The Blog Commenting Guide for Your Career

Blog Comments
Using blog commenting as part of your social media marketing strategy requires that you reframe blog commenting from “leaving comments on blogs” to “engaging others in conversation by thoughtfully responding to blog posts.” The difference is in the details. Rather than leave untargeted comments on random blogs, aim to build relationships by reading blog posts in your niche and providing value to the conversation.

Here are ten tips on optimizing blog commenting for your career:

  1. Proofread
  2. Skim your comment for spelling and grammatical mistakes before submitting. Comments often cannot be edited after submission and these comments will represent you on the Internet forever.

    Check out this clip on effective editing of online messages in this short promo for the online dating site, Zoosk:

    YouTube Preview Image

  3. Use Short Paragraphs
  4. Break up your comment into short paragraphs of one to three sentences in length. This makes your comment easier to read, especially for other commenters who may only skim what you’ve written. Research on online habits conducted by scientists at the University College London found that the average time we spend reading each page on the Internet ranges from only 7 to 21 seconds; how much time would we spend skimming comments?

  5. Be Respectful
  6. It’s okay to disagree, but remember that all comments you leave on blogs become part of your permanent digital footprint. Politeness and constructive criticism will guarantee that you build rather than break relationships. To bring the point home, consider the famous Confucius quote: “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?

  7. Refer to the Author by Name
  8. Interact directly with the blog author by inserting his or her name at least once throughout your comment. Using the person’s name also helps you remember it, so you can continue the interaction on other social media sites.

  9. Stay Relevant and Thoughtful
  10. The easiest way to have your comment flagged as spam or deleted is by leaving a comment that has nothing to do with the blog post content. The ultimate no-no is leaving a link to your blog or website without any further text in your comment, which comes off as purely self-serving. If the blog author leaves questions in the post, try to answer at least one of them, or relate the blog post content to your personal experiences.

  11. Explain Why
  12. Avoid short comments that are not directly related to the post, such as “I Agree” or “Interesting Post.” Flesh out your comment by explaining why you agree with the post or why you find the post interesting. Powerful comments that will get you noticed and bring you traffic are also interesting, informative and thoughtful.

  13. Leave the First Comment
  14. Subscribe to top blogs, so you can be immediately notified of their latest posts. Try to leave the first comment on some of these major blogs. Other readers notice first commenters more often and if you’ve left an eye-catching comment, people may follow the link back over to your website.

  15. Subscribe to Replies
  16. If leaving comments is about engaging blog authors and other commenters in conversation, make sure you subscribe to be notified of replies, so you can keep the conversation going. The author or other readers may pose further questions, which could be an opportunity for you to establish your expertise and keep in contact.

  17. Find Blogs in Your Niche
  18. You’ll find that you’re able to leave the most thoughtful and informative comments on blogs in your niche. Don’t limit yourself to Google searches to find these blogs. Also try looking for related Facebook groups in which people share their blog posts and searching blog search engines, such as Technorati and NetworkedBlogs.

  19. Make a Blog Commenting Schedule
  20. Make a commitment to regularly comment on blogs. A weekly blog commenting schedule denoting the number of blogs you will comment on daily will keep you on track. Make sure to balance network growth and maintenance by commenting on both new blogs and blogs you’ve been to before.

What other tips can you share for blog commenters?

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10 Comments

  1. Posted June 23, 2011 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Hey Sam. (see? Kiser your name).

    I think this is the first comment so I’ve got that covered, too!

    Using my short, proof-read paragraphs, I’ll say I really liked this post. Next, I’ll tell you why:

    As a blogger, I know how much thoughtful comments mean. It tells me you read my post, whether you got my key messages, and makes my blog a conversation rather than a statement.

    And at the end of the day, I’m more likely to look at someone else’s blog if I appreciate their comments on mine. If one is serious about building their own blogging career, it makes a lot of sense to follow the steps you’ve listed here.

    Thanks for the helpful tips!

  2. Posted June 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Engaging in any social media is a great way to network and networks aren’t only built online or in person- great networks are built online and offline.

    The most prevalent advice I’ve read about networking is to offer value to your network and that’s exactly what your article is about. Leaving comments engages your network and offers value to the author.

    Even if you think the blogger is a thousand miles removed from your personal career, you never know where the next career opportunity will come from, and who else this person may know.

    Another great article!

  3. Posted June 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow! You sure learn fast, Eric! =P I think you’ve covered every single one of my points! Thanks for being a teacher’s pet and providing the best example. =)

    I love getting your input on what comments mean to you as a blogger. I have to say that there are definitely blogs out there that prefer to be a “statement” rather than a “conversation,” but “serious bloggers” who are using blogs for their career should definitely focus on the conversation! Thanks so much for your input, friend! =)

  4. Posted June 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for underlining that point, Chrysta! Real relationships don’t just stay on the Internet or on blogs — they are extended into the offline world!

    I really appreciate your positive feedback! The concept of *value* was the single most important lesson I’ve learned too! Glad to hear that I’m on the right track! =)

    I also love how you bring up the importance of connecting with everyone, not just those in your niche. It’s about building networks and each person comes with their own network! =)

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Chrysta!

  5. Posted June 28, 2011 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    This is an excellent article Samantha. You hit each point that is so important to recognize as the true meaning of social marketing and networking.

    As blogging and other social sites become a part of our marketing plans, so do the way we engage with each other which means through our comments. So I agree with what you are sharing here. All great tips and advice!

    • Posted June 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad you’re in agreement, Lynn! I consider you a blog commenting expert, so I really appreciate your feedback! =)

  6. Posted June 28, 2011 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you for these 10 superb tips regarding blog comments Samantha.
    Being first to comment is not always that easy I have found even though I have subscribed to blogs in our “Thai silk” niche and check my Google Reader regularly.
    I think you point 5 was very well made. Being relevant and thoughtful is the basis of a future relationship between the blogger and yourself.
    We have a blog on our website but we don’t get many comments even though I try to promote it via bookmarking services. I think we need to ask our readers more questions to encourage more feedback but do you have any other suggestions?

    • Posted June 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Amnuai, it’s so great to meet you and you’re so welcome for this article!

      It can definitely be tough to be the first person to comment. Will it work if you subscribe to some top blogs with your email? I often am faster with my email (through Gmail Notifier) than with Google Reader!

      I love your idea about including questions. Right now, I get the most comments from blog commenting tribes through LinkedIn and Facebook. Try to look for LinkedIn and Facebook groups both in your niche and in network marketing. Network marketers usually welcome all niches! Some of these groups include rules in which all members need to comment on a certain number of posts in the group! Let me know if you’d like to discuss this more offline! You can always contact me through email, Facebook or Twitter! =)

  7. Posted June 28, 2011 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Great tips! One thing that seems somewhat bothersome to me on blog comments is that they seem to be getting longer and longer. You know, sometimes just a good “atta boy” is fine with me! I understand joining and contributing to conversations but sometimes the comments are longer than my posts! LOL

    • Posted June 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Martha, I so appreciate your thoughts on this and have brought up your comment with others I know as well! I really respect your approach to social media, being the expert that you are, and it almost relieves me to hear that you think short comments are okay too!! Thanks so much for your input!! =)

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