I expect you comment on a lot of blogs, I know I do! But do you pay much attention to what you write? Quite often whilst approving comments on Success Circuit I notice that I get three types of comments: spam, common and constructive. Obviously I expect none of you to spam (or at least you better not!) but many of us (including myself quite often) do not put enough effort into each comment we write. So today I would like to take the time to have a look at how we can improve our comments.
Why Should You Comment?
Part of improving how we comment is by understanding why we comment. A blogger, or indeed infopreneur, writes posts for the readers to help them and to offer new information. The commenter/reader on the other hand gets the opportunity to further what the post speaks about, give their own opinion and to discuss the content of the post with both the author and other readers. What an amazing role to play, being able to give your own ideas et cetera without having to come up with the idea for the post like the author does.
Another remarkable role of the commenter is that they are able to motivate. If you are a blogger yourself then you will know the feeling that we get every comment we approve. Knowing that people read and appreciate what you write… it is amazing!
This comes under my category of “common”, it is the type of comment that each one of us (usually) does the most of. You read a post and knowing that it motivates the author, you comment. But instead of writing something useful or that shows your opinion or furthers the discussion, you just say “Great post, keep them coming” or the like.
Now, I am not saying do not ever post like that (though if you can do a more sophisticated comment with the time you have then I would insist you do) but I believe we should all be helping to improve the post and to help to provide maximum information and help as many people as possible. One of my goals for the upcoming year is not to comment more, as I comment often, but to write “better” comments.
Does that sound similar to constructive criticism? Well it should! Good comments are ones that look at the good and bad points of the post, tear it apart into little pieces and start a full blown riot debate. Why? Because that not only helps other people that read it (depending what the post is about) but it also motivates and helps the author. I once got an email (because they did not want to publically slaughter me hehe) that shred apart one of my posts (on an old blog of mine) and voiced his opinions very clearly. GREAT! That is what I want. Okay, I would have preferred it if he commented on the post as it would show everybody else his opinions and perhaps even start a very strong discussion.
But comments do not have to just be about how the post is incorrect, for example if you had a blog about cooking then the comments should be about how a recipe could taste even more extravagant or be changed to a vegetarians option. It is all about taking a look at the content of the post and putting a spin on it. These not only voice your opinion but give ideas to other readers and may help them. If your commenting on a bloggers “10 top favourite WordPress plugins” then, obviously I should hope, you would write about your favourites… but stop… you could do more than that, couldn’t you? I would look at their list and if there was one there that I had used but had problems with then I would say so, if there was one I agreed with and use all the time then I would explain why it is so good.
Get where I am coming from? Just because it is not your blog does not mean you cannot provide great content for it. I know people that instead of running their own blog, or even guest posting, they go to other blogs and basically write their own post in form of a comment about the content of the post they have read. Amazing! Also remember, a lot of bloggers will read your great comment and then have a look at your own blog or ask you if you would like to guest post. Commenting is a great way to get to know people.
And before I leave you, remember this: Community does not exist if there is no interaction. So, as a commenter, ask questions! Get the author to interact with you and interact yourself with the other readers. If you manage to stir a discussion, the author will want to know more about you!
So, discuss! Is there anything you agree or disagree on? Do you hate commenters that just say “great post”, if so why? Lets get some conversation going about the assets of a good comment. Also, a question to you, how often do you usually comment on blogs?