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Quick Tip: Expand Comments into Posts

Oftentimes, great post ideas start in the comments section.

Image by Valery Kenski (CC BY 2.0)

Blogging is about creating an ongoing conversation and bouncing ideas off of each other. It’s not surprising, then, that many new post ideas originate in comment threads. Some of my best blog posts have evolved out of comments I’ve made, either on my own blog or on someone else’s. I once left a comment on my friend Miranda’s post on writing and managing her online presence, which then inspired me to write my own post on the subject.

We have the power to inspire each other.

Simply put, we have the power to inspire each other. At its best, blogging is contagious.

Blogging is about more than publishing posts. Engaging with others and commenting on blogs create a richer experience. This discussion aspect is so important that we also cover it in our introductory Blogging U. course, Blogging 101.

New to blogging? For tips, read more on how to start a conversation and how to leave good comments.

In one assignment we ask participants to leave comments on several blogs they’ve never commented on before, and it’s great to see people get inspired by other people’s writing and continue the conversation on their own sites. For example, the blogger at Tea and Sarcasm left a comment on someone else’s post on aging, then created a new post, which first refers to this comment in a blockquote before continuing with their own remarks:

blockquote-comment into post

I love this type of natural interaction: when an idea or thought in someone else’s post hits a nerve in you, and you have to respond.

Have you ever written a comment that transformed into a post?

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  1. Another, slightly more subversive tip. Look at other people’s comments on Facebook and such and draw inspiration. Definitely don’t steal them, but there’s nothing wrong with reading them in order to inspire a more creative idea or find a problem to address. At least, that’s what I do…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. not only have I written posts based on comments I or others have made, I started blogging because of great/stupid comments I have read elsewhere 😀

    sometimes you read something so ridiculously absurd but, not wanting to feed the obvious attention seeker, you go back to your “lair” and write a furious 2000 word post pretty much as a reply to that absurdity 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Just having finished the Blogging 101 I was thrilled to learn about finding and reading other people’s blogs. It’s been great making comments and starting conversations with people on the other side of the world. It is also a wonderful way to get ideas when the well is going dry. Wrote about Great Aunts last night and that was because of Jackie’s post last week. Hope the ping back worked. http://jackiedinnis.com/2015/08/24/the-fear-of-grand-aunt-grace/comment-page-1/#comment-1064

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Peggy – You must have learned your lessons well in Blogging 101 because this is an interesting relevant comment and you also managed to give a shout-out to another blogger. Well done! I’m headed to your blog now; something tells me I’ll be clicking the follow button.

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  4. Cheri, beware what you ask for? LOL. Have I “ever written a comment that transformed into a post?” As a matter of fact this happened to me in February. I have an ongoing feature for Saturdays that advocate for animals. I receive a lot of comments on these posts and wanted to thank everyone at once. I began writing in the comment box but it became long and I realized that I was actually writing a post of thanks not a comment at all. My post is entitled Comment vs. Post… Sometimes You Think You’re Writing One when Really You’re Writing Another.

    The post turned out great and I felt satisfied that I had given great feedback to my comments by addressing them collectively in that case.

    Your post is excellent, very tutorial which is definitely something that newbies are looking for!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post! I often get ideas from my comment interaction on other bloggers’ sites. I also agree with you that leaving meaningful comments is a critical part of being an engaged blogger. Not only would it be a waste of time to read blogs that don’t trigger a relevant comment from me, but more importantly, I crave meaningful interaction on the pieces I write. If I’m not taking time to leave thoughtful comments, I can’t expect my readers to reciprocate.

    If readers are stuck for how to write meaningful comments, read those of other commenters and learn from them. Eventually you comprehend the value of engaged readers because blogging is a two-way street.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Yes, I do. Most of the times I go on interesting conversations in comments. It comes as a reciprocating thoughts and ideas, you cannot stop expressing them. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes one of my vegetarian followers commented that I haven’t visited any vegetarian restaurants in my area, do now I’m planning trips on my favorites to add to jet list for when she visits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Manha, I think you have done a great job by starting to blog and commenting on posts. You just encouraged me to post my first comment because I am not very confident with my writing either. I think I am going to try to make at least one comment a week to see where it takes me. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Hellen, I guess it’s because we doubt ourselves more than anyone else. But once you take the plunge then there is no fear. And our imagination takes us to places where we have never been….good luck with your commenting

        Liked by 2 people

  8. The comment conversation is my favourite part of blogging. Often they’re funnier than my posts! Not only have they generated posts for myself and others but there’s also been something of an international chocolate exchange going on lately as a result of one comment exchange.

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  9. Thank you so much, my blog has been a desert. I’m still looking to find out how to increase traffic. I definitely noticed the headlines being a key, but I’m not sure if I’m supposed to upgrade from a free blog or pay some money. But these tips was definitely helpful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You don’t need to upgrade or pay for features in order to gain traffic. Natural interaction and conversation, relevant content, and being yourself are all good starting points to gain readers.

      You might be interested in Blogging 201: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/blogging-university/blogging-201-branding-growth/ You don’t need to have taken Blogging 101 to participate (although it’s helpful). It’s all about growing your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, I was starting to think the only way to upgrade, but then I realized I’d probably lose whatever little traffic I’ve been getting from still being on the free level. I’m definitely going to check out the Blogging 201 class.

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      2. but then I realized I’d probably lose whatever little traffic I’ve been getting from still being on the free level.

        As your WP blog grows, and as things evolve (you buy a theme, or change your theme, or purchase a Premium upgrade, or get a custom domain name, etc.), you keep your followers and content. Unless you create a new blog or start from scratch, you wouldn’t lose your site’s followers or likes/comments/stats you’ve amassed.

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    2. My blog is usually a desert as well but when I do have traffic, it is usually driven by the search engines because of the tags I’ve used. Try tagging your posts with current events or popular search terms. That should help.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks so much, I’ve also been using hashtags, I don’t know if that matters as much, but a friend of mine recommended I use those as well. Hopefully I’ll get into the double digits at least on a daily basis.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Just wrote my first blog ever! This post gives me insight on how to format my blog and a sense on what I should write about to please my audience. Although I only have a intro blog I would love for you guys to read and comment on it! Thanks in advance! Great Post BTW – Roe

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hahaha… I happen to be a comment follower. I tend to use it for a blog post as “Quote and UnQuote” since why-I-didn’t-think-of-that. It’s amazing how comments can twig my interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yup. I often write in-depth comments on another blogger’s post, and then almost wish I’d written that for my own blog. A few times, I have expanded the comment into a post on my blog. When that happens, I always point out that the post was first written as a comment. I don’t want to be guilty of posting the same information in two places.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it’s fine to post similar information in different places (although I’d avoid cutting/pasting and duplicating same exact content). But yes, it’s good practice to mention when you thoughts/ideas have originated elsewhere, not necessarily because you need to cite a source and give credit of some kind, but because that interaction/evolution of ideas is likely of interest to your reader.

      Liked by 1 person