Blogging 101: Be Inspired by the Neighbors

Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!

Welcome to Blogging U! This course isn't currently active, but you can learn more about what we offer and register for upcoming courses on the BU home page.

Remember, comments are closed on Blogging U. assignments. If you have a question, or want to share or chat, head to The Commons.

Yesterday, you left comments. Remember how we asked you to remember where you left ’em? We hope you did, because you’ll need one of them today.

Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!

Why do this?

  • Your blog is shaped by your own thinking and by your interactions with others, and building on someone else’s post expands your own ideas.
  • The original post was worth commenting on, that means it struck a nerve — it’s a topic people are interested in reading about.
  • Responding and linking to other blogs adds to the fabric of the blogosphere, and actually helps other bloggers find you.

In comments, getting to the point is important and appreciated — but that doesn’t mean your train of thought ends when the comment does.

If you were really engaged in the posts you read yesterday, you probably have more thoughts than what you put in the comments. Choose the one you found most intriguing and expand on the discussion or offer a different perspective than what was shared in the original by publishing your own. Letting yourself be inspired by other bloggers and comments is an ideal way to explore your own thinking, nurture the conversation and community, and draw like-minded readers to your blog.

Not sure where to start? A few ideas:

  • Did you have questions about what you read in the original post? Search for more resources or other blogs and share your findings.
  • Did you mention a personal connection to what was written? Tell that story, using the original discussion as a starting point for yours.
  • Did you disagree with the post? The blogosphere is a place for lively debate: contribute to the discussion with your own points. It bears repeating: disagree respectfully.
  • Did you continue mulling over the post after you’d left your comment, but found your thoughts veering in another direction? Explore where they’ve gone and how they got there.

If you need a bit more of a boost, take a look at this recent piece on making writing prompts personal – many of the tips can be applied to using another’s post or a comment as a jumping-off point.

In your post, be sure to link back to the original post where you left the comment; you can refer to the post title and/or blog or blogger’s name somewhere in your post, and link those words to the original post. Doing this creates a pingback, which notifies the blogger that you’ve linked to and commented on their work — don’t be surprised if they (or their readers) visit your blog to continue the conversation!

As always, be sure to tag your post with blogging101, and head to The Commons for more discussion.

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