Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Commenting 101: How to Leave a Good Comment

Welcome to Session #3 in my Commenting 101 blogging series! (To start at the beginning, click here)

We discussed how commenting on other blogs can actually be beneficial to your blog, how commenting can be an encouragement and community builder, and the fact that's the easiest way to grow your blog (beyond displaying good, consistent content).

Today, we'll focus on How to Leave a Good Comment.

Yes, there is a difference between "Good" Comments and "Bad" Comments!

1. Be Genuine
No one is asking you to wax poetic or to have perfect grammar, but a few words from the heart go a long way.

  • Read the post.
This might sound ridiculous, but you'd be amazed at how many times I've received questions about things that were very clearly spelled out within my post. One blogger mentioned to me once that a commenter told her what a "cute boy" her DAUGHTER was!

By taking the time to read what the blogger has to say, you'll be much better equipped to leave a genuine comment. Not reading the post and making a silly comment only makes you look bad.

  • Look for Details.
Find a few details that stand out and try to mention one or two in your comment. It shows the blogger that you were paying attention and took the time to read the post.
  • Name Calling!
Using the blogger's name (unless it's The Nester--wink!--) is also nice because it is a nice, personal touch.


  • No Spam
Steer away from canned or spammy sounding comments. (More on that next week)


2. Comment Consistently
If you have a favorite set of blogs, give them feedback on posts you really enjoy. This is great for networking! I've been known to notice a comment on another blog and click the person's profile to check out their site. Sometimes I find a new blog to love!

Creating a Blog Roll of sites you love and admire and commenting regularly can lead to blog friendships. These are the girls you can approach in the future to write guest posts for you when you go out of town for a week.

If you're a regular commenter, I'm more likely to remember you and take the time to visit your blog when I can.

3. "But I don't have anything new to add."
I've heard that several times throughout the series. All I can say is most bloggers (myself included!) read and appreciate each comment. Any effort you make to let me know you enjoy my blog or like my work is a huge encouragement to me!

4. At a loss for words?
Many of you with new, smaller blogs probably (hopefully?) make an effort to visit the blogs of those who are leaving you comments. Sometimes you'll come across a blog that is so completely different from yours that you're not really sure how to comment. Are the posts poorly spelled, or is the content just plain out there?

When that has happened to me, I try to find one positive thing (whether it's the blog design, or something--anything!-- I have in common with the writer) to comment on, thank them for the visit, and go my merry way.

5. Make it easy for me to return your comments!
You made the effort to leave me a fabulous comment...now how do I get in touch with you? More on that in the weeks to come!

Let's end with a little game, shall we? I will grant you 10 points if you can pick the GOOD comment out of this batch I cooked up:

I really hope you can see which of those comments was a keeper!! Hint: it's the last one. That comment would make me much more likely to visit your blog.

Thanks for joining me today. Next time, we'll be discussing Commenting Etiquette!

Any questions or comments? {wink}

54 comments:

Kindra-At Home With K said...

Great post, Amanda. :) I've been enjoying all your blog tips posts!

the little wife said...

Thank you so much for this post Amanda! I felt like you were talking just to me :) I'm one of the would-be-commentors who hangs back because I usually don't have anything to add. Now I'm going to try to comment even if its just to give encouragement! Thanks for the boost towards better commenting.

Rebecca said...

Cute!



;) I have been guilty of a quick comment or feeling repetitive especially when I'm commenting on other blogs in a blog hop party.

I have been enjoyed reading your blogging etiquette tips. Thank you, Amanda!

Yvonne@StyleBurb said...

I am really enjoying your series on blogging tips and commenting etiquette, Amanda. I try to think of reading a post and commenting as though I were having a face-to-face conversation with the person. I'm looking forward to the next part of this series!

Mabel said...

Thank you for following me and for these tips. I am just starting out and need all the help I can get. Haven't commented before, so I will take your tips to heart!

Richella said...

You are so funny! I love your mock comments, complete with links to tacky blogs!

I do indeed read every single comment I receive, although I've never gotten in the habit to replying to every comment. I'm sure I should do that--something to add to my to-do list! I won't say that I don't appreciate a reader's saying something like "Cute!" but I will admit that it's a little disappointing. I know people don't always have time to leave a LONG comment, but something a little more than one word is much appreciated.

On the other hand, I have NEVER thought a comment was too long. Even if someone writes out several paragraphs, I really appreciate that they took the time to communicate with me.

Jennifer said...

This is a really good series. I've learned a lot about commenting from some people who consistently leave good comments on my blog. In the beginning I was probably one of those one-word commenters. Then when I started to see some of the nice, genuine comments being left on my blog I realized I needed to do more when I commented for people. I hope it {usually} comes across that way :)
Thanks for all the tips, Amanda!

Til Next Time,
Jennifer

Kelli @ RTSM said...

Lots of great points Amanda! One of my biggest pet peeves about comments is when I get the exact same comment on two different posts that I link up at a linky party! That lets me know that person is simply clicking on every link and copy & pasting the same comment over and over again! There is no way I'm coming over to check out your blog if I know you simply pasted a generic comment just like you did on the 50 links before mine! I've also gotten the exact same comment on the same post TWICE in less than two days!

Catherine said...

No pressure to leave a good comment now, right? ;)

I found this through Twitter {crafterminds} and am so excited to read the entire series. There are some things you mentioned {the comment where you are told to follow back - - ack! I hate those} that are clearly in bad taste, but as a small blogger whose heart beats a little quicker every time I see a new comment, I guess I didn't realize that the "big" blogs still really like to hear from you and find encouragement in it.

Thanks for sharing!

Randi said...

Great post - I think we all love comments. I do know that I've sometimes been intimidated to leave a comment on a big-time blog (like yours), as though I really have nothing valid to say to someone who's got so many readers.

And I've had a comment about what a cute boy my daughter is as well. She does have a boy's name so I forgave. :)

Jaime @ Our Journey said...

I'm really enjoying your Commenting 101 series! I usually tend to hold back on commenting but your series is giving me the courage to get out there and comment more! :o) Thanks Amanda!

Jaime @ OH SO Chichi

Janet said...

These are great tips Amanda, thanks for taking the time to write this series of posts. :)

Patty B. said...

This is a great series, Amanda, thank you! Commenting seems like a such a simple thing, yet I know I struggle with it. The comments I love the most on my own blog are the ones that are specific and genuine, so why wouldn't I do the same for others?! Thanks for the much-needed reality check.

Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

I'm so happy you started this sessions on Commenting 101 Amanda! They have been really helpful to me that I recently started blogging.

Jenae @ Wildflower said...

I am so happy I found your Blog! Love all the great commenting points and can't wait for more! By the way Love love love you Blog Design and colors!
Have a fabulous day!

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Great post, Amanda! Very timely after yesterday's #CrafterMinds twitterchat!

I signed up to teach Basic Blogging this summer @ Pks & Rec {gulp} and I'll definitely bookmark this post for my students to link to!

Now I've gotta go read the first two Commenting posts that I missed :=)

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

I really have enjoyed this series of posts. It always gives me some great ideas for blogging. I forget to comment sometimes, which is weird because I really love it when someone comments on my posts.

I think the most annoying comments are "hey love your blog. I'm a new follower. Follow me back"

Why do people do that??? I wouldn't want anyone following me that didn't enjoy my content!

Bella Michelle said...

AMANDA, I am following you (no, I don't sound creepy atall!) LOL and I think a giveaway for new tweezers since I can't find mine might be nice...hey, a girl needs tweezers.

Only kidding, you post is spot on, yet again. Thanks for sharing with all these great tips. (((hugs))) and have a super day!

The Mommy Therapy said...

I really am enjoying this series. As a relatively ne blogger, trying to grow my blog, commenting has been very hgelpful.

I like suggesting to note a detail from the post. I love it when something in particular resonates with a reader and I love knowing what that is.

Also, I think you were the one that pointed out that my email was hidden in my profile, I have remedies that, (I think) so thank you for the help!

Can't wait to read the rest of the series Amanda. Oh, and I think the last comment is the winner. :)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for articulating these ideas. I too often read a post, enjoy the content and then don't leave a comment because I am not sure what to say. Judging by how many hits I have, and how few comments, I imagine other people do that to me as well. I am vowing to become a more thoughtful commenter :)

Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top said...

I think the Walmart comment choice is the best one. haha!

This is a great series! I love leaving comments and I always try to do what you've said here.

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

Amen and amen! I've been getting a lot of comments lately where it's kind of "cute. I'm having a great giveaway for a diaper bag and a year's supply of motor oil so come enter right away..."

It's like they're copying and pasting into the comments. I do sometimes feel like I have nothing new to add when there are dozens and dozens of glowing comments already. I feel like a dork repeating what has already been written so much. (I write it anyway, but still.)

Great post.
:)

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Great post Amanda!!! How do you encourage your followers to add their email address to their comments so that you can write them back?? I had a guest poster write a post on how to do that... But I don't know that it helped.

Also, is it good to have a blogroll list on your blog? Or just keep track elsewhere??

Centsational Girl said...

Dear Amy, I really enjoyed this post on cooking, and I hope you'll stop buy to by my latest affiliate product:
https://www.shakeweight.com/flare/next

ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! I just had to go there.

_______________

Love this post Amanda, you are so right! Being a faithful commenter has led to our latest parternship!
xo
Kate

Centsational Girl said...

Sorry, "partnership".

:)

Devonay said...

I have to say that I always try to be careful with my comments. I treasure the comments that I get from readers and I really try to find something to add about the post to let the author know that I took the time to read it and I enjoyed it. I give gold stars to the ones that make me laugh! Guess what?! You get gold stars! I loved the example comments!

HayesTone said...

Great advice, Amanda. And I know you practice what you preach. You visited my blog, left a lovely comment, I, in turn, visited your blog and became a follower! You then responded to my comment on YOUR blog and ended by using my first name. I really appreciate that! Thanks for this post :-)
~Laura
www.hayestone.blogspot.com

FrouFrouBritches said...

I'm lovin' this series Amanda! I have to say that I HATE it when they say, "Follow me back". It makes me feel like I'm being bossed around or bullied or something. YIKES! I'm with you on you can almost always find SOMETHING positive and genuine to say. I agree to that you can really get to know some wonderful people from leaving comments back and forth.

Love this post Amanda! gosh, I'm longwinded today.

Holly said...

This is a really good series, Amanda. I appreciate comments and read every one. It is sometimes disheartening to get so few. I hope your readers will take your advice to heart!

Terry said...

I feel a little self-conscious commenting on a blog about comments, lol. Thanks for this entire series. I'm sure all bloggers find it helpful but I am a newbie and find it especially valuable. Thanks!!

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) said...

Great tips, great series. This is somewhat of a tangent, but I'll say it anyway. As a food blogger, I'm very frustrated lately with the commenting tools on my own blog. I use Blogger to build my site, and their commenting tools are just not great. I'm experimenting with Intense Debate now so we'll see how that goes. I see that you use Word Press, and I'm actually considering switching for a couple of reasons...this one high on the list. I think the social aspect is such an important part of blogging. You can get such great conversations going and learn so much from your readers. Anyway, thanks for this topic. Hope you don't mind this tangentially related comment! :)

Kirsty said...

nice post.

Kirsty said...

Just kidding! It's the last one AND I'm still loving this series!

Kirsty said...

oh no! Let me edit that.

"Just kidding! It's the last one AND I'm still love this series, AMANDA!"

Much better. ;D

Rachel @ A Tall Drink of Water said...

I am loving this series!! I have been a SILENT blog stalker for such a long time and within the past few months, I have become a commenter. I have truly enjoyed the connections I've made once I started leaving comments. Thanks Amanda for helping me improve!!

queenbee1994 said...

This is such a good series! I have been blogging for awhile but this year decided to be much more consistent in writing and commenting, its so much more fun this way. Thanks for sharing your insights :)

Leslie said...

Wow! This recipe for the strawberry pie looks delicious, I can't wait to make it!
Thanks!
~Leslie

Leslie said...

Wow! This recipe for the strawberry pie looks delicious, I can't wait to make it!
Thanks!
~Leslie

Karena said...

Amanda, this is such a good series.

It is interesting, I really do try to comment on as many posts as I can.I an sure not perfect, yet there are some out there who have NEVER written back.

I do have a Giveaway from The Zhush I think you will love!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Stephanie said...

I love the last "Amanda" comment in your example...did anyone else catch that? Your post is written in such a nice tone, informative and interesting.

Xazmin said...

Okay, FIRST...I really did read your post on the day of the crafty cutter party! And before I asked you about your project...I actually went back over it, just to make sure I hadn't missed something!

What I concluded AFTER you asked me if I read your post...was that because the statement about your projects was right beneath the coffe cozy picture, I thought it was a caption...and since I don't drink coffee...my eyes automatically went to the new paragraph! REally!

Second...Did you totally make up that litte comment window? And HOW did you do it? Haha...I loved the mock comments!

Farmer's Wyfe said...

Great post about your son! You just won the tweezers on my blog!!! Congratulations!!! ACTUALLY, I AM JOKING!! I really did appreciate this blog! It is great to know be reminded about great comments. I had to laugh at your examples. :)
ALSO, I thought I'd let you know that you REALLY did win the herbal DVD on my blog. :) (You commented on the day I was running that give-away.) So if you'd please email me back at PumpkinPiePainter1(at)gmail(dot)com with your email and mailing address, so that way I can get the herbal video to you from the Bulk Herb Store. :) Have a SUPER week!!!

Erin S. said...

Your mock comments were awesome (esp. liked the mock url for the "lamegiveaway"). Heehee. But seriously, good comments are so important. I am still growing my blog, and while I am, I treasure each person who takes time to visit and comment on what I'm doing and feeling. I think commenting is what makes blogging truly social. I don't think anyone should ever strong arm someone to follow them, either. That's like trying to make someone be your friend. It's either there or it's not--or maybe it isn't the right time, etc. Be patient! If you build good content and are yourself, I think people will eventually come. Sorry for the loooong comment--but I don't think that was in your list of no-nos, so I'm safe-whew!

oneshabbychick said...

Really great advice about how to write a great comment! I always make a point to be genuine and comment from the heart - I think that's the easiest way to write a good one - Mean it! This series has been great food for thought. Thanks, Amanda! ~ osc

melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

LOVE the comment examples, esp ObscureBlogFollower party, lol! What great tips from one of the best commenters in blogland! :)

Paula said...

Another great post! I think you've made some people think about the value of a genuine comment.

I also dislike being asked to follow. When I read that, my immediate thought is "no way"! I'd much rather someone want to follow rather than be asked to do so.

Katie's Nesting Spot said...

Wow this is a great post, I second your tips and had to laugh I think I've gotten every version of your "spam" comments too. I always wonder if those visitors are just copy and pasting comments. And yes using a name is good, unless it's the wrong one that is! Ha, I once had that happen to me and the person went on and on about how much they liked my weekly recipe...ah which I don't have! Had to post a link to your post on my blog Facebook page too.

Karen T said...

You did a great job clarifying good vs. bad comments. When I first started blogging and visiting other blogs, it took me awhile to catch on. The spammy comments still drive me up the wall! As a smaller blog, I have realized how much each and every comment matters and now I try to leave comments anytime I enjoy a post. I've only been following your blog for a few weeks now, but I'm already learning a lot.

The Wolf said...

I think you nailed it right on the head Amanda. I get lots of comments on my blog that are nothing more then advertisments for their own sites. Which sucks to be them because they always get deleted

Dogmom Diva said...

I always love your how to posts..this one is great, I always try to respond to each blogger who leaves me a comment..and I am guilty of reading and not commenting at times..depends on how I am feeling on any particular day, sometimes it's all i can do to read blogs, but I do try! Thanks Amanda!

Barb

My Beautiful Life said...

I think the magic answer would be the last post. Right, Amanda? ;)

I am a little blog, so I do visit every person who left me a comment, and leave them a comment. I think it nice when someone waves at you to wave back.

Holly said...

Oh, I just get all giddy when I get comments like the first three (ha!). I find that if I cannot make a good comment, I would rather not make one at all...I will read but sometimes life is crazy...I do not ever want to be known as the 'nice post commenter. Did I mention I just love people who tell me how they have better ideas on my craft posts

Creative Escapes said...

I am reading the series backwards - ha - but - in any order - the information is great! It's so true that we often don't have the time to leave good comments, but want them back in return. Since I have been reading the series I have been trying to be better at leaving better, more detailed comments - to let the writer know I am appreciating their information. I just need to get better at the posts with a lot of comments - I feel like they don't need another comment to read.

You rock!
Thanks!

Jessica said...

Amanda, I wish I knew about your site 3 weeks ago when I was trying to figure out blogging! GREAT stuff you have offered up....I feel like I'm back in school ~ learning lots!

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