Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Don't Suck at Putting Your Blog in the Comments

I felt like mixing it up. No tag this week. Instead, we’re going to talk about an aspect of blogging that I personally find kind of annoying when other people do it, and tricky when I’m trying to do it myself.

Looking for love
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.

Tag Someone


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.

Thank Someone


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.

Sign Off


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.

What are some ways you like to share your blog in the comments? Are there any you dislike?

28 comments :

  1. Great post! I try to comment only when I feel like I have something to add to the conversation or just really want to thank the author for a helpful/interesting post. I've always wondered how people add links to their comments, so this was really helpful.

    Here goes a test,

    Miss Adventure

    : )


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    1. Well, even if you're only thanking or adding, I'm sure the blogger appreciates it, and may want to see who the awesome person saying all the stuff is! Anyway, I'm glad you found it helpful—and success! Your link works fine. :)

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  2. This is actually helpful! I do want people to look at my blog, actually you found mine 'cause I left a link. That's why things like commentluv are useful. I found you through Alyssa's blog (a tag I think) and I found Alyssa through commentluv. Anyway, thanks!

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    1. I'm glad to hear it! I didn't actually remember that, but you're probably right—if you didn't leave a link I probably wouldn't have found you. Commentluv and tags are both excellent tools, too. So, true to your story, these have been proven to work!

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  3. I totally remember when I first made my blog and I went on someone's blog and wrote like one sentence followed by my blog link. I did it just once, I promise.
    I hate it when I scroll down to leave a comment and I see like 5 comments of people just leaving their link. It's just really annoying, and I usually love clicking on some random commenter's name to visit their blog.
    Tags are really nice. I love that feeling of "Ooh, I got tagged! I feel so SPECIAL." So those are always nice.

    And just cuz, I'm gonna leave my link:

    http://www.wordspillers.blogspot.ca

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    1. Well, the important thing is not that you did it but that you're a growing blogger who continues to change and learn new things.

      It really is depressing, though. Like, I'm motivated to visit people's blogs because I like what they have to say, not because they left a link.

      Also, yes. Being tagged is a great way to make someone feel special. :)

      Thanks for the link! I'll be sure to check out your blog soon!

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  4. I don't always leave my link, but when I do I typically sign off with it. It just feels subtle--not an "in your face" invitation to COME LOOK AT MY BLOG! I know I get those sometimes, and those invitations can be very facepalm inducing. You give good advice, Heather. I always appreciate it when someone leaves a thoughtful comment with their blog link. It makes me want to visit their blog more.

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    1. And that's a nice way to do it! It's kind of demeaning to both parties to do it in-your-face style. I'm glad that people do the same, and leave thoughtful comments. And, I'm also glad when regular commenters leave thoughtful comments too—so thanks for your thoughtful words as well!

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  5. This. Post. I very much approve. I'm--fortunately?--not popular enough yet that I get any spammy comments, so I haven't had to experience what you have. But I appreciate this. Like you, I hate to ask for favors--I would pretty much rather die than impose on people, so even tweeting about my blog posts feels a little off for me. And I can say, these tips really do work for me--like, you tagged me for the Lyric Medley Tag, and pretty soon after that I started checking out your blog and then I decided to follow it, and that happened because I felt included and considered and not at all pushed to check out your blog. And if people leave subtle links, like Liz @ Out of Coffee, Out of Mind , I generally get this uncontrollable impulse to click on them. Honestly, I don't blame people for wanting to promote themselves, and I don't mind, but yeah, it would annoy me if it wasn't really even clear people had read or even cared about what I'd written beyond that it was a chance to promote their own work. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. *fist pump* I'm glad you like it! Even if you don't have the popularity yet, there's still the possibility that you will get them eventually, and now you can slam them with this post in their face. I'm glad my experiences are so similar to yours—and I'm glad I tagged you, because I like having you as a bloggy buddy. :D (Also, I know what you mean. I compulsively clicked on that link even though I already follow your blog.) It's definitely not a bad thing to promote yourself, but there are tactful ways to do it. That was my goal. Thanks for reading, Liz!

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  6. Good topic! It is a little annoying when you get vague comments that merely invite to read someone's blog. I guess, it take a while to get used too. :P I've never actually done this myself. With the exception of people tagging me, then I might return to their tag post and leave a comment confirm that I did the tag, had a great time with it, etc.

    I really like the sign off one. It's kind of like a letter and like you said, it feels more personal, and. . . not pushy?

    I'll have to remember this HTML code. For some reason, HTML just never sticks in my brain. Plus, I never remember my own blog address. :P It's quite ridiculous. But if I start signing off and using this HTML then I'll have to know my blog address, yes? I'm going to do this!

    Ashley G. @ [insert title here]

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    1. I know, right? In my opinion, you shouldn't have to get used to it, but still, it happens. I think tag posts are my favorite, but to each her own.

      But yes, it almost makes things feel more like a letter, rather than just a token of your language.

      I keep it saved in a Workflowy list myself, so if I ever need it I can copy it, but hopefully we can commit it to memory soon. The link works! I hope it brings you much good in your blogging relationships. :)

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  7. Cool post! And yes, it can be totally awkward to try and leave your blog in a comment, but it's kind of necessary, lol. One of the best ways to get people to visit your blog, anyway.
    As you probably know from my dozens of comments on your blog, I always leave my url at the end of my comments. However, I didn't know how to make the html thing, so thanks for that tip! Here goes nothing:


    Alexa
    Summer Snowflakes
    Verbosity Book Reviews

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    1. Yes, blogging doesn't really work if you don't make relationships, I'm afraid. That's what marketing is all about.

      I do know that, but I'm glad to report that both of your links worked for me! Nice work. :)

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  8. I totally agree! I've had some comments were people are blatantly looking for blog traffic and it really annoys me. I can always tell when a comment isn't sincere. I don't mind if someone leaves there link, so long as it's at the end of a meaningful comment.

    Since I'm working on commenting back, I usually just click the person's name and check out there profile, where their blog is linked.

    Great post!

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    1. Right? It's not like we blog for their convenience, I guess. XD But, I agree. I don't mind if people want to share their blog with me, just as long as it's a mutual action.

      And that's definitely something I do too—it can be a little harder when they're using another platform that doesn't link to blogger, though, so there's that. Thanks for reading, Sunny!

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  9. *nod* I've had a few of theee comments -- normally I just say "Thank you, Name!" but skip my typical comment back policy. Funnily enough, I find I like clicking on the commenter name more than the signing off link more, so I don't sign off myself normally. Although sometimes I participate in memes and include my meme post URL in a PS, which I don't think is too intrusive. I'd really like to include commentluv on my site someday, though -- it's a great way to glimpse commenters' posts!

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    1. I skip the comment back policy, too. It's just... Nice try, but no, haha. I don't really sign off either, because it's too much work (sad day when copy-paste is too much work) but I don't mind when others do it. I also like commentluv—it's a good way to stay connected!

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  10. Brilliance. :) I've had some not-so-subtle ones which made for awkward situations. The worst one was when someone just said "Here's my blog" and absolutely nothing else. I didn't quite know how to reply to that so I never published it. :') I love your tips though, I think I wouldn't find any of them annoying. Their very clever!

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    1. Ugh, that's terrible. I don't moderate my comments, but I wouldn't publish it, either. The hope is to not be annoying, so I'm glad I was successful. Thanks for reading, Jo!

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  11. I 100% agree with this post. I don't like it when all people comment for is for publicity. I get that you have to promote your blog somehow, but I think there are more subtle ways to do it than saying, "Here is my blog, please go look at it now."

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    1. Yes, blogging is about relationships, not fame. Subtlety is an art, yes? Hopefully people grow as bloggers over the course of their careers and find better ways to share their work. :)

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  12. The sign off is the one that I often use, especially if it's one of my first few times commenting on their blog. I generally don't mind it when people advertise their blog, but I hate it when they do it in a pushy, annoying way, especially when they barely said anything else in their comment.

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    1. That's a good way to do it; especially once you get to know a blogger, it would definitely be less important to remind them who you are, yes? But, we all seem to be in consensus. No one likes thoughtless comments!

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  13. Nice post. Please follow my blog and leave a comment.
    ENTP Girl @ Neophilia Entropy www.entpwriter.blogspot.com

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    1. Haha, just messing with you xD I'm just surprised no one joked about that before me. Hehe. But I'm enjoying your blogs, the two i've looked at (Wandering in a Blur and this one) and thought this was a really timely post, as I'm just getting into blog writing. I know your description for "Wandering in a Blur" ("Observations of Life through art, literature, science, history, and more") caught my attention very much. I'm a literature, science, and history nerd, so xD So thanks for the posts! :)

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    2. XDD Nice one, ENTP Girl. :)

      I'm glad you've liked both blogs, and I hope they both continue to keep your attention! :D Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope to hear from you again, soon!

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Check it out, comments and stuff. I love to hear from readers, and I always respond to commenters! Here's the fun part—if you leave a link to your blog I'll show up and comment back. I have just one rule down here: Don't Be a Problem. This spans the entire umbrella of rudeness and crudeness, so I reiterate: Don't Be a Problem. Thanks for stopping by!