Blogging / Et Al

Five Blog Commenters and How To Respond

Ask any blogger, and they’ll tell you one way to promote your blog is by commenting on other like-minded blogs. As grows, I’m increasing my commenting on other blogging blogs, and in the past week or so, I’ve made a few observations about the kinds of comments I’ve been seeing. Commenters can be generalized into five categories, and each type requires a different response approach. That’s right, if you’re going to blog and start new conversations, you need to be a part of those conversations by responding to the comments you receive. If you don’t, Darren Rowse over at Probloggers says you’re at risk for letting comment spam take over your blog (and that has its own set of problems). Let’s look at these commenters together and figure out the best way to respond to them.

Everything-is-Sunshine-and-Daisies Commenters
These commenters are just happy to be alive and are thrilled that your blog exists. Their comments are generically positive to the effect of “Great post,” “Love your blog,” or “Thanks for the information! It was exactly what I was looking for.”

How to Respond
A generic “Thanks” is an appropriate response if you don’t have a lot of comments on that particular post, but if other commenters are dialoging with you and with one another, no response is necessary.

Everything-is-Worms-and-Mud Commenters

These commenters hate the entire world and really hate you and your blog. More than likely, these commenters are sulking 15-year-old teenagers who use phrases like “Your blog sucks” or “This is stupid.”

How to Respond
You’ve probably done nothing to justify their contempt, so don’t take comments from them personally. You can certainly respond to their comments, but doing so is probably a waste of time. You’re better off ignoring them (or deleting their comment all together) and focusing on comments that actually add to the conversation. For more help, check out How to Deal with Negative Commenters On Your Blog.

I-Want-to-Argue-for-the-Sake-of-Arguing Commenters

These commenters have something to say as soon as they read something with which they disagree, so don’t be surprised if their comments don’t make sense in the context of your entire post. They probably didn’t read it. I see these commenters on posts that review a book, movie, web site, etc. For example, they will take issue with the topic of the book rather than the book itself. Whereas you wrote to present your opinion of the book, they comment to present their opinion of the book’s topic.

How to Respond
Responding to these commenters is tricky because more than likely, they will respond to your response. If it’s obvious they didn’t read your entire post, gently point out what they missed by answering their arguments with what your post said. Resist the temptation to argue back; choose your words wisely, and take your time in crafting a response.

I’m-Smarter-Than-the-Blogger-and-I-Will-Write-a-Dissertation-Length-Comment-to-Prove-It Commenters

Easily confused with the I-Want-to-Argue-for-the-Sake-of-Arguing Commenters, these commenters think they are part of the intellectually elite and like to assert their long-winded opinions on other people’s blogs instead of on blogs of their own. Their comments sometimes lack paragraph breaks, and after reading one of their comments, you’ll often come away thinking, “What did I just read?” Typically, these commenters pick apart your entire post in one comment.

How to Respond
Responding to these commenters is challenging because if you respond to every point they make, you too will craft a long-winded comment. Read the entire comment as many times as necessary to identify the thesis of this comment, and respond to that thesis with brevity. Let other commenters respond to peripheral points.

I-Want-to-Make-a-Contribution-to-the-Conversation Commenters

These commenters are the stars of the blogosphere. Because they have read your entire post, their comments continue the conversation you started by adding new ideas, asking questions, and responding to other commenters.Even if their comments are negative, they are a joy to read.

How to Respond
It’s easy to respond to these commenters because you’re naturally continuing the conversation. Follow up with a “Thanks for the idea/question/criticism,” and write a genuine reply. If these commenters come back time and time again to contribute, consider shooting them a personal email of thanks.

Most of the comments you receive on your blog will come from one of these commenters, and how you respond can make a huge difference in the community your blog builds. All commenters want to know that their thoughts were read (and appreciated) by you, and that alone justifies a response to them. A response as simple as “Thanks,” can increase your reader loyalty amd your blogging credibility.

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7 thoughts on “Five Blog Commenters and How To Respond

  1. Yeah I am pretty new to blogging as well, but I certainly can relate to this post a lot. I sometimes see the “Nice blog” comment, and they call it good. Probably fishing for new readers, but the bait on the hook was never set. I especially like the add to the conversation comments, because this draws readers in, even if they usually don’t comment. A hot comment board can draw others in, and increase activity, which is always fun to watch as well. While sometimes you may get the occasional bad apple, I think that some constructive criticism can be good. Fun post.

  2. Tage,
    Thanks for adding to the conversation! I like the idea of having a “hot comment” board, too, because it shows that the blog is organic and growing. (I think I might need a bit more traffic before adding one to though).

  3. Sarah,
    Proof that commenting on other blogs is a great way to promote your own blog: I was on Blogging Fingers and came across your comment on the “Blog Better With The Right Music.” I liked your comment, so I clicked on your name and was directed to this site. I like the site overall and am going to add you to my Google Reader.


  4. Oh, I know all of these types from my blogs and other articles I’ve written over the years online. Answering to the arguing and intelligence proving people are the trickiest for sure, especially as I’m a bit of a know-it-all myself, so trying not to get provoked is hard work for me. So in addition to knowing the commentators personality types, you also need to be aware of your own type, and reign that in if necessary. 🙂

  5. I tend to be a zero commenter, a type I didn’t list in this post. Actually taking time to add to the conversation is a challenge for me, but I’m working to slow down and respond to the blogs I read.

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