Who here has their own blog? Do you enjoy reading other blogs? Maybe you just enjoy writing and sharing your thoughts and ideas. Here at Meylah, we enjoy both very much! Our number one goal here at Meylah is to help the creative community succeed online and we know the best way to do that is to connect all of us together to share and learn from each other.
One of the best ways to connect with each other is to comment and share your thoughts on each others’ blogs. At first, I didn’t realize the value of commenting on other blogs…sure, I read other blogs and even frequented comments left by other readers, but I didn’t really see any need to leave comments personally. Then I had a conversation with a friend who pointed out how helpful leaving comments can be, both for you as a reader as well as the blogger.
It all starts by speaking up! Have you ever been afraid to ask a question in a room full of people? And then somebody breaks the ice and asks the very same question you were thinking…it’s a relief, but at the same time you wish you would have spoken up and asked it yourself. Well, now you can. It all starts with leaving your comments, although it’s a lot easier because you don’t have a room full of people staring at you! Commenting on a blog provides a number of benefits to the reader and the blogger so it’s a win-win, here’s how:
- The blogger gets immediate feedback on their content so they can see the likes and dislikes of their readers and build off that information
- The reader can freely share his/her thoughts with the blogger and other readers in a collaborative environment
- The blogger acquires ideas for new content to write and elaborate upon
- The reader can have dialogue with the blogger and other readers to expose all parties to new ideas, questions, and areas of thinking
- The blogger gets to know their audience personally and can share relevant and targeted information with them
- The reader may become recognized as a thought leader and their own blog/website may gain awareness and an additional audience
All of these benefits lead to the ultimate reward of building new connections and fostering a community to share knowledge and learn from one another. By leaving comments on blogs, you are also creating potential to build opportunities with other bloggers to work together in the future. This is especially true if you seek out small blogs that don’t have a huge following yet. Working together with other bloggers can be mutually beneficial, perhaps by writing guest posts on each other’s blogs or even cross promoting one another’s sites and products.
So, where does it all start? If you're fairly new to blogging, either as a reader or a writer, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with other blogs that target your interests. You can find great blogs through word of mouth or even by searching a topic you like on blog directories like Technorati. Once you’ve found a blog that resonates with you, see if they have a blogroll. Chances are that if you like that blog, you will also appreciate their referrals to other blogs. And, to make your life much easier once you start following multiple blogs, consider using a feed reader to aggregate all your favorite blogs in one place. I love Google Reader, it’s saves you a ton of time because you can easily scroll through the blogs you’ve subscribed to without bouncing around to all of them individually.
Keep in mind that the content of your comments is really important. I thoroughly appreciate when people take the time to make relevant and insightful comments. Here are five quick tips to keep in mind when leaving comments:
- Make sure your comment is applicable, personal, or at least entertaining! Try to add value in the comment you make. A good question to ask yourself when you leave a comment is, “would I enjoy this comment if it was written by someone else?”
- Don’t leave a comment if you haven’t really read the post. This doesn’t help the author or other readers of that post in any way.
- Leave your real name. It doesn’t have to be your full name, your first name will do. It is much more personal and a great start to building a connection.
- Don’t directly link or promote your own products in the comments you leave. This is spamming and is not how you want to get noticed.
- Remember to thank the blogger when they have great content or a well written blog. Good feedback inspires people to keep plugging away.
Some of these tips as well as a bunch of other relevant information on blogging, building social connections and trust on the web are captured in a book co-authored by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith called Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. If you have the chance, it is worth the investment to read this book.
So, if you’ve never commented on a blog before, I’d be honored if you would test the waters here…I promise your feedback will be very much appreciated! And for all you regulars, it’s always great to hear from you too.