If you are anything like me, you read other blogs. A lot of other blogs.
If you are anything like me, when you write something, you want to know that it has been read and what people think. Getting “liked” is great and all, but us bloggers live for the comments you make.
If you are anything like me, sometimes you want to comment, but aren’t sure what to say.
So, I got to thinking about the best (and worse) ways to comment. Here are four quick examples I came up with:
You just read a really good post on what it feels like to be depressed. You really found yourself identifying with the writer’s experience.
DO NOT fall into the trap of feeling like you need to give advice or “fix” people, like this:
You seem like you are feeling very sorry for yourself. I’m sure you can snap out of this funk if you just work out more and think positively. It worked for me!
You may think you are “helping,” but it can make the person feel even worse.
DO write something like this:
I’m so glad you wrote this, so I know I’m not the only one experiencing this level of difficulty. I hope you feel better soon.
This one short sentence will go MUCH farther to help this person feel less crazy, alone, depressed, or even suicidal than dozens of “likes.” For bonus points, describe your own struggles in a few sentences or point them to a post you wrote about a similar experience. It’s not shameless promotion if you are trying to connect with someone. Let that go.
You just read something funny. Writers of humor are at a serious disadvantage. They (we) don’t have any idea how their writing is going to come across to people. They hope it’s as funny to us as it is to them, but they are insecure like every other artist (and human being) on the planet. Take your finger off the “like” button and use your words people!
DO NOT write:
It don’t think it’s funny when people’s junk catches on fire. What is wrong with you?
Maybe you don’t like what you read for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean it is not funny.
DO copy and paste the part you enjoyed the most into your comment, like this:
“…and just as I was thinking about how hot he was, his crotch went up in flames!” <— THIS was my favorite part of your post. I did not see that coming. I really needed the laugh today. Keep it up. I’ll be following you from now on!
You read some kick-ass fiction, but you noticed a flaw in the story line.
DO NOT write:
Your story was great, except the ending made no sense at all. Why would the little girl be sitting on the porch eating peanut M&Ms when you mentioned at the beginning that she is ALLERGIC TO NUTS? Weak dude. Seriously.
So many things are wrong with this. First, Saying something was “great” is super boring and not specific at all. What the heck does “great” even mean especially when followed by the word “except”? Second, do not ever use all caps. It’s WAY TOO AGGRESSIVE. Lastly, calling someone’s writing “weak” is, well, weak.
This story made me feel warm and fuzzy. I liked the way you captured the voice of the 8 year old girl so exquisitely. I did notice a tiny inconsistency in the story. If you want, I’d be happy to elaborate, otherwise, keep up the good work.
You see what I did there? I call it 2Pos+1Neg–when delivering criticism, you say two positive things, followed by one negative. It makes it much easier to be on the receiving end of the negative criticism. Also, I asked permission to give the feedback, instead of putting out there right away. This will make the writer feel more in control and less defensive.
A blogger just wrote a post about something you totally disagree with.
DO NOT say:
What the hell is wrong with you? I hope you die in a hole covered in rat vomit!
Because, really, what good does it do to say something like that? You may think it makes you feel better to “vent,” but it just perpetuates your crankiness. (Also, it makes you look like a mean and nasty shithead.)
I may not agree with what you are saying, having been raised to believe the opposite, but your post was well-written, insightful, and really made me think.
I hope these guidelines are helpful to you. When you think about it, it really just comes down to following the old golden rule:
Do you have ideas about how to be a super awesome commenter? Please leave a comment about it!
23 thoughts on “How to Comment on Blogs Like a Boss”
yes! This. Entirely, this post. . .
(I think I just violated all of the rules you spelled out. I will elaborate): You put exactly into words how I feel about this writing course WordPress is hosting. I’m learning tons about my own writing cul-de-sacs by writing to the prompts they provide, but the peer evaluations are less than useful. I am taking the course to improve. Responses like “I liked this” and “It doesn’t matter how well you hit both of these prompts. This course is only concerned with how well you hit one of them” are frustrating. I wish I could post your entry onto their site and not seem like a complete a-hole. Also, I have always refrained from giving editing advice on other people’s work unless explicitly ask for it, so your suggestion of asking for permission first is a revelation to me. Thank you for this!
Oh. You are so welcome. And you are always well me to wave your red pen over me. I can take it.
Those non-entity “great” posts irritate me too, usually I don’t even pass them – they add nothing to my blog. I’ll pass them if it is one of my regular readers though.
Personally, I think a lot of those are by people who think that leaving “great” means they’ll get a lot of people (including me) visiting their blog.
I never thought of that. Thanks for reading and commenting!!
firstly, I really like your new look because silly me the entire time thought it was desert and not dessert until you added the cupcake and mentioned eating cake!!! duh! just being honest, I rush through things often and I think I see one thing cause it’s how I know it to be and well, I made that mistake. I feel like a dope and I hope for the most part I’m good with the comment thing, I know for myself, that I love to get comments, it makes me feel so good. So I come from the same thought, treat others as I want to be treated and I fell hard for your blog the first post I ever read. It’s just filled with honesty and goodness and you are a very great writer.
I often wonder how many people mix up the hot place w cake! Thanks for your honesty. I’m so glad you like the new look. I love your blog too!
How funny. I’d been thinking “desert” also…anyway, thanks for this thoughtful post. I try to mention something “concrete” in my comments, but I’m afraid I’m occasionally guilty of the “great” thing…sometimes I want to react to a post, but am left speechless by the masterful use of words, or the content, or the sheer imagination of the author. I love getting comments also (there’s nothing as nice as that orange speech bubble) but especially when the commenter tells me some way in which what I wrote inspired her, or reminded her of something, or when she has a correction or addition of some sort to my spelling or grammar (esp. when I write in French!) I think this is all very useful advice, and as a commenter I will be thinking of this all the time! Thank you!
I feel the same way! Sometimes I literally have to say “I want to comment, but I’m speechless.” I figure it’s better than saying nothing at all.
this is a great post.. i honestly haven’t thought much about how comments come across… even yesterday i submitted a comment before rereading it and realized it may have come off the wrong way. thanks for these great tips! it really puts things into perspective.
Aw. You are welcome. I think I’d rather see a comment that seems a little off, than no comment at all. At least I can then ask the commenter to clarify and that starts a conversation. Always a good thing. 🙂
This is worth pinning! I smiled at all the comments, by the way 🙂 I visit a lot of blogs and do try and leave comments sensitively.
Shai-You are an very insightful commenter. Not to mention a terrific blogger yourself! I’m always happy when you stop by. 🙂
That makes me very glad! I’m in the blogging space because I love reading and writing posts. It’s always a pleasure to connect with other great writers and echo their thoughts. The depth in your posts is rather fascinating!
Um yeah. So I know this is aggressive and all but I REALLY like this post! 🙂
Good advice – for sure!
Thank you for posting this. I found it helpful as well as humorous.
I’m afraid I just clicked “like” I was going to say great post but slightly worried you may hate me 🙂
In all seriousness, as a blogger of >1 year, it’s encouraging to read that the feedback side of things is not something only I worry about. I must admit, I’m pleased to receive any feedback even if it is fairly generic as it’s still 10 seconds out of a person’s day.
Yes, nothing like the golden rule. I don’t leave a comment unless I believe it. No blogger is amazing and no post is great. I’m not and mine aren’t. But, posts can be interesting, thought provoking and fun… that’s what I like to read and that’s what I like to say… this one was all three… no bull.
Thanks, my friend. I like your style.
There are no rules in blogging.
Yay! Thanks for the comment! 🙂 Better to disagree than to not comment at all, I say.
Thanks! I’m honored that you thought of me.