The Art of Commenting [to connect and communicate]

What a title, right? If you’re asking any blogger what they like most in the blog world the answer is likely going to be: the community. Connecting with alike minds. And one of the best ways to do just that is by commenting. No big deal, right? You’d think so but I’ve come across some – dare I say? – commenting faux-pas in the past that inspired me to think out loud about the art of polite commenting. Take this with a tiny spoon grain of salt and let me know your take in the comments.

[And because complients and kind comments are like flowers those make appearances in today’s post, too. Also because I may or may not be obsessed with taking pictures of them.]

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Avoid one-word comments.
Let’s face it: a quick “Delish!”, “awesome” or “gorgeous!” isn’t saying much at all. What would you expect the blogger to reply?  It feels awkward to say “thanks ” for every such comment you get – and depending on the post  [like What I ate Wednesdays] there might be many of these.
The one exception to this rule for me is when many commenters already said all you’d do, too, or if the post was expressing all your feelings towards a topic so well all that’s on your mind can summed up in an ‘Amen!’ I’ve seen others use this occasionally and for the most part was right with them there. Personally,  I still prefer to write at least one sentence because that’s the way I roll but go you if you’re the master of the  [occasional] one-word comment.

Flowers

2. Show some appreciation for the blogger. 

No, that’s not the hurt soul in me speaking – promise. We all like to get some praise or just a little virtual pat on the back  for our work and the time we put into a post. Wouldn’t you like somebody raving about how delicious your bowl of chocolate cookie crumble oatmeal topped with homemade honey vanilla almond butter looks in a What I ate Wednesday post? Or how adorable your new dress is? Or chime in on a more serious issue you addressed and tell you you’re not alone in feeling a certain way? All those are little virtual pats on the back … or flowers.

Flowers

3. Don’t scroll to the end of the post right away to solely replying any questions posed there.

Hurt soul or not: yes, I speak from experience here. At least for myself I can say that while I’m genuinely curious to hear your answers to those I’d much rather have you chime in with any thoughts that came up while reading my post.  Also, in my experience  replying to the questions only every time you visit a certain blog doesn’t help build a relationship with that blogger. It’s like exchanging pre-set questionaires: you’re only getting a very limited glimpse at the other’s personality.  Like no blog could run successfully for years if its author posted survey after survey.  It’s the in-between the lines, the quirks that are revealed in free-form conversations and daily happenings that friendships are built on.

4. Give feedback

Liked something?  Don’t just click the ‘like’ button in your Bloglovin’ feed. Or at least not every time. As I mentioned before I completely understand lacking time to comment on every single post you read. As much as I wish I could and want to it’s not realistic when there’s way too much going on in every day life already. Still, how would we as bloggers know which [parts] of our posts you enjoyed if we didn’t let each other know? It’s a win-win because if you let the author know what you like they will [likely] publish more of your favourite content. You get what you ask for.

Flower

5. Write the kind of comment you want to receive

The easiest advice is really to ask yourself what you’d like others to say about your posts. Despite making commenting look like a science of its own here I think many of these points  are very natural.  Just that it’s so easy to forget our intuitiveness when we want to be friends with everybody and spread the news about our blogs.  There’s nothing wrong with that. Simply take a moment every now and then to walk a few steps in others’ shoes. Comment the way you’d like others to comment on your own blog or [if you’re not a blogger yourself] the way you’d like to converse in real life. Simple, isn’t it?

Happiness-inducing today:  Lunch out with my mum for the first time in forever. We went to our favourite small local café and had a delicious risotto with green asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Plus a good conversation – part of every good meal experience.
Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

No questions today. Just your thoughts on the topic with the one rule: no one-word-comments, please 😉 .

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32 thoughts on “The Art of Commenting [to connect and communicate]

  1. annalisemishler says:

    HAHA totally kidding. I love this post so much and appreciate when people give me genuine feedback. It seriously helps me know what to post more/less of, and I feel like I’m not just typing to myself! That said, these types of posts are fab. 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      “and feel like I’m not just typing to myself” <- this exactly is why I appreciate every comment. Especially starting out it can feel strange to send your words into the big wide blog world hoping somebody will read them. I think nobody ever forgets what it felt like to get their first comment. (:

  2. Ms.J says:

    Hahaa (wait why am I laughing?) ..oh right, I cannot for the life of me do one word comments! Or even texts. Like how talented are you at summarizing an entire stream of thoughts into one word – well on a constant basis at least. Maybe its just the blabber-mouth in me…
    Here’s where I admit that I often forget to focus sufficiently on the question at the end. Its usually down to being so stirred up by the content itself that I will end up commenting without actually answering anything. Hmm yes, its that very “between the lines” personality that holds the ability to captivate me. Or not.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      I ❤ you for your blabber-mouth [where did that word come from??] personality. Like you, I often forget about the questions at the end because the conent itself sparked so much to say in me. I feel the questions below really only serve as a little inspiration if you don't know where to start commenting [it happens].
      Keep up those lengthy comments and know that I happily read every word of them.

  3. Erin@BeetsPerMinute says:

    These are all really insightful and I’m in 100% agreement. I really love getting a comment that shows I’ve really connected with a reader, even if they are not in 100% agreement with me. I also believe that when it comes to blogging we should do everything with what we would like in mind. Leaving comments you would want to receive, writing posts you’d like to read, etc. Great post! 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Absolutely. Even if somebody’s not on board with what I said it’s wonderful to get the discussion going on. That’s the amazing thing about blogging: many different people and opinions collide and allow us to broaden our perspectives on a topic.
      Thanks for your comment, Erin.

    • Juli says:

      Just kidding 😉
      Sometimes when I comment on posts I miss the MS Word comment function. You know the one where you can mark the word or sentence you want to specifically comment on. Would make things a lot of easier! In my case you should also include the “when someone can’t shut up anymore” phenomenon. Speaking my mind in under 500 words seems hardly possible for me!
      But you definitely hit a nerve. I really love every single comment. But especially on WIAW posts after the third “looks delicious” I don’t know what to reply anymore. So nothing more than the common “Thanks” seems appropriate. Especially when you have the feeling that people look at the pictures only and don’t read a single word.

      • Miss Polkadot says:

        Oh, you don’t want to know how much I like that comment function … 😉 My family knows to well, especially my poor sister handing me her university essays for editing.
        What you said about WIAWs is actually another reason why I’m not doing them regularly anymore. But I don’t blame others if there are more pictures than words and they want to leave a comment yet can only say so much about the food pictured. Though there’s obviously always an alternative to ‘delish’ … Ha, see, I’m getting lengthy myself here so you and me both on the can’t-shut-up phenomenon.

    • Erin@BeetsPerMinute says:

      Haha sometimes I feel like I write so much in comments that other bloggers are probably like, “who IS this girl?” But you’re right, you have to speak your mind in a way that works for you (even if it somehow has to fit under 500 words)! 🙂

      • Miss Polkadot says:

        Definitely a feeling I can relate to. Sometimes I cut myself off judging by the length of previous comments and sometimes I just let things roll and see what happens …

  4. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    You want to know my favourite kind of comments? They’re the ones where you’re talking about something super deep and serious and you get a comment like… “Mmmm that bowl of oats looks delicious!” Uhm… thanks? 😆 I totally agree with all you said here, and I sometimes wonder if commenters who leave one word or nonsense comments realize they’re not really doing themselves any favours because readers SEE it and they’re much less likely to click through. Commenting is a great way to get your name out there and allow more people to see your blog, but not so much if you’re not being classy about it….

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Those kind of comments were in fact part of the inspiration for my post here. It has to say something when I still remember incidents – mostly on other blogs, not mine – where I was pretty close to tell somebody off for leaving a completely unsuitable and even potentially hurtful comment on a sensitive topic. It takes some self-control …
      Like you, I’m not really sure those people in question realize they’re not making any friends or winning new readers. I wonder how their communication skills in real life compare to those online ;).

    • Georgie says:

      Haha yup I think that’s happened to us all. I’ve had times when I can tell someone just read my title without realizing what I actually wrote in the post. *le sigh*

  5. Emily @ Out and About says:

    FANTASTIC points. I was actually just thinking this the other day. It is annoying to get those comments where you can tell that the person didn’t read your post. I feel like I see it a lot on the “bigger” bloggers where people are just trying to get themselves out there without expending a lot of effort.

    From the other side, I’d add a couple of things. First, I strongly believe in responding to my comments. Ideally, I reply to the specific comment on my own blog, plus I go to that blogger’s site and comment on one of their posts. I feel that blogging is an interactive two-way street! I understand that we are all busy and can’t always reply to EVERYTHING. But when you repeatedly feel like your comment is going into a blogger’s black hole, then it doesn’t build up any community rapport, you know?

    On that note, sometimes people comment on my blog but don’t provide their own website or any way to get back in touch with them. Do those folks not want to receive reciprocal comments or readership? It mystifies me.

    Thanks for a very thoughtworthy list!!!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      You’re right, Emily. Ideally, commenting is a reciprocal acitivty. However, I’ll admit that due to limited internet access and – shame on me – not the best time management I can easily fall behind in replies. I do try to visit new commenters’ blogs, though, and will usually leave a comment on a post of theirs, too. It’s a field I need to improve in but I still fully agree with your points in either way. Thanks for adding your thoughts!

  6. Katalina @ Peas and Peonies says:

    I am so glad that finally some one put a post like this together. I have started a blog many times and never committed to it, due to different reasons, but I was a reader of many blogs for at least 5-6 years, and now that I started my blog and started to interact more with other bloggers, I always make sure that I just don’t leave a one word comment. Commenting shouldn’t be to get traffic by just leaving your name in the comment thread of a major blogger, or one that has more visibility than you. Comments must be about interaction, about making new virtual friends, showing some appreciation for someone’s hard work. It takes a lot of time to put a blog post together, so when I see people that just want to direct others to their blog by leaving a one word comment is just frustrating, and probably that’s why they never succeed. It should be about building a relationship in this online community!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Katalina, it sounds like you had a great attitude towards commenting right from the start. There really is no sense in just leaving a word or two on a ‘big’ bloggers’ posts and then expecting people to click over and fall in love with your blog. It certainly takes more time to leave a thoughtful comment but it’s the only way to build true connections.

  7. Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin says:

    While I’m still new to the blogging community, I haven’t had too many one word comments. I do just like you said try and comment with what I would say in real life to you, if you had asked me to read this and your….. like standing there waiting on me to say….something. lol I don’t always agree with or find every single thing in a blog post interesting but I try and pick out something I can relate too or have done before to comment on. I try to comment on every single blog I read. I know I won’t be able to do that all the time but I do try too.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      The real life approach is the best in my opinion and I’m impressed you’re trying to keep up commenting on every blog in your reader. It’s time-consuming but you’re definitely working to create relationships there.

  8. Georgie says:

    Nailed it. Really great insightful pieces of advice. Once I started to up my thoughtful comment game I really began connecting with others. No, as much as I’d like to I don’t even get around to commenting on all my favorite posts but it’s a big sign of respect to say something meaningful about a post (even if you respectfully disagree)
    Just want to say I love love love your realness and I’m glad I checked out your blog today- thanks for keeping me thinking ❤

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Georgie! I agree it’s virtually impossible to keep up with all the amazing blogs out there but if I get a chance I leave a comment. I’d rather comment less but actually connect with the blogger and the content when I do.

  9. Debbie Woodruff says:

    I could never leave a one word comment, and even feel a little guilty when I leave a one sentence comment. I think I follow most of your suggestions. I do follow a lot of link love posts, so sometimes those can get a little brief, but a thought provoking blog post deserves a thought provoking comment.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Good to know I’m not the only one with the ‘one-sentence guilt’. Depending on the kind of posts – you mentioned link love ones – I think those are perfectly okay at times, though. Actually, I sometimes add posts that got me thinking but I didn’t have time to comment on to my link love posts for appreciation.

  10. AmberLynn Pappas says:

    As someone who is still relatively new to blogging (just a year in), I really appreciate these kinds of posts which seem like they should be common sense, but still really aren’t in some ways. When I read new blogs it seems like there are people who are best friends with the blogger posting all kinds of amazing comments and that they know the person really well. I imagine, especially after reading this, that maybe they’ve just been commenting and reading long enough to get to know each other better. Thank you for taking the time to write something like this!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Constant commenting definitely helps to grow a base for relationships with other bloggers. It’s how I started, too, and for some bloggers I ‘clicked’ with it evolved into e-mails back and forth. I’m sure it’ll be the same for you and thanks for commenting!

  11. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    I think the last one might be my favorite because it has the whole do unto others as you want done to you vibe. While I’m not the super religious type, I think treating everyone well, kindly and as equals is important.

    I appreciate comments where it’s apparent they’ve read my post and it got them thinking, whether they agreed or not. I also love the ones where someone has made my recipe and they want to let me know they enjoyed it. I appreciate some one taking time out of their day for that. It also makes me feel good.

    Great post, my friend. Delicious. 😉

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Like you, I’m not religious but that line is definitely one I [try to] follow. Maybe that’s why I can’t help but shake my head every time I see one of those comments. Copy-and-paste weren’t mean as a comment template to add on every blog around, people.
      … and I was tempted to add a picture of almond butter or oatmeal to see if I could get more of those ‘delicious’ comments ;).

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