In the last three weeks I’ve received three comments, all from different people, on this blog.
All comments kind of, almost, add to the discussion, and enrich the original post or surrounding comments.
When I went to approve the comments in question, I kind of hesitated, but ultimately thought, “well, if they want to leave something that stupid, it’s on their brand, not mine.” It’s almost the “give them enough rope to hang themselves with” idea.
I approved the comments.
And then I started to see the very same comments posted on other blogs in the career or recruiting space. No editing, no customizing, just a straight copy-and-paste job.
So here’s the deal – I saw a yellow flag by the overly-self-promoting comment… but decided to let it fly. I figured my readers are smart enough to see through the crap.
But then when I read the very same stuff in multiple places, my initial concern was validated.
Guess what? As a blogger, you have gone backwards on our relationship. Instead of being flattered and grateful for you adding to my discussion, I’m now mad that you are “using me.” And insulting my readers.
You have tarnished, or screwed, your brand, as far as I’m concerned.
And I’m sure my readers are smarter than you think. I bet you’ve tarnished your brand with them, too.
Why the uncharacteristic rant?
Because I travel around telling people to comment on blogs to enhance and develop their personal brand. But please be cautious about how you do it. Follow these guidelines:
- Don’t be self-promotional, unless it’s clearly warranted. If you have a solution that is right for the topic, great… let us know about it. Otherwise, save your pitch until the timing is right.
- Don’t insult me, as the blog owner. I’m okay if you disagree with me, for sure. I’m okay if you think I write something dumb, or unwarranted. But don’t try and pick a fight with me, and try and smear me. Of course, this might be what you really want to do, but if you are interested in nurturing a relationship with me, or enhancing your personal and professional brand, it might pay to take a breath and keep it nice. Also, I, like most bloggers, have built a community of readers. Sorry to say, but they like me. They support me. They are my champions and my evangelists. You might think I’m full of hot air, but they think I’m pretty cool. And they’ll stick up for me.
- Don’t ever insult my readers. You might think they are yours to preach to, but they are pretty smart and can see through your crap.
What am I missing? What have you seen diminishes the credibility of a commenter?