Happened across a blogger who fires up your passion, or an author who makes you want to settle down long-term with a whole new set of ideas? This Valentine's Day, why not show them a little bit of love in the simplest and most meaningful way possible - by commenting on their posts or posting a review?
In a lot of ways, blog comments are better than candy and flowers. For one thing, they cost you nothing, while coming straight from the heart, as all good Valentine's gifts should. Besides, a lot of writers really like to see what you think of their work. Most of us also really look forward to reader feedback (hint, hint).
If your undying love and gratitude aren't enough to convince you to start commenting on blogs, however, consider that there are a few good things that happen as a result of simply sharing your thoughts... for example:
Three Great Things You Can Get From Your Comments
Ideally, readers would share their comments with bloggers simply because they want to give feedback and encouragement, or out of respect for the authors. In case you need a little more incentive, though, there are three good things that can happen when you take the time to comment:
1. You could start a new or bigger discussion.
If you have follow-up questions regarding a post or idea, or just want to share a bit of your own experience on the topic, it could lead to a sort of "comment chain reaction."
In other words, you may find that the author, along with other readers, want to chime in on what you had to say. In some cases, the discussions around comments in a blog can actually be more informative and entertaining than the original post itself. Bloggers love this, and it's good for readers, too.
2. You might get more of the content you love.
In the same way, your questions and comments might help the author to uncover additional ideas for future posts. And so, if the blog mentions something that is particularly important or relevant to you, commenting could be a way to get even more great insight from the author.
If you come across a piece of content that is particularly useful to you, why not encourage the writer to follow up or keep exploring the thought on a deeper level? Maybe they'll write something even better next time if they know you're looking forward to a specific theme.
3. The right comments could lead you to other opportunities.
As you've probably heard in the past, commenting on a blog is a good way to begin a relationship with a topical authority, and may even open the door to guest posting opportunities. That is, if they are impressed enough with your ideas, they could ask you to contribute your ideas to the blog in a separate post, gaining you valuable links and exposure in the process.
The only problem with this approach, and the reason I've mentioned it last, is that it is often abused. While every writer loves to see great comments filling up his or her blog, no one has time for generic comment spam, or thinly veiled attempts to get into their good graces. Be genuine with your praise and feedback first; that's the best way to make a good introduction.
How to Leave Great Comments
Although there aren't really any major rules to commenting on blogs, there are a few things you can do to make your feedback more welcome, and to be helpful to other bloggers:
First of all, be nice.
Remember that it was another person, just like you, who wrote the post, and be respectful of their ideas and talents. Even if you don't agree with their point of view, or like their writing style, remember that they took the time to share something with the world.
Be specific if you can.
If there is something you really love about what they've written - or something you really didn't agree with - try to highlight that, instead of simply giving out blanket praise or putting the whole piece down.
And finally, don't go overboard promoting yourself or your own work.
Generally, it's only going to get your comment deleted anyway, and you aren't going to do yourself any favors (with the blogger or their readers) if your comments feel like commercials.
This is the season for love, so get out there and share a bit of it with each other in the comment sections of your favourite blogs!