Do Your Blog Comments Make a Good Impression?

By Daniel Scocco

This is a guest post by Mark Pack . If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Commenting on other people’s blogs is a great way to have interesting discussions, learn from others – and publicize yourself and your own site.

The content of your comments is crucial to achieving all of these, but there’s one aspect that is often over-looked: having a good profile on blog commenting systems. Suppose, for example, that you comment on a site that requires you to login with a Blogger (Google) account. That means your comment will appear with your name – and a link through to your Blogger profile. What you have, or haven’t, done to refine that
profile can have a big impact on what people think of you. Doing a nice comment but neglecting the profile is a bit like remembering to wear a smart suit to a business meeting, but then handing out a tacky business
card.

Commenting options vary greatly across different blogs: some require you to login with a particular account (e.g. Blogger or WordPress), some give this as an option but allow other comments and some don’t offer any account login options. What will suit you best depends on which blogs you frequent, but it is likely you will quite often be wanting to comment on sites that offer Blogger or WordPress account options.

Even if they offer freeform commenting too, using your account helps save you against the occasional typo in your name or web address, along with the convenience (if you remain logged in) of not having to type in
name and other information each time.

Some people prefer to type in their name and site URL to using their Blogger or other account to comment on the basis that this lets you link direct to your site and may bring some search engine benefits to your
site.

In my experience the boost is very little, whilst consistently using your account profile helps build a more consistent and credible online persona, particularly as it helps you avoid having to mix and match between sites that require an account to be used and those which allow open commenting. In addition, having an account profile page that appears in search results is itself helpful. As with most advice, experiment a bit and see what suits your own circumstances.

So what can you do to improve the appearance of your profile? Let’s take Blogger first. My own profile is at
http://www.blogger.com/profile/17596137350950820090

Note that I’ve given my full, real name. If you consistently use, and are known by, a nickname it would make sense for that to be on display. But otherwise you want to make clear that this is really you. Hence too the photo. I do a lot of training and talks, so a simple head and shoulders photo makes it easy for people to associate the person they have met with this online commenter.

The profile page also shows those blogs I am following via Blogger. The impact of these is a bit like the choice of books on your shelves or magazines on your desk. They help give people an impression of who you are and what you know about – though if you try to fake it by putting a whole load of items on display about an area you don’t really know about, you’ll soon be found out once you start communicating with
people.

Other information about me is fairly sparse as Blogger’s options are generally for fun stuff, whilst I am going online in a professional capacity.

You can set all of these settings by logging in at www.blogger.com, which uses your Google account (free to create if you do not yet have one). Once logged in, you can use the ‘Edit profile’ and ‘Edit photo’ links to set your profile’s contents. From that initial ‘Dashboard’ page, you can also control the blogs that appear on your profile, using the ‘Add’ and ‘Manage’ buttons at the bottom.

You can also control what information appears if you comment on a site that uses Google Friend Connect, although the settings are buried a little. Once you have added at least one blog to follow, click on ‘Manage’ and then on ‘Settings’ next to the name of one blog. Although there is a ‘Settings’ link next to all the blogs listed, they all take you to the same core settings for photo and links. So click on any and you will see that you can add a photo and set of links which will appear via Google Friend Connect. I just use the same photo again. Unlike the main Blogger profile, you can easily display links to more than one of your online presences, so I have created a set for Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and the group blog I contribute to.

There are some legitimate privacy concerns around services such as Google Friend Connect, but if you want to publicise your thoughts and presence, the sharing of data about what you are doing is an opportunity
to be exploited.

WordPress accounts are another popular option for blog comments. People often only think about creating accounts at www.wordpress.com if they want to use its blogging services, but it is worth creating an account
and refining your profile for the commenting benefits you get. You can create an account for free if you don’t yet have one.

When you are logged in, clicking on ‘Edit Profile’ in the ‘My Account’ menu at the top lets you set information that appears linked to your comments, such as your photo. WordPress.com uses the Gravatar system,
which is also used by some other blogs, so there’s a useful bonus from setting your picture through here. You can also give other useful information such as your name and website (which is where your name will
link to from comments you post).

‘My Comments’ in the ‘My Account’ menu gives you a handy list of all your recent comments made logged in with your WordPress account, along with any responses from other people. Blogs often give you other ways of keeping up with responses, but this is a handy one-stop-shop for all your WordPress account comments.

If a lot of the other people and sites you hang around are WordPress.com powered, there are quite a few other features in the ‘My Account’ menu you may find useful, such as the tag search tool which can help you find interesting stories you would have otherwise missed.

Armed with Blogger, WordPress and Gravatar settings, you can comment away with added impact. I’ve picked these three based on my experiences and market share (in the UK). You may of course find that another system is used where you comment often, in which case the same general advice applies – make full use of the options available to refine how you appear.

Mark Pack is Head of Innovations for the Liberal Democrats (a British political party). He blogs at www.libdemvoice.org and is on twitter at twitter.com/markpack




Share

46 Responses to “Do Your Blog Comments Make a Good Impression?”

  • Melvin

    Great read, well-written. The problem I think is that when visitors hover their mouse into your name and see that url directing to a blogger profile in their status bar, its more likely that they won’t click it. Most readers just don’t have the time to scan another page so in my opinion that would more likely give lesser traffic (but maybe more targeted)…

    Its like in affiliate marketing, having a landing page or direct-linking to it.. well just my 2 cents

  • Mr. I

    One thing that makes bad impression is commenting by “keywords”.
    No matter how qualty comment has, keywords make the first impression bad!

    As a commentator, I always use my nickname across all blogs and have a standard gravatar.

  • Funny

    Always I put a comment on others blogs, and the “problem” is the name which you use on comment

  • Harsh Agrawal

    I try to keep all my profile synchronize using same avatar and same handle
    Apart from when I add comment anywhere, I never think of self promotion because everyone is smart enough to judge between genuine and self promotion comments.
    Oh Mark your blogger profile is simple. Add 1-2 line of bio.
    🙂

  • Christopher Ross @ Web Design

    Great post Mark, I’m a big believer in commenting on blogs both for the reasons you’ve listed here but also as a way to help the blog authors know that they’ve added something of value to the web!

  • Arun Basil Lal

    Another suggestion would be to use the about page in your link instead of the homepage link.

    People always like to know who wrote the comment and an about page is a direct invitation.

    🙂

    Shhh.. I have used the about page here.. 😛

  • Mark Pack

    Arun: that’s a good tip; thanks for sharing it.

  • Shan Beach

    I’m new to blogging and find this post very useful. I never thought of how your profile is viewed by others.

    Thanks for the information!

  • Boerne Search

    I agree with mark. Arun makes a very good point.

  • Nikhil

    Thats great post….

    Also we can put the link to our special page where popular articles are present or where we have got more response.

  • Claus D Jensen

    Hi Daniel,
    I love getting comments on my blog (exept the comment-spammers!)

    And I also always reply to comments. I want people to know that I appreciate their comments…

    And I love the Gravatar!

    Greetings,
    Claus

  • sikiÅŸ

    Great post Mark, I’m a big believer in commenting on blogs both for the reasons you’ve listed here but also as a way to help the blog authors know that they’ve added something of value to the web!

  • Himanshu

    Fully agree with you Mark! And I feel that blogging is something where we cannot say “First impression is the last impression”.

    But I have one question which is still not clear to me. How should we market our multiple blogs while commenting. I mean, what blog/profile link to use where and why ?

    Of course I wouldn’t like to use them randomly on the same blog which may sound like pure advertising strategy and harm your credibility.

  • Betamale

    Commenting on related blogs is definitely a tool that should be used for people looking to boost their google ranking, and contributing to the discussion makes it so you don’t overstay your welcome.

    to this comment

    “One thing that makes bad impression is commenting by “keywords”.
    No matter how qualty comment has, keywords make the first impression bad!”

    Is it really a huge ‘no-no’ or just kind of the unwritten rule?

  • Mark Pack

    Himanshu: that’s a good question, and I don’t think there’s an easy answer.

    I have three sites I have to choose between: my own blog, a group blog and my employer’s site. I pick whichever one sits best with the comment I’m making. So this comment, which is to a piece I wrote as a private person, links to my own blog. But if I was commenting with my work hat on, I’d pick my employer’s site.

    It’s a bit messy, but it seems to work. And of course just because I don’t think I’m commenting with my work hat on, that doesn’t mean that other people may see things differently so you have to remember that you’re always on duty to a degree unless you’re anonymous or using a pseudonym.

  • Arun Basil Lal

    @Himanshu:
    I would prefer to use the blog that’s better performing and that affects more people.

    Even though chosing the blog depending on the target blog seems to be a good idea, the audience that read comments and leave comments can be from different niches.

    So you are more likely to endup with more visitors if you choose the blog which works better (and which is eventually the most influential one)

    One another suggestion would be to use the blog that has a descriptive URL. When people hover over your name and see the url, if they instantly know what blog it is, they will check it out..

    Eg: if you have a url that says shoes-for-all dot com, then those who hover over your name will know that its a shoe blog, so they know what to expect.

    Hope you got the point 🙂

  • Paul Dickinson

    I barely get any traffic from comments, this was a good read and brought up some interesting points for me to consider!

  • Himanshu

    Mark and Arun
    Thanks for your suggestions. That was really helpful.
    Let me try how it works out.

  • Anita

    Because of the no follow option on web address the page rank is not going to rise as far as the commenting on website is concerned.

  • WebbyThoughts

    I pretty much refuse to comment on blogs that require you to use a blogger profile. I just hate logging into that old blogger account that much.

  • baby diapes

    Thanks for your article. I still get quality traffic from blog comment.

  • harshit

    i think you guys are really impressive and as for beginners like me….i got to the right place to read about what i wanted…

    thank you …

  • semi

    I agree that quality traffic from blog comment, thanks a lot of.

  • Billy Cowell

    I am new to blogging and getting information out there. Your post here is very informative and gives me more insight as to creating an impact when commenting. Please keep up your posts and I will continue to read them.

  • JobsNgr

    Showing your Image and give a full description of yourself in your comment link will help readers that are impressed by your comment.It is possible they turn to your fan at the spot.

  • infant car seat

    Most of blog comment is the best one I got quality traffic.

  • Mark (Isle of Wight, UK)

    @Arun: That’s a great idea. Maybe embedding a nice short little video intro on the about page could also speed things up for people who do take the time to click through, as it would save them from trawling the page and could also allow them to continue with what they were doing and just listen to the audio. I’m gonna think about that one.

    I’m unsure of my own stance on commenting. Sometimes I feel its shameless self-promotion for most people, but then at other times I feel somewhat guilty for consuming some fantastic content without contributing my thoughts to the topic. Maybe I will write about this myself. lol.

  • John (Site Doublers)

    @Mark,

    There’s one other great tip for increasing the quality of a comment: use the name of the author or another poster.

    Think I’ll update my own blog now……

  • Nihar

    Mark, Great post and the a good discussion going on in comments section first raised by Harsh, Himanshu

    and good response from arun.

    learning a lot from here!

  • The Art of Making Money Online

    they say that it helps if your commenters use keywords. and so we have comments about comments or meta comments!

  • kalem kamera

    Arun: that’s a good tip; thanks for sharing it.

  • Melanie

    This really helped me because I’m doing a project and your blog is so informative. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • LostSoul

    Thanks for putting this up. I searched on how to make good comments and after not getting much I found this which I learned about how a profile can make an impression.

    I never knew that as I am behind the times when it comes to the internet and only have recently discouverd forums. (last year or so)

  • gausarts

    I hardly comment, but I comment whenever I have something to say. It’s usually triggered by the fire within the article I read. I can see now it’s flaming enough for me to comment:)

    Thanks. I read a lot of useful posts around here.

  • Banner Stands

    Good article. I rarely comment.

  • van contract hire

    Really it is very useful post and I like to read these techniques and also I am trying it and thanks for sharing such type of techniques please keep it sharing.

  • Lemonaid_nt

    This is insightful. Always weary about attaching my firm to other organizations for exactly this reason. I find the best comments are those that open up a discussion and invite conversation. Don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to have comments allowed on a blog- it doesn’t allow for a relationship with your readers.

  • thierry

    Good atricle indeed. thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Toplu Konut

    I can see now it’s flaming enough for me to comments 🙂

  • Dealz

    Yes. Very useful help. I am trying to find out if I should have comments enabled on my Web Traffic Blog. (A blog with tips and resources for getting more readers to your website/blog) A lot of people would give positive feedback and also elaborate on tips I have given, thus giving more resourcefulness to my page as good help. But, a fair amount of people write unintelligent comments or just spam some short comment with their links only trying to promote their bad blog for themself…. What do you guys think? Maybe allowing comments with approval for each one? That way I can keep what is good and useful and deny what is not or any spam.

    Dealz

  • ravi

    they say that it helps if your commenters use keywords. and so we have comments about comments or meta comments!

  • Mr Truth

    I never knew that about Profiles either………….

    I personally feel that it turns people away if you force them to make a Blog Account cause they will be wary of their email address being sent out and the fire in the article effect will be worn out since a lot of the people have busy lives and don’t want to bother if they don’t blog much.

    Also if you force approval on comments people don’t want to wait WEEKS for it to appear in order to engage a discussion cause they will forget if it’s that long and you will have a one-way conversation. 😛 😉

    If you choose to go that route you will have to like respond every stinkin day to your readers or the readers will think the blogger has abandon them and move to greener pastures.

  • Mr Truth

    Looks like this blog is the forced approval kind unless it’s cause I am new to being new on blogs. 😛

  • SherwinJTB

    Commenting on blogs can be time consuming, but there’s really nothing more satisfying than knowing you’ve left a mark all over the place. lolz

  • sujeet kumar

    I personally feel that it turns people away if you force them to make a Blog Account cause they will be wary of their email address being sent out and the fire in the article effect will be worn out since a lot of the people have busy lives and don’t want to bother if they don’t blog much.

  • Infographiste

    Blog comments are the lifeblood of a blog. Comments are what separates a blog from a static website. As the conversation builds, so will your relationship with your readers and so will your blog’s popularity. Encourage your readers to join in the discussion and leave comments and respond promptly to the comments left by your readers to make them feel valued. Just as you don’t like to be ignored when you address someone in person, you don’t want to ignore your readers when they address you through a blog

Comments are closed.