Take the Comment Challenge

Comments and links back to your writer site or blog creates junctions, interconnecting us.

Three years ago, on April 28, 2008, when this writer started her first ongoing blog, even posting anything on the Internet in a blog felt like speaking in front of a crowd of hundreds, thousands, even millions.

Truthfully, unless I was writing about something extremely topical, and wrote about it as soon as the news emerged, the chance of getting any visitors to my new blog was minimal. On my new blog, I was speaking to myself in a quiet room, with no one else in the house.

You can imagine that commenting on someone else’s blog was even harder for me. What if what I wrote sounded stupid? What if I left a typo? What if someone commented back that what I wrote was wrong?

Commenting on relevant blogs is a key to the kingdom on the Internet. With one exception that I know of. If you know that someone may be trying to hurt you, as in a domestic violence situation, you definitely want to keep a low profile to protect yourself. Don’t comment, or at least not in your own name.

Everyone else, commenting is key! Key for you. Key for other blogs. Key for this blog. When you don’t comment, you’re missing out. Seriously. Especially as a writer, it’s your job to build relationships with readers far and wide, near and dear.

Why leave a comment?

  • You’re building a new relationship. Unless the blog is already a huge success with dozens to hundreds of comments a post, every comment matters and counts to that blogger. Relationships begin and are strengthened from that. Just like striking up a conversation with someone at a concert or art show.
  • You’re leaving a Web link on a relevant site, back to your own website, adding value to your website.
  • You’re leaving a trail that other readers can follow back to you. They might buy your book, subscribe to your blog, leave a comment for you, ask you to write a blog post, or start a project together.
  • You’re contributing to another writer, letting them know their content was read, and hopefully, had enough value that you could leave some positive or constructive comment.
  • Even if you disagree, if you’re respectful, you’re contributing to the conversation between writers. (Have you ever posted something and gotten no comments at all? It’s like speaking up in a group and having no one acknowledge you spoke.)

Did any of those reasons make sense to you?

Here’s the challenge. Comment on a post here today, now. Don’t put it off.

Just say thank you. Or just say, I liked this phrase you used, “type the phrase in quotes.” Or say why you agree or disagree.

If you see a typo or something that the blogger overlooked, send a private message. They’ll appreciate it. I’ve started connections with several prominent writers by doing just that. Connected to them now on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Take the challenge, and start weaving your own special web on the Internet. Leave a comment.

Category: Blogging, Marketing Your Book

Comments (25)

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  1. Elizabeth says:

    Second time lucky – my last comment was refused! I too felt daunted when I started blogging. I was scared to share my own posts let alone comment on others. It was several months later when I opened my blog to the public and comments started coming in when I realised my voice. Those comments were invaluable!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    An excellent article. I too felt daunted when I started blogging about both a) publishing my own blog posts and b) commenting on others. It was several months before I opened my blog up to public search engines and those very valuable comments I got in the first year really helped me let my voice out.

  3. Ansie says:

    Since Google Reader dissappeared I have neglected my blog reading and commenting. Over the past weekend I realised hoe much I miss my regular blog reading and commenting. I miss the relationships I have built up over time. My resolution for this week, and the weeks to follow, is to get back to my old blog relationships, and to actively start building new ones. Thank you for the timely reminder!

  4. Claudia Cee says:

    I always find it reassuring to know, that I am not alone out there and that most people face the same problems, mainly with their own inner critic. I felt a bit raw and exposed first time I wrote something, and pressed the ‘publish’ button, but that’s part of getting out of your comfort zone. So thank you for this very inspiring article. It makes me want to write more and crucially read more articles like this one. X

  5. Kristina says:

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that gets nervous over blogging or commenting on someone else’s blog. I like this challenge, thanks for posting it!

  6. Monique says:

    Agreed! Getting comments is a great way to get people’s feedback on what they care to read about and on how I can more effectively approach a topic in the future. You can’t go wrong by continuing to put yourself out there by sharing your thoughts on others’ work.

  7. This was awesome and makes so much sense. I love when people comment on my work even if its something negativity. It means they cared enough and was invested enough to take time and leave a comment. I’m sharing this post.

  8. Yesss!!! You said it so well! Thank you! Comments mean a lot for a lot of different reasons… but mostly this – I think that as writers it’s just really nice and neighborly to support each other with a wink and a nod… in other words, a comment to let another writer know we were there!

  9. I’m relatively new to the whole blogging world so gently easing my way in to leaving comments, but now I’ve joined in with forums and things, I find I can’t stop! It’s fantastic to be able to connect with people who have similar interests and share ideas/experiences. I’ve also started receiving some comments on my own website and the joy of knowing someone’s not only reading my work, but they are enjoying it is great and keeps me writing!

  10. yes totally agreee re commenting on other people’s blogs – I love getting comments, so it makes sense that others enjoy getting them too! šŸ™‚

  11. I love to get/read comments, so whenever I can, I leave one. It gives a voice to what might be an empty silence. I started my blog nearly 11 months ago – I am now getting over 6000 hits per month, in part it is due to linking in with Twitter, but also commenting there too. Leaving comments do work, so I am amazed that so few people leave them. I get a lot of comments, but still, it is usually only about 1 comment per 10 hits! Great post:)

    • Louise, thanks so much for commenting on this post about commenting! You put it beautifully – “it gives a voice to what might be an empty silence.”

      Congratulations on the excellent traffic on your blog!

      We have to have approval for comments, because we get all kinds of spam, so sorry for the delay. With a comment approved, your future comments may go straight through.

      PS If you register for a gravatar at en.gravatar.com, you will get a lovely picture when you comment here.

  12. I couldn’t agree more. We all need people to read our blogs and love it when people comment don’t we? I am an avid commenter as most of the blogs I am drawn to are interesting and offer me some insight that I didn’t have before, or are about things I can really relate to. Yes, at first I did wonder if what I said was daft or was worried that I’d made a typo, but I don’t think that really matters. Commenting matters more.

    • Abi, thank you for commenting too. Like you at first I was concerned about how my comment would sound, and about making typos, but in time one sees that for the most part, it’s just fine.

      On this site, editors get to do a quick edit on comments, which means if we catch your typo, we clean it up. It’s kind of like being a fairy godmother of comments.

  13. Megan Noelle says:

    Thanks for the article. I totally agree that commenting on other blogs/ sites increases your own web presence. And, it’s also proven through search. Blog posts will often come up in top positions on searches because their content tends to match keyword phrases more specifically than other related material.

  14. Hi,

    COngrats on your traffic, I love to comment on others blogs just to let them know ” I’m here, I read this and I enjoyed it.” I often do feel a tad silly as I like to keep it KISS (Keep It Short & Sweet) so I may say something like, cool post!

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading this and Hi from Tipperary, Ireland!
    Beir Bua

  15. I think anytime you are leaving engaging comments or though provoking comments you tend to drive people your way. People want to find out who you are and what you are up too! By the way, I would love guest bloggers on my site. I am seeing an average of about 300 hits a day from all over the world! http://poetonpoetry.blogspot.com

  16. Deb says:

    Someone mentioned about a month ago that the best way I could interest people in my own blog was by leaving comments on theirs. I was dubious–despite the fact I delighted every time someone commented on my own blog!–but gave it a shot. I still don’t have the craziest traffic, but I went from 10-15 visits per post to nearing on 100 . . . just by adding a thought here and there to other peoples’ blogs! Most of my traffic now comes from folks following comment links back to the source.

    In short, I’m seconding your excellent advice!

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