As I have mentioned before, comments are a huge part of what makes blogs such a unique communication tool. We’ve already discussed some of the reasons why people comment. Copyblogger also wrote about some of the pitfalls of using comments as a traffic building strategy.
One of the biggest keys to both of these articles is that bad commenting can really smear your reputation and make you look bad.
Josh Hanagarne from the WorldsStrongestLibrarian.com also wrote an excellent guest post on Problogger giving statistical evidence that quality commenting can increase traffic, comments, and subscriptions on your blog.
The best way to ensure that your comments are seen in a positive light is to follow these ten commandments of comment etiquette:
I. Thou shalt comment using your real name, not keywords.
II. Thou shalt only comment if you are contributing to the conversation.
III. Thou shalt engage the author and other readers in conversation.
IV. Thou shalt not post spammy self seeking comments.
V. Thou shalt only link to highly relevant content.
VI. Thou shalt not put affiliate links in your comments.
VII. Thou may disagree and participate in civil debate.
VIII. Thou shalt not start a flame war or troll.
IX. Thou shalt proofread your comments.
X. Thou shalt comment in the same language as the blog
Bonus: XI. Thou Shalt not comment until you have read the post from the beginning to the end.*
Follow these commandments if you want to receive all the blessings of following comment etiquette. Break them and be damned to a poor reputation and no authority in your niche.
Do you follow these commandments? What are your commenting pet peeves?
* Special thanks to Young from Free Nuts for reminding me of this one. It really should have been near the top.