There may be plenty of blog readers and social media participants who hesitate when it comes to commenting.
This is particularly true on this side of the pond. Unlike our American cousins, who are overbrimming with confidence from an early age, us Brits take a step back when it comes to expressing our point of view.
So these people will need plenty of encouragement to have their say. Everybody is entitled, nobody is exempt. What is needed is the confidence to comment.
And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
1. I prefer to be a lurker
It's much easier to sit on the sideline in the shadows to watch what's going on, rather than participating in all the action. However, this is not laziness, but apprehension.
Confidence to comment needs to be worked on. Some people need to work up towards joining in. The ability to build up enough confidence is difficult after time out, when you've lost your bottle or are out of practise.
Lurking is all very well at the beginning, when you're learning the ropes. But avoid it taking over. It should not be an excuse once you're ready to have a go.
2. I don't know what to write
This isn't due to a lack of information. Quite often your brain will seize up when confronted with the desire or need to comment.
Take your time. Read the post carefully, and step away if nothing comes to mind immediately. Your brain will subconsciously answer the problem you've given it, and all you need to do is to relay it later.
A good comment doesn't have to be a thesis. Focus on a greeting, then the main point of view, and end with a summary. This will make your comments much better than the usual offerings.
3. My comment won't mean anything
This will depend on what you've got to say. Is your point of view relevant and meaningful? If so, it will be a much better offering than those who only say 'Nice post!'.
Everybody is entitled to their opinion. It's just having the confidence to comment about this that is the answer. What you write may mean a lot to some people, especially to the author of the post you are commenting about.
You will certainly find your comment does mean a lot to people, especially once they start to reply. It may spark of a discussion from those who agree or disagree, which can become quite good reading!
4. Nobody will care what I write
I bet you they will care. I suspect they will be overjoyed to receive your comment. Especially if you've taken the time to write it, and have filled it with relevance and value.
Your opinion will count for more than you realise. What you may consider to be a silly little point, may easily spark new thoughts within the reader. This is something they haven't considered, and will form a new frame for consideration.
There is no reason to hold back from putting across your point of view. Even if it's only an expression of appreciation, or thanking them for something you've learned. Every author will be very glad you made the effort, and gathered together the necessary confidence to comment.
5. I'm worried how I will come across
Not everybody is overbrimming with self importance. Thank goodness, or comments will become unbearable to read. Making the effort to say anything at this stage will be appreciated.
You'd be surprised how you will be perceived by the other readers. They may consider you to be a sensible, authoritative and worthy participant, especially if you have written a reasonable amount in your comment.
Never be ashamed to have your say. People will lap up your content, especially if it is well written and is relevant to the original post's subject matter. And backing up your point of view with examples or evidence will stand you in even better stead.
6. I have not authority to 'take up space'
Everybody is entitled to have their say, regardless of whether it's good or not. But it is those with the confidence to comment valuable material that will stand out above the others.
Providing relevant contributions will be far more acceptable than those who spew out rubbish that doesn't do anyone any good. And there are plenty of those around! It is those rubbish commenters who haven't the authority to 'take up space', not you.
Puff out your chest and proclaim to the world what you want to say. The commenting platform is yours, so take advantage of it. Become one of the 10% of readers who bother to leave any comment at all.
7. There are too many competing voices
The blogosphere and social media is an extremely busy place. The doors are wide open to anyone to comment, and plenty of people take advantage of this.
However, since there is so much rubbish flying about, your comment can easily stand out above the rest. As long as it contains value and relevance and is helpful and considerate, it will stand head and shoulders above the usual noise.
There may be a lot of activity going on, but you have the power through your confidence to comment with your point of view. Your observation or expression of appreciation could make all the difference.
8. Why not make someone's day?
There are so little comments on blogs nowadays, any comment will be very gladly received. They have much more staying power than a social media comment, and contribute much more to the overall blog than on any other platform.
In fact, each comment that is received has a profound effect on the blogger. They are positively jumping with joy to receive a comment, especially if it's a really good one!
Making the effort can make someone's day. Plucking up the confidence to comment can be a really good thing to do. You should experience a sense of real achievement once you've submitted it, and be very proud of yourself.
Do you have the confidence to comment?
Just like writing, commenting gets better with practise. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. And once you become a dab hand at it, you'll soon be doing it all over the place!
And this is a really good thing. Consistent commenting on relevant sources can have a beneficial effect on your blog. Linking back to relevant posts instead of your blog's homepage provides improved Google juice that could increase your blog's domain authority!
Break down those barriers to commenting regularly, and make it part of your overall marketing strategy. You'll never forget the difference it made to you and your blog once you built up your confidence to comment.