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The Anatomy of a Great Post Comment (Guest Post)

If you are a seasoned blogger or just an avid blog reader, you would know the importance of leaving a good comment behind. So, today, I am really excited to be publishing this guest post by Elena of +Cropped Stories , who authors an awesome blog about parenting, photography, blogging and much more! 

Anyone who is serious about blogging knows the work behind his or her website can require long hours.  I don't know about you, but finding the time to visit other people's blogs and leave comments has been an ongoing challenge for me.  Of course, I still find the time to do it because I love meeting new people, maintaining relationships, and networking.  Most of the time, however, I feel rushed to leave comments, and by no one's fault but my own.  I’m constantly thinking about what else I could be doing or needs to be done before the day is over.  Things like catching up on correspondence, drafting posts, processing images, designing graphics, updating website pages, responding to inquiries, following readers back, etc. usually takes precedence over everything else.  

For those of you that can relate, finding the time to comment at all is hard enough. Now imagine having to take into consideration the content of your comment!  What once may have been an effortless and fairly quick task will now require more attention and time.  I’m sure this is not exactly news you want to hear.  I can imagine, like me,  you are also up to your neck in an abyss of what seems to be a never ending to-do list.  With that in mind, your comment should not take more than a minute to write, nor does it need to be formal.  For the blogs I frequent on a regular basis, bloggers in which I'm friends with, may wonder if I bumped my head if I left a formal comment.  On the blogs, however, that I haven't commented on before, I tend to keep my comments structured.  A comment is a direct representation of you and your blog, so your goal should be to make an impression.  If the author responds to your comment, then give yourself a pat on the back!  I don’t know what your intention is when leaving a comment, but mine is to establish a friendship.  If it blossoms into a new reader or follower, then that’s just a bonus!

If you feel the same way, I think it’s a good time discuss the anatomy of a great post comment with my list of do and don't tips.


The Anatomy of a Great Post Comment via Cropped Stories
 
DO…
1. Leave your email address in your comment if you are a no-reply blogger.
Not sure if you are a no-reply blogger?  Assume you are if use Blogger/Blogspot as your blogging platform.  Unfortunately, there is a glitch in the system that, even after you update your settings to show your email address, reverts you right back to a no-reply blogger again.  It’s VERY frustrating!  In fact, around 95% of the comments I receive are marked as no-reply bloggers.  Because I like to respond to all of my comments, this means more work for me.  I have to do some serious detective work and, let’s face it, I’m no Sherlock Holmes.  Now, call me crazy but, I’d be willing to bet that neither is the person your leaving that comment for (here's how you can fix it).

2. Use a greeting.
Something as simple as "Hey there", "Hello", "Good morning", “How’s it going”, etc. are all appropriate. 

3. Take the time to search their About Me page or personal profile to find their first name. Then use it. 
It shows you're personable. There's something about receiving a comment from someone who references my first name that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Did you know, according to Dale Carnegie in his book 'How to Win Friends and Influence People', "a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language."  I tend to think the same is true for seeing your name in text.  Where hearing your name may be appealing to the ear, it is both appealing and stimulating to the eye as well. 

4. Mention how you found their post.
If they are tracking stats like referring URLs or sites, they will appreciate the information.

5. Leave more than a couple words.
It shows you are truly interested in their content. I've never known anyone that was able to express their genuine interest in only a few words. Phrases of this nature: "sounds yummy", "I can relate", "very helpful", and/or "so adorable" don't mean anything to me without elaborating a little.  

6. Be concise, direct, and try not to ramble.
You don't want to confuse the person with run-on sentences, incomplete thoughts, or by subject-jumping. Yes, it's a made-up term. One that I define as jumping from one subject to the next without necessarily relating to the topic you're commenting on.  You should never have to decipher a comment. Ever. Assuming it's not hieroglyphics!

7. Feel free to ask a question.
Not only is it engaging, but it encourages the person to talk about themselves!  Let's face it, most people find enjoyment in talking about themselves.

8. Let them know if you shared their content via a social network.
As a blogger, I love to hear that my post was shared with others. It's the ultimate compliment.  

9. Let them know their content is relatable, inspiring, helpful, etc.
Just remember to elaborate a little. For example: "This was extremely helpful in that I had no idea how much more appealing a properly exposed image was to people, especially in a post."

10. Thank them for sharing.
It shows you respect their time, energy, knowledge, and effort.

11. End with a thoughtful closing sentence.
Great examples are: "Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.", "Hope you're having a wonderful week!", "Can't wait to visit you again!", etc.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T…
1. Ask them to visit you.
Not only can this make you look desperate for page views, followers, and/or readers, but it's in poor taste.  You'll also come across as all business and no play.  Some people may even question your motives.  Mostly, though, it's inappropriate and spam-like.  And that's the last thing you want to do, brand yourself a spammer.

2. Ask them to follow you.
See #1.

3. Ask them to enter your giveaway, blog hop, or party.
See #1.

4. Write a book.
While writing a few sentences is entirely appropriate and fun for the blogger to read, trying to read through multiple paragraphs can be overwhelming.  Instead, use email as a means to have a lengthy discussion.

5. Leave unrelated commentary.
For instance, using the comment box as a means to contact the blogger, unless you've searched high and low and still can not locate an email address or form to submit an inquiry.  Even still, I would resort to a comment last and only before exhausting all other methods like via their social networks.

6. Use all CAPS.
In case you aren't familiar with email etiquette, using all CAPS implies you are shouting which can be easily mistaken for anger. And when used for writing things like "HAVE A NICE DAY", where anger is clearly not the tone intent, just looks plain silly. Additionally, it can be significantly more difficult to read than lower or mixed case text according to 'Writing in All Caps is Like Shouting' on About.com.

Feel free to refer to my example of a great post comment, and do a little dissecting with me!

(View larger image)

Keep in mind, none of these dos or don’ts tips make a great blog comment without genuine interest in what you are commenting on.  Don't leave comments just for the sake of leaving comments.  Trust me; a blogger knows the difference between a person who is genuinely interested in their content than one who is just 'making their weekly rounds' in an attempt to maintain their following and readership! 

Do you have something to add to my dos and don’ts list? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Feel free to drop me a comment and chime in!


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21 comments

Natasha Mairs said...

this is a great post Elena, and I have to admit I am often guilty of asking people to link upto my weekly link party, but I only ask when it's a post I myself enjoyed reading.

Natasha @ Serenity You

Cropped Stories said...

Hey Natasha! Yes, I know what you mean. It's VERY tempting to ask people to link up especially when you genuinely loved their post and feel it should be shared with others :o) Trust me, I get it! I'm guilty of it myself (but only once in my blogging career) and only because they were a friend so I was certain it wouldn't come across tacky ;o) There are always exceptions :)

[email protected] said...

This is a really great post, I think all bloggers would agree that the best comments are the ones that lead to an interesting conversation and then friendship. I've pinned your image as well!

Tarana Khan said...

I agree with Elena that if you know the blogger well and are sure that they'd appreciate it, it's okay to invite them!

Tarana Khan said...

Absolutely, I always try to visit and comment on new blogs and discover some amazing people. Thanks for sharing!

Robyn said...

I liked this post a lot, Elena. With the holidays coming and my schedule growing more and more hectic, I've been leaving short, generic comments or no comment at all and this is a good reminder to cut it out. lol. Thank you!

Brittnei Washington said...

These tips are so true. I've had to delete comments where people don't comment on my content and are just saying they want me to follow them or join their linky or whatever else. I'll be sure to share this! I'm so glad I can say I've been practicing a lot of this for a while now. xoxo

Cropped Stories said...

Thanks so much Robyn :o) I know what you mean about the holidays coming and having less time. Commenting is not always an easy task; that's for sure! Glad you stopped by though, and I'm happy I could be a reminder for you (LOL)!

Cropped Stories said...

I know what you mean Brittnei; I've had to delete comments as well :o) I appreciate you stopping by and for sharing!

Jelli B. said...

So, so good, Elena! I was just reading a copy/pasted comment in a blog hop right when I found this article. I so wish I could email a link to that blogger.

Beth said...

Personally, I think the one point I would definitely add to this list is be genuine! I've been blog hopping lately and some posts really bored me. Not this one. I needed to mention that as well, being honest why the illustrations used (they were LONG) made me fall asleep on the spot.

That said, it's great to see a list, I have been wondering myself how to create better comments. THANKS!! :)

Cropped Stories said...

Thanks Jelli; appreciate you stopping by :o) And, WHAT? A copy and pasted comment?! I don't know why I'm surprised really; I've seen a lot of things - LOL!

Cropped Stories said...

Thanks Beth; I appreciate your feedback! I can relate about reading posts that bore me. Especially ones with no graphics/images :o) My biggest pet peeve is when a post is all over the place and I'm not quite sure what the point of it was. So glad you stopped by though and I hope you had a great Tuesday!

Michelle Nahom said...

Great post and I definitely agree with your comments! I find it a little off putting if someone visits me on Facebook and then requests a follow back. If someone takes the time to visit me and tells me where they are visiting from, I am typically going to follow them back anyway, unless I find their page completely out of the realm of interest for me. I don't need them to tell me to do it.

Tarana Khan said...

I do the same thing, Michelle. What irks me is when the comment has nothing to do with the post, and people just want to advertise their links!

Stephanie Jackson said...

Best post I have read all day! I am a no-reply blogger due to the thousands of spam comments and emails I received. It irks me and offends me when someone leaves a comment just advertising their site and says nothing about my content.
*Pinned!
Have a great a weekend!
Cheers,
Stephanie

Cropped Stories said...

Exactly Michelle! I don't need people to tell me either; I am a BIG believer in following back :o)

Cropped Stories said...

Appreciate the pin Stephanie :o) The first sentence of your comment put an immediate smile on my face, so: Thank You! So glad you stopped by and found it helpful! Hope you had a fantastic week and happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

Elena
[email protected]

Luna Lablue said...

Hello TK & Elena:

I found your post through Google+ (I follow you TK) and the topic really caught my eye. Do you find that more people respond to your comments when you post like this? I love connecting with other bloggers and thought this post was just brilliant! I enjoy when other people comment on my blog, so I always try my best to leave a comment anytime I take the time to read a post. I will be definitely be using these helpful hints in the future and sharing this post on Google+ for my other blogging friends to read.

Thank you so much for sharing and reading my comment :)

Have a great week!

Luna LaBlue
[email protected]

Julia Nyanyo said...

Great advice, I tend to ramble a bit so need to watch that, also I have a terrible habit of doing typo's and feel it just looks like I can't be bothered to check what I'm writing. I feel encouraged to do better in 2014, thanks!

Tarana Khan said...

Glad you liked the post, Julia!

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