How To Be Good Commenter

I’m afraid I’ve developed a reputation as some blog bashing bitch with all my posts about how blogs are run.

I don’t know if many of you remember, but Abby’s very first guest post was all about commenting. Trust me, if you haven’t read it, go there now, this post isn’t going anywhere.

So today, I thought I’d post about how to produce an awesome comment.

Step 1: READ

Its simple enough, but nothing irritates me more than commenters that don’t read the post (and yes, bloggers can totally tell). I know, we all have a million and one blogs to read everyday, work to do, kids/dogs to feed, overnight oats to make….but if your life is really that busy, why even comment? I know, its tempting to skim some posts that seem to resemble a piece of Russian literature, but when I skim a post, I usually won’t comment on it. Anyhow, I think the first step is to read! (have you read up to here??? yes??? thanks, I love you!).

Step 2: Don’t be a billboard

Gross....just gross

I know, there is nothing sweeter than self promotion. But it kind of makes me sick. I actually cringe when I promote a post of facebook or twitter, and its usually because I’m proud of it. Anyhow, what also makes me cringe is lots of links in the comment section. I often feel the real message is,

“Hello! I’m even more fabulous than you and I think you should read my fabulous blog and comment because my blog is fabulous.”

Additionally, this is the fastest way to get your comment deleted and to have future comments marketed as spam. Of course its fine to include a link to your site on your name, but leaving a link in the body will make some people think your being pushy.

Step 3: Be Thorough

And as I mentioned, I understand that most commenters will regurgitate short comments like, “Yum!”, and “Love it!”, and while those comments are ok, I think you are better off making a lasting impression by saying a bit more. Why does it look yummy? What do you love about it? And if you disagree, it’s even more important to say more than just, “you’re incorrect” or some other mindless rantingΒ equivalent. For example, don’t say:

“You’re totally off base saying that Green Monsters taste like your front lawn!”

Hmm… all you’ve really said there is that “your wrong”. So if you truly disagree, it might be more constructive to write:

“I don’t think you should be so quick to judge green monsters just because they are green. Clearly, you don’t own a Vitamix which is the only blender powerful enough to cut through the grit of the greens.”

Step 4: Represent who you are

Part of the reason I love the ability to comment is that its true value lies in the opportunity to build long-term relationships.Β Leaving thoughtful blog comments can be one of the best ways to start a relationship. Write from your heart (I know, that sounds cliche). Comments like “I agree!” and “Have a good weekend” are nice, but they don’t say much about who you are. I sometimes leave snarky/bitchy comments. hmm maybe because I’m just being myself? And through being yourself, relationships will start to build with the blogger. And if you are indeed just commenting to promote your own blog, then really why not have you comment truly show a little bit of who you are to entice people to click over?

Step 5: Play Nice

I know, I want to yell at some bloggers too. Whether it’s to tell them gain a few pounds or tell them their protein vegan chiaseed low carb funnel cake makes me want to gouge my eyes out, there are still human beings behind blogs. Anonymity the web gives makes telling people how you REALLY feel a whole lot easier, but you should really keep to yourself what you would not have the guts to say in person.

Don’t feel scarred to comment! So did you really read this whole post?

And I’m sorry I have no recipe, I had a great one lined up but I really didn’t want to distract too much from this post.


45 thoughts on “How To Be Good Commenter

  1. I did read it all! Go ahead, ask me if you don’t believe it! πŸ™‚ What I like when commenting and when reading other comments is when the person shares something about themselves. Yes, you agree/disagree with what the blogger says but when you add your point of you or a similar thing that has happened to you it always adds an interesting angle. Or I hope so, because I do that and that’s the reason why my comments tend to be freakishly long…

  2. Hahaha, this cracked me up and yes, I read the whole thing… though I was looking forward to a recipe at the end. 😦

    I liked your #5 about playing nice. Though I’ve never gotten a nasty comment, I agree that we need to be respectful of other bloggers, because we’re all still human beings whose blog is near and dear to our heart.

  3. I totally agree that people should READ the post if they are going to comment!! It is SO obvious when people don’t read, and comment anyway. Sometimes they ask questions that have been answered in the post etc., and I instantly know that they haven’t read.

    LOL – you are always hating on the green monsters πŸ™‚

  4. I think there is a special place in blog hades for the comment that simply says. “follow my blog?” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ***** πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    maybe I will, if I like it. but I probably won’t now, out of spite for you initiating contact by making a generic request…

  5. I did read the whole post! And it all seemed pretty much spot on. I like that despite the fact that you talked about “playing nice”, you still acknowledged that sarcastic comments are occasionally necessary. And I like your self promotion “comment”…hilarious.

  6. yikes, now i’m scared to comment on your blog…hope you have a nice day!

    just kidding. i mean, i do hope you have a nice day, but that’s not all i’m gonna say. i agree with so many of your points! especially about how annoying the obvious self-promoting i-didn’t-read-and-don’t-care-that-much comment can be…

  7. It’s “You’re wrong” not “your wrong”. :-p

    I hope that proves that I did read this post carefully. Hee hee!

    But I have to admit: I’m guilty of skimming at times. It’s readers hubris, probably brought over from me skimming scores of boring science textbooks. I think I’m a fast reader, but I overestimate how much I can absorb from fast reading.

  8. Nope, definitely not feeling scarred to comment… πŸ˜€ I remember when I first started getting into reading blogs, if I liked a single post or read a blog, I’d add it to my Google Reader. Then I was being bombarded every single day by 100+ posts, and I’d actually seriously have to go through, comment what I would dub in my head the “token” comment, which is usually a “look so good!” and then sign off with my name, and then close the tabs. I’d have like 20 tabs open, and by the end of it have 5 or 6 which required comments which required a bit more “thought”, which I would inevitably leave until the next few days, and then give up.

    Yeah… then I went through a deep deleting phase and now I like to think that I’m a better commenter.

  9. I love a blog post without a recipe. It means I don’t have to find yet more ways of saying “yum, that looks great! (even though I am never going to make it myself)”

    I call them hit and run comments. I understand why people do it. It’s a quick way of touching base and acknowledging someone’s post. B/c you want them to do the same with you. But the end result of that is that no one ever actually reads people’s stuff, which isn’t exactly the point of building up traffic…

    Something I like to do (though I can’t remember if I did it here — I hope so!) is introduce myself. I tend to find new blogs through ones that I already read, and so if someone has pointed me in your direction, or I generally like the comments you leave (I think that’s what happened in your case!), then I’ll hit them up and explain what led me there. I think that gives a bit of background and a little connection that makes it easier to start up that relationship that you talk about.

    Anyways.. Where’s the recipe? πŸ˜‰

    Hope you had a good weekend!

  10. Ding ding ding! Thank you for this. I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said here, but I’ve never articulated it. One of my favorite things about blogging is building relationships as well, and relationships aren’t built by commenting without reading. Or comments that are without substance (aka not thorough).

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate each and every comment I receive, but I do value certain comments and certain reader more highly based on their comments and the content (but NOT on how frequently they comment – we are all busy and some posts don’t have a lot to comment on!).

  11. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Never feel sorry for feeling that way.
    I’ll admit I sometimes skim if I am short on time, but then I usually won’t bother leaving a comment if I don’t think it adds anything to the conversation. It’s like talking when you have nothing real to say–it’s just awkward and unnecessary.

    With that said, I love comments–good or bad–as they get me thinking. Sometimes I think I get the “blog bitch” label for feeling how I do about certain blogging things, but I would say it in real life–tactfully–because that’s how I feel πŸ˜‰ I just like knowing people are out there and knowing what they think–especially you, of course. Now go visit my blog and leave a novel or something short and sweet so I can judge you.

  12. Fantastic photos! You have a great blog! x

    hahahah jokes i did read this. i agree with you. you can totally tell if a comment is sincere or not. i always ignore comments that look like mass messages so i dont encourage them re-visiting as its just hollow, but seriously, nice blog πŸ™‚

  13. Ooo now I’m challenged to be thoughtful and act like I read and show something about myself without selfpromoting. EEEk! haha

    I agree with sharing more than the simple one liners, but I can also understand that’s all the time people have every now and then.

  14. Hey great post! Check out my blog πŸ™‚

    Haha! I think my favorite comments are when people can relate to something I said, and they tell me thier own personal story or situation. Just getting to know them and not just that they think my waffle looks good….And making me laugh is always good! And yes, it requires reading ALL of the post!

  15. I have to laugh when people only comment on the very first or the very last thing I said because clearly they just skimmed everything else. Now, I totally get that not everyone is going to ready what I write word for word (heck, I know I don’t when I read blogs), but at least hide it a little better!

  16. I so wanted to make a comment about protein vegan chia seed low-carb funnel cakes, but someone already beat me to it. That, and my brain’s hopped up on too much decongestant for me to really think clearly, and while I can’t really add much to what’s already been said by you & my fellow commenters, as always, I thank you for putting out there what we all secretly think.

    And there. Not only did I read your whole post, but I read all the comments too. Go visit my blog to tell me how fabulous I am so I don’t have to go cry in my overnight oats. πŸ™‚

  17. I have to admit when someone can’t write well, I do sometimes just skim. I wish more people would break up their paragraphs. And follow this advice on commenting. I have to say, it’s one thing to leave a disagreement once in awhile, that I appreciate. But when it’s your only comment ever, or if you comment all the time but only negatively, it’s not very productive.

    • Totally! I think its very rude to all of a sudden comment and make it a negative one! Unless the post was flat out offensive, I’d give a disagreement a lot more respect if the commenter spoke up previously and said kind things before.

  18. Hahah. Good post! I leave short comments a lot of time.. but that is just because I sometimes don’t have a lot to say other than “balls” or “yum” or “yes, please”. You can totally tell when someone doesn’t read. I agree, why take time to comment? So I will go to your blog? I don’t get it. Oh and I totally caught the you’re that Sophia did. Hehe, I was reading!


  19. oh my god that drives me nuts when people don’t actually READ the posts they’re commenting on! Like when they say “that breakfast looks soo good”, I obviously know they haven’t read the post… (and yes, I always read the full posts of blogs I comment on!) I also couldn’t agree more with the whole, link in the comment section part..there’s two blogs that constantly comment on mine with their links and honestly, I just delete them 99% of the time. Wow I feel like my comment is ridicuously long now! Sorry, I hope i’m not boring you with my rants/agreements!

  20. Yup…now I’m scarred πŸ™‚ AND scared not to mention self-conscious. May lose sleep wondering if I am a guilty offender?!?!?!

    Thanks Eden. Have a nice day…

  21. I agree! Great post.


    Hah. I kid. I did actually read the whole post and I NEVER post comments like that. They seem so.. impersonal. While it’s nice to get comments, I can’t help but why people even bother posting such short comments. One of the fun things about comments is reading them and there is absolutely nothing fun about reading 1 word. It’s also annoying when the commenter doesn’t actually read my post.. and yes, I can almost always tell.

  22. This post summed up my thoughts exactly! I sometimes write shorter comments when I can’t relate to the topic as much, however I can’t stand when it’s obvious that the commenter didn’t read. A few days ago I got a comment that said “those cinnamon buns look lush!” I was totally confused because there wasn’t even a picture of cinnamon buns nor a mention of them in the post.
    Luckily, I haven’t gotten many self-promotion, anon, or mean comments, but the more in depth the comment is, the more I appreciate it.

  23. Wonderful post, Eden! And I think you’ve nailed it all! I love commenting on interesting posts and blogs, and I love how friendships can evolve from it. I must admit that I also love to get comments. It makes me happy because it gives me the feeling that people have to say something about what I write, and find it worth to discuss it or mention something regarding it. I love the when comments give rise to a conversation (that is continued via follow-up posts and comments) between another blogger and me. This is what blogging is minl about for me.

  24. Read every word. But here’s the rub: Ellie’s blog is really called My Fabulous Life on the Road, so if she pimps herself, is that still uncool- the word Fabulous is just too good to pass up pimping.

    Derek and I have long had a standing joke about the 100+ comments on big girl blogs and some of them say “Nice apple”. Really? Really? Why. Why waste my time and the precious internet space and eye strain.

    The way I see it: If I have taken the time to really read a post, I feel that it’s nice that I leave a comment of some sort- something of some value perhaps, even just for entertainment. So when I’m not commenting, I’m just not having the time to read. There are times that I skim, but then I don’t comment.


  25. Hi! I always read all your posts because I love them so much. I love the keep unread box in my Reader. However there are some blogs where I hit the “mark all as read” and do the skim thing. If I do I don’t comment.

    Sometimes, I am too shy to comment until I have something I really feel called to say.
    Well, today is my day!

    Yes I read that whole post and “I agree”.

    PS– Ever find a “duplicate comment” …I once saw a blogger drop the same exact paragraph long comment that she left for me on another blog.
    It confused me but…It’s just the blog worls. I get over it.

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