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Writing Blog Comments with Intention

Writing comments can be a major investment of time and energy as well as words so it’s worth thinking through some of the (positive) reasons for writing comments on other people’s sites.

Here are some that might be motivating you:

To say hello: as simple as that, it’s a way of letting the author and other readers know that you’re there.  It’s a great way to introduce yourself and help other people find your own site.

To have a chat and a bit of fun: there are some places where it’s fun just to go and chew the fat for a while…

To learn: if you’re reading something that’s really got you thinking, try taking it a step further and ask the writer a question as part of your comment.  You’ll often get an interesting, thoughtful reply in the comment box - and you might well find the question picked up and developed in a future post.

This is a powerful way to contribute to one of main reasons to comment, namely…

To connect: have a look around you and you’ll find some of the most powerful conversations - connections, alliances, new business partnerships - starting out in the conversations in those little comment boxes

And last (because I like 5 points) but not least there’s…

To encourage: don’t underestimate the power of this.

Blogging, writing, learning, sharing your ideas online is hard work - and can seem a little scary at times.  Getting positive feedback, knowing there are people out there who are interested in what you’re doing - is hugely rewarding.

A small investment of your time might just make somebody else’s day - and give them the inspiration, encouragement and confidence to keep on writing, growing, connecting and learning.  Oh, and you might just find that boosts your serotonin too - a little tip that I learned earlier today in one of the most amazing comment boxes in town :-)

Writing comments is time consuming - but on balance I’d say it’s well worth the worth the effort given the benefits that flow from it.

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Comments

  1. Sylvia C. says:

    Joanna,

    I think that a positive comment can go a l-o-n-g way for a blogger-just as yours did for me! It started my day off in a wonderful way. I like to share that glow with comments and I like to make new friends, too!

    I am always amazed with the sense of connection that blogging can provide. It provides such an opportune place to learn, grow, share, and connect.

    Great post, once again. Your writing is so concise!

    Have a great evening!

    Sylvia C.
    (adding you to my blogroll now…) :)

  2. Robert Hruzek says:

    Joanna, thank you kindly, Ma’am! I love coming here and tossing a comment or two out there to see what sticks. I can at least say with confidence that I’m definitely learning more about writing!

  3. Robyn says:

    Joanna, your questions are so very thoughtful I find they lead me on new quests I might not have otherwise considered. As I dig into latest research, I find updates that bring latest currency. We both benefit since we both learn. Works in our own best interests!

    Thanks for a very thoughtful post.

  4. Lillie Ammann says:

    I love comments on my blog, and I love to carry on the conversation by commenting on other blogs. However, I agree commenting should be done with intention, not just to toss in “great job.” Encouragement is more effective if it’s specific. I’m certainly more apt to leave a comment if I’m confident in what I’m saying, if I can contribute to the conversation.

  5. Matt says:

    Another excellent post. Communication is “sharing understanding”. It’s a two-way thing. Writing is a bit like having a conversation. But often you don’t know exactly who you’re having it with. Or what they think of what you’re saying! So the ability to comment and make that conversation two-way is really valuable.

  6. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi Sylvia, I feel the glow from here - and I’m glowing too:-) It’s a good feeling isn’t it and I’m sure a big part of what gives the sense of connection that you describe.

    I’m looking forward to ‘speaking’ to you again soon, and stopping by to enjoy more of your writing and totally gorgeous photos.

    Joanna

  7. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi Robert, I love the idea of throwing things out and seeing what sticks… is there a word for this? could we make one up?

    Unpredicted connections are often the most enjoyable - and powerful - after all…

    Joanna

  8. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Lillie, I agree with you, there are limits to the number of times anyone can say “thanks” or “nice post” and also that it’s more enjoyable, constructive, engaging to chip in where you’ve got something to add.

    That might be your area of expertise (as you so often do) but there’s also asking questions (things you genuinely want to learn) and finally - picking up your comment - being specific in your encouragement (if that’s your intention).

    Play back someone’s words, pick out a phrase or two from their writing and it’ll make your comment stand out - and make the author feel a-m-a-z-i-n-g. This also works when you’re replying back to the comments that people have left you - pick out something specific from what they’ve said and include it in part of your reply.

    Okay this does take a little more time but it is very powerful, creates a more positive connection, and will (methinks) create a bigger serotonin hit for you as well as the person reading it.

    Sorry Lillie, that wasn’t all directed at you, I know you know a lot of this - just thinking out loud as you’d stirred my thoughts again, thank you :-)

    Joanna

  9. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Robyn, I’m glad to hear that my questions haven’t been too burdensome to you! The answers have been amazing.

    I like the way you pick up in your posts on questions and ideas that you’ve seen or been asked elsewhere - it makes the blog very dynamic, a sense that we’re moving, growing and learning together. I’m sure the way you encourage comments (by asking the right questions) and respond to them (with care and attention and detailed information) is a large part of that.

    Joanna

  10. Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Matt, thanks for reminding me of the “sharing understanding” point.

    That works on so many levels doesn’t it - sharing information, ideas, knowledge but also shared experience, sharing encouragement and feedback that gives us more confidence to write and work and learn together…

    Having the ability to receive and engage in comments is fantastic - it provides you with feedback on your writing which I for one really enjoy (and haven’t experienced in other mediums). I guess the challenge for writers is to write in way that creates the room for the conversation to follow, to leave the space to share the understanding together…

    Joanna

  11. Joyful Jubilant Learning says:

    Did you miss this post?

    I work on Lifting my Lid by doing one not so simple act - I am making the decision to stop holding it shut! The only ceilings I have are the ones I have created myself. I have banished the