Blog Commenting Etiquette Basics

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Welcome to the first installment for a weekly blogging tips series. I have featured some blogging tips in the past, but with all I’ve learned so far I thought it would be a good idea to turn it into a weekly feature.

Some of these tips will be written by me, but it would be great to get some submissions from other bloggers too. I’ve only been doing this blogging thing for a bit over 4 months. I’m sure that getting some advice from more experienced bloggers would be much appreciated.

Since I just installed a most active commenters widget, I thought it was appropriate that my first tip in this series would be about blog commenting etiquette. One of my fears of installing that plugin was that I would attract more spam comments. I was also wary of people taking shortcuts when commenting just to pad their comment total.

So far though I have been pretty happy with the reaction. I’m seeing a bunch of first time commenters and older posts are getting more comments. Plus more people are responding to my replies to comments. Overall it’s adding a lot to the comments.

Time will tell if things continue to go smoothly.

Etiquette For Blog Commenting

Most of the people who comment here leave awesome, well thought out comments and I really appreciate that. That’s not to pick on anyone who leaves less beneficial comments though. They may be used to blogs with different expectations or just never realized what kind of comments are ideal.

While I might have high expectations for the comments posted here, other blogs will have different standards. My general rule of thumb is to look at the existing comments and try to leave a similar quality comment.

If pretty much everyone else is leaving one line comments, it’s pretty safe to follow suit. In that case the blogger is probably more accepting of those kinds of comments.

On the other hand, if all the comments are at least 2 or 3 well thought out sentences, do you want to be the person leaving the very short comment? It would look out of place right?

The problem with those short one line comments is that they rarely add much to the conversation. Plus they often reflect that the person likely only skimmed through the post or read just part of it. In the website marketing world there’s a name for those kinds of comments ‘drive by comment spam’.

In the past that was actually a decent marketing strategy. Sure lots of people would block the comments if they were too short, but you could build a large amount of links quite quickly. These days though, Google has really devalued the weight of comment links though. So if you’re doing comment spam like that, you’re getting very minimal benefit from those comments. Plus you’re not doing the blog owner any favors.

The big part that those people are missing out on is the connection with the blogger. If you’re not reading their posts and really interacting in the comments, you’re not getting to know them. It may even slightly annoy some anal bloggers like myself. I know I feel less obligated to comment back on their blog when they only leave lower quality comments. I just feel a bit used as if my posts weren’t worth their time. Like they didn’t even stick around for a bit of cuddling afterwards.

You’ve probably noticed that even on my blog update posts I make a point of asking some random questions to help prevent those short comments.

I guess I should have a comment policy since I’m picky. I just assumed that the people the policy would most apply to just wouldn’t take the time to read it.

Some other things that could be covered in such a comment policy are respect for other commenters, stance on foul language, acceptable commenter name types, avoiding self promotion, etc. I’ll let you discuss those other things in the comments.

Do you have any other blog commenting etiquette tips? I mainly focused on overall quality of comments and length of comments. Maybe you have other specific blog comment pet peeves.

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