Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Make Your Blog Comments More Meaningful

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash



As bloggers, we publish our latest ‘masterpiece’ post, and then we eagerly wait for comments to roll in. We want readers to share their own thoughts, maybe a remark or two about themselves which connects us at some level, and secretly, we hope for a little praise about what a 'sublime' (wink) post we just created. 

Before I say anything else, I first want to give a shout out to every person who leaves comments on my posts. I have learned so much from you on how to leave warm, thoughtful, and meaningful comments. SO many times you've inspired me, affirmed me, and given me joy with your gift of words in response to something I've shared in a post.

We may not often be lost for words, but there are times when composing a short, meaningful comment seems harder than it ought to be. So, we might well click away without leaving a comment or make a remark so general as to be disappointing:  "Great read.”  “Nice photos.”  “Interesting topic.” 

Although positive, they tend to leave an empty feeling or no feeling at all. There is no indication that the post was even read, and one gets no sense of any relationship being forged; the reader has added nothing of herself in those tiny words. We certainly understand time constraints and lack of creative moments. We don't want to create pressure. At the same time, we do long for a little something in return (and I don't think I speak just for myself here).

I never forget something Mark Twain is attributed as writing once to someone: he apologized for writing such a long letter, as he didn't have time to write a short one. Although we smile at his wit, we also recognize that, yes, sometimes the short ones take the longest to compose as we carefully choose our words. Still, it never has to be a long paragraph to leave something meaningful.

* * * * *  

Here are four tips that help me when it comes to sharing my own comments on blogs I visit without having to spend so much time or effort every time:
1. Instead of trying to make a general comment about the overall post, focus on one or two details that catch your attention – a single thought, a turn of phrase, or a line of prose so artfully written its beauty gives you goosebumps. Do tell the author your experience.
2. Look for common ground: the similar family traditions, the books you read, where you go for holidays, a favourite song or line of verse. Perhaps you realize you share similar ‘soapbox’ topics…or completely different ones. Mention what makes you feel connected to the writer. 
3. Instead of just saying the photos were nice or great, why not zoom in on one and describe what makes it come alive for you? Is it the composition? The colours? Perhaps it's the contrasts or similarities, or maybe you are drawn to particular subjects, like sweet kids in rubber boots or cute dogs out for a walk. 
4. When you realize somebody else has already said what you wanted to say, don't think your similar comment doesn't matter. Of course it does. A little trick I use sometimes is to do a synonym search of words already used in other comments; this often triggers great descriptive words that help me form lovely new sentences.

Comments are gifts – ones you offer in return for the posts you read. Go ahead, say something meaningful, and make a blogger happy today.

* * * * *

This post today is based on an article I submitted to a recent writers' contest. It was a little summer contest within our writing group, and I am delighted to say I placed first. The feedback I received from my peers (who were the judges) was meaningful to me, and helpful, too, for future writings.

I hope you are enjoying your September.
I'm wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,

With hugs,
Brenda
xox


You might also like an earlier post I wrote about how
leaving a comment could be the answer to someone's prayer. 




19 comments:

  1. Congrats on placing first in your contest! Thoughtful comments really do help us connect and knit together in a community. Thanks for the good suggestions, I shall endeavor to be a better commenter!

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  2. Hi Brenda~

    What a great post! I have been having some of these same thoughts, especially about how to make a more meaningful comment. I love, Mark Twain's quote - it's so true. Sometimes the more I think, the less I have to say! And I love that you said, "Comments are gifts . . . ". There are days when I post, and someone will say exactly what I needed to hear, at exactly the right moment. The people I connect with really have become my friends. During daily conversations with others, I will refer to them as my friends, not just my blogging buddies. Through this amazing electronic, technical age that we live in, we really can make dear friends through blogging, I love it!

    Hugs,
    Barb

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  3. Congratulations on the contest win, Brenda! Focusing on one or two details is what I try to do when commenting, as well. There's usually something that catches my attention more than other things. I cherish the friendships I've made via blogging, and you are one of the dearest. Someday, I do hope we can meet in person.

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  4. I love the Mark Twain quote, Brenda! I think there is so much truth to that and it fits so well with your thoughts on leaving meaningful comments. Congratulations on winning the contest - your tips are so timely. I sometimes find it difficult to leave a short comment and think that I am being too 'chatty'. It's nice to know that this kind of commenting is welcome! I love getting to know my blogging friends not only through their blogs, but through their comments, too. I learn a little more of their personality with each one and I hope they can 'see' mine, too. I can tell that you are a true romantic, Brenda, and that is a rare gift these days. Sending hugs xo Karen

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  5. Beautifully worded, Brenda. I am afraid that I do often leave a short comment, thinking that it is better to let someone know that I have been there rather than not. But I do treasure all the writings of my friends, even if I don't always write a long comment.

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  6. As a longtime blogger, I am always happy to see any comment! :) But I do understand your point, and I think your tips are good ones. It is so nice to get good feedback!

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  7. I see there is a whole lot more that can be added to this little conversation I started. I'm glad of it.

    I had one thing in my mind when I wrote this piece. I was thinking about newer bloggers who might be unsure how to leave meaningful comments, i.e., something resonates with us when we read a post but we're not sure how to respond without taking a lot of time to consider it. (Sometimes we have time, sometimes we don't.) Hence the little tips to help us get started.

    To me, comments with a little extra are conversation broadeners; everyone benefits from comments that have something to say. I love to see other perspectives added to the mix -- we can say, well, I never thought of that before, or I never saw that until you said it.

    As for bloggers who become friends, well, that's really a different story, I think. We pick up conversations, on each other's blogs, the way we might do if we were meeting in person or talking on the telephone. Sometimes the chat is lengthy, sometimes all it needs is quick 'hi' to remind someone they are being thought of. I'm quite happy with those too, as some of you mention it above.


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  8. Thank you for these tips, Brenda. I'm a terrible commenter ... not because I don't have anything to say but I just assume nobody wants to hear what I have to say. Your advice that a comment is actually a gift has completely changed my perspective. 😊

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  9. Brenda, you know whereof you speak, for you always leave delightful comments!

    Indeed, I have found it a challenge to comment frequently because I wish my comments to be thoughtful and personal. If I don't have time to do that, I often click-and-run rather than just say "something." Commenting can be a time-consuming business!

    Oh, but the friendships that are forged in the comment box . . . totally worth it!

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  10. well interesting topic...lol! way to put pressure on us to carefully comment. I've noticed I get more comments from my link to my posts on Facebook. Also I post more there but still want to keep blogging as it records my thoughts and history. I get fewer comments on my blog page as many readers are on facebook. Your posts are sparse but always filled with good ideas! really...

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  11. Congrats on winning first prize for this great post, Brenda! I struggle to leave thoughtful comments (this is why I'm a fan of FB's "like" button. Hee!)so your tips will definitely come in handy when I'm blog hopping.

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  12. You have a way with words, Brenda, and it's not hard to understand why you took first place. Congratulations! Because I love comments so much, I try to leave a comment on every post I read, and it sure can be time consuming. So I'm always way behind. But I do think it's considerate and thoughtful to leave a comment as you describe rather than to "hit and run" as it were. And that takes time. But friendship takes time and investment, and it's so worth it. I am so grateful for the faithful readers of my blog who comment just as you describe. xo Deborah

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  13. Dear Brenda - the tips on how to leave comments is so helpful. I often search for the right things to say or write. Mark Twain's quote made me smile. It does certainly take time to write something short and sweet. I am so glad you received first place...that is certainly worth a celebration...hmm - perhaps tea and one of those luscious desserts you make would be worthy!! Have a great day. It is always a delight to come visit you. Hugs!

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  14. Dear Brenda: Whenever I see you have a new post out for the world - I always wait until I have time to read and respond. I don't want to miss a word - I enjoy your blog and writing so much. I thank you for this lovely post and for the wonderful tips. I enjoyed the quote from Mark Twain, and love your words,"Comments are Gifts."
    As a new blogger, Bren you constantly inspire me to continue and strive to create something worthy to read. Congratulations on winning first place in the writing contest!

    Have a beautiful autumn,
    Sandra

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  15. Congrats on winning first place! It is very well written and a good reminder for all of us. I could do better....that's for sure! Enjoy your weekend! Hugs!

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  16. I just started again with bloggen stop before with bloggen ,because I was so much time loose with all answer another blogs ...But I will certain think about you wrote here... Greetings,Joan

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  17. Another fine post, Brenda. I am never at a loss when commenting here as I can always praise the quality of the writing. IMO, yours is one of the most beautifully written blogs.
    Amalia
    xo

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  18. Congratulations on placing first...well done! You've given good advice and, when I know the blogger, I try to call them by name. When I don't know them, for example visiting first time on your blog, I'm more likely to not use their name because, to my mind, it seems a bit forward...? Silly, yes but at least I write in complete sentences...LOL!

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  19. Brenda, your posts are so meaningful and uplifting to me. I love reading about you and the things you have done... travels, inspirational moments, family histories. Congratulations on placing first among peers in the contest! I love when people leave thoughtful comments, too!

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To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....