4 Ways to Write Better Comments

August 14, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

A lot of people talk about how commenting and trackbacking are great ways to get involved in the blogosphere. But how do you write effective comments? I have written some one-liners that have gotten me tons of traffic to my site and I have written essays that are left in the dust.

I have asked the question before and gotten responses on why people comment. Here are some ways to comment effectively:

  1. Provide. The author of the post has written something interesting that you want to add some opinion to. They didn’t necessarily ask for your opinion. So when you write something make sure it is adding to the conversation.
  2. First Place. Go to Techmeme. Get your blog feeds sent via sms. The first person who wins the race is…the winner. Great comment + First to post = Successful Traffic.
  3. Relevance. Commenting on every single website available will be no help. Go to the sites you read. Search tags that match your site in del.icio.us. Check out other communities on Mybloglog Communities. Talk to your peers not to strangers.
  4. Consistency. Do you stop going out with a girl after the first kiss? No. And in the blog world you have to continually keep commenting on the same sites and become a regular. The more you do the more people know you and respect your opinion. Which is hopefully a good one:)

Don’t just shoot bullets in the dark, target your attack, follow-through and enjoy yourself.

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14 responses to “4 Ways to Write Better Comments

  1. Zenrob Reply

    Great advice Noah.

    How about #5 – Transparency: Unless your communication contains private or confidential information, why not post it as a comment instead of sending a private email?

    Opening up a conversation is like sitting at the singles table at your friends’ wedding. Cross your fingers, and you may meet someone memorable – like that single, neurosurgeon, supermodel friend of the bride you’ve been waiting for your whole life.

  2. jim Reply

    You also shouldn’t just fire and forget lots of comments, go back to the posts and read the responses, start a dialogue, everyone will appreciate you for it, especially the author.

  3. Damon Z Reply

    Haha I like the consistency analogy. “Do you stop going with a girl after the first kiss?” “Well, maybe if it’s all that I’m ever going to get”. Lol, just kidding, I’ll comment on your next post, just to prove it ain’t so :).

  4. joe Reply

    I have a question for you Noah. Given there are better (and thus worse) comments, what do you do with the bad ones ? Your number 4 seems like a good one but can easily go the wrong way. If someone keeps leaving shitty comments what do you do… (no, I’m not trying to drop any hints here…and I hope I’m not leaving a shitty comment either)

  5. Noah Kagan Reply

    i think people who disable comments shouldn’t be allowed to write online. i know people can choose whether to read about it or not but still seems crappy. it is smart in some aspects since the person will then write about it on their own blog and link back. check out seth godin’s trackbacks. almost higher than my comment count. think he does it intentionally?

    unless the comment is spam i try to leave all comments good or bad on my site. i think bad ones help me realize new things and reflect more on my writing. plus others can join the discussion and say something about it. if they keep doing it and it is just being completely rude i would block them from future commenting. criticizing or disagreeing with me is always great just not when they are attacking in a consistently negative way.

  6. Skip Tracer Reply

    A great 5 point plan for commenting. I agree, it is important to find the blogs that you read regularly and stay involved in the discussion in a regular, relevant and timely manner.

  7. Jefferson Radziwon Reply

    Great articles. There?s a lot of nice information here, though I did want to let you know something, I’m running Redhat with the up-to-date beta of Firefox, and the design of your site is kind of wonky for me. I can read the articles, but the navigation doesn?t function so well.