19 Ways to Build Relationships With Blog Comments

social media how toHave you ever left a comment on a blog?

How do you feel when the author replies?

As we’re all ushered into this age of social media, each and every one of us is looking for ways to form stronger relationships with our audience, especially with current and potential customers.

There are many ways to discuss how to cultivate and build relationships. I want to focus on blog comments—an often poorly understood and very underutilized tactic by individuals and businesses.

blog comment

Focus on your blog commenting strategy to build relationships.

Why Blog Comments?

Over the last 3 years since I started blogging for my two businesses (one company does swimming pools and the other is a sales/marketing company), I’ve personally replied to over 8000 comments on my two blogs.

I don’t give you this number with any intent to brag, but rather to set the stage for a topic that is near and dear to me, and one that I see businesses and bloggers falling short on everywhere, simply because they’re missing a few of these important habits.

This article isn’t about “How to get more blog comments,” but rather how to cultivate better relationships through comments. Notwithstanding, the two do overlap, as you’ll see in the following list.

Finally, you’re going to find that some of the components of this list are nothing more than common sense. But as so many know, common sense, especially in this new culture of social media, can at times be rather uncommon, and therefore needs to be mentioned.

Here’s how to cultivate relationships with blog comments.

#1: Write in a Personal Voice

You can probably tell from just the first few paragraphs of this post that I like to write in a personal tone. And if you’re looking to truly cultivate relationships with the stuff you write, a personal feel will make a HUGE difference.

When done properly, writing in a personal tone and style will immediately help readers feel more comfortable with an author/company and this comfort level naturally lends itself to readers considering leaving their thoughts in the comments section or via email in a direct reply.

So whether you’re writing about swimming pools, insurance, equipment, services, etc.—strive for a personal voice.

#2: Invite Reader Response by Asking Questions

Studies have shown that less than 1% of readers will leave comments on a blog, but I can assure you this number would be better if writers would simply guide the reader in terms of questions at the end of posts.

No matter what your business is, the final paragraph of your blog article is the perfect spot to ask specific questions regarding the topic you’ve just discussed.

Ask readers their thoughts and whether they agree or disagree. Invite them to share further examples that would help other readers. It’s truly amazing the difference this will make if it becomes a habit with everything you write.

PR 20/20 does a very nice job of asking questions at the end of each post in their blog.

pr 20 20

By asking questions, readers know you value their opinion, and therefore will be much more inclined to share their thoughts as well.

#3: Don’t be a Know-it-All

Have you ever read a blog article where the author seemed so snooty or conceited that you were left with a feeling of disdain? Believe it or not, this happens a lot with bloggers and businesses, simply because they confuse arrogance with confidence and authority, thus turning off their readers.

So although it’s a good idea to be an authority in your industry, be careful not to be too over-the-top in your efforts to establish your voice, as this will greatly hinder anyone’s desire to continue the conversation with you going forward, especially in a blog’s comment section.

#4: Admit You May be Wrong

This is an especially powerful technique for inviting discussion, especially if what you’re writing is an opinion piece. Social media expert Chris Brogan has used this technique successfully.

brogan

By simply admitting you might be wrong in your opinion, you'll come across as much more humble and approachable to your audience.

#5: Utilize an Author Bio and Photo

Did you see the author bio box at the end of this post? Other than the fact that Social Media Examiner authors benefit from this little box from a branding and traffic perspective, it also is a tactical way by which readers can get a personal feel for the article’s author, and therefore be more inclined to leave a comment, share the post, etc.

This feature is especially valuable for multi-author blogs.

author box

Author bio boxes are a great way to help readers "know" your blog's writers even better.

#6: Say a Simple “Hello”

If you see a friend (we’ll call her Nancy in this example) on the street or in the grocery store, what’s the first thing you always do? Chances are, you likely start off with something like, “Oh, hey, Nancy!” or “Hi, Nancy.” A simple salutation is something we do in just about every society, and it’s a good practice to use when responding to blog comments as well.

Just a little “hello” goes a long way in building relationships with readers, and believe it or not, it’s a practice not seen with many blogs and businesses.

saying hello

Saying "hello" to someone is more an expression of happiness to see a person than just a simple word, and it can be expressed in different ways, as shown here.

#7: Use Readers’ Names

If you’ve ever read the classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, it’s likely that you remember his thoughts on the power of using names. In fact, in the book he states:

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Such a simple yet profound statement by Carnegie is one that absolutely applies to building relationships with blog comments.

#8: Show Empathy

One of the greatest human needs we all share is wanting to be understood by others. Often, when someone is leaving a comment on your blog, they’re doing it because they want to share about their problems/solutions, failures/triumphs, etc.

This being said, if someone discusses their struggles in their blog comment, always reply with empathy. Recognize what they’ve just told you. This alone will show them you care, and be a powerful relationship-builder.

empathy example

Everyone wants to feel understood, and wants to know you've listened to their needs. If you show this with your blog comments, you'll be much more successful.

#9: Ask Further Questions

As with #8, let’s say someone experiencing a problem discusses it in a comment. Other than simply responding with a potential answer, you may want to consider asking more questions to better identify what is happening with the individual so that the solution you come up with is the best one.

Also, by asking these questions, the individual (and other readers) will see how much you care and want to assist in solving the problems of another.

further questions

Just like you would with an actual client or friend, if someone comes to you with a problem, be sure to ask questions to identify better solutions, as shown here with a comment from my swimming pool blog.

#10: Invite Other Readers to Share Their Solutions

It’s one thing for you and those in your company to answer all of the questions and needs of those who comment on your blog, but it’s another to invite others in your community to step up and give value to readers.

When you have a community of readers who help each other find the answers they’re looking for, this not only takes the pressure off of you to be the “end-all,” but it will also develop a sense of team and community.

Remember this concept of help from the community is not typically an “assumed” thing, which means you need to make it known to readers they’re always invited to leave replies to other folks when they feel they can add value to the discussion.

community comments

Here is a snapshot from my marketing blog, where the community often comments and converses with each other beyond my personal replies.

#11: Respond with Personal Emails

With most blogging platforms, a person who leaves a comment must leave their email in order to do so, which is why it’s a great idea at times to personally reply to readers not just in the comment section, but via direct email as well.

I’ve sent personal emails to hundreds of readers of my blog over the last few years, and almost always they’re shocked I took the time to do so. As you might imagine, this is a powerful relationship-building tool.

#12: Be Specific with Your Praise

If a blog reader leaves a thoughtful comment on your blog with excellent points, take the time to point out what about the comment impressed you, plus your additional thoughts. This will show the person that you truly read and appreciated the comment, and in many ways will feel like a “reward” of sorts for their efforts.

specific praise

By telling your readers exactly what it is about them that impresses you, your words will go a long way in building relationships.

#13: Recognize Returning Commenters

Like the theme from the famous TV show Cheers, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.” Now granted, that statement was referring to a bar, but the same feeling can be created within a blog’s community and in many ways starts with your ability to recognize readers “as they come through the door”.

So if you see someone returning to your blog, make sure they realize you notice their return, and the fact that you appreciate the visit.

notice return

By going above and beyond and truly welcoming your blog commenters, they'll be able to see you know and care about them individually.

#14: Use a Plugin/Platform that Ensures all Replies are Read

Because we’re all getting a little tired of our in-boxes being so full these days, there’s a good chance that just because someone leaves a comment on your blog that they’re not going to subscribe to all comments on that post, for fear of “inbox inundation.” This is why it’s critical that along with giving readers the option to subscribe to all comments in the post, you add a plugin that ensures they’ll get your reply emailed to them directly.

For all of you using WordPress and their commenting platform, easily the best plugin for this in my opinion is ReplyMe, as it automatically emails any replies to a commenter directly. This is not only a valuable asset in stimulating discussion, it also shows all commenters that you took the time to reply to their remarks.

There are other blog commenting platforms that help with your ability to communicate and converse with your readers—with Disqus (used here at Social Media Examiner) and Livefyre (used at Spin Sucks) being two of the most popular.

spinsucks

Platforms like Disqus and Livefyre, as shown here at Gini Dietrich's popular blog Spin Sucks, can be great for community participation and conversation.

#15: Thank Readers for Their Support

Out of the 8000+ replies I’ve made to individuals, I’d venture to say I’ve included some type of thank-you in at least 7000 of them. The reason for this is simple—you want commenters to feel appreciated. Although this does add a little bit of time to each reply, it’s well worth it.

#16: Sign Your Name

This little technique is surprisingly practiced by few bloggers and businesses, but it certainly makes a difference. Just as you would in a letter or an email, it’s a great idea to sign your name to every reply you make to a commenter on your blog. Not only will this allow them to know who is talking, it will also have more of a personal feel and touch as well.

sign your name

Comments are almost like mini letters. So just as you sign your name to a letter, it's a good idea to do it with comments as well to add a personal touch.

#17: Refer to Comments in Future Posts

As most bloggers know, a healthy comment section can be a breeding ground for future blog post subjects, especially when readers are expressing their problems, issues, questions, success stories, etc.

When great thoughts and questions are left in the comments section, not only should you turn these into subjects for future posts, but also mention and give credit to the reader/commenter who inspired the article.

Done the right way, this is a powerful method to show your community you value their input and are looking out for their needs.

#18: Don’t be a Jerk if Someone Disagrees with You

I recently was commenting on another blog and after I disagreed with what the author of the post had said, the person’s response to my comment was, “You’re just wrong.” Yep, that was the response. And as you might imagine, I didn’t leave that blog post with a stronger appreciation for that particular blog and its author.

Always treat those who disagree with you or your blog with respect. Assuming they do it with class, any debate can be very healthy for the blog, the brand and the community. If the person goes over the top and says something blatantly false or offensive, keep in mind at that point it’s absolutely fine to delete the comment, as there is no rule that states all comments MUST be allowed to stay in the comment section.

#19: Respond!

Although I probably should have made this the first item on the list, I wanted to finish off with it because everything we’ve talked about in this article starts and stops with a blogger’s/company’s willingness to take the time to respond to commenters.

Now granted, sometimes this may not be possible due to time and resource constraints (especially in the rare occasion that you get dozens, even hundreds, of comments per post), but if your desire is to cultivate relationships through your blog, a reply to thoughtful commenters and readers is an extremely important element.

Now It’s Your Turn

Even though I’ve come up with 19 ways to cultivate relationships through blog comments in this post, I know there are many more out there that you are likely using as well. So please don’t hesitate to add your suggestions to the list in the comments section below.

What do you think? Are there any items in the list that you don’t agree with, or have a unique experience with? Tell us about it. We’d love to hear more from you! Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Marcus Sheridan

Known for his boundless energy and enthusiasm, Marcus is a thought leader & popular social media speaker. Download his FREE 230-page Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy eBook. He's on Twitter @TheSalesLion Other posts by »




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  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas Rao

    Marcus, 

    If anybody is qualified to talk about this you are. I still believe comments a goldmine for relationship building. I’ll add one other tip that I thought of the other day. When somebody comments on your blog post add them to your network on Linkedin. Extend the conversation beyond the comments. You simply never know where that could lead. 

  • http://twitter.com/TheSalesLion Marcus Sheridan

    Excellent idea bud. In many ways, a comment from a reader is almost like an immediate “invite” from that person to make a connection.

    Great seeing you Srini!

    Marcus

  • AndreaDTTP

    Hey Marcus, thanks a bunch for this extensive article.

    Your blog comment recommendations and examples reminded me of the great conversations I’ve had with trusted business colleagues with whom I’ve been networking with (in-person) for years.  Knowing that, encourages me to persist with building my blog readership….

    A question, do you have suggestions of how to obtain feedback from others regarding how accessible and approachable my blog postings are? For example, am I coming across as arrogant or not interested in comments, opinions of others, etc.? I suspect that I need to adjust to more casual and conversational style… Right now, I don’t have anyone posting comments and I suspect this is one reason, along with needing more traffic, etc.

    Also, thanks a bunch for mentioning “replyme.” I’ve been researching different WordPress/blog plugins for my site, so this is quite helpful.

    Andrea Dale

  • onreact

    I couldn’t agree more Marcus as a business blogger who writes for several blogs. On the other hand the time is very limited so conversing with everybody can be difficult especially if you write for third party blogs where you only get paid for writing and promotion bot not research, commenting and other tasks. So ideally you talk to everyone but in reality the day has only 24h.

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  • http://www.myhelpsource.com/ Guy… @MyHelpSource

    Thank you for sharing this, Marcus!

    I appreciate your encouragement and ideas, and look forward to renewing my efforts to engage my readers. I love to discuss the things I write about (otherwise I wouldn’t write about them, right?), but have done a poor job enticing my readers to get into the conversation.

    Honestly, I’ve been surprised (and even frustrated) that my open-ended questions haven’t elicited the same level of comments from my readers as they have during my live events (e.g., lectures, training workshops, classes, etc.).

    Have you (or anybody else in this discussion) noticed that any of your particular queries or requests for comments work better than others?

    I don’t expect to find any magic bullets, but there are likely better ways to ask for online comments than what I have used.

    Thanks again…

    Onward!

    Guy

  • Lawrence

    The take home part that I like is the ending. If it is not a multi-author blog, is there still a need for the about me part? I do sign my name, but I do not use the AboutMe. I do like your ending and want to steal it.

    Do you have a wordpress plugin that does something similar?

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  • http://www.adhocmarketing.com/ Scott Salwolke

    Thanks Marcus for the suggestions. I hadn’t given much thought in how to craft my own blog entries in order to encourage responses. Yet, the goal is to generate followers and develop interactions so this makes perfect sense. I’ll definitely incorporate some of these suggestions into my future writings.

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Marcus,

    Great post!  I work hard to run the race with all 19.  But I would have to say that I tend to be “too thorough” and I’m trying to quit it.  :)

    My Facebook Like Box seems to be migrating folks onto my Facebook page quite nicely, and I extend conversations there.

    But really, when my blog misses a beat, so does the rest of my social world.  Embassies and outposts, if you will.

    Thanks for the reminders!

    ~Keri

  • http://twitter.com/BradVoigt Brad Voigt

    Marcus,
    This was so incredibly helpful.  The visuals and instructions could not have been better written.  Thanks for putting it out there!

    As I was reading this I was thinking, “So what Marcus is saying is treat other people the way we would want to be treated when we’ve commented on a blog.”  Thanks for the reminder that relationships are the goal and that requires more than the information we can provide.

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  • http://www.powtoon.com/ PowToon

    Just the project I’m working on now for the Powtoon launch 

  • http://www.sparringmind.com Gregory Ciotti

    How do you go about this my man? Taking the commentor’s email and searching it in LinkedIn?

  • Kim

    Marcus,
    Thank you for these tips.  I completely agree with how it is about building the relationships which is what “social” media is all about.

    As a business coach and someone who was a little slow in the social media game, I finally got it that it is and will always be about developing relationships :)

    Thanks so much for a great start to a monday!
    Blessings & Gratitude,
    km

  • http://twitter.com/Kim_Miles Kim L. Miles

    Oh and any tips on how to change my picture would be great so I can follow tip #5 :)

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Andrea, thrilled you found some value here with this post. As for getting more comments, although that’s a tougher one to answer here, I’d recommend a few things:

    1. Yes, you really, really need to have a personal voice. (Sound approachable)
    2. Ask specific questions at the end of every post.
    3. Your commenting platform needs to be easy to use, without a bunch of hoops to jump through.
    4. Take a stand, always try to have an opinion.

    There are more, but those are a good start. But remember too, not all business blogs need to have tons of comments to be successful. If you’re generating leads and sales from your blog, ultimately, that’s what matters the most.

    Good luck and thanks again Andrea!!

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Yep, that is true Tad. But to tell you the truth, I find most business blogs hardly have any comments at all. The ones that get many are very much in the minority. Notwithstanding, what matters most is that the blog helps generate traffic, leads, and sales– and sometimes comments may or may not lead to these things.

    Thanks again,

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Hey Guy, and thanks a bunch for jumping in here.

    On average, only 1% of readers will comment on a blog, so don’t beat yourself up too much about it. There are many folks that are hesitant to “put their thoughts out there.”

    I think great questions at the end of the post is a big deal, yes, but how much traffic are you getting to your blog Guy? Your stuff might be good, but you may not have the number of readers yet. You see how big SME is and even they only get 20-100 comments per post–despite the massive audience.

    It’s a tough call Guy but keep giving value, be opinionated, write strong content, push the envelope here and there, and I think the comments will eventually come.

    Good luck!!

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Hi Lawrence, there are plugins that allow for the author box at the end of each post, but right now the name escapes me. I’ll see if I can find it.

    But on a single blog, no, I don’t think an author box is nearly as important.

    Thanks for stopping by,

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Hey Scott, so glad you liked it and hope you’ll find the techniques above work. Keep writing and pushing and I know you’ll find success!

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Hey Keri! Thanks so much for the kind words and I’m really happy to hear the blog is working for you. Just keep going and good luck with the 19! ;-)

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Hi Brad, thanks for these incredibly kind words, I do appreciate it.

    Yes, what I’m espousing here really is the Golden Rule. It’s not science really. We just need to be caring and grateful communicators, that’s all.

    Continued success Brad,

    Marcus

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas Rao

    So in some cases people actually have their name. For example I’d just do a search for your name. Obviously if it’s a super common name it might be  messy. But usually you can tell by how connected you are to that person. For example, I wrote a post on Mark Schaefer’s blog and when I saw all the commenters, I thought “I should add all these guys on Linkedin.” So I searched for them one by one and added them.  Hope that helps. 

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/ Ryan Hanley

    Marcus,

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… The power of your blog IS THE COMMENTS.  You write good blog posts that get people talking… But it’s the conversation that takes place in your comments that makes your community so powerful.

    Keep kilin’ it dude.

    Ryan H.

  • Mary

    I met Shel Holtz a few years ago at a social media seminar and he gave this exact advice. I went home and found the best animal advocacy blog I could find and, over the course of several months, added comments when I had something to contribute … and only then. It was a very energetic, articulate, opinionated community of bloggers and commenters. Intimidating. Fast forward a year .. and I was eventually added to the blog’s writing team (!). The others had written dozens of books; some were well-known journalists. Not me. I just knew quite a bit about one “exotic” species and I could write. You just never know where things will lead.

  • http://www.design4dot.com/ Michelle Dettlaff

    Marcus, you make it sound so easy.  LOL.  It all seems like common sense.  Just a lot to think about when you’re busy with other day to day activities.  

  • Mary

    It’s farming, not hunting! :-)

  • http://www.colinfinlay.wordpress.com/ Colin Finlay

    Hi Marcus, this is full of great ideas! I love the examples you share with us as well. Thanks a bunch!

  • http://navigatingcyberloss.wordpress.com/ Casey

    Thanks, Marcus. 

    This post is really handy for somebody like me. I don’t get that many comments on my blog, because it’s a niche topic, but these tips will really help me interact more with those who do comment. 

    Looking forward to reading more posts- thanks very much for following me on Twitter, too. I’m not quite sure how to go about it, but I want to widen my blog’s audience. Tricky one with a topic such as mine, I feel. 

    Thanks for creating this great site. 

    Casey

  • http://susanstilwell.com/ Susan Rinehart Stilwell

    Great content, Marcus, and it really WORKS, especially for those of us smaller bloggers. It can be time-consuming, but worth setting aside some blocks of time during the day. And if you can visit their site and leave comments, even better.

    I need to work on signing my name. Since I comment with a photo and my name, it never even dawned on me. Thanks for the helpful tips.
    Susan

  • http://lollipoplocal.co.uk/ Lollipop Local SEO

    Since Akismet or one of the other spam filters decided that my portfolio of 2 paragraph-long content-specific responses were spam, I have found it extremely difficult to comment at all on other blogs if I use my own website url. 

    And yet, I spend vast quantities of time removing the url and keyword laden generic dross from underneath my posts to the point that I am considering removing the function and leaving only Facebook comments where they have to use their real name.Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair.

  • deairby

    Good stuff here, Marcus. What is interesting is that these same principles have been helpful for me on a pin I placed on pinterest which “incited a riot” so to speak. We have had quite a lively “discussion” which led to a personal direct email by someone who was helped by my responses. Pin: http://bit.ly/GHICtM 

  • Kristy

    Great article, Marcus.  I’m only new to the blogging world (12 months or so), but it’s lovely when I get comments on my blog and I always respond to them.  It’s great when someone takes the time to respond to a comment that I leave on a blog too – but it doesn’t happen often.  I hope more people read, and take heed, of your advice.  Cheers!

    http://www.traveltruth101.blogspot.com

  • http://heartstonejourney.com/ Tim Young

    Great post, thanks for sharing. Picked up some good and valuable insight ;)

  • Fisher and Jobi

    Great blog, Marcus. I do some of it a lot, but not all the time. The rest makes perfect sense, but the biggest thing I learned was to do it –  whether or not everyone else does. You are appreciated!

  • Quiltedhappiness

    Hi Michael,  This is the first time I’ve commented on your blog, but I felt compelled to do so!  I am a complete newbie at all of this, but am very pleased that a few of your comments, I have instinctively been trying to do.  I try and find out the person’s name, to say hello to; I always add my own name at the end – although it feels a bit stupid, not because of the name, but because there seems no adequate word instead of ‘love’!!!! to put just before your name!  I am a Therapist and have realised that so much of the advice correlates with how I act in my Professional life and so is natural for me to carry over.  I shall enjoy keeping in touch. – Suzy

  • Jason Mulholland

    Hey Marcus,

    Great post here, and you do a wonderful job of all of these.  Its a great post, and a wonderful list to have on hand.  I really like the comment above on the LI connection.  It truly is an open invite – when someone comments on a blog, or even on a LI discussion, it’s time to connect and further that relationship.  

    Keep rockin it!Jason

  • http://www.about.me/hunterboyle Hunter Boyle

    Hey Marcus,

    These are excellent insights and reminders that every blogger should be using consistently. Attracting blog post comments is tough work, and it can be frustrating to pour a lot of time and effort into posts that you hope will get some feedback, only to hear the crickets chirping after it goes live.

    That’s all the more reason to take extra efforts and connect with readers who’ve interacted with you this way. Make it personal. Make it a way to build relationships — like the previous commentator’s idea about LinkedIn — because you never know where those small beginnings may lead.

    Great stuff, as usual! I’ll be using these tips more often myself. Thanks!

    Cheers — Hunter

  • http://www.dubtizzle.com/ Dubtizzle

    There is one question we have here at Dubtizzle–what about commenting as a company? 

    p.s. Enjoyed the articleThanks–Katie Stuckenschneider

  • http://twitter.com/Vocus Vocus

    #20: Don’t Troll :) 

  • http://www.tourismexpress.com/ TourismExpress

    Awesome post! While my comment is not a 20th tip per se, I find that comments and interactions with the blog’s author often adds value to the initial post. This post is the perfect example! Some really great advice in the post, but reading through the comments added a lot to the conversation and the topic.

    Of course, getting those comments to begin with has to do with the reach of the blog, but assuming readership will grow organically through savvy use of social media (twitter & Facebook incoming traffic), bloggers have every interest in the world to keep commenting and apply some the advice offered in this post.

    Cheers,
    Frederic, from Quebec City!

  • http://www.maxminzer.com/ Max Minzer

    Marcus, I just want to say that these are awesome tips. A lot of room for me to work on. Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000508187861 Margaret Daly

    There are a few circumstances where it’s best not to respond, say when someone is using a page to leave nasty comments because they have a personal vendetta against you.  It’s those times where it’s best not to say anything rather than incite to person to continue the assault.  Otherwise your advice is great.

  • Delia

    Hi Marcus,
    I really enjoyed this post.  It is a great reminder how everyday social skills can be applied to online communications.  I have a question – is it okay to reply to several people in one reply?  On my site the functionality doesn’t let you reply to each individual comment.  It is more like a list of comments under the main question.  So if I log in after a few hours there are often 4 or 5 comments from different members.  So I reply to them all in my one comment.  If that makes sense.  Is this still okay?  I know it isn’t as personal, but I can’t figure out how else I’d respond on my platform.  I’d love your thoughts on this!  Thanks!
    Delia
    http://www.whatshouldiwear.com.au

  • K Canaday5

    Great Article! I really appreciate your tips as I am a new blogger- I will definitely refer to this in the future!

    -Kylie
    Simplykyliec.blogspot.com

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=578438650 Jacqueline Teo

    Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for the tips in this article. I think these are applicable for Facebook comments as well. At least for blog comments, we can monitor before it’s posted.

    Jacqueline

  • http://www.seo-writer.ca/ David Leonhardt

    Basically, it’s much like a church basement social or a conference wine-and-cheese reception.  It’s about being social and being sociable.

  • http://clairification.blogspot.com Claire Axelrad

    Thanks for this great post Marcus.  There’s lots of actionable information here, and it’s so personal too. I like the “Say a Simple Hello” and “Sign Your Name”.  Really simple.
    Great ideas to keep in mind!
    -Claire

  • Brent Applegate

    Marcus, really good post on a topic that doesn’t get nearly enough coverage.  I’ve heard that comments on blogs are tapering off.  Sure, megablogs like SME will have lots.  But that most blogs are getting fewer and more people share via social media instead.  How does this compare to what you are seeing?  Perhaps food for a future feature!  Brent

  • pxlprof

    Superb article, Marcus.
    I’m a long time reader but recently converted to participation at the Social Media Examiner. The value in turn has been tremendous and I appreciate you reviewing the fundamentals of strong blog communications. You’re right to say that ought to be considered natural but where do the manners go?

    One additional thought I would add is to make certain your blog comments are in-line with your unique voice you’ve cultivated. To not do so would be like an actor breaking character mid-performance. Consistency is next to godliness, right?

    ~Johan

  • http://www.getoutofstuck.net Roberta Budvietas

    I love responding to comments, it gives me such great feedback. There are one or two things here that I still need to do so I will be busy

  • Maren Martschenko

    Hi Marcus, great post! Blogging is not all about curating your own blog but also sharing your views on other blogs or even just that. Thanks for the friendly reminder :-)
    Cheers, Maren

  • http://www.askolivertausend.com/ Oliver Tausend

    Hi Marcus,

    this is a wonderful post about how to handle comments on one’s own blog correctly. Sometimes I highlight a specific comment in a separate post or a digest of several great comments on a specific topic, this works quite well too because it lifts people up. I also make it my business to visit the commentators’ blogs and leave comments there too.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Take care

    Oliver

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  • http://blog.paulgailey.com/ Paul Gailey

    Blog comments do seem to be tapering off with reactions instead via social channels. One way to use that to strengthen your relationships with readers and their peers, is to identify a bunch of social reactions from your post to create a follow up post interviewing those very same people for a comment and feature them in a post.

  • http://www.thelinkedinman.com/ James Potter

    One way to bring together your “social media” side and your blog is to reference them to each other.

    LinkedIn is my world so I can only reference that but you can embed blogs in your personal profile, share them on company profiles, put links on status messages and so much more.

    Bring it all together to share more, help people to engage more and then yes even get more comments, and enjoy the comments on the comments :)

    Great post thanks for sharing, really pragmatic and simple stuff that always works and is so easily forgotten.

    Best wishes,

    James

  • AndreaDTTP

     Marcus

    Thank you for your encouragement! I am already applying what I’ve learned to my next blog post to make it more approachable, etc.

    Also, as a note on the “other’ side of the blogging fence. Could you talk about the benefits of completing your profile when you register as a commenter (or whatever you call it) in order to comment on a blog? For example, there’s a couple of people posting on your blog that I wish had completed their profile so I could go read (and maybe comment) on their blog ;-)

  • http://www.nethervoice.com/nethervoice Paul Strikwerda

    Hi Marcus:

    I immediately installed the ReplyMe plugin. That was a great nugget!

    To me, the comment-section is where the real conversation begins. It’s the part where I don’t talk to my readers but where I speak with them. Passive readers become engaged participants. A simple response to a comment can turn a one-time reader into a return visitor.

    Comments also give me an opportunity to delve deeper into the topic at hand. It’s where I can clear up misunderstandings and answer questions. 

    Here’s what surprised me most: since I started writing my blog in 2009, my commentators have become a vocal community of fans. Their comments are not limited to my blog either. My articles are discussed on Facebook, on LinkedIn and on other platforms relevant to my line of work, voice-overs. 

    I love my readers but I treasure my commentators!

  • http://www.degree31.com/ Mark Evans

    That is genius Srini! I am going to implement that idea immediately. 

    Have you volunteered to write a guest post regarding the power of interviews and podcasting? I am betting Michael would be open to the idea.

    Mark  

    P.S. Almost forgot! Great post Marcus! Thanks for the actionable ideas, several excellent takeaways.

  • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

    Marcus – You definitely practice what you preach! Nice job of distilling your commenting “magic”. What comes as natural and easy for some, can be a challenge for others. 

    BTW – LOVE “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. My mom made me read it in high school. It’s one of the best business books out there. There is so much power in remember and using people’s names! I try to do that in comments and when replying on Twitter. Makes a huge difference!

  • Jan Evans

    I LOVE this analogy — thanks!

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  • Maria C. Andrade F.

    Marcus!!
    I think your post can´t be better. For me has dynamite on it. I liked it very much……..I received your post by a friend who share it.

    Excellent, too many truth. 

  • Lynette

    Hi Marcus,
    This is an awesome post. I’ve been working in social media for a little over a year and agree that pretty much everything you have here is right on, particularly the last item – respond! 

    Would you mind sharing on a slightly unrelated topic, how often do you think a good blogger should post? I’m just getting started representing my company and we’re shooting for one post a week, but I’m wondering if more often might be more effective. We don’t have a large audience yet.
    I appreciate any thoughts you may want to share. Thanks!

  • Marcus Sheridan

     You’re very welcome Kim! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and wish you HUGE success with your coaching business. :)

    Cheers,

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Actually Ryan, I’d submit the power of my blog is found in the PEOPLE of the community that are so dang awesome— you being one of the foremost that comes to mind.

    Appreciate you bud,

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     What a tremendous story Mary!! I LOVE it :)))

    Keep rocking,

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     I think the “principles” are easy to understand Michelle, I do. But the action, the sacrifice, the effort—yep, they’re difficult…but I also know they’re worth it….which is why I keep going.

    And I hope you do too! :-)

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Try not to look at your topic as so unique Casey. That’s actually a habit many fall into and it prevents them from seeing the HUGE opportunity found in every niche.

    So keep creating, addressing problems, and being the voice…

    And it will pay off :)

    Best,

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Hey Laura!!! You’re comments are always too kind ;-)

    Yep, I think How to Win Friends and Influence People should be required reading in every school in America. In fact, I think it’s one of the top 10 books written in the last 200 years.

    Thanks again!

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     So glad you liked it Maria, and I hope it helps you with your blog :)

    Good luck!

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Hi Lynette! So glad you stopped by and I’m glad you’ve asked this question.

    Regarding posting schedules, the problem with answering that is you can find successful blogs that post  once a month, once a week, and once a day. So it’s a toughy.

    But I will tell you that I have found the majority of businesses out there do best with an average of 2-3 posts per week.

    Good luck with the blog Lynette :)

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     So true James. This is all just common sense really. Basic rules of human behavior. But like you said, we all at times get sloppy, and reminders are a good thing. ;-)

    Thanks so much for dropping by,

    Marcus

  • Marcus Sheridan

     Your passion jumps off the page Paul, that’s awesome man!

    And I’m thrilled you liked the ReplyMe plugin. That little guy is GREAT!

    Continued success to you and your blog Paul ;)

    Marcus

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  • http://www.myhelpsource.com/ Guy… @MyHelpSource

    Thank you for your kind response and encouragement, Marcus. My readership is very small right now, so the lack of comments isn’t the biggest thing on my plate. I’ll keep improving my value to those in my market, ask good questions, and the comments will eventually follow.

    Thanks again!

    Guy

  • cherylpickett

    Hey Marcus, I am soo glad you covered this topic and especially that you thoroughly addressed the subscription aspect. A few weeks ago, I posted about how many blogs, run by successful people, have no subscribe to comments option. Since being spoiled by your blog and a few others, I now totally expect to be notified of a reply. When that isn’t there, if I really really care enough about the answer, I may try to check back, but that doesn’t happen often and I’m sure I’m rare for even doing it at all. Thanks for spreading the word on this one!

  • http://www.littlecooltoys.com/ Eva Emilie | Natural Toys

    Excellent post! Love the examples to show your points :)
    I also find as a commenter that referring back to other related posts on the blog where you’re leaving your comment can be a really good way to engage.
    I’m a little scared that people would think I “spam” them if they automatically received an email when I reply to a comment … but think I will give the ReplyMe plugin a try, sounds like a neat little tool :)

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  • Susan Savkov

    Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for the great tips. What would you do if you received a negative comment? Do you respond in the comment or try to take it offline to email?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kasia.piekut Kasia Piekut

    Great tip Marcus, many people steal do not understand the power of social and the flow of engagement. 

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  • Wajendra

    Thanks! This topic was very helpful to me. The same question as Susan Savkov, “What would you do if you received a negative comment? Do you respond in the comment or try to take it offline to email?” 

  • http://www.katscafe.org/ Katrina Moody

    I LOVE this one – I’m constantly trying to connect more with my readers and it’s surprising to me that others don’t take the time and care to do the same. These are some great tips by themselves, and I would just extend your personal tone tip to include the need to really be genuine. Your readers can see through canned responses, barely polite ones, and even rushed ones. So dedicate time to doing it right, when you can. 

  • http://twitter.com/1stopJailbreak OneStop-Jailbreak

    Hi Marcus

    I wanted to quickly say a personal thank you for the tips here. As you say most of it “should” be common sense but how often we overlook the most obvious things. It’s nice to get gentle reminders.

    I especially like this article for not just the benefits it could bring to a blog but also to ensure that the growing trend on social media sites of typing the first thought in your head regardless of whether it would be socially acceptable in the real world is culled somewhat. I would love to see more positive dialogue like this on the more popular social sites. We can only live in hope!

    I have very recently started a blog but am yet to get any visitors. It feels pointless writing content nobody views but I’ll keep plugging away and hopefully (if I ever get comments lol) I can put your guidance to good use.

    Thanks again.

    Paul Knowles

  • http://twitter.com/1stopJailbreak OneStop-Jailbreak

    I’m sure you’ve done the same as I have where you’ve posted on a blog or forum and a few days later the location completely escapes you. :)

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  • http://therabreathcoupon.com/ Frugal One

    since all business boils down to a relationship or at least a perception of some sort, it is super important to be a good commentor – building these relationships can make a big difference in your life over time.  on my blog all commentors are valuable.   Thanks for sharing this.  

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  • http://davelucasmobile.wordpress.com/ DaveLucasNotes

    I sometimes have difficulty responding to comments – somehow it seems that the times I don’t have enough time, are the times when comments come in clusters!
    Great advice here – again, if and when I have TIME I intend to use some of your techniques!
    Thank-you!
    Blog On!

  • http://www.biggerpockets.com Joshua Dorkin

    Great post, Marcus.  The key, I believe, is in simply being authentic.  If you comment with the goal of just getting links or for some other nonsense, it won’t get you very far in the long-term.  On the other hand, if you’re sharing your thoughts with the intent of giving back or being part of the conversation and relationship building, those relationships will come.  Be real;  Be authentic; and the relationships will come flowing.

    Thanks again for sharing the insight.
    Josh

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/ZYXSQ57ZM2REOEKNRHT3FORB2Y Bob M

    Thanks for all this great information!

    I have one question regarding ‘ReplyMe,': it appears this plug in
    has not been updated since 2009. Doesn’t this present a problem
    regarding things such as security, etc.?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Stevens/100003245303817 Tony Stevens

    Great post and beautifully laid out .. and I do mean by design :) 

  • Bethhawkins1

    Thank you for the great post….I needed to hear everything you wrote. Taking a look at all the comments, others also felt the same way.  We live in such a fast paced society that we have a tendency to want to forget investing in building relationships and just spend time on our marketing.  Glad you reminded us of all of these important things.

    Can’t wait to try out Replyme plugin!I look forward to your future posts.   Beth

  • http://www.facebook.com/chaya.jennifer Chaya Jennifer

    Sorry I have not read comments here. But the 20th way could be  not to think blog commenting purely from the point of link building. Socializing switched off in blog comments purely when people started building links through commenting, even I did it many times before understanding the fact. Any thing unnatural may not stay long. If at all reader come to blog to read definitely he will have a opinion to leave in the form of comments. In a way you enlightened the way for socializing.

  • http://www.naturallyyoursboutique.com/ Rene’ Michelle Floyd

    Wow! I definitely got a lot out of this information…I shall apply it to my business. Thanks for sharing!
    Peace.
    Rene’ Michelle Floyd

  • http://jus-sayin.com/ Rob Carlton

    Marcus,

    I really appreciate how you’ve captured the emotional aspects of interaction rather than just the functional steps.  Making people feel comfortable with you is a form of giving them permission to reach out.  When you make the effort to do that, it is as if you are reaching out your hand first.  That makes it all the easier for someone to grasp it for the first time.

    Rob

  • http://twitter.com/manxhypnosis Xavier Nathan

    This is a great article telling us that there is still no substitute for being real and genuine in our communication with others. Thank you. 

  • http://deantruckle.net/ Dean

    Great Information, your never too old to learn.
    Thanks

  • http://www.interactguru.com/ Email Marketing Solutions

     

    Great Article!!! I really like the post to share with us and
    I was searching from long time that how to blog comment on blog post. Now this
    is the better tips. Thank you so much for that.
     

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  • viewsxew

    HiiMarcus – following up on the train of comment with Guy: I Blog in Australia and have had similar experiences to him and so appreciate the responses you have given.

    I Blog privately as well as for my company http://www.continuumfp.com.au – I believe I read one of your Blogs some time ago, that suggested that you need to have at least 50 posts on yoir Blog before the Comments start to flow – assumiing they have to be posted regularly and consistently?

    I had’t used the open questions at the end of my Blogs until now, but will certainly start doing so.

    Keep up your excellent work,
    Regards, Eric

  • http://www.vitalchats.co.za/ Wade Balsdon

    Brilliant post Marcus! Your blog about you making $2million in sales has really inspired me and I must say that this post is certainly out of the top drawer. 

  • http://www.tianasmith.com/ Tiana Smith

    I also use a plugin in my gmail called Rapportive (http://rapportive.com/), it pulls up all the social accounts associated with that persons email (which it pulls from the comment when it hits my inbox). So not only can I add them on LinkedIn, but Twitter, FB, or any other platforms that Rapportive has listed. I’ve used it for a few months now, and only have good things to report – since it doesn’t spam me or do anything else besides sit on the side of my emails.

    Even if you choose not to use Rapportive, you might consider updating your own profile on it, so that people who do use it, can find all your social places (I hope that makes sense). For example, my profile includes Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Google Plus and LinkedIn. I swear I don’t work for Rapportive or anything, I just like their service, lol.

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  • houseflipmike

    Wow, glad I found this one, we are a new blog but prepping for the day when the comments come in. I have to stop sounding like a know it all ;-) thanks!

  • http://www.antaresent.com/ Ralph

    I have never thought to “Refer to Comments in Future Posts” in any of the blogs Ive ever done. Some of the blog comments sometimes are great ideas for new posts too. Good tip there!

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  • anumalik81

     

    Excellent information! Very useful and amazing, I will be
    looking to

    participate in the conversations if you folks are looking to talk about this
    thread
    further.

  • http://www.sandrabornstein.com/ Sandra

    Marcus,
    Thanks for providing practical suggestions that encourage building relationships with readers. I can see that it is a slow process that requires persistence and patience.
    Sandra  

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  • Rajib Hasan

     Great tip Marcus, many people steal do not understand the power of social and the flow of engagement. Your blog about you making $2million in sales has really inspired me and
    I must say that this post is certainly out of the top drawer. somehow it seems that the times I don’t have enough time, are the times when comments come in clusters!
    Great advice here – again, if and when I have TIME I intend to use some of your techniques!
    More ………….

  • Rajib Hasan

     Excellent information! Very useful and amazing, I will be
    looking to

    participate in the conversations if you folks are looking to talk about this
    thread I have never thought to “Refer to Comments in Future Posts” in any of
    the blogs Ive ever done. Some of the blog comments sometimes are great
    ideas for new posts too. Good tip there!
    To know more Click

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  • http://twitter.com/Cherenester Cheréne Pienaar

    Loved this post and shared it with all my colleagues. Thank you so much!

  • marius cosmin moraru

     this is the most complete article i ever see about coments.
    Como evitar – Como evitar las estrias

  • Pranesh Vandali

     Thanks for details

  • Poorni

     Thanks for the better info

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  • Michael Oliver

    I’ve been working on this but it’s not that easy. It’s a lot of moving parts for a start up

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  • http://seorepublic.com/ SEORepublic

     I really appreciate everything that you’ve done here and am glad to know that you really care about the world that we live in :)

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  • Frank

     Thank you for this article. I’M a small business owner and trying to create relationship with my key people in my industry. this article will help me do that. :)

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  • Terry

    Great set of tips! Question: what is the ReplyMe plugin on Google Blogger?

  • emelinej1

     Hi Marcus, your post is really comprehensive, thanks for sharing. However, i have a question. I have a wordpress blog with a .com domain but i cannot find anywhere the “plugins” section from where i can upload disqus or replyme. Is there a different way to add just a button into my blog ?

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    Great content Marcus. I believe the key is responding to comments, it shows that you are not an elitist. Good comments could lead to a boost in traffic.

    What should bloggers do if their articles do not produce comments?

    Patrick

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Brelyn89 Brenda Lynn Messmer-Phillips

    Marcus,
    Thank you so much for all your informative list(s) and insights into the Blogging World. I’m getting ready to begin my own in the very near future and I would like to add a twist. Sometimes extending your Blog to INCLUDE the commenters viewpoint can cause a single post to turn into something “readers” are checking back on to find out what the oputcome is. Almost as if the initial Post is the trunk and suddenly their are branches and vines extending outwards . . . depending on “of course” if you have an interesting and alluring post for your general audience.
    Kudos my Friend . . Brenda

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  • Arnold Larsen

    That is genius Srini! I am going to implement that idea immediately.

  • alex

    Your blog states so many relevant tips and insights that we need to know regarding social media and blog posting. You have given us ample information on how we can be able to utilize social media for blogging. There’s a lot of things that needs to be considered and you tackled enough information that is very useful and timely.

  • Richard J D’Souza

    Great tips! Blogging really can be a simple part of your day.









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