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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:ย 

  • 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?

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  1. I try hard to leave meaningful comments. If I can’t think of anything to say besides “great post,” I’ll just click “like” instead.

    I also always try to respond to comments from other people on my blog, but if someone just writes “great post,” I’m left with answering “Thanks!” or something equally boring. I want engagement, people, ENGAGEMENT!! Let’s have conversations in the comments, for crying out loud! You think I’m doing this for my health?! Oh, I guess I am….nevermind. /end of rant

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  2. Useful tips ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with the Wanderlust Gene – blogging is most definitely about having an extended conversation – considered comments give the blogger perspectives that they perhaps don’t have – they are enlightening. I try to always leave a comment if I like a post. And reading others’ comments is also a great source of entertainment.

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  3. Thank you for sharing these tips how to leave substantive comments to build blog relationships! ๐Ÿ˜€ Now that’s applying the lesson on your 8th bullet. This will help us a lot!

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  4. Reblogged this on Ageing Badly and commented:
    You can get a lot of great tips from dailypost at wordpress.com but this post really helped me. I honestly want to interact with the blogs I follow but don’t want to appear like a tosser when I make comments. This has given me some great tips on how I can let the blogger know how much I appreciated their post and how it made me think. If you too have issues with working out on how/when/what to comment I would thoroughly suggest you taking a read of this.

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  5. Great Post!

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Just kidding, on a serious note, this is a great post. something I might add is “don’t comment just for the same of commenting, only comment if you mean it.” That’s my 2c’s worth…

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  6. Very good topic of conversation…I try to leave a comment if I’m inspired, it’s so nice to do that. It’s interesting when people comment on posts that I didn’t put a lot of thought into, and they don’t comment on the one’s that I’m truly passionate about. Writing is a very fickle thing.

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  7. Thanks for the tips! I enjoy reading comments on my blog, though not many since I am still trying to garner traffic to my blog. I find myself with limited vocabulary in complementing the blog I read but I try with sincerity, otherwise I would not bother to comment. One comment that I usually give is to answer the question at the end of the blog post. It provokes thinking and is a conversation starter, most importantly, it allows me to comment a little longer, beyond the “thank you”. I am sure the author would not mind reading a good and long comment. Hence, it will be great for posts to end with a good question relating to the post.

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  8. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST.

    I adore thoughtful comments, and, therefore, I love to leave them in return. However, I struggle with WHAT to say all the time. This post is SO useful. You can bet I’ll be referring to this often!

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      1. thinking up good comments, sometimes its a waste of time and effort as many people cannot even be polite and reply and if they do its either a ty or a bog standard thanks for your comment as if its on cut and paste. So if I get any of the latter, I just delete it as if they cannot be arsed I cannot give it comment space.

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  9. I always wanted to know if I was willing to be a blogger. There is much going on in my personal life, however I don’t know how personal one should be about their personal stuff ! hehe in a blog. Oh well, I enjoyed reading all about what you think about blogging and bloggers.

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  10. Great post. hahaha, seriously i needed this post. I’m a week old blogger. I really do have problem thinking up a good comment on a great post that inspired or touched me. And when I usually do make out one, its always a long one. Most times I wonder if a comment can be too long or too short. I have a notebook I write comments before posting them just to get my thoughts in order.
    What borders me is that all I get on my posts no matter how great I think they are, is a ‘Like’…
    Thanks for sharing though, its really a great lesson for me.

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  11. I appreciate the tips on what to say. There are times when the old mind goes blank and all I can think of to say is great post. This should help me be more precise in my comments. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. I’m a terrible lurker, even in Facebook. I rarely feel as if I have something unique to comment or if I do write a response I’ll just delete it before I even post.
    I really like the idea of going through these points though ๐Ÿ™‚ should definitely help.

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  13. I am never able to think of a good comment for someone, or even at making responses to comments I receive. I don’t necessarily lurk, but I more often than not will “like” a post. I know when I receive one I get a fuzzy feeling, and it tells me that I should do similar posts.

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  14. Hi Elizabeth. Like a few people who have commented before me, I have discovered that blogging on WordPress means more than writing. There is an entire community out there worth engaging and being a part of. I’ve discovered that I don’t care much for how many people “liked” my piece or that I “liked” their post. What matters more to me is a substantial comment, not the perfunctory “great post” or similar. I appreciate it when I can chew on what the reader thinks. I noticed I get more traffic when what I wrote about is light and not so controversial. That’s ok. I guess this is because I’m in this to have fun, to engage in a community, and to have a creative outlet outside of my day-to-day commitments. WordPress is my dirty little secret life.

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  15. Reblogged this on Jag gรถr vรคrlden vackrare and commented:
    This post was interesting. I follow quite a few blogs and I’m not always able to comment what I’ve read, mostly due to my English. It takes a lot of effort and time to write something meaningful and hopefully understandable. Often I’m struck by the wit and fluent native language my fellow bloggers use, and feel I can’t express my thoughts. And when it comes to photoblogs without a story, “Beautiful” is often the only thing to say.

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  16. I browse (lurk suggests something a little negative) 60% of the time and do not comment.

    Others I comment/”Like”.

    Great points especially for blog writers who wander a lot on their topic. Then as a reader asks: “What is the real point of this blog post?” You want to make the reader feel their time has been spent in a worthwhile manner …if it’s only 3-5 min. too!

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  17. It’s strange, I have no problem talking in person, but when it comes to commenting on posts, cat’s got my tongue! … This is one of the most useful posts I have read! THANK YOU! I will try to implement at least one of them …

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  18. Great post!!! (Hahaha… Now seriously, this was very thought provoking. I really appreciated how all the suggestions made me think about the post and what I was reading. Kind of reminded me of school – and content).

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  19. Well, there’s always ‘Like’ button if we have nothing to say, right?! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But yeah, commenting other people’s post is sometimes difficult especially when we don’t share the same thing that the blogger shares. If that happens I would just close the tab and come back the next day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  20. Comments are always so encouraging! I am having loads nowadays and I am leaving many too! It is great to interact and let the other person know that you read, and enjoyed their post!
    But it does get difficult at times to come up with a good comment, and this post has been helpful! Thanks and look, I just wrote so many words! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  21. Most people just click like, so I go to theirs and click like, but if they leave me a comment, I leave them a comment. If they click like on mine and I got to theirs and they have omitted the like button, I just type nice post because they did not comment on mine. If I really do like what they put up I type a more detailed comment.

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  22. I always leave a comment – I appreciate it when people comment on my blog, and it feels great to me to share encouragement with others. (Especially with bloggers who may not get a lot of traffic or comments.) I love how folks in this community encourage one another! ๐Ÿ™‚

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