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10 Tips for Good Commenting Practice | Net Writing

10 Tips for Good Commenting Practice

Leaving comments on a blog is one of the main attractions of blogging. It allows you to participate in debates and also raise your profile and potentially get new readers from your blog. However, because of the potential seo / traffic benefits many bloggers are tempted to look upon comments with a view to how it can benefit them. As a result the quality of the comments can fall and reduce their credibility. As a general rule if I see a blogger leaving spammy comments – “Nice post!” e.t.c I assume they have a spammy blog and so am less likely to click on their links. Your comments should reflect well on your blog. These are some suggestions with regard to commenting.

1. How to Sign your Name?

I have tried various combinations of leaving a comment. After trying various combinations I prefer just using my full name. – Tejvan Pettinger. Why I like using my real name:

  • I am happy to identify myself with any comment I make.
  • There is no attempt at advertising my site
  • It develops personal branding, the name is quite unique and hopefully memorable.
  • Some bloggers have said they prefer people to use their full name. I appreciate their request. E.g. Binary Moon commenting policy

After deciding on which name to use, the best thing is to stick with it.

2. Should I use SEO keywords in my signature?

e.g. Mr R.e. Mortgage-Quote?

  • It looks daft.
  • It undermines your credibility
  • I doubt how much SEO benefit there is anyway. Maybe there is some for blogs who use Do follow, but otherwise I feel you are definitely wasting your time.


3. Should I mention my site?

I used to sign my comment as Tejvan – Net Writing.

It had my name and my site without being too long. Maybe it increases people’s interest in clicking on the comment link. But, I decided to stick with my real name, mainly because it feels better. I am not commenting for self promotion, but to say something.

4. Should I aim for top commentators spot?

If you get in the top commentators spot at a blog like John Chow.com, there is undoubtedly some benefit if you have a blog about making money. You get both a link from home page and, I would assume, a high number of people clicking the link. Nate Whitehill said he used this to help establish his name in the blogging world. However, generally I would advise against commenting with this motivation.

  • Blogs quite often remove the top commentators plugin when the blog makes it big. Therefore, you will have wasted a lot of effort.
  • Bloggers will get annoyed if they see people commenting just for sake of it. It is more important to develop your personal reputation and not leave numerous comments
  • Work out the time you need to spend getting to the top commentators position. I would suggest there are generally better ways to spend your time.

5. What makes a good Comment?

Offer something meaningful which adds to the debate / advice.

  • Make it clear
  • Make it relevant
  • Avoid terrible grammar and spelling.
  • Don’t just offer 2 words of praise

Nice Post!

Thanks for tips!

These are not good comments. They offer nothing and people suspect you of just trying to get a small amount of traffic.

6. Avoid personal attacks.

It is good to provide constructive criticism, but it is important to leave it in a diplomatic way that doesn’t hurt others feelings. The comment will remain for a long time and you may regret it later.

7. Do Comments provide Traffic?

If you get a comment early on a top blog then there is scope for getting a reasonable amount of traffic. The amount of traffic falls considerably the lower down the order of comments you go.
The traffic is still relatively small for the amount of time you put into comments. However, others have said how much leaving comments can be a tool to help raise awareness of your blog.
Also, it is worth bearing in mind that traffic from another niche blog is probably highly targeted. Basically, it means that the traffic may be low. But, if the blog is in the same niche, there is a good potential of gaining a new subscriber.

However, if your only motivation for leaving a comment is getting traffic then this is not a good strategy.

8. Would my Comment not make a good blog post?

Quite often I see comments, which would make good blog posts on their own. Don’t always give your best advice away on someone else’s blog. You could leave a trackback and then add your thoughts on your own blog. If you do leave very long, thoughtful posts you will gain the respect of bloggers. But, if you are struggling to make enough posts on your own blog then you need to get your priorities right.

9. How Much Time Should I spend commenting?

This varies according to personal preference. But, for me it shouldn’t be more than 5% of time spent blogging. Commenting can have some small benefits but you can’t build a successful blog around leaving comments on other blogs. The most important thing is having a good blog to attract people.

10. Should I leave signature in comment?

No, I would advise against it. It looks a bit greedy and unnecessary. People who leave a signature are probably those desperate for traffic and so probably have a weak blog.

See also: 10 ways to hurt your blog’s brand through commenting at Problogger

8 comments ↓

#1 John on 09.02.07 at 10:37 am

First comment!

Thanks for the tips. By the way, I’m planning to try out several WordPress plugins to encourage comments as recommended here.

#2 98 Blog Tips for a Lazy Sunday on 09.02.07 at 11:23 am

[...] 10 Tips for Good Commenting Practice by Tejvan Pettinger [...]

#3 TheVamp on 09.02.07 at 3:34 pm

I’m try to comment but not easy

#4 Make money blogging - Sept 07, 2007 : SuccessPart2.Com on 09.07.07 at 4:27 pm

[...] presents 10 Tips for Good Commenting Practice posted at Net Writing, saying, “How to use commenting to increase traffic and build your [...]

#5 Carnival of Bloggers Helping Bloggers 3rd Edition : Topic Factory on 10.03.07 at 7:18 pm

[...] Pettinger presents 10 Tips for Good Commenting Practice posted at Net Writing, saying, “Leaving comments on a blog is one of the main attractions of [...]

#6 Pinyo on 10.03.07 at 8:24 pm

Nice post! Thanks for the tips!

I don’t think it’s so bad to leave such comment, especially on a smaller blog. As a blogger, I prefer to occasionally see this type of comments than nothing at all. At least, I know someone is reading my post and not just swooping through.

On the note about signature, I strongly agree with that. I have commenting policy about signature and I do edit them out.

#7 Nate Whitehill on 11.25.07 at 10:34 pm

Thanks for the mention! Great article! :)

#8 Why I Stopped Commenting on Other Blogs | Net Writing on 05.11.08 at 10:26 am

[...] 10 Tips for Good Commenting Practice  [...]