Comments and interaction are a huge part of what makes a blog such an amazing socializing, teaching, and marketing tool. How many other forms of communication can users/readers interact with publishers and other users with ease?
Some commentators offer amazing insight and promote community while others try to tear a community apart or just waste our time. I’ve determines there are 4 reasons people comment:
Genuine Interaction With A Community
The whole point of a blog is to write about what you are passionate about. If you just so happen to be passionate about a product whose sales earn you money, that’s cool too.
The key is that passion breeds conversation and opinion. Have you ever spent time with someone who was burning with passion about a particular topic? You can’t get them to shut up, and they’ll tell you ten times more than you ever wanted to know… unless your passionate about the same things too.
That is how genuine interaction with a blog community works. You’re passionate about the same thing as the author. You have an opinion, and you could talk about it all day. You would comment even if you didn’t get links to your site as long as someone is willing to listen (even if it was only a tree).
This type of commentator is what makes a blog successful. This is the type of commenter I strive to be. And it helps me to also fit into the next type of commentator.
Publicizing A Site or Blog
Lets not kid ourselves here, if you have a blog or website, you’ve probably made comments with the motive of driving some traffic to your site. Many bloggers in the make money blogging/build your blog community advocate commenting other sites in your niche to help generate traffic.
There is a right way to do this and a wrong way:
The wrong way is to avoid the topic or simply promote something off topic. I think it’s bad practice to link directly to your own blog* (that’s why comments have the “website” part), although I think linking to another blogger’s site is okay as long as it is on topic.
The right way to do this is just be interactive with other blog readers in the community. The more value you add to the conversation, the more likely someone will want to check out your site without you asking.
*If you have something on your site -directly- related, it is okay, but I still don’t do it.
Some people comment just to cause controversy. They are there to make people mad and get a reaction. These commentators will call the author names, other commentators “fanboys,” and dis any ideas or products mentioned. Copyblogger has an excellent article about how blog authors can overcome nasty trolls. I’ve always loved the saying do not feed the troll or DNFTT.
Fortunately, I haven’t dealt with any trolls on this site yet; however, some of the blogs I read have some very resilient trolls. Maybe I need to get a little more controversial? Either way, being a troll will get you attention, but not in a good way.
To Make Noise
The reason I frequently see people commenting is just to make noise. Half the time they didn’t even read the article, and you can tell. At first you might think that this type of commenter was trying to get their site exposure, but I don’t really agree.
Noise makers offer compelling comments like “I’m going to try that” or “great post.” I know my post was great and so do my other readers, you don’t have to tell us! Just Kidding… (kind of)…(no really..jk)
If you read a comment like “I really enjoyed your post,” would you really want to go read that person’s site? If you answered yes, you probably fit into this category. If someone left a comment bringing up a legitimate point the author didn’t address, you might get the impression that commenter has some good ideas or insight; those are the people who’s site you’d go visit. Don’t lie to yourself.
We can all relate to commenting for at least 3 of 4 of these reasons. Next time you go to comment, I challenge you to think about what you say before you hit submit. Make the most of the voice you have and earn the respect of the community by appropriately sharing your opinions; you’ll be shocked how far it will go.