Pizza and ketchup
A blog post together with its comments can be seen as a pizza. Even better. If the post is the pizza, the comments are … the ketchup.
We all know that a good ketchup can add more flavor and enhance the taste of a pizza. A good ketchup depends on the ingredients used.
The problem is what blog comment ingredients we should use to give our pizza (post) a delicious taste?
In the last post I talked about blog comments role. The feedback I got was extraordinary and people gave me plenty ideas to think about.
If you want to understand more about the role of blog comments, check the following post, together with the debate in the comment section.
I this post I will continue with the following question: What is a good comment? What are the characteristics of a good comment that triggers replies from your readers?
I will start with my own thoughts and experience about this topic and I invite you to bring more ideas and answers to the table. Let’s start the debate. What is a good comment?
Blog comment ingredients. Let’s make a nice ketchup
A quality comment:
- Has a purpose
- Makes a point
- Offers the context
- Has a structure
- It is honest
- It is positive
- Shows respect
- It is proofread.
Purpose. The question is why?
The first thought in your mind when you make a comment must be the question Why? Why on Earth am I making this comment right now? What is my goal?
Among all blog comment ingredients, this is the first we must put in the ketchup.
The goal determines the comment. No goal? You will write a stupid or boring comment. Let’s see some possible answers. I comment because I want to:
- Help people
- Build relationships
- Drive traffic
- Show my knowledge and expertise
- Encourage people
- Post a link and improve my rankings.
You have a point. Make it
Always avoid generic comments that fit into every niche. Never say: “What a great post! Thank you.” or “Great info. I learned so much. Thanks.”
This shows a lack of respect for the author. Maybe he (she) worked hard to write that posts and all you say is “Great post”.
It is like you are saying: “Yeah. Blah, blah. Stupid and boring article. I will try to post a link here”. It is offending and looks like spam.
Say something. Make your point and only then you can thank the author. What point? For example, you can:
- Say why you liked the post
- Say why you didn’t like the post
- Say what you think is important in the post (the takeaway)
- Agree or disagree with the main idea etc.
If you don’t have a point to make, don’t do it. Don’t make that comment. Participate only when you are sure you can add value to the conversation.
Context. What are you talking about?
This is one of the blog comment ingredients that people usually forget. When there is an interesting debate and you have a rather long series of comments, it is easy to get lost.
Always provide a kind of context for people to understand what or who are referring to. For example, if there is a list in the post, say which item of the list you are talking about. Otherwise, you will make your point and people won’t have any idea what you want.
A good comment has a structure. The simplest structure includes:
- An introductory formula
- The body of the comment
- A closing formula.
I can tell from my experience that many commentators do not follow this rule. Many times a comment starts abruptly with the body and ends after the commentator made his point.
I will give you a very simple example of a comment structure:
When something is good you should say it. When something is not good you should say it, too. Politely, of course, but say it. Do not say the post is great, if you don’t think it is.
A good comment must be positive. Make your critique, but the focus must be on what is good in that post. Start positive, then make your critique, if necessary.
When you are done, continue in a positive manner and encourage the author by talking about what you think is valuable in the post.
Always end with an encouraging tone. Encouragement is probably the most important of all the blog comment ingredients.
Critique is important. How can I know something is wrong, if you don’t tell me? How can I correct a mistake, if the only comments I get are praises. However, critique must always be done in a polite manner and bad words, swear words must be avoided.
I can tell from experience that personal attacks do not help a blogger. On the contrary, a personal attack creates a shock and you will lose a reader and gain an enemy.
Another form of respect is to proofread your post. This way you will not only eliminate the mistakes and make the content easier to understand but also build credibility, trust and reputation.
One mistake here and there is OK but a post full of grammar or punctuation errors will kill your reputation on the long run.
Now, I think you have plenty of ideas to think about. It is your turn. What are the blog comment ingredients you use to make a good ketchup for your blog pizzas? Tell us your thoughts about this topic.
What do you think are the characteristics of a good comment? What makes a quality comment that triggers replies and generates debate?
Post your comment below and don’t forget to share this post on your favorite social networks