Whether you read dozens of blog posts a week or just a handful a year, commenting can be a bit of a chore. Leaving a friendly, sincere-sounding comment and that is not overly long or too abrupt – it is a bit of a balancing act.
While joining linkies is a great way to get exposure for your own posts and to find all sorts of blogs you might otherwise not have come across, the pressure to comment can be off-putting for some.
Finding something to say on a post you can really relate to is not too difficult. But what if the post content just doesn’t resonate with you? Or you find the topic superficial, offensive or in poor taste?
Here are a few tips on how to comment and what to say.
If you enjoyed the post
- show the author that you liked it by saying so. That’s pretty obvious. There are tons of phrases you can use – great, brilliant, very good, fabulous, really funny, hilarious,… Vary them.
- but also mention what you enjoyed most. While you may well mean “Brilliant post” when you write that, it is not clear to the blogger you are praising that you actually read the post. Adding a line or two about what struck you as true/stange/sad/whatever chord it happened to strike will show that you paid attention to the post. The author of the post will appreciate that and may well visit your blog as a result.
- try to not sound insincere by using hyperbole like “best thing ever”, “the greatest” or “totally amazing” on every post you like. Save that for the ones that really are incredibly well-written, moving or hilarious.
- add a short anecdote of your own experience, if relevant. A comment doesn’t have to just be praise of the blogger, it can be a conversation starter too.
If you didn’t enjoy the post
- we have all heard it from parents and teachers – if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all. Often this is the best route to take.
- but if you really can’t hold back, try a well-phrased comment voicing your opinion. Something like “I can’t say I agree with you but you have put your point across well” or “In my experience that is not always the case”, perhaps adding a short anecdote about your own experience of a similar situation.
- in the case of a rude, abusive or offensive post, state your objection in a calm, non-abusive way. Don’t lower yourself to the level of the writer of the post.
Basically, bear in mind that the author of the post you are commenting on wants honest feedback. No one want lip service, do they?
Like many other things in this world, blogs come in all shapes and sizes, colours and styles. But if you look at a lot of them, you notice trends, just like in any other industry.
I like to compare blogs to coffee shops. Personally, I like the small ones. The home bakery type where not everything is perfect or the most modern but where the owner is obviously involved, knows their customers, welcomes new visitors and does all their own buying. This is where I feel most at home.
But then there are the big ones. The ones that mean business. They are bang up-to-date and have all the mod cons. Their range is great, they have things you never knew existed and now you want them now too. They even have a loyaly card and would LOVE you to sign up.
But are they lacking soul?
Somehow the “Hi, how are you today?” doesn’t feel as sincere as it does in the small, homey cafe. The menu is always the same and there is a tinge of routine to it all.
But back to blogs. Clean lines and clear navigation have their benefits, there is no doubt about that. But colour, quirkiness and something a little out of the ordinary make a blog memorable.
There is no rule that says you have to appeal to the masses, so dare to be different. If you like to pack a lot into your blog, then do.
Something I hear over and over again from people who write blogs is I started my blog for myself. I’ve lost count of the number to times I have read or heard people say I didn’t even tell anyone about it for months.
Often this is said as it was a bad thing. As if it is in some way embarrassing, arrogant or foolish to write for yourself. It is not.
If you write a blog and enjoy it, then good for you. We all need our creative outlets. Chances are that if you write a blog, you may also read other blogs. And that is where you can find yourself and your blogging mojo taking a bit of a self-inflicted bashing.
You may have noticed that the internet is awash with helpful articles and post on the dos and don’ts of blogging. Suddenly you are worried that you are not “blogging” properly.
If you’ve asked yourself the question “Am I blogging properly?”, the answer is yes. Here’s why:
- What is a blog? A blog is a website that you post entries to. Blogging is the process of updating that blog. So if you have a blog and write on it, you are blogging properly.
- You can live without social media. Just because you have a blog, it doesn’t mean to have to share everything on social media. If you started your blog for yourself, you are perfectly entitled to keep it that way.
- Stay true to yourself. Up till now you were happy to write on your blog occasionally. No big thing. You write when you feel like it and you write about what you fancy writing about.
- Don’t compare. When you began your blog, you set it up with a layout you like. You were proud of it. So treat it like a baby. Don’t compare it to others or try to make it different, don’t make fit in with the norm. It is yours and it is unique.
Now, go back and read your first few posts. Don’t cringe. Be proud of your space. You are blogging. There is no properly.