5 common errors when leaving comments on blog posts

Aug 26, 2016 by
5 common errors when leaving comments on blog posts

As we covered in a previous article, leaving comments on posts is a great way to establish positive relationships online. Additionally, leaving comments gets your name out there, raises your profile and if done right, will drive traffic to your site.

While these benefits are great if you’re able to consistently leave high value comments, if your commenting skills aren’t up to par, this tactic can actually backfire. Here are some of the key mistakes to avoid when leaving blog comments.

1 – Irrelevant comments

If your comment simply says “Great information” and little else, this is an obvious indicator that you’re commenting to try and promote your own brand rather than give value. Alternatively, you can leave lengthy comments which are well written, but if they don’t strongly relate to the content at hand or if they’re just not valuable to the author or other readers, then there’s really no point. Your comments are an extension of your brand, so always endeavour to conduct yourself with integrity and deliver value, whether you’re communicating on your own site or someone else’s.

2 – Self promotion

Self promoting comments are not only irrelevant, they are downright disrespectful to the author. It’s very obvious when someone is posting to promote their own brand. They often try to relate the article to their own products and services which they talk about proudly, and sometimes even post the comment as their company name rather than their real name. Avoid this at all costs if you want to establish any meaningful relationships in your niche. No one likes a spammer!

Wordpress menu with comments highlighted3 – Rushing to be the first voice

Popular bloggers don’t have time to reply to all their comments, so they usually treat the first ones with importance. Unfortunately, this leads some people to rush to comment in order to get a reply or promote their own brand. While it’s okay to be first a few times so long as you have an insightful comment to post, if it’s obvious that you’re trying to be first in line every time then this will certainly rub bloggers the wrong way and do more harm than good.

4 – Personal attacks

Although it sounds counter-intuitive, it’s perfectly okay to disagree with the author so long as you’re able to substantiate your argument. Most niche experts enjoy opening a dialogue with someone who has a different view to themselves. What’s not okay is to take an adversarial viewpoint and launch a personal attack just because you disagree with their content.

Leo Babauta, author of Zen Habits, advocates using suggestions rather than criticisms, so that the person won’t be offended. He states:

A criticism is often not the way to go if you want 1) for them to improve; 2) to see actual change; or 3) to contribute to a meaningful discussion. Instead, suggest a change. A suggestion can be positive, it can be seen as helpful, it can be seen as an instrument for improvement and change. People often take suggestions well (but not always). So a suggestion is more useful than a criticism in many cases.

5 – Not using your full name

As mentioned in point 2, people don’t want to receive a message from a brand, they want to receive a message from a real human being. You should be able to stand by what you say, so putting your name next to your comment is a must. Additionally, it looks far more professional to see someone’s full name rather than a nickname, brand name or just their first name.