Nicole Ayers from The Madlab Post has been a frequent guest at Tossing It Out so she's very comfortable with stepping in and just taking over my blog. In this current post she offers some excellent advice about one of our favorite topics:
8 Commenting Secrets Bloggers Won’t Tell You
Blog comments impact our online and offline activities in many ways. They can start or expand conversations on any given topic, build relationships between people who are miles away from each other, create job opportunities and make you feel like you are part of a community that is larger than yourself.
At the same time, certain habits and behavior that you display in the comment section of a blog can also cause some bloggers to either consider moderating comments -- which delays the time from when a comment actually gets posted, or worse, question whether they should continue to allow comments on their blog at all. That is one of the dirty little secrets that bloggers won’t tell you -- probably because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, nor offend and alienate their readers or be seen as a finicky blogger.
Want to know another secret? Sometimes, there are things that you do when leaving comments that make you AND your comment much less favorable to bloggers -- but they’re not going to tell you (at least, not directly) that you’re becoming a nuisance. Here are eight more commenting secrets that bloggers won’t tell you but will mention amongst fellow bloggers or even discuss with their more favorable readers.
1. Leaving anonymous blog comments will almost guarantee that you will NOT receive a reply to your comment. In a day and age where people have screen names like “babeygurl48” and “DMon$$” on their social networking profiles, bloggers are not going to make time to acknowledge your anonymous comment when you don’t even have enough decency to at least sign your comment with your name.
|"Shhh! You shouldn't be saying that!"|
2. Instigating conflict or verbally attacking other blog commenters makes you look like a bully who wants to go to war rather than participate in a constructive debate or encouraging discussion. There is a difference between leaving a blog comment that says something like “I don’t care how famous Lady Gaga is, I’m not a fan of her music because it’s wack and she can’t sing” (regular disagreement, which could prompt open discussion) and posting a comment on a blog that says “You must be out of your mind. Only wack, gay people like Lady Gaga’s music. The world would be a much better place if people like you would stop promoting and enabling crappy celebrities!” (unnecessarily causing conflict and being offensive, which causes people to get defensive and starts silly arguments) on any blog.
3. Discussing irrelevant topics that are unrelated to the subject of the blog post that you are commenting on shows that you didn’t even read the post before putting your two cents into the comment bucket. Either that, or you did read the post but could not wait to make points about what you really wanted to discuss. If you are THAT interested in your own thoughts and what you have to say, then stop reading and start blogging -- that way, at least your written words will be on-topic instead of off-topic.
4. Placing several links in your blog comments makes it obvious that you are a spammer, or at the very least, a self-promotional jerk. Nothing says SPAM or self-centered reader more than leaving links to all four of your blogs, plus your commercial website, plus your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN and Google+ profiles, plus the Etsy store that you just opened up 10 minutes ago -- especially if it’s accompanied by an irrelevant comment (see #3) and anonymous (see #1).
5. If your blog comment consists of one sentence that lacks substance, then why did you even bother commenting on this post in the first place?!! Let’s consider a hypothetical A to Z Challenge blog post about the sibject of Coffee for Letter C. A blog comment signed by someone named DMon$$ that says “Hi, I found you through the A to Z Challenge. Nice Blog” is flattering but less worthwhile for bloggers to read and respond to than babeygurl48’s comment, which says “I’d rather buy a coffee lover a gift that he or she can use such as a bean grinder than buying coffee beans because I don’t know what flavors the gift recipient would like and I don’t want to waste my money, you know LOL. It was nice to find your blog through the A to Z Challenge.”
6. The most loyal and engaging commenters are given precedence over any other blog visitor. You can call iit favoritism, you can call it selective blogging or whatever else you want to call it. The fact remains that blog comments frequently left by the same people over time will not only be taken more seriously but also handled with more care than one-off visitors and one-hit wonders. Repeat commenters get reciprocal visits (which oftentimes includes comments) to their blogs (if they have a blog), they are thought of first when blog changes are on the horizon and their opinions are weighed more heavily with regards to post topics and related blogging activities.
|"But what if I don't want to visit your blog?"|
7. Making blatant requests to visit your blog or read your blog, from within your comment, may reduce the likelihood of your wish being granted and could potentially even make bloggers weary of reading your blog in the future. It’s all about relevance, substance and context. A simple link to your blog inside the comment that you left will suffice. Bloggers will visit if they want to. There is no need to be loud, obnoxious and ask them to “come by and visit mine” or the like. Relevance is key -- also, no one likes a beggar!
8. Leaving the same comment on several blog posts will almost certainly get you noticed, but, for all the wrong reasons -- it means you’re annoying. You might also end up being blocked or blacklisted from leaving any comments on that blog in the future. There are only so many times a blogger will tolerate reading comments like “Great! I enjoyed this.” on more than one blog post.
Do YOU have any blogging secrets that YOU want to reveal? Have you ever implemented word verification on purpose -- even if temporary, just to deter some people from commenting on YOUR blog? What was the most offensive, annoying or just plain senseless comment that YOU ever received on your blog?
Bio: Nicole Ayers is a freelance writer and filmmaker who blogs at The Madlab Post. She is currently finishing a short screenplay to be produced this summer. In the meantime, she also contributes to the A to Z Blog on Fridays while hosting The Monday Movie Meme and can be found @MadlabPost on Twitter.