As I started to visit more blogs and join a community of commenting bloggers, I noticed that not everyone understands some very, basic commenting rules that will ensure engagement on your blog.
This realization made me go in search of blog commenting rules, which for the most part, I was unable to find.
Basic blogging rules should be common sense as we would use the same decorum in a face to face conversation or in a corporate setting or in dealing with a client.
With that said, I decided to provide my own idea on good blog commenting rules. 🙂
Blog commenting is important in building a community of bloggers who can support each other and provide social proof, as well as, a way of relationship bonding among bloggers.
With that said, here are 6 Comment Blogging Etiquette Rules I think are important to know, particularly if you’re new to blogging and commenting.
If you’re an experienced blogger, hopefully you will know and adhere to some basic easy blogging rules.
- Be Courteous
When you leave a comment you may have no idea with whom you are speaking.
So you always want to be courteous to the writer and previous commenters as you engage in conversation.
Even if there is controversy or you disagree with a comment and want to debate it, debates can be done in a courteous manner.
Don’t attack the author personally. Engage in polite dialogue conversation stressing your points of disagreement or agreement.
Some may be in disagreement with me on this, but since I’ve also worked in corporate for many years, you can learn the art of disagreement in a courteous or non-confrontational manner.
Many times a job, an interaction or sale or client can depend on the outcome of that discussion. Always remember people are always watching to see how you will handle a situation.
Even when others get out-of-hand in their comments, an author should always be in control because other commenters are looking at how you respond.
Since commenting is about building relationships, the impression you provide to others who are following you can be affected so it is important for the author to defend his or her position in a well-written response.
Not accusatory or insulting or discourteous. Always, professional, even in the face of rudeness.
Remember your image as a writer and/or commenter will not be tarnished by your response if you always maintain professionalism.
There are ways to disagree, even when things get heated. In particular, with blogging, ‘everyone’ is watching and reading and it is important just like in any other professional debate, to keep your cool and state your case.
The reason I say this in particular is that this world is very small and you will never know when you may ‘run’ into this person again, so it’s always important to be courteous and professional.
- Add Relevance To The Conversation
Make sure you add something relevant or important to the conversation.
Random comments may get you tagged as a spammer or not taken seriously.
If you’re not taken seriously, you can also be tagged as a spammer and banned to never to visit the site again.
Find something, preferably positive enlightenment or enhancements to add to the conversation.
- One Time Commenter
Don’t be a one time Commenter. Yes, there are many. People who visit a blog one time to drop links or try to get links back to their website by leaving a comment will usually not be successful.
One reason is that many people use CommentLuv which among many other things, allows you to designate how many times a person can leave a comment before receiving approval and or links from your site.
CommentLuv is a great tool with various other enhancements that can help you prevent spammers and others who are not regulars or serious about blog commenting.
When I was a new blogger, I couldn’t understand why people visiting their blog needed to have more than one comment before approval or why comments were put into moderation.
As I learned and understood more regarding the evaluation process to ensure real comments and real people are behind the comments, I understood that this CommentLuv is one way of ensuring legitimacy of the people visiting your site…a process I have come to value.
- Don’t Promote Your Own Blog
An interesting visitor ended up on my blog one time not too long ago. I wrote a post and mentioned that I would be interacting shortly with that website.
The owner of the site came by and started responding to all of the comments that I received on my post!
Each of his comments mentioned his blog and told each person to visit his blog. Very uncool.
I thought, who is this man? Even if he owned the website, many times a person will just stop by, thank you and continue on their merry way.
I was annoyed at this. Bad behavior and very rude.
I think it was perfectly acceptable to interact with my commenters, but to respond to them as if he were the owner of the post was out-of-line and quite frankly pissed me off.
He was not a guest poster or writer. He did not ask ask permission to respond to my comments on my posts as if he were the writer and he did not ask if he could leave his links or recommend his website.
Most people, when their blog is mentioned, will simply say thank you to the author, provide a positive comment and move on.
I thought this other person was very obnoxious. Definitely encouraged me ‘not’ to interact on a regular basis with them although they are well-known in the blogosphere.
Don’t promote your own blog in comments on a post you are commenting on.
Responding to other comments is not the opportunity to place your own links or promote your own blog.
- Provide Positive Enhancement – Do Not Focus On The Negative
Even if you are in disagreement with the topic, discuss as if you were sitting across the room and having a conversation. Even debates are common but should be done in a productive manner where everyone understands both sides. State your case, make your point, no bad language, no arguments, only professional debates or discussions.
Don’t respond with anger. I have to practice not responding with anger sometimes. One young lady left a comment and my reaction was to respond in a non-professional way.
Her content instantly upset me and I thought it was a contrary comment and insulting. First I started to write, then I stopped and decided to wait a couple of days before I responded and I’m glad I did.
Later, it didn’t seem so inflammatory although I think she actually went back and re-wrote her comment as it probably was as inflammatory as I originally thought.
If that is the case, then the point is still important. If someone leaves an inflammatory post, take a minute or two or a day or two before responding.
Don’t respond with anger. Let it settle then respond in a professional manner agreeing or disagreeing with their point.
- Answer Every Commenter
This may seem silly, but Adrienne Smith, the Engagement Queen I’ve heard her call, receives a ridiculous amount of comments on each post and she responds to every one of them. She has built a huge blogging community of followers, hence her title and her audience. Main reason: her personal engagement with her audience. 🙂
Getting into the habit of responding to every commenter will enhance your commenting community.
What Do You Do?
Well, I’ve documenting what I think are some pretty basic commenting rules that will help keep your audience and followers engaged and interacting with you.
It’s also all about keeping things under control as your blog is your home in the Internet-sphere and the impression you leave here can make or break a business.
What other basic commenting rules do you suggest or recommend on your own blog? I’m sure you can add a few more based on your own experiences. 🙂
Motivation and Inspiration For All