplace. Even with subheadings and captioned images to help, the main message is not always understood properly.
This also includes reading the comments that are already there. This stops you from needlessly repeating what other readers have written, which can make you look foolish as well as lazy.
Taking the time to properly read the post before commenting results in much better responses. And delivering well constructed, meaningful and helpful comments can benefit everyone.
20. Never use comments to trash the author or the post’s subject
This is pure trollism. And I suggest this is a practice you should avoid. It isn’t pleasant, friendly or useful, and nobody will like you because of it.
And yet there are plenty of people who think this is OK. I met a girl on the train who said her uncle did this when he was bored. What a sad life he must have to resort to this behaviour.
Nobody is high and mighty enough to play God when it comes to commenting. Your commenting focus should be on being constructive, appreciative and positive, always.
21. Avoid commenting as a sounding post to attract attention
There are ways and means to attract attention to yourself. And if you want to use commenting to do this, you need to know exactly the correct way to go about it.
The method should be totally altruistic. Give before you receive. Think how you can help others first. Provide a really good impression before even attempting to talk about yourself.
Commenting is a way of showcasing your expertise, as long as you use this to benefit others. And mentioning yourself should be done through an anecdote or story, as long as it’s relevant to the post’s subject.
22. Comments are not a vehicle for business or self-promotion
Those who write about their businesses in comments are usually spammers. This self-centred attitude of contributing towards a post is not tolerated by both the author and the moderating systems.
If you want to use your commenting focus to refer to your business, write about how your services solve problems or or your products benefit people, rather than blurbing on about its features. This shows tact and respect, especially if relevant to the post’s subject.
Another trait of spammers is to litter the comment with links back to their websites. If you are adept at commenting, you won’t need to do this to encourage people to find out more about what your business provides.
23. Comments help provide valuable feedback
Blogging can be a lonely experience, especially if you get very little comments. ‘Tis the same on social media, especially if you churn out lots of content and images and nobody replies.
How will you know what you’re doing is satisfactory to your readers or followers? Ask them to let you know in their comments; their feedback will help guide you in the right direction.
Feedback via your comments enables you to produce quality content your readers will want to read. So remember to do the same to others in your own comments, they will really appreciate it.
24. Comments encourage popularity, resulting in more comments
A blog or an update with lots of comments will always attract attention. If everybody is commenting there, it must contain fantastic content that is worth reading and commenting on.
So a well frequented and commented on blog or social media profile will ultimately draw in more commenters. The aim is to provide content everybody is interested in, and presented in such a way so people definitely want to comment on it.
This popularity is guaranteed to increase your following or readership. It is also attractive to the search engines, which are programmed to assume popular content is worth indexing.
25. Comments provide social proof
Following on from the popularity point above, the more comments you receive, the more social proof you get. Ensure everybody is reading each update you make, and then commenting on it.
If you are canny, you could use this popularity to your advantage. Get seen as the go-to expert in your field. Gain influential status which places you in a higher zone within the web.
Frequent visitors that regularly comment stimulate the search engines to increase your domain authority and search rankings. And this can happen if you frequently comment on relevant blogs too.
26. Comments encourage a friendly reader environment
If a reader feels they understand you through your posts and updates, and they are comfortable within your blog or social profile, they will be more likely to comment.
Commenting from regular readers will spark discussions amongst themselves. It is incredibly gratifying to see your readers have been happily conversing with each other on your space, even when you’re not there!
Use your commenting focus to cultivate a safe haven for your readers and followers. Offer a series of talking points, ask questions or make controversial statements. And get your friends to help you as well.
27. Commenting makes you read more
If you are going to write a good comment, it’s a good idea to be well acquainted with what you’re going to comment about. Therefore taking the time to read the content thoroughly is an absolute necessity.
If you want to take advantage of your commenting focus, you will be trawling around the web looking for good content to comment on. This means you will read much more than normally, so schedule time for this.
Make a list of good blogs or social groups. Subscribe to the RSS feeds if you can, or use a feed reader to be notified of good content whenever it is published. Being the first to comment is always a good move too.
28. Commenting turns you into an altruist
I’m sure you’ve heard of the old adage: “Give in order to receive”. Well this also applies to commenting. If you want more comments, get out there and start commenting yourself.
There are many good reasons for frequently commenting on relevant posts and updates. Helping people by spreading your expertise gets you noticed for the right reasons. It can also increase your domain authority of your own blog or website.
Regularly ‘turning up’ to comment on people’s blogs or updates is great for creating social relationships. This can lead onto guest posting and many other business opportunities that could benefit everyone.
29. Commenting continues the conversation
This is all part of getting to know your regular readers and followers. Which is important with making social relationships leading onto beneficial business or other transactions.
Commenting is essentially a continuation of the conversation started in the blog or update. It is important to use a conversational style that matches the author and other commenters too.
Being conversational will instantly make your more relatable, approachable and friendlier. People are much more likely to reply to you, which could develop into interesting discussions.
30. How commenting provides an acceptable link back to your blog
It’s important to be careful here. If your commenting focus is to get more visitors to your blog or website, you need to know how to do this properly within your comments.
Avoid peppering your comments with links, as this is what spammers do. In fact direct links in comments are usually frowned upon. The idea is to provide added value in your comment to make people want to find out more about you and what you do.
You submit your link with your contact details. Your link therefore goes behind your name in the comment. A useful tip is to link to a post or sales page that is totally relevant to the post’s subject. This gives you more kudos with the search engines.
31. Commenting lets you practice or show off your writing skills
Proper or good commenting is actually an art. It requires practice to become really good at it. Therefore the more you comment, the better you will get, not to mention the other benefits that go with it.
This is particularly so if you want to be accepted as a guest blogger on an influential blog. Consistent and relevant commenting will draw attention to you, and if your writing is good, the authors will notice this too.
However, remember not to write too much. Comments that are longer than the post can be deemed detrimental to the author. Your commenting focus is to know how much to say that really matters in an optimum space.
32. Comfortable readers are more likely to comment
It’s all about forming social relationships with your readers or followers. And it will certainly help if you are able to find out about them, so you understand them better and can provide what they want.
Your blog should be like a reader’s safe haven. Your social profiles should be welcoming and contain friendly content. You need to know what is acceptable and where the boundaries are.
Allow your readers and followers into your space. Use the same language and words that they use. Embrace similar topics and conversational styles. Be prepared to make sacrifices to totally focus on your commenters.
33. A conversational commenting style is more likely to be read
Commenting is continuing the conversation started in the post or update. Therefore you need to adopt a conversational style of writing to make it more relatable and understandable to everyone involved.
Generally a conversation is a friendly affair. It is forthcoming, interested in the other person, even willing to offer gossip and other interesting things. There is nothing wrong with writing conversational comments on any platform or format.
Writing in a conversational style makes comments so much easier to read. The language is freer, unconstrained, devoid of rules that makes your writing stilted, dry and boring. Definitely it’s time to leave your corporate style and jargon at home.
34. Ask for comments to get more from your readers
Not every reader of your posts or updates will feel inclined to automatically leave a comment. There will be many who will be content to read it and then pass on by.
But the simple act of leaving a call to action at the end of your post or update, merely as a question to ask for comments, can produce better results than none at all.
Sometimes people just need to be reminded, inspired or cajoled into commenting. Make it easier for them by offering examples, or even a controversial statement to stimulate a response.
35. Find out more about the author before commenting
This is important if you want to get in the good books with the post’s author. Especially if you want to comment in order to get noticed for some potential guest blogging.
If you made the effort to spend a few minutes reading the author’s other posts, or taking a look at their social media profiles and recent updates, then you would be in a better position to make a meaningful comment.
If you can prove you’ve done a bit of research first, not only will this prevent you looking a fool if you get something wrong, but this is more likely to get your comments published and you noticed for future interaction.
36. Use the author’s name in your comment
This is a very simple thing to do. And the result can be very effective. And yet not every commenter can be bothered to make the effort to find out and use the author’s name in their comment.
Add their name as a greeting at the beginning, or in the middle for more emphasis. It will make your comment far more friendly and noticeable. Seeing their name will warm the author towards you as a commenter.
Marketers use this tactic within their sales content. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it. So there’s no reason why you should adapt your commenting focus to do the same when responding to an excellent post or update.
37. Comments should contain information that benefit others
A comment that is most likely to get published is one that contains added value. This could probably make it stand head and shoulders above the other comments.
If this added value makes a difference to the other people’s lives, by solving a problem or answering a question, then this extra bonus will have made the comment worthwhile.
Comments need to have a purpose, and the more successful ones will have helped someone in some way. Altruism is a powerful trait that, when used correctly, can make all the difference to your commenting focus.
38. Comments should expose your expertise for the common good
If you comment properly, you will know one worthy factor would be to fill in the knowledge gaps to help others. Offer your expertise to answer a question or solve a problem.
This could be done by agreeing with the post, and enhancing it with extra valuable information. Or you could disagree with the subject, and tactfully correct the situation with your specialist knowledge.
Commenting allows you to showcase what you know to an extended audience other than your own blog or social profiles. If done correctly, this can have a massive effect for improving the publicity for what you’re really good at.
39. Commenting forms relationships with authors and their readers
Think of commenting as a form of networking that could increase your contacts. There are plenty of new people you could impress that also read the posts and social updates you read.
Therefore, make sure where you comment contains the right kind of audience you want to notice you. The subject matter and the information you share needs to be totally relevant to both them or your cause.
Relationships are best formed through conversation. And commenting is the perfect for this. However, forming relationships is not a quick fix, and work better over time, eg lots of frequent and relevant commenting.
40. Comments allow you to explore subjects on a different level
Conversational commenting obviously consists of more than a few words. Use it to encourage discussions where a lot more can be said within the responsive thread.
Discussions are great for looking at greater depth within a particular topic. Spurring responses from your follower commenters can get quite exciting, and many scenarios can be introduced and dealt with along the way.
The comment that immediately stops a conversation dead isn’t helpful. Open them up to gain others’ opinions, insights, observations, thought process – whatever makes the conversation flow.
41. Comments that use the post’s keywords help with SEO
You need to know that search engine spiders cannot differentiate between content in the post or update, and what is within the comment. It is all the same to them.
Content is content. And if it all contains the relevant keyword the post is optimised for, then this is an added bonus, and therefore highly indexible.
Try and work out what the main SEO keyword or phrase is in the post, and see if you can slip it into your comment for extra impact. The author will love you for this.
42. Comments are just as likely to get crawled as the post’s content
I mentioned above that spiders can’t tell the difference between the main post and the comments below it. It is all content that is ready to be crawled for indexing.
I’ve even known comments to be presented in search requests, because they offered the best match rather than the post’s content.
You don’t need to be an SEO expert to benefit from this. All you need to do is to write well, add in relevant keywords, and provide content the search engines will love.
43. Many comments encourage post indexing, due to popularity
Search engines are always looking for excellent content. And to them content that has a lot of readers, and especially a lot of interaction with it, must be because the content is worth indexing.
This isn’t always the case. Popular blogs aren’t always premium examples of good content. But what they do excel in is the ability to provide the kind of content people want to read and comment on.
If you want to get ahead with your commenting, analyse why the posts are so compelling, what kind of people comment and what they say. Then see if this could be adapted to benefit your writing or comment style.
44. A comment that is relevant to the subject helps with SEO
There’s no need to be an expert in always including the optimised keywords from the post in your comment to benefit from the search engines.
But what you do need to be aware of is the relevance factor. This is extremely important to everyone: author, readers, other commenters, search engines and yourself.
Always be relevant within your comments. Not only does this prevent your comment from being seen as spam, it is instantly seen as meaningful and worthy to all who read it, as well as search engine indexing.
45. A relevant link connected to the comment may also get crawled
Search engine spiders are always looking for links to relevant content. Links are their portals to new material throughout the web. Therefore if the destination is as relevant as the source, this results in extra brownie points.
Think how relevant your URL is that you submit with your details when publishing your comment. Is your blog or website relevant? Is the page it goes to equally relevant to the post’s subject?
Pasting in your homepage URL may not be suitable. Which of your blog posts are more relevant to the author’s post’s subject? Use the best one as your link, because if it is visited by a spider, this could help boost your Domain Authority quite significantly.
46. Comments peppered with links are more likely to be seen as spam
Excessive link usage is what spammers do. They have no idea what good commenting practice is. Their purpose is to try and get someone to click on one of the links, so they can do as much mischief as possible.
As a result, comments that contain links tend to be eaten by spam blockers, severely moderated by blogs or ignored by authors. There is very little chance of these getting published.
The only link that is tolerated is the URL submitted with your details when you publish your comment. Check the point above about relevance, because this can also be a major factor when submitting a link.
47. Comments should be written with readers in mind
If you want your comment to be accepted, published and read, it’s important to bear in mind who you are writing it for. If it for the author, the other commenters or the readers?
Your commenting focus should not be purely for yourself. This one-sided attack will not be tolerated. Nobody likes people who drone on about themselves in a totally self-centred way.
Focus on who is going to read your comments, and write accordingly. Give them what they want to hear, know or expect. Wow them with something wonderful or unexpected. Make it worth their while.
48. Suitable, worthy and relevant comments are more likely to be published
If a comment contains value information that benefits all who read it, it is much more likely to be appreciated, accepted and published. But somehow this concept hasn’t managed to be understood by a lot of commenters.
Commenting is not a vehicle just to make a noise. There are so many ‘cop outs’ available for the time-poor, lazy or uninitiated. If you can only submit an emoji as a response at that moment, make time to return to comment properly later.
I often wonder what goes through the minds of commenters who submit a single word or useless sentence. Do they realised this is such a wasted opportunity? I see it as a waste of time and effort.
49. Comments should be written to encourage a reply
Commenting should be seen as continuing the conversation started by the post or update. You are responding to the author by showing your appreciation or enhancing the post with value information.
However, if you open up your comment to other people who read it, some may feel the urge to write a response. This is the beginning of a discussion, if you are able to manage it correctly.
Multiple comments and discussions make a post or update popular. Therefore carefully structured comments that encourage such interaction can have very beneficial results.
50. Comments with reasoned arguments are usually welcomed
Everybody is entitled to their point of view. Luckily we live in a country with free speech, and this is often transferred to the web. Authors should consider accepting these, as long as they are not detrimental, slanderous or just plain nasty.
If you want to write a comment that opposes the subject of a post or update, think carefully how you are going to present your argument. How will it be perceived by the author and other readers?
Try to provide proof, examples, evidence or other similar material to back up your point of view. Any reasoned arguments makes your comment instantly more interesting rather than something that purely disagrees for the sake of it.
51. Comments with questions tend to receive replies with answers
If you want to receive a reply to your comment, you need to put the effort in first. One of the best and simplest ways of getting a response is to ask for one.
Another is to leave a question in your comment. Anyone who knows the answer will respond to it. Make sure it is an open question and not a closed one that warrants only a Yes or a No.
As long as you ask nicely and phrase the question so it is easily understood and not misconstrued, someone will answer it soon enough.
52. If you can’t think of anything worthy, don’t bother commenting
This is about the many comments I regularly see that fail to be constructive or meaningful in any way. The web is peppered with them, especially on blogs.
These usually consist of one word or an unconstructed sentence. They may repeat what has already been said. They could even be as minimal as a like or an emoji.
You will find this all over social media, but comments like this on blogs benefit no-one. That’s why I say if you can’t think of anything suitable to say, don’t bother.
53. Commenting should not be used just to make a noise
Commenting is about continuing the conversation started in the post or update. It’s also about helping people, showing appreciation, showcasing expertise, providing added value, answering questions or forming relationships.
No so for bitty, useless and worthless comments. They are just noise. Little burps, blips or farts added onto the bottom of posts or updates by people who can’t be bothered to think of anything sensible to say.
They are a waste of time for everybody concerned. Sometimes they can be downright annoying. As they cannot be published, all they do is feed the delete button.
54. Acknowledge the subject before disagreeing in your comment
I think it’s good to be brave enough to disagree with the post or update in your comment. It shows you aren’t afraid to have an opinion, or express your point of view.
However, to prevent any turbulence before you start, it’s only polite to acknowledge the subject and the author’s hard work before you begin writing your opposing thoughts.
And, of course, you will have to hand a series of facts or examples to draw upon to bolster your arguments. This helps to eliminates hard feelings and lessens the disappointment that not everybody agrees with the post or update.
55. Always be mindful of others when you comment
It’s a good idea to put yourself in the author’s shoes so you understand where they are coming from when they wrote their post or update. Understanding both sides of the fence will make you a better commenter.
So when you present your opinion, or argue your case against the subject, you will be able to do so in a more considered, acceptable manner. Much better than weighing in with all guns blazing.
Make an effort to find out a bit about the author first before you present your point of view. Once you understand them, their blog or social profile, and the message or aim behind what they do, you’ll be in a better place to write a more suitable comment.
56. Comment your views in a tactful and insightful manner
One trait about commenting, is that it’s a spontaneous action. It’s usually a reactionary activity. You read something, and then you explode positively or negatively, according to your feelings.
Therefore it is worth minding your commenting focus and think carefully first before you start to write. Weigh up all sides of the matter. View all sides. Do some research to back up your argument.
Reading the post or update thoroughly will help you greatly. Reading and thoroughly editing your comment may save your face. Commenting should not be a rushed affair. It requires proper thought, consideration and purpose.
57. Comments should not be used to cause trouble
Do you really want to act like a troll? Do you take pleasure in upsetting others or writing unpleasant observations about people? Are you a specialist in finding fault or winning arguments?
If so, then we’re not interested in you. Leave this post immediately! Comments should not be used as a vehicle to spread dissent, hate and total nastiness.
And yet, you see it everywhere. Since there isn’t enough enforced prevention, many unfortunates carry on regardless. However, you don’t have to copy what is bad, your commenting focus should only be directed to good practice.
58. Avoid writing a comment in anger or frustration
There will be many times when you are upset by a post or update. A point of view may anger you, or someone’s observation or techniques may be just plain wrong!
Whatever your reaction, stop! There’s no need to immediately pour all your thoughts into a comment! Take time out to reflect, rant, cry, scream, or whatever helps.
If you still want to comment, write it elsewhere first. Sometimes getting it off your chest can be cathartic. Once you’ve taken time out, then go back and edit it extensively when you’re in a better mood. Only then will you be able to submit it, if necessary.
59. Avoid extending your comment’s argument for the sake of it
A trait of trolls is exasperating arguments so other people get really worked up and upset. They delight in this. It gives them kicks. They will purposely fuel the flames to keep it going.
Avoid becoming a commenter like this. It won’t do you any favours. Upsetting people like this is not a way to create a discussion. It is also very distressing for the other readers and commenters, who may be put off from visiting the blog again.
Both authors and commenters should learn to accept disagreements without getting worked up about it. State your point of view and leave it at that. Stick to your guns if you know you’re right, without the need to prove it continuously.
60. Commenting allows you to show your personality
If you’re a good writer, you’ll be able to show off your personality if you write in a conversational style. This is one way to get people to relate to you.
Another way is to confess your vulnerabilities, reveal your foibles, and stop trying to come across as perfect. Work out what the other commenters and readers are like, and see if you can adapt yourself to fit in.
Your personality will also shine through if you are real with your altruism. Show delight in helping people, share good anecdotes and be as positive and constructive as you can.
61. Comments with the same perspectives are more relatable
To get your comments read and appreciated, it’s a good idea to adapt your commenting focus so that they become as relatable as possible with the other readers.
Look and analyse the other comments. Does their style match the original post or update? Is this something you could emulate? Or even so slightly improve upon so your comment stands out above the others?
Remember to talk about the same subjects as the post/update and other commenters. Avoid sticking out like a sore thumb by getting it wrong or being entirely different.
62. Commenters should refer to themselves through stories and anecdotes
One of the worst things a commenter can do is to go on endlessly about themselves. This is like getting stuck in conversation with a boring person at a party.
Falling into the trap of banging on about yourself means not only does your comment become instantly dull, but you run the risk of going off a a tangent to the subject or topic. This is also what spammers do.
If you want to say something relating to you, try and weave it within a story or anecdote. Everybody loves to read an interesting and relevant story. This is also similar to gossip, and we all love a bit of that!
63. Commenters should know where the boundaries and limits are
A typical trait of a troll is they are unable to understand how far to go. In fact they purposely go further than they should, to get the results they crave.
Your commenting focus should include analysing the nature of the post or update’s subject matter. Think carefully about the tone set by the author and other commenters, and keep within the set perimeters.
Avoid blundering down a particular path before it’s too late and you’ve embarrassed yourself. This is why it’s important to thoroughly read everything first, and carefully check and edit your comment before submitting it.
64. Commenters need to avoid misinterpretation
It’s important to understand the underlying context of the post or update and what its message is, or what it stands for, before attempting to write their comment.
I have come across many comments that have become irrelevant, because they haven’t bothered to fully comprehend what’s going on, or failed to grasp the common meaning.
This has probably arisen because the commenter hadn’t read the post or update properly. Skim reading may seem efficient, but the result could be vitally important bits are missed that could make a huge difference to the final contribution.
65. Commenting promotes self-confidence
Commenting is a spontaneous action. It usually stems from the commenter’s desire to express what they think. They’ve read something that sparks the need to respond.
However, the more you comment, the easier it becomes. Newbie commenters often lament how difficult and time consuming it is. And yes, it is at first, until you get the hang of it.
React to the answer that pops into your head after you’ve read something good. It’s not a good idea to bottle it up, or dismiss it from your mind. Get it out there, so others can benefit from it as well.
66. Comments benefit from thinking and editing
I wonder how many commenters have rued what they have written? Unlike a Facebook comment, which is usually dashed off in a trice, a blog comment cannot be edited once it’s been submitted.
Therefore your commenting focus requires taking the time to really think about what you’re going to say. Have you included everything that’s needed in it? How does it come across to others who read it? Is your tone of voice acceptable?
Similar to stopping yourself from commenting in anger or frustration, it’s best to structure your comment. Important ones may benefit from being written first elsewhere. And of course all comments benefit from scrupulous editing before submission.
67. Comments that repeat others contribute little value
You can always spot the commenters who haven’t read the other comments before the submit their own. They are the ones that repeat what’s already been said, because they haven’t taken the time to think of something different.
Commenting is not something that is done in a hurry. Your commenting focus requires time and thought to do a good job. Everything needs to be read, not just the post or update in question.
Once all the information has been gathered, then form a different approach. What’s not been mentioned? What knowledge is missing and can you provide it? What difference can you make that would draw the right kind of attention to you?
68. Comments should keep to one point at a time
Enthusiastic commenters sometimes get the better of themselves and leave over-long responses. Rambling and lack of focus belies a haphazard mind, which results in a poorly written comment.
You want to get your message across to other readers quickly, easily and efficiently. Therefore pouring absolutely everything into your comment is not a good idea. Multiple points within once comment can be confusing and difficult to understand.
The answer is to focus on one point only. If you have more, write a separate comment for each one. If you have many points to raise, why not write a blog post of your own, and then tell the author about it?
69. Commenting should use similar vocabulary
This is all about getting the author and other readers to relate to you and what you have to say. You need to analyse and understand the level of the post/update, the author and the readers and commenters.
If you use the same words as the other people who visit the blog or social platform, you will have a much greater chance of being understood, appreciated and appropriately responded to.
Commenters that stray from the path with jargon, corporate speak or unintelligible content will fail in their task. Their comment is much more likely to get ignored or, worse, unpublished.
70. Comments should try to lessen negative reactions
Sometimes you may want to offer a contrary response in your comment. A tip would be to present your argument as a question. This would lesson the negative reactions other readers may have.
A question opens up the situation to many interpretations. How the question is phrased will depend upon the kind of replies you’ll get. Keep it open to prevent a yes or no response.
Also the kind of words used will have a bit impact. Think carefully what may exasperate bad feelings, how can things be explained better, and be aware of the kind of readers the post or update may attract.
71. First comments set the standard for other commenters
There are many advantages to being the first to comment on a blog or update. Yours is the first comment everybody reads, and therefore sets the scene for any that follow.
Being the first comment means you call the shots. Your opinion is stated before others, meaning it can only be approved, appreciated or even disagreed with. Anyone who repeats it needs to express themselves in a different way.
If you are able to break the commenting duck, others may then feel inclined to follow suit. There is safety in numbers, especially if the first comment is sufficiently well written and may even spark a discussion.
72. Comments should avoid containing unsuitable jargon
Nobody likes a smart-arse. Especially if they spout forth a load of gobbledegook nobody understands or cares about. Even if this is valid, the boredom and disinterest it creates won’t do you any favours.
If you think including jargon and specialist language into your comment will make you look impression, think again! Comments are generally not a breeding ground for such a motive. The idea is to communicate with others, not put them off.
Unless the post or update contains a similar vocabulary, best keep well away from using difficult words. Notice the language used by the author and other commenters, and adapt your responses to follow suit.
73. Comments should communicate rather than preach
For the sake of repeating myself, comments continue the conversation started by the post or update with the author and other readers. And also note, conversation is a form of communication.
However, the comment box is not somewhere to spew out any irrelevant messages which are unconnected to the post or update. Sure, you may think what you write is helpful, but are you sure it is what others need to hear or would like to read?
Commenting is not a vehicle for self-promotion, but to show appreciation, offer relevant and constructive information, answer questions and fill in knowledge gaps, and generally any other altruistic characteristics.
74. Avoid getting too emotional or upset in your comments
Some readers may misunderstand or misinterpret a comment, especially if it is poorly written. This is why emojis are so frequently used, as proper communication through well chosen words has become a forgotten art.
The answer is to not take anything too seriously. Rather than rising to the bait, take time out to recover, and to try and work out what they really meant. In the cold light of day things probably won’t look so bad.
And avoid showing too much emotion in your comments. This is more likely to attract trolls, which could give you a hard time. The safest place to be emotional would be where you know there are empathetic readers who will respond accordingly.
75. Avoid commenting using uncompromising or unkind language
Take care to not turn into a troll, even if you didn’t set out to be one. Even a bit of minor trollism can be upsetting, unnecessary and inappropriate. Think carefully how what you say could be interpreted by others.
Curb your anger and never comment while under its influence. Keep your emotions under control, to avoid spitting vitriol and anything else unpleasant in the heat of the moment which you may regret later.
Your commenting focus should be for positive and constructive communication, even when disagreeing or offering contrary opinions. Therefore it’s worth taking the time to think carefully what you’re going to say, before putting together a well thought-through contribution that benefits everyone.
76. Avoid commenting something you may regret later
This all stems back to commenting with proper thought, enough time and in a suitable frame of mind. Commenting should not be done in a hurry, little consideration and without sufficient purpose or commenting focus.
Remember, once you’ve submitted your comment on a blog, it cannot be retracted and edited, like it can on social media. Even if you do this on Facebook or whatever, it has been live for enough time to get noticed, and on Twitter may never be sufficiently eradicated.
Take time to structure your comment in your mind before you write it. Have you included everything you need to say? Is it written well enough without spelling or grammatical mistakes? Is the meaning clear enough to avoid misunderstanding?
77. Other commenters are entitled to different ideas, feelings or opinions
We are lucky to live in a world with free speech. OK, some people take advantage of this and may spread dissension, hate and other horrible things. But commenting generally does allow people to express themselves and their opinions.
Luckily there are applications in place to eradicate the worst comments, but those that are well reasoned, well written and well thought-through should all have a place to be read or heard.
The best thing to do is to accept these, and use them to your advantage. They could spark discussions which, if moderated well, could become very interesting. And you could even be introduced to new concepts into the bargain.
78. Avoid rising to the bait if you’re offended by a comment
Never respond in anger or frustration. Curb your emotions in your written comments. Spontaneous reactions like this should be retained in private or with your family or closest friends.
The Internet is not always a friendly place. Trolls feed on emotion and anger. They are particularly good at exasperating the situation and fuelling the flames. And believe me, you will never win their arguments!
If you still need to comment, do so after writing is somewhere else first. Take time out to cool down and to get a better perspective of the situation. Then return to your comment and heavily edit it before submitting it in a better frame of mind.
79. Consider how your comment could be interpreted
People respond to comments in many ways. It all depends upon whether they’ve had a good or bad day, whether they’ve understood your words properly, how much of an expert they are with the subject, and even whether they’ve read your comment properly.
Similar to responding in anger or frustration, your commenting focus should be to take the time to stop, think, analyse, construct and carefully check your comments before submission. This could make a big difference to how others read, appreciate and understand them.
Vocabulary places an important part. Use the same words as the author and other readers, to make it easier for them to understand and relate to what you say. This reduces the changes of misinterpretation quite significantly.
80. Never assume all commenters are in tune with how you think
Similar to everyone being free to have their own thoughts, aspirations and points of view, not everybody will have the same opinions as you. And thank goodness, as otherwise the commenting world would be a dreadfully boring place!
Also, there’s no need to get upset if people express the opposite to what you think. The world thrives on variations, differences and alternatives to the norm. Embrace it, and see how you can gain advantage from this.
Whatever you write in your comments, not everybody will agree, or even sufficiently understand. But excellent writing, carefully chosen words to express your meaning and a proper commenting focus to get your message across will make the process more bearable.
81. Avoid being over ingratiating in your comments
This is a trait of spammers. Their main purpose is to get their comments accepted and published. Unfortunately, they think that by being super nice and complimentary to the post’s author will do the trick.
However, this actually has the opposite effect. Most of us to not respond to fawning and scraping in such a manner. It is extremely off-putting, and generally we can see right through this.
Avoid falling into the same trap. Sure, it’s good to show your appreciation about the excellent post you’ve just read, but don’t overdo it. There are other ways to express your satisfaction without being smarmy and annoying.
82. Avoid using empty, useless words in your comments
Comments that say nothing are next to useless. They are a waste of time. They are the equivalent to a fart in polite society: noisy, unnecessary and not appreciated.
It is not a question of “better out than in”. If you haven’t got anything constructive and valuable to say, don’t bother. Comments like these clutter up moderation queues and are a cruel blow to an author’s expectations.
This is particularly so for comments with single words, incomplete sentences, empty phrases, meaningless gestures and worthless points of view. In other words, these are no better than spam.
83. Remember to say what stimulated you to comment in the first place
This is a valuable feature for providing feedback on the post or update. It is a natural way of showing appreciation, and an excellent method for opening a comment combined with using the author’s name. Saying what made you want to comment is what every author wants to hear or read.
The Americans are experts at this. They are totally used to expressing what they think, and is probably a result of their ‘show and tell’ sessions at school, which encourages children to talk about things in the front of the class.
Usually the reason why you want to comment is at the forefront of your mind. So remember to say what it is before you forget it. It could be used to help structure the comment to make it more useful and worthwhile.
84. Comment to encourage other loyal commenters
A blog or social account that promotes a safe haven for their readers will usually have a regular following. The author needs to cultivate this space to encourage regular commenting on the subjects introduced there.
Lots of comments encourages others to comment as well. Popularity is always interesting to passers-by, and safety in numbers is attractive for the nervous. Everybody should be made to feel welcome, special and needed.
Therefore authors need to try and stimulate as many comments as possible to help their blogs and social updates reach bigger audiences. This will, of course, ultimately result in more commenters in the long run.
85. Commenting is a quicker option than writing a blog post
Writing a blog post can take quite a long time. (This particular post has taken me forever!) There is the process of finding the subject, doing the research, thinking of a good headline, constructing suitable content and forming a good call to action.
Whereas in a comment, there’s no need to worry about the subject, research, headline or even a suitable image. You are usually inspired by the post’s subject and can draw upon your own experiences to write the necessary content.
Commenting also instantaneously continues the conversation started by the post or update. Remember to include the relevant keywords to stimulate SEO, and you get to place yourself in front of a more diverse audience than you attract to your own blog.
86. Commenting relies on your knowledge and experiences
Since commenting is a spontaneous reaction to something you’ve read, you will probably responded with what first came into your head. The next stage would be to search further in your brain for relevant material to add to your content.
As long as it’s relevant, whatever value you can include in your comment will be better than those readers that don’t write anything, or those that produce nothing of significance. Even the stupidest of readers will have had some sort of experience they could draw on.
Nobody is devoid of knowledge. Everybody could have something to contribute if they bothered to dredge the bottom of their brains enough. As long as its relevant, you could include it in your comment. And thus by doing so, become a better commenter.
87. Commenting improves the more you practice
The more you comment, the better you will get at doing it. Many newbies complain they find it difficult to comment when they first start, but actually because they make an effort, they show great potential in their first attempts.
There may be formulae or cheat sheets available for commenting help, but these aren’t much compensation for consistent practice. You could also find good examples to learn from by analysing quality comments found on blogs you regularly visit.
Comment consistently, and you’ll soon get the hang of it. The benefits are you’ll soon get noticed, especially if you provide excellent, relevant content, and if the relevance continues in the submission links, this can help raise your blog’s Domain Authority as well.
88. Reply to comments that are useful and valuable
You will get a lot more credibility if you search out suitable posts, updates and comments that contain useful, valuable and relevant information so you can continue the conversation on them.
There is a lot of rubbish published in the web. Much of it doesn’t warrant a comment, so there’s no need to feel guilty if you aren’t inclined. But if you want to benefit more from your commenting focus, make an effort to look for quality to comment on.
Good material warrants a good response. Provide excellent comments and people will be more willing to reply. And vice versa – if you come across a superb example of a comment, match it with your response as well.
89. Remember to thank commenters for their efforts
It is a common courtesy to say thank you, especially if your readers have taken the trouble to comment on your post or update. Any author worth their salt should take the time and trouble to do this.
Showing appreciation in the right context can go a long way. It is all part of forming relationships with readers and other commenters, and making them feel comfortable to return and comment again.
It’s also all about noticing people for what they do. Acknowledging their efforts towards you. Because commenting on a post or update is a form of helping you, to increase your popularity and letting you know they approve of what you’ve written.
90. Accept negative comments as an alternative point of view
A blog that only publishes positive or conforming comments can tend to get a bit one-sided. Sometimes it smacks of cronyism, only accepting those that are nice, in agreement and containing little variance on the theme.
Whereas, a comment section that consists of multiple comments from all persuasions, suddenly becomes more interesting to read. Such as those that disagree, ask questions, have their own opinions, or whatever.
Whatever comments you get on your blog or social platform, consider them all as valuable feedback. The opposing ones can be interesting, and offer an alternative point of view. And if any spark a discussion, then that’s an added bonus.
91. Set boundaries with a commenting policy
Sometimes it’s a good idea to state your rules and personal preferences within a commenting policy when it comes to commenting. Especially for those readers who regularly comment on you blog.
Knowing where you stand helps with your commenting focus. Establishing some sort of commenting guide will make it easier for your readers and they will start to trust you more.
Let you readers know what’s acceptable. This is to preserve your reputation, especially if you value how you are perceived, writing both in your blog and when commenting elsewhere.
92. Encourage comments by giving more
Get more comments by providing what your readers want to read. Make it entertaining, informative or educational, something that benefits everybody.
You have to give something worthy of commenting in order to receive some back. Inferior content won’t warrant a response. Even badly written blogs and bitty, haphazard social updates provide enough satisfaction for their readers’ appreciation.
Also, consistently start commenting yourself. This will attract attention to yourself, and will encourage others to visit to read what else you have written. If they are suitably impressed, they will comment.
93. Comment where your ideal readers are likely to be
You may want to attract a particular kind of reader, or get an influencer to notice you. An example might be to win a guest posting opportunity on an influential blog to get in front of their readership.
Therefore start commenting where the right kind of person will read what you write. The aim is to get noticed and form some sort of professional relationship with them, so you can mutually benefit each other.
Ideally there should be a reason for your commenting focus, a purpose that fulfils your goals, a direction that helps you further your reputation or exposes your expertise.
94. Provocative comments can stimulate others to comment
One technique to get comments is to goad your readers into providing them. At the end of your post or comments, write a controversial sentence or provocative question which your readers cannot fail to respond to.
Most readers will need to be prompted to leave a comment. Not everybody jumps immediately into commenting mode, and even a suggestion or helpful example could encourage a comment when none would be forthcoming otherwise.
It is a shame that such stimulation is needed to get comments on your post or update. You could have written the most amazing content, which definitely demands comments, but not every reader will feel compelled to do so.
95. Do collaborative commenting on your friends’ posts
Another tactic to get comments is to do a swap with your friends. This is particularly a good idea to break the commenting duck. Once readers see there is already a comment under a post or update, they will then feel happier in leaving one of their own.
Set up a schedule with your friends to comment on each other’s posts as soon as they are written. Subscribe to each other’s RSS feeds so you know immediately when they next publish.
Or if you have a social networking group, allow your followers to share their latest posts, so that each of you can read and comment accordingly. This sort of friendship can be beneficial in many ways.
96. Commenting introduces you to more diverse audiences
The process of commenting in different places provides the opportunity of a much wider reach than your own blog or social platform can allow.
If you only publish your own blog posts, and share then diligently on your social platforms, this has a limited compass of attracting possible commenters. Whereas if you spread your writing prowess abroad a bit more, you’ll get in front of a much bigger audience.
The more you comment elsewhere, the most likely you will get seen by different people. And if you manage to impress them by setting a good example of how to comment, who knows what may come from this.
97. Commenting should never be rushed
For many social commenters, the process of commenting is a quick-fire process. They quickly read something and then rapidly submit something with very little thought or consideration.
Whereas proper commenting requires more considered thought to produce something that is worthy of being accepted, published and read. This is especially so if commenting is to showcase your expertise or establish your reputation.
Commenting should not be an afterthought. It needs to have a proper purpose to be part of your commenting focus; the reason why you find content on the web so that you can express your opinion when you’ve finished reading it.
98. Use commenting within your long-term marketing strategy
You will probably heard of content marketing strategies. Why not adapt your writing skills into a commenting marketing strategy in particular blogs for specific reasons to help further your business goals.
It’s much easier to consistently write comments than to think of new content on a regular basis. Comments require far less words, don’t rely on headlines for traction and can even benefit through increasing the SEO capacity of the host post.
A commenting marketing strategy can be accomplished by one person, as it doesn’t require hiring a load of copywriters, and there’s no need to ask people if you could publish your commenting content throughout the web.
99. Comment on influential blogs to draw attention to yourself
One way to get noticed for the right reasons is by consistent commenting. The more relevant, helpful and valuable commenting you provide, the authors will soon learn to recognise and welcome you to their blogs or updates.
Commenting does’t take up a lot of time, as there’s no need to write lots of content. All you need to get good at is knowing what to write that is relevant, providing added value and helping people along the way.
Remember relevance is key. And finding the right kind of venue to comment in. The more influential it is, the better it will be for you, especially if the author gets to know you well and can offer you business opportunities in the future.
100. Commenting teaches you to write in a small space
You have a relatively small space to comment in. Yes, I know it can expand indefinitely, but this is not necessary. The idea is to have your say promptly, succinctly and with clarity – but also a reasonable amount to make it worthwhile.
I learned précis writing when I was at school. I hated it, but it set me in good stead for condensing what I write into a restricted space. Commenting is like summary writing, but the commenting focus should be on quality, being helpful and having a positive attitude.
Successful commenting finds the goldilocks scenario of how much to write. Not too much, or too little, to create the best impact. Readers need to be entertained, not put off by a wall of writing, or unimpressed by a minimal contribution.
101. Only about 10% of readers comment
If you’re only getting about a tenth of your readers leaving a comment, that means there are a lot of readers who are never inclined, maybe too scared or can’t think of anything suitable to say.
And another surprising statistic is that of that 10%, only 1% of them will comment regularly on your blog. That is a tiny fraction, and definitely worthwhile cultivating into a relationship to keep them sweet.
Putting this into perspective, be thankful for any comments you get. Comments are a rarity. Value them as much as possible. That’s why you should be developing your commenting focus as much as you can, to keep the practice alive!
- How to use commenting to boost your reputation - 15 October 2020
- Understanding the purpose of engagement and commenting online - 14 October 2020
- The difference between proactive and reactive commenters - 23 September 2020