When Your Comment Inspires Posts

Filed as Features on August 20, 2007 8:10 am

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It’s exciting when a comment you make on a blog inspires the blogger to blog about it.

This recently happened to me when Zen Zoomie wrote How the Great Blogs Began: The First Posts, and my comment there lead to What Makes a Successful Blog as a response.

Over the years, I’ve tried to follow the why and the how a comment becomes inspiration for a blog post.

There are two issues at hand. There is commenting in a way that gets your comment blogged about, and then there is commenting in a way that gets you and your blog blogged about. Both are generated the same way.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned about writing a comment which inspires the blogger to blog about it, and, in turn, you.

  • Say something intelligent. The odds are people will pay attention more to intelligent contributions to the conversation than short, useless comments like “Good work” and “You’ve made a good point. Thanks!”
  • Spelling and grammar count. A comment gets noticed when care is taken in the basics of the language structure and form. Use complete sentences. Spell it right. Honor proper punctuation,. Make sure that every word makes sense and every sentence says what you want it to say, as it should be said. Think of your comment as a blog post, with the same quality control.
  • Comment as if you know what you are talking about. If it’s clear from your comment that you know what you are talking about, odds are readers will pay attention, and click on that link to visit your blog to find out if you do comment from expertise.
  • Add to the conversation. It’s that simple. Don’t state a complete statement. Don’t stop the chat. Add to it and encourage others to contribute. Thoughts and opinions added to a conversation that encourage others to think can often inspire others to blog.
  • Add value to the blog post. Comments are content, so make your comment add to the value of the post by contributing more information or a perspective that expands upon the original intent. The more your comment complements the post, the more likely it is to be noticed.
  • Challenge the blogger to see another perspective on the issue. Don’t slam them with a totally opposite stand on the issue, but help them see things from another point of view. This might encourage them to take your comment one step farther and blog about this new perspective.
  • Make all your comments count, no matter where you make them. As you grow into being a better blogger, commenting on other blogs becomes critical to your success. People remember if you said something intelligent, worthwhile, and of value, and how you helped the conversation along. In time, you build a reputation. People like to blog about bloggers with good reputations.
  • Be humble while being honest in your comment writing. People can tell when you are faking, forcing, or just commenting in order to get attention or link juice. The more sincere you are in your comments, the more likely you are to get attention, and possibly get blogged about.

You cannot compel a blogger to blog about you or your comment. You can only comment the best you can, and your comment may inspire them to take the next step.

As for bloggers looking for content, do check your comments. By honoring comments on your blogs and giving them credit for your blog ideas, you encourage more comments on your blog.

These comment-inspired posts help you continue the conversation in a series on your blog, and shows the world that you are willing to take this issue a step farther in your thinking.

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  1. By Carolyn posted on August 20, 2007 at 10:12 am
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    Awesome post, Lorelle! Thank you. I think because blogging began as online journals, that the conversation aspect is slow in coming. These days blogging is about having a conversation with the readers, allowing for challenging perspectives. Yet, if you think about it, it’s still a challenge in real life as well. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply

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  3. By (Wannabe) Pro Blogger posted on August 20, 2007 at 8:16 pm
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    Lorelle, you’re right on target as usual. :) How about one more tip?

    Don’t be afraid to make the first comment on a post…or for that matter on a blog! Your insights and encouragement may be just the thing a blogger needs to take their blog to the next level.

    Reply

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  5. By fftyprcntgry posted on August 23, 2007 at 3:10 pm
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    It’s true about the comments the more you respond to them the better the connection between you and your readers.

    Reply

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  8. By Lewis Empire posted on August 26, 2007 at 11:03 pm
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    I’ve written a couple of articles about the value that comments add to a blog. I think there is a lot of benefit in getting your link into a top commentator’s list BUT I choose to do it by writing a response that fits at least one of the points on your list.

    There are more than a few blogs that manage to obtain 50+ comments on posts that have little or no information. When you read the comments, usually they are three word statements designed only to keep the user’s link on the list. Of course, in these cases, I blame the blogger for having such a bad post to begin with!

    In the end, I guess a blogger gets back the value that they put out.

    Thanks for the great list!

    Reply

  9. By Joanna Young posted on August 27, 2007 at 2:46 pm
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    Hi Lorelle, this is great advice. I think it’s really important to remember that commenting is writing too, and to pay as much attention and invest as much time and energy into what you write in other people’s comment boxes as you do your own posts.

    One other way your comment can get picked up and inspire a post is if you ask a question – I’ve done this for genuine reasons (and maybe this helps to make the question sound more genuine!) and have been surprised by some great responses – perhaps because it allows the blogger to develop an idea further, or to realise that they’re tapping into a rich seam that will be of interest to their readers

    Joanna

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  10. By Jeanne Dininni posted on August 28, 2007 at 4:02 pm
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    All these are excellent points! In line with your second point, “Spelling and Grammar Count”: It’s so important to proofread comments before clicking “Submit.” Since most blog platforms don’t allow comments to be edited by the commenter after submission, catching those typos before submission is important. Catching them after submission can not only be very frustrating, but will often make you appear careless or sloppy, which could lower your credibility with the blog’s readers.

    I have to admit that, often, I’m so busy that I don’t read over a comment carefully enough before submitting, and afterward I find that it contains a typo. Being the perfectionist that I am, this really bothers me! (I wish all blog templates would include an “Edit Comment” capability.)

    I definitely agree that we should treat comments as mini blog posts, using our best writing techniques. Yet, in one sense at least, it’s even more critical to proofread comments than blog posts, since blog posts can be easily modified after posting, whereas comments generally cannot.

    Thanks for an enlightening post!
    Jeanne

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  12. By Julie posted on August 31, 2007 at 7:27 pm
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    Thank you for this post! So many people advise making comments to gain traffic for your blog and leave out the rest of the story – making comments that make you look interesting and improve the blog you are posting to! You’ve surpassed that.

    Reply

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