|Flickr Credit: Alan Cleaver|
How can you politely invite someone to look at your blog in a comment?
If you have a blog, then perhaps you’ve gotten a comment like this before:
Nice post. Please follow my blog and leave a comment.
Some Person @ Random Blog www.adkljasdfjadlkfjasdf.com
Essentially, they give no indication that they truly cared about what you said and are just promoting themselves—and I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t make me want to follow their blogs or comment on them. That would be plain silliness.
Still, sometimes there is the desire to put your blog’s name directly in a comment. I know that for me, I have three blogs associated with my account, and so there are times when I would want to navigate someone to this blog over the others. Whatever the reason, you want to share your blog without looking like an insensitive wretch.
While I don’t use all these myself, I’ve observed and approved of various ways people have used the comments to invite people back to their blog. These are my top five.
Put it in Your Display Name
One thing in common with all commenting systems is that you must put in a name, even if it is anonymous, to be associated with the statement. Usually I only use “Heather” as my name, but if I wanted, it would be easy to change it to “Heather @ Sometimes I’m a Story.” It’s a subtle indication to others that I have a place, and if they want, that’s where they can find me.
Politely Invite Them
This is different than the comment I used at the beginning. Typically, this requires a sincere comment beforehand and a gentle invitation at the end. For example:
Wow, I never knew that you could use books as hats like that. I really admire your creativity, and hopefully with your tutorial I’ll be able to make hats out of books, soon, too. I’d love to be able to create book-hats with my friends—maybe I’ll put the pictures on my blog, too. Maybe you’d like to visit me at Sometimes I’m a Story when I’ve got them up? Thanks for this great idea!
And it wouldn’t have to sound that awkward. It is my least favorite thing to ask people for things, even when this is a hypothetical situation I came up with in my own head. But you get the idea.
I think this is one of my favorite bits about tags, and why they’re actually rather clever blog devices. While tags often say something about you, they’re also a community draw. If you see someone you’d like to visit your blog, you can tag them at the end of any comment: “By the way, I tagged you for this one thing, if you want to join in!” The failing in this would be if a blog has a no-tag policy, but it puts your link out there in a collaborative way, and whether they decide to join or not, they still might visit your blog.
This is something I sometimes like to do when someone has commented on my blog and I’d like to invite them back or just acknowledge that I did see their comment. I’ll go to one of their posts and comment, and at the end say, “Thanks for stopping by Sometimes I’m a Story!” It isn’t much, but it keeps that relationship open.
This one is another popular one. Sometimes at the end of comments people like to write a little sign off, and put their blog and link at the bottom, the way you would close a letter. I have no idea why that link is more appealing to me as a blogger than the one at the top of the comment, but all the same, it’s a non-pushy way to make your comment seem inviting and personal, and help them visit your blog again.
One last thing: if you aren’t sure how to put a link into a comment, it’s plain old HTML. I don’t know any fancy HTML talk, but if you put a link in the quotes and what you want them to read in between the greater and less than signs, then it’ll work on most blogs. A link that said “Sometimes I’m a Story” would look like this:
<a href="http://semilegacy.blogspot.com">Sometimes I'm a Story</a>
That is my advice. Now go forth, share your blog name in your comments, and don’t suck at it.