Remember the days when giving feedback to an author on the internet meant hunting up his or her email address and hoping the author reads your note and posts it? Nowadays blog commenting has revolutionized how we participate in the online conversation, and indeed, how we interact to market ourselves.
Commenting on business and industry news blogs is a great way to be in touch with the trends and discussions in your market. It opens up networks with other entrepreneurs, helps you build relationships with the other readers, and as a bonus, provides exposure for your business – if you know how to pull it off.
So how do you pull it off? Here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you comment on blogs:
- Don’t spam. Avoid posting just to leave a link back to your blog or pepper the comment thread with keywords.
- Do read and reflect on the article. One of the best compliments you can give a blog author is post insightful and well-thought out feedback. If you use keywords or leave a link back, do make sure they’re relevant in some degree to the article posted.
- Don’t be a know-it-all. If you disagree with the author, say so politely, and explain why.
- Do take time, if you post advice, to ask a couple of intelligent questions as well.
- Don’t be vague with your criticism or praise. Blog authors would rather you pick out one point from the piece and share your thoughts on them than leave a “Great! I love it!”
- Do provide context for your comment as much as possible.
- Don’t hog the feedback. You’re not the only reader of the blog, so keep it short and let others have their say. If you feel like you haven’t expressed yourself enough, do write a reaction piece or a spin-off article on your own blog and acknowledge the original post for inspiration.
- Don’t snub fellow readers. Comment threads are as much for interaction and relationship-building as it is for feedback. If people reply to your comment, do make the effort to strike up a meaningful conversation.
The golden rule applies to blog commenting: comment on others’ blogs as you will have others comment on your blog. What kind of feedback do you leave on other people’s blogs?