Guide to Blog Comment Etiquette

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Etiquette is part of the ABCs of Image.   What are the ABCs you ask?

  • Appearance
  • Behavior
  • Communication

These days etiquette is not just relevant in person, but digital etiquette is more and more important.    Today I’m covering the topic of Blog Comment Etiquette, as I feel it’s something that has been ignored for far too long.  Etiquette is just the fancy way of saying manners, and so many people seem to forget their manners the minute they get behind a computer screen and keyboard and are not face to face with people.

Do you comment on blogs? Do you have a blog and welcome comments?

I love my readers, I love when they ask questions, or leave thought provoking comments. Many comments have ended up as the inspiration for blog posts of their own. Without them I’d be struggling to write many of my blog posts, so really, truly, thanks to all of you lovely readers who do inspire my writing by leaving interesting conundrums, thoughts, experiences and ideas for me and all the other readers to ponder.

But, there is an etiquette to blog commenting, and I’ve found that recently I’ve had to spend more and more time sifting through comments to weed out the genuine from the fake.

Commenting on blogs will improve the number of links to your blog, and if you want to build your blog it’s considered to be an important part of your ‘blog marketing’ efforts. But if you don’t want to be considered a SPAM blogger and have your comments trashed by the blog owner, how do you do it with grace and style?

1. Fill in the form, but don’t repeat your URL in the blog comment, it’s unnecessary. If you make interesting comments, then people will naturally click on your name to see what you write. If your comments are irrelevant they won’t. Many blog owners (myself included) are more inclined to mark your comment as SPAM if you leave your URL in any way other than as part of your ‘username’ information, particularly as I already have the Plugin COMMENT LUV installed, which will link to your latest blog post. It looks desperate, and tells me you’re only commenting to get links back, not because you’re actually interested in adding to the discussion.

2. Say something relevant. “great post” or “I love your style” comments are frequently used by spammers, these kinds of comments immediately put up a red flag to me, and I’m more likely to trash your comments. Particularly when it is obvious to me that the comment doesn’t relate at all to the topic of the blog post.

3. Say something interesting. It’s obvious if you haven’t read the post. If you’re tooling around the internet just looking for blogs to comment on, not because you want to engage or create a relationship, then please don’t leave your comment here.

As a blogger I love my readers, those readers who engage with my content and I appreciate every comment that comes from a genuine place. It’s easy to tell which are genuine and which are not, so if you’re just trying to improve your SEO by commenting, be aware that you need to bring relevant information to the table if you want your comments to not end up in the big SPAM bin.

Feel free to leave a comment! And I’d love to hear from you other bloggers on your experiences with blog commenting.

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18 Comments

  • Very timely topic, Imogen! I’ve recently noticed a spate of new (?) bloggers leaving first time comments of “Follow me and I’ll follow you,” with no other comment content. That’s just tacky, IMO. I love getting thoughtful and thought-provoking comments that stimulate further discussion.

  • Hi Imogen — first, I feel a lot of pressure with this comment, ha!

    How irritating that you’re getting more and more spam; the price of success, perhaps. My spam comments tend to be more random than yours and thus super-easy to spot given that I don’t write about tech gadgets or R+ rated topics.

    Somehow I doubt your instructions will deter the drive-by folks, but wanted to throw in a hairpat and thank you again for responding so thoroughly TO your comments. Makes it fun/more educational whether I am lurking as usual or jumping in.

    • Vix – thanks for commenting – and I appreciate the comments you’ve made over the past few years too!

      Sadly I’m sure that few of the spammers will bother to read this! Still, I felt I had to put it out there.

  • Hello Imogen

    I love the way that suddenly out of the blue you write about a topic that is so different to your usual ones and yet is so relevant to your usual content.

    Spam seems to come and go – I do know that most blogging sites are good at picking it up leaving you to decide whether its ok or is just rubbish. For many of us leaving a direct link in the comment was ok because many ‘blogspot’ bloggers did not have the name/url facility for wordpress bloggers to use – thankfully they are coming to their senses now and adding it.

    Its the replying on the comment page or going to the commenters blog that has lots of us beat – how many come back to see if you have replied? I tend to reply by email – not sure how others feel about that.

    • Cathie – thanks for your comment. I have all the ususal spam (weight loss drugs, viagra, etc. etc) that the spam filter picks up, but there is a new kind of spam where SEO agents are trying to build links and create backlinks and things to improve their SEO and they are using blogs to do this – I have an issue with this!

      When I had a blogger blog, I found that my blog was attached to my name – in my google account – so I found that I never needed to leave more than my name for people to be able to click on it and find my blog that way.

      There is some sort of plugin for wordpress that emails the comment reply – really should look into that!

  • Thank you, Imogen. Timely and educational post.
    My blog is mostly for friends and family and I am lucky enough not to get spam. But like you, I love receiving comments.
    I hope we all be kind to everyone and ourselves,
    ~ Iryna

  • Although I do not have a “website” or a “blog” to my name, I do follow several established blogs that are interesting, informative, and validating. I found your blog, Inside Out Stule through a great blog titled, Une Femme d’un Certain Age. I found myself returning to your site and subscribed to it today. It was surprising to read about some of the spam type comments you receive after the time and thoughtful reflection you put into your posts.

    After reading today’s post, I felt compelled to let you know how much I have gained by reading and studying your posts. Styles that elongatie the silhouette and how horizontal stripes are just not prints , but yokes in jean jackets, a top running horizontally, a cuff. The arrows on your Polyvore sets are brilliant! I have been going back and forth into my closet and reassessing my clothes. So far so good.

    Just wanted to post and say thank you!

  • You surely know how to educate – and not purely on apperance.

    I have now learned why people will leave those strange uninvolved comments.
    Not exactly what I expected from a visit on your blog. Unexpected, but valuable.

  • Thank you for writing this! I started my blog for my cousins and friends. Clueless me – I initially thought people writing “great post” really meant it. It was only after I learned about SEO that I figured out what was going on. Don’t they know that if they actually create blogs that have great original content (as you have) then the hits will come?

    BTW, I really wanted to thank your for your discussions on how to wear things for your body type. I can not wear things I thought I couldn’t – all I have to do is find the right cut for my body.

  • I am new to the use of internet, but happily found your website when looking for”how to get rid of static in clothes when wearing tights”. I have to wear support tights and the static with them and a slip plus these new man made fabrics of a skirt with elastane is a nightmare. The slip and skirt clings to my tights as I walk, and I look terrible, not to mention how uncomfortable it is.
    I have learned so much from your blogs and look forward to receiving them, I check every day. Many thanks, Margaret Elizabeth

  • Well, it’s February 2013 and your post on blog comment etiquette continues to be relevant. I found myself searching for some guide on this subject b/c a blog team leader visited my site, left a brief comment, stated which team she was from and then left her link with html text. Not only were my feelings hurt but that an experienced blogging team leader would do this. The blog already allows links to the name. This is the second time that this has happened to me from a team member and so I have been a bit perplexed how to handle it. Decided to now moderate comments. I also decided that quality comments however few were more valuable than getting a lot of spam comments. So now I delete such comments. I really only meant to say thank you for your post and validating what my instincts had suggested.

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