A couple of weeks ago I posted How To Blog Without Blogging and got some great comments – 27 to be exact. I don’t think that was one of my more brilliant posts (although the title was pretty good :)).
Today I’ll take it one step further and share some thoughts on commenting on blogs, since I’ve been doing it for (gosh) at least 10 months now 😉
… (commenting) fails to provide a central repository for your thoughts. No one is going to seek out your scattered thoughts. People pay (through their attention) for convenience. Be sure you make yourself convenient.
I don’t think one really can blog without blogging. Yes, they can particpate and reap some benefits with your suggestions.
But, isn’t it kind of like being spectators at a sporting event? You can observe, make comments and then leave without breaking a sweat. But you’re not on the team. The star bloggers […] network for all they’re worth, share innovative thoughts and keep the committment.
My reaction? I agree, of course. I am a strong advocate of developing a blog to quantify your personal brand. This post is just a baby-steps recommendation/primer for those that aren’t quite ready for the committment.
- stay on topic
- relevenant links are okay
- no hate, flaming or other ugly stuff
- no spam (of course)
Tony links to a Gina Trapani post on Lifehacker called Geek to Live: Lifehacker’s guide to weblog comments. Here are the main points, again, you should read the original post to see the “why’s” behind each point:
- stay on topic
- contribute new information to the discussion
- don’t comment for the sake of commenting
- know when to comment and know when to e-mail
- remember that nobody likes a know-it-all
- make the tone of your message clear
- own your comment (don’t be anonymous)
- be succinct
- cite your sources
- be courteous
- don’t post when you are angry, upset, drunk or emotional
- do not feed or tease the trolls (if you don’t know what that means you have to read her post ;))
Those are great lists and explanations. My additional thoughts here are for you – perhaps a non-blogger – remember, its about how to use commenting to enhance your personal brand.
Say Thank You. If you are ever mentioned in a post, I think its good practice to thank the writer for acknowledging you. Even if they mention just your first name (I do this to keep my contacts anonymous, many times they don’t know I’m gong to quote them). Better yet – contribute to the discussion with more than a “thank you.”
Bring value to the readers. I see posts as the beginning of a discussion. The writer will only write so much, and usually won’t exhaust the discussion. Adding opposing views, supporting views, links to other posts or articles makes the discussion richer and more valuable. And it shows how smart you might be 😉
Bloggers solicit input. When they do it’s a great opportunity to throw your two cents in! Take a few minutes and add to the conversation. How many blog posts do you see that end with “what do you think?” Lots!
Make sure to leave your link. Its about personal branding, right? So leave your website, or blog, or LinkedIn profile in the box so that people can click back and find more info about you. Gina talks about not being anonymous – AMEN! I realize there are times you want to be (embarrassing questions, etc.) but don’t get into a habit of being anonymous.
Do it. If you think a post is cool, add to it. If you think the writer is off-mark, leave a comment and express your thoughts. Be kind, be intellectual, be a smart resource. If you want to be a jerk or a troll go ahead – that’s a great way to show your personal brand too – if you want to have a bad brand.
E-mail vs. comment? I’ve had a number of e-mails talking about a post, or a comment left on a post. The e-mails are GREAT! But I’d rather have you share your thoughts with all of my readers, not just me. Maybe I’m weird that way, but if you have something meaningful to add to the discussion, post a comment.
But, e-mail is cool too. Many times a blogger will e-mail you to say thanks. This is a great time to start a relationship. Perhaps you can offer to write a guest post on their blog, or send them information that they might find valuable (if it has to do with their themes they blog on, many times they will appreciate it).
There you go. Have you commented on any blogs since my How To Blog Without Blogging post?