19 November 2014
“One comment is worth a thousand page views.” –Richard Bliss
“All comments are not created equal.” –Richard Bliss
“I like to start blog posts with quotes from Richard Bliss.” –Jamey Stegmaier
Recently on my post about the 10 daily actions to build your crowd before launching a Kickstarter project, I recommended that future creators try to make one comment somewhere online once a day.
Why is this important? Let me count the ways:
- increase goodwill with people who you can help now and who might help you later
- build relationships with content creators and members of the community
- attract people to your brand
- become more visible within your industry
These positive effects don’t happen overnight–it’s not like you can comment on a bunch of blogs the week before you launch your Kickstarter and hope to have the same impact as if you’ve been commenting here and there over the last few months or years. But it doesn’t need to be a chore–I love the content I consume online, and the way I show that love is by commenting.
How can you be a more effective commenter? It’s all about finding ways to encourage conversation. Recently podcaster Richard Bliss and I talked about the art of the comment on the Funding the Dream podcast, highlighting the following points:
- Don’t talk about yourself–don’t use comments to promote yourself or put the spotlight on you. Before you post a comment, look at how many times you write the word “I”. Have you made the comment too much about you?
- Use your real name. If you’re trying to launch a Kickstarter, your personal brand is incredibly important, and it starts with your real name, not the AOL screen name you picked when you were 13. Your real name is even better than your company name–our brains are built to remember people.
- Ask a question about something that is interesting to the blogger, podcaster, content creator, or Kickstarter creator. I can say from perspective of a content creator that there’s no better comment than a question. It gives the content creator a way to participate in the comments that goes beyond reaffirming things people have already said (or defending their stance).
- Build upon points the content creator made with specific examples. An example of this would be if someone posts in the comments of this blog entry to add another point this list. That’s a way of reinforcing the value of the content with more information, especially if it’s based on your personal experiences and observations.
- Comment once a day on your favorite blog entry, podcast, Facebook post, topical forum, Kickstarter project, or YouTube video for that day. It’s daunting to start or contribute to a dozen conversations every day, so instead just try to pick one to focus on. One is manageable.
- Disagree tactfully. Disagreeing with the content creator isn’t a bad thing–in fact, it can often lead to some of the best conversations online. But do it tactfully, or it will have the reverse effects of all the positive aspects of comments I listed above. That is, acknowledge that your opinion or experience is different than the blogger’s, and share your point of view in a constructive way. Also, focus on the content when disagreeing, not the comment creator. Something that gets under my skin is when someone says, “I’m disappointed that you did/didn’t say ___.” That’s too personal. Instead, just say, “One other idea to consider is _____.”
While this blog entry isn’t a trick to get you to comment here, I’m curious about how you engage with people through comments online (or like to be engaged).