Impress Jaded Bloggers

5 Steps To Impressing A Longtime Jaded Blogger With Your Comments

I’ve been blogging for six years now. While there are certainly bloggers who have been around longer than that, six years still puts me into the “longtime blogger” category. In that time, I’ve written thousands of blog posts (on my own blogs, as well as blogging on many other blogs), so I’ve been able to experience all of the joys and all of the headaches that come with blogging. After fighting off nearly a million spam comments during those six years, I consider myself to be extremely jaded when it comes to assessing the worth of a comment.

I know that the large majority of comments are spam and are, of course, trashed. The next largest group of comments is legitimate, but very often doesn’t contribute much to the conversation. Those comments merit approval, and are appreciated, but in a month, I’ll very likely not remember the person who made the comment.

Who cares if I remember a commenter?

Big deal, right? Well, honestly, I think it is a big deal. I believe that the truest value of commenting on blogs is establishing a relationship with the blogger, and the visitors to that blog. That relationship may foster future gains that you and I cannot imagine at the moment, but may be the impetus for changing your life forever. If the comment you make on a blog makes no impression on the blogger, however, the likelihood of ever seeing any results from that comment are extremely low.

So what do you have to do to make an impact on someone like me with your comment?

How do you impress a longtime jaded blogger?

  1. Use my name in your comment. Seriously, if it’s at all possible to figure out what my name is, then take that extra time to find it and use it. If your comment starts out with, “Donna, …”, you’ve immediately made a good first impression with me.
  2. While all bloggers appreciate a bit of flattery now and then, don’t make flattery the focal point of your comment. I’ve seen the standard spam flattery too many thousands of times, so even your legitimate flattery gets filtered through the part of the my brain that houses suspicion.
  3. Do comment on the actual topic of the post itself! That seems like common sense, right? Sadly, many comments are completely unrelated to the post’s topic, and that just sets this old blogger’s teeth to grinding. I want to know what you think about the topic I spent time writing about. If you take the time to discuss that topic with me and my visitors, you earn brownie points with me.
  4. Make sure you’ve really READ the post before commenting. We’re all guilty of quickly scanning what we read these days (my best friend accuses me of that all the time). And that’s fine if you’re just quickly reading, and moving on to something else. But don’t make a comment like, “Well, you forgot to mention xyz”, when in fact, I did mention it, and if you’d not skimmed through the post, you’d know that.
  5. Finally, alternate viewpoints are great. If you disagree with me on the post’s topic, let me know. I’d love to have my views challenged, and my knowledge expanded. Just make sure you approach the argument with respect. If you treat me and my visitors with respect, even if you are disagreeing, you’ll make this old jaded blogger smile.

impressed blogger

If you manage to impress an old, jaded blogger with your comment, there’s a good chance you’ll be remembered six months from now. That might mean the difference between a new project succeeding or failing. You never know, so make that first impression count!

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I'm a near-dinosaur in the SEO world, but I don't really consider myself an SEO. I'm an online entrepreneur, affiliate marketer, and ebusiness coach among other things. Mainly, I'm a geek making a living online. :)


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{ 370 comments… add one }
  • Rashmi Sinha April 27, 2012, 6:11 pm

    Donna, this post is very well written. It provides useful information about being a good contributor by posting valuable comments. I read all the article and i mostly agree with it. The only part i disagree a bit is that disagreeing with the original poster. Sometimes he sees that as a thread, while it should never be like that.

    PS : All 5 points in a comment. How did i do?!
    Rashmi Sinha recently posted..5 Secrets (Open) to Increase Commenting on Your BlogMy Profile

  • John Ernest April 22, 2012, 12:47 am

    Hey I found this post pretty amusing. They do say that the actual worth of a post is seen in its comments, so it is really important that the conversation flows, and the information is sent to and fro with the blogger and reader learning a lot more from the commentator. Aside from that, a good comment management scheme should also be implemented. I prefer to do it manually so that I can converse with who I would want to and learn from them as well.

  • Elena Anne
    April 17, 2012, 8:14 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Donna. I find this topic in strong need to being picked on, and you did a smashing job of doing so. 🙂 Besides the points that you covered (skimming being a troublesome one for me as well) I think that spelling is also important. Not as important as, say, the comment being related to the topic, but I just find it annoying when people misspell simple words, or don’t capitalize letters at the beginning of a sentence, or don’t capitalize the letter ‘i’. I spell things wrong, but I try to spell correctly and use what I learned in high school to make a smart comment. Thanks again for posting this! I hope I can be remembered 🙂

  • zac April 17, 2012, 3:16 am

    I am sure a lot that you say will strike a chord with bloggers who had been around for a while.After a while you just got tired with the flattery that you know is fake. Like people say general things like “it is a great site!” or ” I love your post!”. They may be genuine but you just can’t help it but start wondering ” are they real”?.
    It is strange-When you first started your blog, even a small comment like ” nice!” makes you float, but when you get a 100 “nice!” you think they are nothing but spam or efforts to get backlinks. Funny how life is, isn’t it.

  • Trung Nguyen
    April 14, 2012, 8:09 pm

    5 point you listed above are great, someone leaves their comment without reading the blog post and I’m also sure that why their comments are spam.
    Trung Nguyen recently posted..5 Tips To Monetize List BuildingMy Profile

  • Sarah
    April 13, 2012, 7:34 am

    From reading some of the above comments i can clearly see Donna that a few people have not taken the time to read and understand your post. Which i find sad. I truly believe in your post and those few simple tips can really make a huge difference. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Your making communication easier for us all.
    Sarah recently posted..Staff Happiness is the Key to SuccessMy Profile

  • Christina Gregoire October 28, 2011, 4:08 pm

    DONNA, I like this post. Mea Culpa…or however you spell it.


  • Jaime October 21, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Well Donna 🙂 I can’t tweet this as I don’t use Twitter but I wanted to let you know I appreciate your post all the same. Blog comments have been the topic of conversation betwixt another friend and myself the past few days (real conversation, not comment conversation) since I have just changed my commenting system and I was thinking of writing a post something like this to encourage my “new” commenters (my old comments did not export very well) to do a little better than before. If I get around to do that in the next few days, I will likely link back to this post since you already did such a great job putting into words what I think!

  • Satrap
    September 22, 2011, 11:01 pm

    Great tips Donna.

    I actually use your first tip all the time. In some case, the bloggers name simply isn’t there, because they use “admin” or a nickname. But you can be sure that you can find it if you dig dipper. The about page is one place you may find it.

    Using someone’s name ads a personal touch to your comment and just like in the real world, it makes the other person more interested in you and what you have to say.
    Satrap recently posted..Get Paid to Complete Free OffersMy Profile

  • Mark
    July 16, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Reading the post is a number one priority in my book.

    If a commenter on one of my blogs leaves a comment that doesn’t relate to the actual post, then more often than not, it gets deleted.

    I actually don’t have a comment filter because all of the filters reject legit comments too.

    I actually wrote a post entitled: “The DoFollow Blog Commenting Primer” to try and help commenters.

    I think it did help many of my visitors.

    Thanks for the equivalent, Donna…:)

    Mark recently posted..On-Site SEO Made SimpleMy Profile

  • Suraj
    April 2, 2011, 6:57 am

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article.

  • ashwin shahapurkar March 27, 2011, 2:05 am

    you are right. Many people do engage in building backlinks on blogs these days, thus leaving invalid comments. and i think this apply’s to me also. will try to post useful comments here onwards.
    ashwin shahapurkar recently posted..The Truth behind Facebook Hacking Software “007 facebook hack v10″My Profile

  • Rodger January 12, 2011, 5:47 pm

    I like the point about not over flattering. It is obvious that the point is just to get the link.

    • Codrut March 14, 2011, 3:36 am

      Exactly, and it sounds spammy too. I think we don’t have to impress nobody, but show a genuine, natural interest in the post or opinion. And come up with our 2-cents, perhaps, a different view, and expand the discussion.
      Codrut recently posted..13 of the Best Squeeze Page Examples on the InternetMy Profile

  • Abhimanyu Singhal November 15, 2010, 5:01 am

    Alright alright, I am guilty of this sometimes too 😉 Lol

  • Jon
    November 11, 2010, 4:47 am

    You are right John, but remember that there are many people out there that comment and have no interest in backlinks.

    The web is split into two parts now – websites mostly run by businesses that are populated entirely by users, and websites geared mostly for webmasters. The latter attracts way more comment spam than the former. On one of my sites I get hardly any link drops at all, most people that comment have a real point to raise and are only interesting in discussion.

    Also, a lot of SEO’s are behind comments, I often see patterns from lots of comments from certain IP ranges coming in at once, as if an SEO firm is targeting all the sites on my server, really weird. None of the comments ever get passed.
    Jon recently posted..Google Updates Adsense – New AdSense BetaMy Profile

  • Mani Viswanathan November 10, 2010, 1:55 pm

    I’m certainly impressed by a commentator when he/she calls out my name directly & mentions some additions points to add up to the list, as you’ve mentioned!
    Mani Viswanathan recently posted..Google Chrome team to offer free Wi-Fi in flights this holiday seasonMy Profile

  • Karan October 14, 2010, 1:16 am

    Well blogging is all about discussion. To make your blog popular and lively you need to consider it as a social network and engage into discussion.
    Karan recently posted..3 ways to keep your content alive foreverMy Profile

  • John October 5, 2010, 5:26 pm

    Hey Donna, you are right. Many people don’t know how to engage properly on blogs these days. They only use them for their back linking. While I do try and take advantage of this I do also try and make valid and thought out comments. thanks for the post.
    John recently posted..Falling out of love with FoursquareMy Profile

  • Trevor B. Reed October 4, 2010, 7:02 pm

    Hi Donna, really enjoyed your post. I think I have usually done a good job of commenting, but it looks like I can step it up.
    Trevor B. Reed recently posted..7 Incredible New Movies About Social Networking &amp BusinessMy Profile

  • cam September 7, 2010, 11:55 am

    The other thing I have found helpful is if they let you know what their keyword are to incorporate them so their page becomes more keyword dense. You do have to make sure it makes sense though.
    cam recently posted..Comment on Call of Duty- Modern Warfare 2 Throat Communicator for Xbox 360 by Douglas C HoughtonMy Profile

  • Joe August 24, 2010, 9:15 am

    Congrats Donna on a well deserved prize in the Comluv contest!

    Joe 😀
    Joe recently posted..Smile Makeovers- Are You a Candidate for Cosmetic DentistryMy Profile

  • Rhea Drysdale August 6, 2010, 9:46 am

    I cannot remember the last time I made a comment on a blog that was not simply thankful or a response to comments on something on Outspoken Media. It’s shameful really. I can get easily distracted, so I try hard to just focus on what’s in front of me which has for the past year and a half been clients, work and internal communications. I try to read what I can, but I’m relying on email, calls and Twitter almost entirely to maintain relationships. This was a great reminder that when I consume a piece of content that is original, provocative or simply well-said I need to take a minute out of my schedule to honor them. It’s absurd to expect that in return and never give it. I’m going to give myself x time per day to actually read and comment on posts from those I trust. Donna, you rock, thank you.

    • Jon
      August 6, 2010, 10:05 am

      The best way to thank someone is not to leave a comment on their blog (although this can really help in a bricks and mortar business where the “thank you” is a testimonial for a good job done) but to write about your good experience on your own blog, or elsewhere, and link back. This should benefit them more!
      Jon recently posted..The New Rules on Losing Belly FatMy Profile

      • DazzlinDonna August 6, 2010, 10:57 am

        I’ll appreciate a thanks in whatever form it’s given, Jon, and of course I know you do too. But you’re right – an excellent way to thank someone is to share a link to their efforts either on your own blog or in the social realm (or both).
        DazzlinDonna recently posted..Social Media Marketing – A Book ReviewMy Profile

    • DazzlinDonna August 6, 2010, 10:55 am

      Always happy to be a reminder that we need to practice what we preach. 🙂 Thanks for reminding me that I’m not the only one who doesn’t always live up to that goal.
      DazzlinDonna recently posted..Social Media Marketing – A Book ReviewMy Profile

  • Rebecca Leaman August 5, 2010, 2:57 pm

    I can’t argue with any of your points there, Donna; in fact, you may have heard the faint distant echo of my “Huzzah!” when I hit this line: “I want to know what you think about the topic I spent time writing about.” Not because I mind getting off-topic comments (as long as they’re related to the topic of the blog as a whole) – sometimes people just want to ask you for help on something, and there’s no clear-cut place to do so that exactly matches or they’d have to search through oodles of old posts to find a more appropriate post)… but because, as a blogger, I guess that’s what I’m looking for / hoping for most of all in comments: an idea that what I’ve researched and thought about and written up has been received and proved useful to the reader.

    (Um, you’re not really truly all that jaded, are you? All the people – me included – you’ve helped over the years… hope your devoted readers have given you a bit of juice to go on with!)
    Rebecca Leaman recently posted..Voice Over PowerPoint: Free GoldMail for Non-profitsMy Profile

    • DazzlinDonna August 5, 2010, 3:33 pm

      Ah yes, it’s that feedback that actually helps us to grow as bloggers too, isn’t it? If I know if my post has struck a chord – or not – then I know better how to post next time. But if they are just talking for talking’s sake (like a spambot would do), then that valuable feedback is lost.

      Am I truly jaded? Good question. I know that just when I think I might be at that point, I usually have something happen to make me change my mind. Naturally, it’s usually people who do give me that extra juice. But I’m definitely more jaded than some; perhaps less so than others. 🙂
      DazzlinDonna recently posted..How To Transition From a Personal Blog To A Business Blog Without Losing All Your Regular VisitorsMy Profile

      • Rebecca Leaman August 5, 2010, 3:48 pm

        Well, I guess if you are feeling a tad jaded, it’s been rightly earned by six years of exposure to the inane, abusive and just plain irrelevant; to bots and new-and-improved bots; to scrapers and scammers and self-servers; and the rest of the lowest common denominator. Glad to hear that those precious rays of sunshine & feedback are still finding you from time to time! 🙂

        • DazzlinDonna August 5, 2010, 3:54 pm

          I can promise you this – no amount of exposure to the inane, abusive, irrelvant; bots, scrapers, scammers, or self-servers can possibly make stand up to comments like the ones that have occurred in this very post. And that makes the writing of this post all that much more worthwhile for me. There have been rays a-plenty here. Rays a-plenty.
          DazzlinDonna recently posted..Ways To Make Money OnlineMy Profile

  • fantomaster August 5, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, Donna: What you’re essentially pinpointing are all those factors (both “small” and “big”) that make up what – well, human relationships in general, no? If we forget about this little fact (and it’s pretty easy to do in an essentially faceless, eminently anonymizable virtual environment), we might as well drop blogging (and tweeting, and facebooking etc. etc.) altogether and leave it all to the bots. Because then, we ourselves will be just as interchangeable as they are. Which, of course, really translates to “expendable”…

    • DazzlinDonna August 5, 2010, 3:27 pm

      We’re all just bots anyway, aren’t we? LOL, right, right, exactly – It’s important that the person commenting doesn’t come off sounding like a bot. It’s getting harder and harder to tell these days – those bots are starting to look a lot like humans, ya know. In fact I know a few humans that could learn how to be a little more human from a few bots I know. 😉 But no matter how good a bot may be, they probably won’t be good enough to actually impress me – fool me, sure – impress me, no. Not yet. Unless you’re working on something I didn’t know about. 😉
      DazzlinDonna recently posted..How To Transition From a Personal Blog To A Business Blog Without Losing All Your Regular VisitorsMy Profile

      • Doc August 5, 2010, 4:02 pm

        I think it may not be all that long before one of the idiots that has enough spare time to design smartbots will come up with one that can fool some of us, at least some of the time. Sad, but true, I think.

        As for the comment stream, I think that’s the best measure of our success as bloggers. When my traffic recently managed to climb out of the cellar to a more decent level (10 or 20 hits a week, up to over 100 a day), I was thrilled! But in analyzing how and why it happened, I realized that the number of comments remains about the same as before. From that point of view, I don’t think I’ve accomplished anything but perhaps some more effective SEM.
        And that’s not why I blog.
        If I look at it from an SEM standpoint, it takes on a different perspective: Traffic is great, but only conversions pay the rent. And for me, someone that leaves a comment (excluding our little-blue-pill-peddlers) is a successful conversion. An RSS subscription is better than nothing but until they leave a comment, I’m left with an empty feeling.

        • DazzlinDonna August 5, 2010, 5:10 pm

          So what are you doing to encourage more comments, Doc? What do you think you could do better?
          DazzlinDonna recently posted..How To Transition From a Personal Blog To A Business Blog Without Losing All Your Regular VisitorsMy Profile

          • Doc August 5, 2010, 5:22 pm

            A fair question… one that I should have seen coming. 😉

            I got VERY busy a couple of days ago, and haven’t been able to give it a hard look yet, but one thing that jumps out at me is that I was putting up information, with a call to action… off site. No questions, no asking for suggestions… rookie move, ’cause I gave them no reason to believe I even WANTED them to comment! I definitely need to correct that.

            The particular push I was on my last three or four posts did accomplish their purpose, but I might have gotten some really good suggestions, had I thought to leave the door open.

            Ah well… we live… we learn. Right?
            Doc recently posted..Three-time Cancer Battler Needs Help to Get Urgent Bone Marrow TransplantMy Profile

            • Jon
              August 5, 2010, 5:40 pm

              One day it will be just bots/machines running the Internet. They will slowly take over all operations, take over the bank accounts, domains, servers, and we will have no place here. Bots creating comments, content, discussions, news. Suddenly reminded of a comment someone once made about tracker funds (investments) – if everyone decides to run tracker funds, what are they all tracking? We are the market, we track ourselves? Or chose the path? Same with the Internet. Don’t let the bots take over! Judgement Day for the web?
              Jon recently posted..Why You Should Invest In A Power RackMy Profile

            • DazzlinDonna August 5, 2010, 5:59 pm

              Ah, the rookie becomes the master with one simple word, “Right?” Of course, you knew that all along but just forgot. I’ve forgotten more times that I care to think about. It’s ok to have to be reminded once in a while, right? 😉
              DazzlinDonna recently posted..How To Transition From a Personal Blog To A Business Blog Without Losing All Your Regular VisitorsMy Profile

      • DazzlinDonna August 5, 2010, 6:03 pm

        Jon, if and when the bots take over, then you and I have will have the perfect opportunity to create the next big thing. We’ll start fresh, creating Internet 10.0 or whatever version it might need to be by then. And of course we’ll become rich from our efforts. 😉
        DazzlinDonna recently posted..How To Transition From a Personal Blog To A Business Blog Without Losing All Your Regular VisitorsMy Profile

  • jsteele823 August 5, 2010, 11:07 am

    Hi Donna,

    Just thought I’d also mention that when commenting, you should make sure you’re not bringing out something that was in the original post. There’s no need to repeat information that’s already been presented – it just wastes space & time.

    Oh, and sometime a little humor helps 🙂
    jsteele823 recently posted..Types of LinkbaitMy Profile

  • George Bounacos August 5, 2010, 7:38 am

    Donna, I have to agree with your points. From the first 10 comments or so, though, I have to say that I don’t find keeping up with several dozen blogs difficult. Of the major ones I follow, most post once or twice a day. I tend to carve out chunks of my weekend or early morning to catch up.

    But reading big comment trails? That’s hard. And this may be repetitive. 😉

    I wanted to share though that your comments about respect are key. When someone comes to my corporate blog or to a blog on a site I have an interest in and trashes people because they think they’re anonymous, I often have to restrain myself. I’m not talking about the con artists (someone posts from an IP associated with a company I didn’t write nice things about), but the nasty, mean comments. Them? I have no problem blowing away their comments.

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