Commenting on blogs, posts, videos, and others types of content is a great way to build relationships, not only with the content producers, but also others who see the content. However, treating comments as link bait (commenting just to get people to click on your link), can have just the opposite effect. Such comments can actually hurt you in the long run (plus most blogs and websites have do-not-follow rules for links in comments). Build successful relationships via comments with these tactics…
Add to the Conversation
Don’t just say things like “great post” or “I agree!” These types of comments add nothing to the conversation. A lot of bloggers (myself included) just mark such comments as spam (which they are). If you want to build a relationship (which should be the goal), have something to say which adds to the conversation. Add your opinion or thoughts on the topic, don’t just blindly agree.
Quality over Quantity
Pick a few bloggers which are in or close to your niche. Work on building relationships on a few blogs instead of trying to comment on as many blogs as possible. There’s no way you have time to monitor a ton of blogs for responses, which is a good way to build relationships. Choose 5 or so blogs first and work from there.
Comment on Comments
Adding your thoughts to other’s comments is a great way to connect with the community who reads the content. Remember to add some thoughts or an opinion to your response, don’t just say “I agree.”
Monitor for Responses
Once you’ve posted a comment, make sure you check back to see if anyone has responded (including the content creator). Many commenting systems will allow you to subscribe to the comments to make it easier. Read responses and respond thoughtfully.
Even if you completely disagree with a post or comment, remember to be respectful. Everything you post online contributes to your reputation and brand (and goes on your permanent record). If a post makes you angry, take some time to cool off before you respond (or don’t respond if you can’t keep your cool). Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Treat others like you’d like to be treated (remember what you learned in kindergarten).
Support Your Argument
Whatever your opinion, try to support it with fully formed thoughts and facts (as much as possible). Well formed opinions are more likely to be respected (even if people disagree) and can be helpful for your online reputation.
Think Outside the Box
Think about factors or arguments which may not have been brought up. Think in new ways and expand the conversation for everyone involved. Be a thought leader.
How do you connect through commenting?
(photo by StuSeeger)