Use commenting to reveal your personality
There are many reasons why you would want to reveal your personality.
It may be to get your customers to choose you, your boss to recognise your abilities, or an influencer to notice you so you can guest post on their website.
It might be to get your readers to relate to you, your fans to respond to you, or your regular commenters to continue contributing.
Whatever the reasons, here's how commenting helps to reveal your personality:
What is your personality?
First of all, you need to know what your personality is, before you reveal it. This isn't a silly statement, you need to know how you want to come across or be perceived by others on the web or blogosphere.
Decide whether you're funny or serious, scatty or nerdy, mega intelligent or go-lucky, or whatever is more suitable to you. Once you've sorted this out, stick with it. Consistency is key, because then your 'fans' or 'followers' will know where they are with you and not get confused.
People who chop and change their personalities online won't keep a loyal audience for long. They need to be able to relate to you, or feel an affinity with you, before they make their commitment to you. So avoid messing them about.
What are your readers' personalities?
This is also important, because you need to know who you are 'talking' to when you write your comments. This is very similar to when you write your blog posts. If you aren't able to understand who your readers are, you won't be able to write properly for them.
Focus on the readers' needs, wants and desires. Make an effort to understand their fears, frustrations, hesitations and secret wishes. Know their likes, dislikes, interests and insecurities. All this will help you to write comments that are more likely to be read.
This research will force you to relate to your potential audience, which will help them to relate back to you in return. This mutual connection will result in better comments that will benefit everybody.
How authentic are you?
Nobody likes a smart-arse. Readers can see straight through someone who only focuses on themselves. A commenter with the wrong type of purpose will soon get short shrift from the rest of the crowd.
Reveal your personality by showing your vulnerability. Show you genuinely care about the post's content by being honest and upfront. Write from the same perspective as the other readers to encourage an inclusive and friendly response.
Take time to really read the post and other comments before submitting your own. Show you really have understood the subject and the other readers' reactions to it. Your comments should reflect this to prove yourself.
Can you match yourself to others?
Think about the kind of language you use. Does it match the post's content and the style of the other commenters? It's no good using pompous jargon to look impressive, as it won't because nobody will be able to understand what you're writing about.
The kind of words and how they are put together is important if you want to be appreciated, let alone able to get your point across. Reveal your personality through a conversational style, as if you are speaking your reply. Transcribe your thoughts straight into the comment box before you get too clever with fancy words.
Identify yourself with the post's author and other readers. Align yourself with their level and put yourself into their shoes before you answer. What are they thinking? What's their mood? What's the focus of their views?
Can you become more inclusive?
Look for similarities with the other readers. The best way to reveal your personality is to be able to relate to other people. Are you able to connect with them by sharing a similar view on life?
This can be achieved by telling stories. These is a medium that is always appreciated by an audience, as they will be able to empathise with your anecdote and place themselves within its context.
Which means it is critical you avoid crossing any boundaries, or causing offence. Know where the limits are, and how far you can stretch to them. Focus on embracing everybody together as a community rather than alienating them to get the upper hand.
How can you make a difference?
People are always looking for, or appreciate, tips that could help them. Therefore work out how you can add value to the original post by contributing something constructive that would make a difference to the other readers' lives.
This is a great way of getting noticed for the right reasons. Show them that you care by providing advice or guidance that enhances the original content. However, take care not to overstep the mark with excessively zealous corrections or unsuitable ideas.
Offering complimentary and functional actions that benefit others is far more impressive than blurting out unwanted opinions that hinder rather than help the subject originally stated in the post.
Can you start a conversation as a friend?
Comments work best if they develop into a discussion, eg they stimulate a lot of responses from other readers and commenters. Therefore it is a good idea to think of a question or controversial statement that could set one off.
However, remember your commenting tactics is to reveal your personality, so include your chosen style within your contribution. You want to impress the blog's author enough to get your comment published, and be friendly enough to encourage others to answer.
Find a strong and appealing message that everybody can relate to, or show your curiosity by asking for more clarification. Deliver a positive stance that encourages more interaction from others. Have the courage to start the ball rolling on a developing yet relevant topic.
Is there a story to tell?
People have reacted favourably to stories from the beginning of time. So have an example up your sleeve you could reveal your personality within it.
The beauty of stories is that people usually manage to relate themselves to either you, the main problem or the solution. Once you've captured their interest like this, it's much easier to present your view point or helpful tip to fill in the gaps.
Also disclosing a story from your past helps with enhancing your vulnerability, and therefore approachability. If people feel an affinity with you, they will respond more warmly, and may feel compelled to find out more about you.
Can you regulate your mood?
Try to vary the tone of your comments to match the general mood set by the post, or by the reactions to it. This isn't a matter of blending in, but not unnecessarily rocking the boat. Avoid letting your mood affect others unnecessarily.
It is extremely unwise to respond in anger. Regardless of how much you're fired up, never use the commenting box as a method of letting off steam. Channel this energy into a superb comment best written elsewhere and edited some hours later before submitting it.
Learn to respectively disagree. Any opposing viewpoints should be backed up with suitable evidence or a valid and relevant explanation. We are all entitled to have an opinion, but it is how this is delivered that makes the difference.
Are you relevant and succinct?
It is necessary to understand the underlying context of a post's content before your leave a comment. This way you will avoid any misinterpretation which could make you look stupid, or worse.
And remember comments need to succinctly get to the point, capturing the reader's attention and drawing them to the purpose of your feedback. You may have a lot of detail to impart, but practice condensing your ideas to avoid writing too much. This will stop you undermining the author and focus you on the job in hand.
Above all, enthusiastic comments are much more infectious than a dry one-liner. Reveal your personality by exposing your thoughts, aspirations and ideas, as long as you don't go overboard by ending up writing more than the actual post! This is a definite no-no.
What's the best way to attract attention to yourself?
It is the simple details that make all the difference. Things like using your proper name and having a recognisable gravatar to accompany your comment. Show you are a real person and not a faceless corporate or an annoying spammer.
How you reveal your personality shows your authenticity, which is what people are attracted to. This is also enhanced by consistency, so regular commenting on a particular blog will mean people look forward to your response, as long as it is worthy and beneficial.
Focus on good spelling and grammar, maintain high expectations, and never be tempted to sell your business. Comments are not a vehicle for direct promotion, especially through links to your website within your content. Let the automated link via your name act as your portal back to you.
How can you maintain your credibility?
Your credibility will have been enhanced when you become recognised as a regular commenter on a particular blog, and the author looks forward to your contribution whenever they publish. This does, of course, rely on a quality blog with worthy posts. And there is no reason why you can't spread your expertise over a wider plain.
However, avoid trying to seek attention to yourself. Standing on a chair shouting 'Me, me!' will soon get you ignored. So constantly provide added value that helps others and continue to contribute to the conversation. Altruism that is recognised will soon result in reciprocal attention.
And learn to write well. Entertaining comments are far more readable than responses that look like they're a chore rather than an inspired reaction. Keep up the energy with shorter sentences, focusing on the subject and a well structured contribution.
How do you reveal your personality within your comments?
Let me know your stories about revealing your personalities. How do you get your readers to know more about you? What kind of personality have you taken up, and can you maintain it? Does it work, and why?
And let me know any successes you may have had, or disastrous anecdotes when it's all gone wrong! We would all love to read whatever comments you leave below.