Monday, August 29, 2011

{what i've learned}:: blog commenting


This is the second in my {What I've Learned} series on things that I've learned over my two years of blogging and (almost) one year as an Etsy seller. I am no expert, but I love sharing with you all and hope you can glean a little knowledge for yourself.

{See the first post in the series-- {what i've learned:: blogging} here.}

Every blogger has different reasons for blogging. Some blog to share their adventures with friends and family. Some journal for themselves and others love having a place to organize their inspiration. Though there are many varied reasons for blogging, one thing is pretty consistent.

Everyone loves comments.

And if you are an active blogger, you probably have left a few comments yourself. Wanna know how to be a better blog commenter? Today I'm sharing a few ways you can do just that.

{Connect your email address!}

Okay, this one is pretty huge. There are so many times that I want to reply to a comment left by one of you pretty people, but when I hit "reply", that sad little {"no reply" at blogger.com} address pops up. I can usually hunt down your email address or blog if I have time, but that extra effort means I might not get around to it. 

I'm not sure how it's done with other accounts, but if you have a Blogger account, you can click on the "Edit Profile" link next to your photo (in Dashboard) and click the option "Show my email address".

I've had such great conversation with other bloggers through a comment left with my email address linked. It allows the blogger to respond right away and continue the discussion!



{Stand out in the crowd}

There are so many Katies, Lindsays, Sarahs, etc. out there. How is your blogger friend supposed to know which you are? She probably won't and your intelligent, witty, supportive comment will be attached to a headless blog commenter in her mind. This problem can easily be resolved. If you identify yourself with your blog, shop, last name, or some other identifying factor-- you will stick out in her mind and she'll instantly know that YOU are the one who leaves those hilarious comments.

For example, when I leave a comment, I always identify myself as "Lindsay @ Aisle to Aloha". If you use Blogger, you can change this option under your profile in the same way you added your email address just now.



{If you can't say anything nice...}

We all know that idiom from Bambi. It may go without saying, but I'll say it. If you have nothing nice to say, put your hands behind your back and walk away from the computer.

 I've been there. I know there are bloggers that irk you or seem like they need a kick in the butt. I can guarantee though, that your unkind, hastily thought out comment will cause more damage than good.

I don't mean to say you can't disagree with someone. Different opinions are often what make conversations interesting. But oftentimes in blogging, our emotions get the best of us and we feel like it's our duty to set someone straight. Healthy debate is great. Ugly comments left in the heat of the moment-- no good.

If you really must confront someone and there's a chance it might come across negatively, take a break from the computer. Ask yourself if your comment is going to be helpful or harmful. If you can write it out of love and not spite, then email that person privately.



{Share yourself}

I've never met a {kind} comment that I didn't like. I appreciate every comment that comes my way. But the ones that stick out to me are the ones where {you} my readers share themselves with me. The "I love your shirt!" comments are fabulous and oh-so-kind, but I love connecting with my readers through their comments. This might require you to actually read the words in a post (ha, caught ya!), but if you dig a little deeper and find a connection between the blogger's words and your own experiences, it will help you to be a better commenter. This could mean offering a word of advice (if appropriate), sharing a funny story that connects with the blog post, or simply sharing how the post has encouraged or inspired you. Dig a little deeper than "Great post!" and that is where relationships start to form.


Are you ready to go out there and comment the heck out of some blogs? Have any blog commenting tips  to share? I'd love to hear what you've learned through your experience of blogging and commenting.

typewriter images found via-- 1, , 3




lindsay



47 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more! I used to be one of those non-reply commenters, until I read a post similar to yours and immediately changed my profile! I am always sad when I get a nice comment and can't write back. Great tips!

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  2. I have been working on being a better commenter and I consider it the "community building" portion of my day. I have connected so much with some bloggers and it's kind of a nice little way of checking in with them the same whay I would call or text a friend.

    Life often gets us so busy, that we forget how important these virtual friendships can be (both in our lives and those of others) and how huge a part of that commenting is until we see we're not getting the number we used to. I know for me, I try to leave a smile on blogs in the way of a bright comment.

    Once again, you worded this ever so lovely and poignantly. Something I will share with my other blog lovelies for sure! Thank you for imparting these tips and tidbits to us!

    (Oh, and I've also learned to proof read to the best of my ability! It always turns out the minute I hit "Publish" I see a typo!)

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  3. This is all great advice and I love what you said about bloggers who leave not so nice comments. I've seen that around a lot lately and it's just sad to see.

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  4. Hi Linsday! Honestly, some of my favorite blogs (like yours!!) are blogs where bloggers interact with their readers. One day when I start my own blog, that is one of the things that I am going to be sure to incorporate. Thanks for being an awesome blogger!!

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  5. thank you for this advice! I have tried the Amy @ mad.amyt before... and i feel that when people see "mad" they think angry which i would tend to agree... may not draw anyone in.. but when they get here.. its a happy place. so i changed it to just Amy, in hopes that they will have a looksy.

    This stuff is really helpful... thanks!

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  6. Hi Lindsay! This is a really encouraging post. I'm a brand new blogger and trying to get over being shy with commenting and blogging in general. Thanks for the great advice!

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  7. I love the "there are a lot of Lindsays out there"! So true, but I'm a LindsEy so I'm sure you always remember me when I post, right?

    It makes me so happy to know that people are checking out my work and appreciate what I do (my blog is my photography business blog). I try to be a good blog commenter myself but it's one of the areas where I never feel good enough!

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  8. I actually used to have my email address connected to my Blogger profile, but then started getting a lot of email spam through it, so I took it off. So the email address connected is not always the greatest, unfortunately. But I like the rest of the list!

    P.S. If I comment on someone's blog I always hit the "email follow-up comments to me" checky-box so that I get notified if there is a reply, since I don't have the email addy up.

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  9. Great advice. Didn't know about the email, hopefully I won't get hit with spam, but I did connect it up. And, changed my name so that it is clear which "Jen" I am. Since that was the most common name when I was born. And that's why my mom named me that. Thanks Mom! ;-)

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  10. I've also learned not to leave the link to yôur blog. It just automatically makes the comment feel less genuine, and only a vehicle for exposure at any cost.

    Now. I've gotta go check to make sure I have my email linked to my profile!

    Thanks for such a great post!

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  11. Great tips Lindsay! As you know, I LOVE blog commenting when I have the time, but I read so many blogs it's so hard to keep up all the time. I definitely think that people leaving their email address/blog name is important (I guess for my blog it's a requirement to leave email so I don't usually have that problem) in case you want to connect back with them!

    P.S. Love the pics you interjected in this post!!

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  12. girl, i've been trying to figure out how to do that email thing for awhile now. thank you! lol.

    xoxo
    ashley
    www.laluceimagery.blogspot.com

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  13. Awesome post Lindsay! Thanks for sharing your helpful insights :) I changed my profile name to Beth @ dot...in the city. Great suggestion!

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  14. This is so so so so great!!! Everyone LOVES (nice) comments. Great post :)

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  15. This is great! I always try to add something personal in my comments but sometimes fear I come off as too self-interested...but I also know from experience that those comments are some of my favorite to receive.

    I would add that mass commenting, where someone barely comments on your post and clearly didn't read it and then says, I'm following, follow me back? Huge no-no in my book!

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  16. Thanks for the tips. I changed the way my name appears in the comments and linked my email addy. I hope I don't get spam too. I don't know if "I" am familiar to you but I started reading your blog before you started up your Etsy shop. Thanks for always begin a happy ray of sunshine!

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  17. Even though I always try to remind myself to blog for me, not to make other people happy, I do love comments. :) My goal is to always respond in thanks when someone leaves a comment, by email and by stopping by their blog & returning the favor. Unfortunately, I don't always have the time, but I do think it's an important thing to do. Sometimes if I only email them back with a quick thanks, I feel like I haven't really make the connection with my reader, so I like checking out their blog, seeing their interests, etc. I'm trying to be more consistent about, so we'll see how that goes. ;)

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  18. I love this post! I actually just wrote a post about no reply bloggers and how to fix it...I love to reply back to comments I receive, but over half of the time their e-mail address isn't attached. I think a lot of people don't realize it!

    As for saying something nice, I just left a comment on the blog, Little Bit Funky, last night and saw this on the comment form:

    i LOVE to hear from you. please note that comments that follow these guidelines are welcome & most appreciated: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29).

    I think it's genius. :)

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  19. Very informative post thank you. I am always looking for better ways of doing things. Thanks:)

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  20. email addresses? YES. that's all i have to say about that. ;)
    it's true about your name; there are so many ppl with the same name (i have about THREE close blogging friends named Emily and have to look at their URL to know who it is, ha!), and i want to have a personal relationship with all of them, not just respond to them with a cookie cutter answer. therefore, having your blog name in your comment name is a great idea!
    what up with all the blog haters lately? they can be so evil and just plain hurtful, not to mentioned infuriating. totally agree with ya on this one.
    comments are sometimes better than the post itself; you get to learn all about the readers over time & develop a friendship with them...some my my best blogging friends are my most faithful commenters! if you don't have anything else to say other than "great top; you're so cute!", which i have been guilty of ha! don't say anything in my opinion.

    phew, lots to say on this post; it was awesome as always, friend!!

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  21. Oh man I get so frustrated with the no replies! A lot of the time I end up writing this long great response only to realize I'm writing to no one.
    Thanks for the great advice. I love reading the advice of successful blogs so I can learn and grow!

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  22. Great advice. I'm just starting out with my blog - about 4 days in! I really enjoy the personality of your blog/writing. I'm beginning to understand how important reciprocal communication is in {blog world}. It's reassuring to also know that bloggers continue to appreciate their readers and comments. I get so excited now when one or two people read a post of mine - I can't wait to experience what it feels like if a 1,000 do!

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  23. Awesome advice, I am trying to work on my commenting..Thanks

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  24. I'm new to blogging, but have all ready found all of those tips to be true!

    Thank you for sharing.
    I'm enjoying your {What I've Learned} series. =)

    Blessings,
    Sarah

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  25. great post - and love the photos here, woman!!!

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  26. Oh man! I'm headed over to my blogger profile to add something to my name since I know there are a lot of Ashley's out there. Thanks for that tip!

    I love blog commenting, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed between my favorite blogs + those kind people that leave comments on That is All. Working on some time management going forward.

    So glad Busy Bee tweeted about you last night. :D

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  27. Lindsay, Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom along with your heart! You are so right, I love it when people comment on my blog. I really only blog for me right now, but when someone else can relate it makes me so happy! I hope you have a wonderful day.

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  28. Lindsay,

    This is a good post and I totally agree with how to be a better blog commenter! Its so hard to get negative comments sometimes -- I've gotten some that have left me close to tears because it seems people just want to be mean! I don't always agree with everything I read, but thats when I move on and don't speak because I know that sometimes my words will come out wrong and just seem nasty! Its so much better for everyone to be nice and uplifting!

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  29. Thanks for taking the time to share. I would have never thought of adding my blog name to my signature. I'm just getting started, and it is fun that you are willing to offer some insight to your readers. Much appreciated!

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  30. This is a great post. I have been blogging for 4 years and changing my focus back and forth so haven't quite found my niche or gone "viral" but I am always looking for ways to improve. Thank you for sharing.

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  31. Great post! ;o)

    This gave me some good points to consider. I think I'm most guilty of leaving the short comment without making it very personal. As for leaving a name/email address when commenting, I don't have blogger and I'm not quite sure how easy it is to respond to my comments. This gives me something else to look into. I'm still trying to figure out what I want my blog name and blogger name to be. Nothing is coming to mind that I love even though I've considered it for a while.

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  32. I certainly knew about the e-mail...I so wish I could make all my people who comment on mine have a way to do their e-mail! I changed my name thing...so it has my blog name on it. I thought before that Katrina was such an unusual name that it didn't matter...but I like the way it points people back to my page. Such a great post! YOU, are not just a talented painter but a talented writer as well...I so agree with "if you can't say nothing nice" I wish people would just do that actually!

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  33. Those were some great tips, Lindsay! I do believe that good commenting karma will earn rewards :)

    I occasionally do get a little frustrated with bloggers who expect tons of comments, but never reply or comment back on other people's blogs... but I guess, that's just the way it is and you can't always take that personally.

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  34. Thanks for this post! I had my email linked, but not 'my name' @ 'my blog' - thanks for the tip!I'm a new follower now too, and I'm going to share these tips with my followers! :)

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  35. well I started reading this post which lead me to the link where you shared about why you blog which lead me to the link where you talked about negative comments. Thank you for sharing these things on your blog. I received some hateful comments and sometimes I feel like I'm the only one and while I know they should not get to me they absolutely do. Your blog is so fun! Your honesty is refreshing. Thank you for sharing.

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  36. I'm your 1,000th follower! :) Saw Splendor's tweet, so I thought I'd help! :) awesome blog!

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  37. Thanks for posting this today. I really have been in a blog-slump lately and I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. You're post along with that motivation made me look into my profile and I realized I didn't have my email shown. Not because I didn't want people to know it but just simply because I didn't know. I changed it and can't wait to start connecting with people more.

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  38. Yes!!! Agree 100 percent on all of it:) :) So glad to have just found your blog!

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  39. I just changed my name on my Google Profile so let's see if it works! Thanks for your tips! I wish there were no no-reply commenters, ha makes it harder to reply!!!! Obviously.

    Ashley
    -Check out a Photography Giveaway on my blog!

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  40. Shout it from the rooftops, sista!! Hate it, hate it when people don't connect their log in with an email address! I want to take a minute to say thank you or reply back to a question, but can't and get so frustrated.

    Absolutely LOVE those typewriter images!!
    xoxo

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  41. Hey Lindsay! I saw a link to this post on twitter and I love your commenting tips. Your suggestion on making your name stand out got me to go in to my dashboard and change my display name! I've talked about the "no-reply" commenters on my blog numerous times too!

    Anyway, I've never been to your blog before, but I'm glad I saw that link. You are darling! I'll be following from now on.

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  42. Hey chickie! Good stuff today! Just edited my profile thanks to your tips! Xo

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  43. Lindsay ~ Your tips are awesome ~ they have just inspired me to go and change my profile using your tips! Thanks a bunch - I have also tried replying to a comment, but have no way to contact the person - I never even realized about the email address thing on your profile . . . what a great tip!
    Aimee

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  44. I totally agree, every blogger needs to link their email address! I didn't have mine set up for a long time, and I finally figured that one out. It's so much nicer!

    I always try to leave comments that are more than just "I like your shirt". Sometimes it takes a little more work, but the thoughtful comments are definitely the ones I enjoy!

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. Blog commenting is becoming more and more popular now-a-days, because it’s a great way to meet new people and make your name recognizable among other bloggers in your field. It is also a way to form or enter a network of like-minded bloggers and build good relationships. Thanks a lot.

    SEO company New York

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  47. Found your blog today, and you've inspired me to come say hello. So... HELLO! -waves-

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