Making Conversation: How to Think Up Good Comments
Here on The Daily Post, we’re always advising you to build blog relationships by leaving substantive comments on other people’s posts. That’s easy enough to say, but how do you think of more to say than “Great post!” when all you can think to say is, well, “Great post!”
I often have trouble coming up with things to say — both in blog commenting sections and at parties. Here are some questions I ask myself when I want to leave a comment on a post but find I’m at a loss for words:
- What was my reaction to the post, specifically? Did it make me laugh? Did it make me sad? Did it touch me? Did it inspire me to take action? Why did it make me feel that way?
- If the blogger made a point or expressed an opinion, do I agree with them or disagree? If I agree, is there any additional reason why I think the same thing that the blogger didn’t mention? If I disagree, why?
- If the blogger wrote about something that happened to them, have I ever had a similar experience that I could share?
- If the blogger wrote about a book, a movie, or an album, have I read, watched, or listened to it? Did I enjoy it? Can I recommend anything similar that the blogger and their readers might also enjoy?
- Does any part of the blogger’s post remind me of something that I’ve read elsewhere recently — a news article, another blogger’s post? If so, I can mention how that article relates to the post and link to it in my comment.
- Is there any aspect of the story that I would like to hear more about? Any questions left unanswered? Any point the blogger made or conclusion they drew that I did not quite understand?
- Did the post change my mind about anything in particular, or did it teach me something that I didn’t know before?
- If I still can’t think of anything to say but “Great post, enjoyed it,” can I at least think of an original way to say that, that displays some personality and that lets the blogger know I actually read the entire post? For example, instead of “this was hilarious. I lol’d” maybe say something like “when I got to the part where the old man stole your shopping cart, I laughed so hard I scared my cat.”
If there are other comments on the post, you can (and should) also read through all of those. If the original post didn’t prompt you to respond, one of the other commenters might.
Finally, if you have absolutely nothing to say about the post, but you really enjoyed it and you want to reach out to the blogger, read some of their other posts! You’re bound to have something to contribute to one of them.
Do you leave a lot of comments or do you tend to lurk? Do you have any additional tips for coming up with interesting comments?