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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: 

  • 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 love to comment, but I often find myself blathering on aimlessly when posting them. I think that keeping some of the tips in mind (commenting on a specific thing or asking a question) can really help those in my shoes.

    In any case, great post, I enjoyed it. 😉

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  2. 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 good enough. And when it comes to photoblogs without a story, “Beautiful” is often the only thing to say.

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  3. great suggestions for comments, I think when making comments one should always think about how the post affects you then it’s easier to make meaningful comments.

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  4. Reblogged this on Ekweozor Mishael and commented:
    Dear Lizzy, It’s so nice to read your piece. I’m personally touched by your candid confession that sometimes you’re lost in thought as to what to say, even so you’re undeterred. It’s certainly not peculiar to you. Truth is, our interest in other people’s blogs often leads to meaningful comments. We might mention a point of interest from a recent article read or share thoughts that we found helpful. Either way, it’s good to mention a point of mutual interest, and offer a sincere compliment.

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  5. I love getting reaction of any sort, a post on the blog is like a note to Santa, you need to know if it was received. I comment when moved to do so as if it was a part of a conversation. A reaction to the content is always worth your time as it makes the author more aware of the meaning he/ she has conveyed. Intentional or not.

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  6. Reblogged this on Jake Kuyser and commented:
    I like to write a comment if I read something that has meaning or is useful to me. Even if it’s just to say thanks for the useful post. I think I comment quite a bit. The problem is time. It can take as long to write a good comment as it can to write a quick post and I sometimes only just have time to write my daily post. So more comments means less reading of posts. That’s about finding a balance for me. I like to read comments, most of all on my own posts of course. My girlfriend Emma is very supportive and sometimes my only commenter. Anyway thanks for reading my posts and thanks for any comments!

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  7. Reblogged this on onebigstretch's Blog and commented:
    Yes an altruistic and optimistic voice to sway the emotional scale towards the positive , a plan of mine is to take a scale place it to a website and take the pulse on America on todays issues. Keep calm and stay positive. It costs nothing to smile.

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    1. Extremely useful questions/triggers; thank you very much for such clarity. Having been an English teacher in a secondary school for thirty years, I tend also to comment on stylistic features when I read friends’ blogs. I’ll give you a few concrete examples: ‘I love the way you have used alliteration, especially plosives, in this piece.’ or, ‘The scathing and sarcastic vein of humour is brilliant,’ or, ‘the use of rhetorical devices gives your rant even more power…’ I do comment on content as well – ideally the two should go hand in hand! – but, we are all writers and it is a craft form with definite conventions and tricks – and I think we all love it when a literary device lovingly and deliberately chosen gets the verbal thumbs up. Equally, it is useful to know if our techniques do not work.

      ps: I am very new to this site – only joined on the 23rd July – so apologies if this has already been covered or is not deemed relevant! Alienora

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