Comments are what make the bloggy world spin on its axis instead of crashing into its nearby planet Plain Boring Website. If you’re a blogger, comments are what push you to keep trudging through the writer’s block and what keep you from throwing in the towel. You love hearing from your readers because it means SOMEONE IS READING THIS STUFF (although many of us would still write even if no one was reading).
But bad comments – those icky self-centered comments – those are the ones that pop our little bubble of excitement.
Truth is, we’ve all been a victim of “comment vomit.” We may have even been the one vomiting on occasion.
Maybe self-centered comments don’t bother you, but they bother me. If you’re visiting a blog ONLY to have someone visit yours, well that’s no way to make friends.
Picture it in person: you’re having a conversation with someone and you’re telling them a story. A really great story. When you’re done, you pause and wait for a reaction. Then the person says:
“Just saying hi! Come on over to my house!”
What? Yeah, it’s weird in the blogosphere too.
OF COURSE part of the reason we comment on other blogs is that we hope they visit ours. But you really have to give to receive. Post genuine comments that show that you did in fact read their post. Because all us bloggers want is a little validation.
You may not learn anything today; you may be a perfect commenter! If so, just hang with me because this one is a bit of a rant. But I have to let it out because I’ve seen a few really hideous comments on people’s blogs lately (one in particular which I’ll share below).
Here are some of the worst offenders and how to remedy them:
Vomit: “LOVE your blog!” or “Nice post!”
Why it sucks: It tells me you don’t give a crap what I have to say. It tells me you’re the kinda person who just waits for me to finish my sentence so you can start talking about yourself.
Disclaimer: I don’t mind as much when regular commenters say this. I know they read it!
Comment Love: “LOVE your blog! You’ve got a really cute header and I like your writing style.” or “Nice post! That happened to me once too- glad you can laugh about it now.”
Why it doesn’t suck: It really didn’t take that much more time than the first one but it’s not generic.
“Pimping my giveaway” comments
Vomit: “Nice post. I’m doing a spectacular giveaway for a $2 product. There are 200 confusing ways to enter. Visit now!”
Why it sucks: Well, it shows that all you care about is promoting your stupid giveaway, not what I just wrote. Plus, it just sounds desperate.
Comment Love: After commenting about the post, maybe put something underneath that just says “My latest giveaway: $25 gift card to XYZ.”
Why it doesn’t suck: It’s not intrusive and it shows you somewhat cared about what that blogger had to say. If the blog you’re posting on has Comment Luv enabled and your giveaway was your last blog entry, just let that do the work for you.
New subscriber/follower comments
Vomit: “Stopping by to say hi! I’m your newest follower. Would be nice if you can follow me back!!!”
Why it sucks: I should be grateful. Instead I’m annoyed because it sounds like you just subscribed to my blog so I would subscribe to yours. Did you even read my post?
(By the way, I saw this exact yucky comment on someone’s blog once. The blogger has poured out her heart about her daughter who had died a few years ago and this is what someone commented. Way to be an A-hole.)
Comment Love: After commenting about the post, just tell the blogger you subscribed. If they visit you and like what they see, I’m sure they’ll subscribe to your blog too.
Why it doesn’t suck: Comments don’t need a call to action. It’s nice to tell someone you subscribed- you just don’t need to ask them to do the same.
Vomit (I actually saw this one the other day): Please write a post about [meme name here] or at least add the button. We are trying to spread the word. And this is one of the rules to join the linky. Thank you.
Why it sucks: Wow- throw someone under the bus why don’t ya?
Comment Love: How about a personal email to that person, a DM on Twitter on even a “could you get in touch with me about [meme]?” All are preferable to being called out in public.
Why it doesn’t suck: I think that’s obvious.
“Visiting from” comments
Vomit: “Found you on [random mom site]. Come follow me back at…”
Why it sucks: Again, you aren’t reading my post. You’re just going down a list of bloggers and copy and pasting the same message over and over.
Comment Love: Should I say it again? Comment ABOUT THE POST. Then tell me where you came from (or tell them where you came from first- doesn’t matter) if you’d like. No need to ask for the follow back.
Why it doesn’t suck: Personally, I like to know you came don’t mind knowing you came from SITS, Mom Bloggers Club, etc. That being said. I think it’s personal preference if you want to mention it. Just be sure to comment about the post too.
And here’s one that I’m on the fence about. What do you think?
Thank you comments
This is the one where someone says “thank you for visiting my blog!” Obviously, if that’s ALL they say, then I wonder why they even bothered commenting. BUT if a person says that and then comments about what you wrote, does it annoy you? Do you feel that they came to your blog ONLY because you came to theirs or are they just being nice?
What other types of comments bother you?
Do you delete them or leave them on your blog?
This article was originally posted on my other site, Adventuroo, where it racked up over 120 comments. To see the great conversations within those comments, head over to Adventuroo.
If you liked this post, Momcomm is chock full of helpful posts like 7 Mistakes Even Nice Blogs Make, The Hello Bar Guide for Bloggers and What Disney Can Teach You about Branding Your Blog. You can even grab a free chapter of my book, Blog Design for Dummies, on my Facebook page.