The ethics of blog commenting

June 19, 2013 · 53 comments

by Davy Kestens

newtitle

Two way communication is a fundamental part of human nature. This does not change just because we sit in front of a computer or with an iPhone in the hand trying to reach out and communicate. Conversation, sharing thoughts or experiences & getting feedback is important for the individual but is also essential for our development and improvement. Blogging is communication and while it is typically controlled by the blogger taking the initiative it doesn’t really work and add value to anyone if no one talks back.

Adding comments to blogs is a very common practice. In fact, it’s an integral part of the web 2.0 hype! Some people do it for the fun of it and some use it as a very intelligent strategy for effective web presence. Whether you’re a SEO newbie or pro, you probably heard zillion times that blog commenting is an excellent link-building technique. I couldn’t agree more but I want to draw your attention to a very important yet often forgotten concept: The importance of blog commenting as a reflection of “internet ethics”.


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What do you mean by “Internet Ethics”?

Ethics are abstract rules that govern our relationship with each other.  They are indispensable in every area of life that requires human interaction. We constantly hear terms like “work ethics” and “social ethics”. Well, the internet, being the most gigantic communication medium known to man, is certainly no exception. Malicious acts such as spam, fraud, hacking, and intellectual property abuse are obvious violations of the internet ethics. However, the concept of internet ethics is much broader than the “Do nots”. It also covers the “Must Do” and “Nice to Do” patterns of behaviour. I strongly believe that blog commenting is a must-do internet ethics rule. Which bring us to the second question…

ethics

Where is the link between Internet ethics and a simple act like blog commenting?

There’s an Arabic proverb that says:”If someone taught me a letter, I should become his slave!” Reciprocation is ingrained in the human nature.  Thanks to the internet revolution, if someone helped me out or taught me great tips and insights, I don’t need to travel overseas to thank him/her.  Technology is “pampering” us to the extent that all we need is just a click on the mouse and a small “thank you” comment.  That’s why; I’m an advocate of blog commenting as a must-do internet ethics practice because it’s too simple that you have no excuse for ignoring it!

Who should I be commenting on his/her blog?

Anyone you felt inspired, intrigued, uplifted, enlightened, educated by when you read his/her words, deserves that you allocate one minute of your precious time to express your gratitude for his/her genuine contributions

inspired

Why is blog commenting good for ME from the “Internet Ethics” perspective?

We constantly need to create lasting friendships and build strong bonds with like-minded people. Commenting on the blogs of others who share the same views and ideals that you do is an excellent networking and friendship building opportunity. The social media hype is not so popular for no reason. It fills the basic need for creating social bonds between people and, as an additional bonus, helps spreading the word about your business in a subtle non-intrusive way. Blog commenting is definitely a social media practice that adds value to the blog and enhances the author’s credibility. Writing a positive comment on someone’s blog will boost his/her confidence and brightens his/her day and you never know: perhaps you two could create a lasting friendship as a result

friendship

When could blog commenting go wrong?!

Using blog commenting for e-marketing purposes ONLY is a big NO!Some e-marketing newbies believe that quantity is more important than quality (which is bogus!). So, they would go to endless blogs and paste a vague comment like “great job” and IMPOSE their link on the body of the comment! People who behave this way are completely inconsiderate to the simple fact that someone else’s blog is NOT their private property and that their sales-pitch comments could significantly affect the quality of the blog post as a whole!

So far so good! How can I write effective blog comments?

letters

  • “Thank You” is NOT enough
    Of course, comments like “waaaw”, “Thank you”, ‘I love it” would certainly add value to the blog itself but it wouldn’t add a value to YOU as a blog commenter. How about explaining what exactly “waawed” you about the post? Or sharing additional tips, links and information relevant to the original post? Even better, you can share a personal experience that supports the blog topic…etc.
  • Keep it simple…
    In your sincere quest to thank the author for a post well-written, you might be tempted to complicate things. For example, if you have two additional tips to give on a certain blog post, picture, or video you name it, it’s better to place each of them in a separate comment
  • Who has time?! Make it brief!
    Put yourself in the blog reader’s shoe or even see how you personally feel about lengthy blog comments written by others. The web is an information avalanche! No one has time to read an elaborated blog comment!
  • When you beg to differ, do it politely!
    It boggles my mind how some people could become insanely obnoxious when they disagree with a blog post and shower the writer with swear words and nasty vocabulary! What if, instead, you tactfully explained why you disagree with the blog writer’s opinion in general rather than attacking him/her on a personal level?!
  • Make sure you have a great theme. WordPress gallery themes are great for photographers and designers showcasing their creations in an online portfolio. Likewise a wordpress magazine theme is excellent if you have a log of content and many categories you want to showcase on the front page.

Some real life examples!

Recently, DesignInformer.com published “The secret behind great designs”. It is the first guest-post I have ever written. Shortly after its publication, I was blown away by the warm and supportive comments I received on the guest-post as well as my personal blog, davykestens.be. I was so touched when I received the nicest fan-mails from total strangers! (Well, they are no longer “strangers” as far as I’m concerned.

The following are some beautiful comments that I want to share with you. They boosted my confidence and made me, as an author, feel great and more determined than ever to keep writing guest articles in the future!

A great mail from Justin Seidl

“I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your article. I enjoy your website and like yourself I’m currently 21, a college student, and quickly looking to develop myself on the web. I currently work at my university as the web design and developer and personally I’m developing my own website. I’m impressed with what you’ve done so far and hope to see more of your work in the future.”

And even simple comments like these will make a writer’s day!

“Nice read Davy. Good luck with your project”

“What a great article from a fresh young designer. I like your project too. Thanks for sharing.”

“Thanks for this great article! I just show it to my girlfriend to make her understand why i work all the time, that i need to improve my skills and keep on my passion.”

The bottom line is, if you place a small comment to a blog-post you like, mail an author or even just retweeted an article, you will be proving in actions, not just words, that you admire the writer and respect him/her. As a result, he/she will be inspired and motivated to excel and write even more and better articles! Your seemingly small contribution will make a huge difference in the writer’s work. Trust me!

That’s it! Looking at blog commenting from an ethical perspective can make a hell of difference in how, what, when, where you do it. Enjoy!

Author : Davy Kestens

Davy Kestens is a motivated young lunatic from Belgium with a highly entrepreneurial vision on his life. Currently working as a freelance creative director and continuously starting up online projects when he’s not out trying to take over the world. His latest published tool for world domination is RunAddicts.net – A professional blog about running. He also launched a marketplace where you can Buy or sell unique content. Want to keep up with him? Go ahead and visit his website or follow Davy on twitter!

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Cyrille - TheDigitalCube, web design Singapore February 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

Hello Davy,

Congratulations for this post. Even if it’s getting a bit old now many things are still very true!

I will have a look at your other articles.

Cheers.

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Akash April 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Nice work! Thanks for the motivation.

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Generic Medicines December 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for sharing such useful information. I think this is really a very nice post. Thanks for the great content!

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Guaranteed blog commenting October 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Great post to use with ethics blog commenting with great experience to implements with blog commenting services.

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Gregory Mabele July 25, 2011 at 9:40 am

O.k. Point taken, but it’s important also to note that I as a reader may be “liking” your blog simply because I would like to make it easier for myself to get back and read it fully (this works for me especially if I run out of time).

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cheap custom jerseys May 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

The ethics of blog commenting

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Dashrath May 5, 2011 at 8:54 am

Hi Dave,

Your Internet Ethics is really useful. No doubt, If everyone follow your tips – find good value in Google. your share your idea here, I really thankful to you.

Thanks

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Yemek Tarifleri April 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm

This site is really a stroll-by way of for all the information you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also you’ll positively uncover it.

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Dublin Personal Trainer April 11, 2011 at 10:28 am

Good article. Ethics are abstract rules that govern our relationship with each other.

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InspiroHost February 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Hello there,

You’ve got an astonishing article! I am pretty much greatful and happy that there exist a blog like this one. Maybe someday, I’ll create a blog like yours.

Take care.

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Henry at Verz, Web Development in Singapore January 24, 2011 at 2:29 am

Hi Davy, thanks for the post. I am going through google for “tips for blog commenting” and your blog gave the most examples.

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Lars January 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for giving feedback Henry, glad you found something useful here

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Cake Convention January 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Nice insightful post. Thanks for sharing the information.

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Single Mother December 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Very interesting article, well done!

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yemek tarifleri November 21, 2010 at 6:06 pm

has been writing beautiful, I like to read such articles. Thank you, begin to follow your site

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Wall Stickers October 29, 2010 at 7:35 am

This article provides a very nice information ,why we should comment on a blog.To show that what we like the work,we have to leave a comment.Good information about ethics of blogging.

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Jamie September 15, 2010 at 10:09 am

Hi Davy.

This blog has been very informative. I did an aussie google search for “blog spamming ethics” and your article link came up on a page one listing at number 4. I just started making comments to blogs in the last few days and was getting concerned if it was ethical. Your article has now put me at ease and I feel comfortable with what I have been doing.

Thank you.

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Leslie Nicole September 3, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Very good post. While commenting can be an indirect way to get known-if you post interesting, RELEVANT comments – someone may want to click on your name to check your site. People can abuse comments and just dump a link and run, not even bothering to actually comment on the post.

I’ve put a comments policy plug in my Wordpress theme to let people know that while we love comments, links are not accepted in comments. If they want some link love, they should go the appropriate route and ask via the contact form. :-)

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Andy Kinsey August 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I hate comments like “great post” or “can i repost this” or “i’ve bookmarked this” or the other load of spam that appears (at the time of posting this since February 1st 2010 seoandy.com has received 25,915 spam comments, watch the count on the sidebar ) … its ridiculous that people think they will get away with it. I wish people would read this post because it is so true what is said, ethics in commenting is more important than getting one link from 500 comments because your a spammer… don’t spam!

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Dashrath May 26, 2011 at 8:50 am

Andy,
Your say right. Without reading no comment. It’s not good blog commenting. Many times your comment disapprove by this way.

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Johnny - ForumSiders July 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for the useful things you said about internet Ethics.
And I hope that this will help other people as it did for me.

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hermes handbags July 9, 2010 at 11:24 am

Hellooo brother.. i’m from indonesia, i just read your article, and it’s so amazing !!! i was searching an article like this for a week or even more for my tasks from the college, Binus University..
but God blessed me and you, i found your article.. hahaa…
You do inspire me by your writing/article..
So i can do my paper nicely.. :-bd
*of course i will put your link in my paper, so my friends can read your article

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Ashok June 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I am a starter in blog commenting. But 90% of the people are just doing blog commenting for only link building purpose. I saw so many comments appreciating without any useful stuff in the post. Definitely I agree with you that quality is important, not the quantity and the content is always king! To be frank I read a full article after a long time. Thanks for writing this.

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tripwire team June 23, 2010 at 10:36 pm

@Ashok, great that you left comment and shared your opinion, thanks!…and that you found the article useful.

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Arnab Das June 15, 2010 at 7:45 am

wow this was enlightening. Hardly come across blog posts these days which are ‘meaningful’. Although its not possible follow internet ethics all the time, i will definitely try to thank the author of every useful post i come across. Keep up the good work.

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Erick ANdalusia June 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Hellooo brother.. i’m from indonesia, i just read your article, and it’s so amazing !!! i was searching an article like this for a week or even more for my tasks from the college, Binus University.. :(
but God blessed me and you, i found your article.. hahaa… :D
You do inspire me by your writing/article..
So i can do my paper nicely.. :-bd
*of course i will put your link in my paper, so my friends can read your article…

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Petra June 14, 2010 at 10:42 am

“The importance of blog commenting as a reflection of “internet ethics”.” Very well said.

Great post!

Regards,
Petra

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rob sellen April 9, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Nice post ;)

Commenting on blogs really was the beginning of social media, I think recently things are improving all round as people realise the comments on the blog IS their own social site, that is they own it and should do what they can to build it, get to know the commentors, most are great bloggers themselves and you know, it just flows out.

I blogged about our role in it too, and the plug in I think that’s rejuvenated commenting, this one plug in is what’s made the biggest difference for me other than the actual move from blogger to WPress…which has been a month now… too long with blogger before that. Oh well, live and learn eh, so it’s all got exciting again for me at least. :)

Nice post, good blog, I’ll be back :D

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Full time dotnetnuke developers programmers April 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Great post. It is not that easy to share such an amazing information. The post contains very good content for the SEO guys. I am really very much impressed with your post. Keep up the good work.

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Arif Shaik April 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Hi Dave. I was nice article. I was really impressed. I am International student working for a furniture company in Birmingham. I have recently started commenting in different blogs. This post was one of the finest one i have read. This article admired me alot.

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TordDesign March 31, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I really felt that this great post needed a comment. You’ve illustrated a very important point. Thanks a lot for posting! :-)

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Ryan Michael March 30, 2010 at 4:16 am

I have wondered about this topic for quite some time: this really helps me understand the proper ways to comment on blogs. I’m fairly new to the blogging world, and lately I have been reading dozens of blog posts about topics that interest me. Yet, with limited understanding of the subject matter, I didn’t know if I should leave a “Thank you” if that was all I had to contribute. Now I know! Thanks for shedding some light on the subject!

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Ab Kr March 29, 2010 at 8:08 am

Your guidelines are great. Overall the idea is that one should write genuine comments, not only for a link back but also it should give some sensible feeling.

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Project Center March 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Davy:

The comments that really get me are the ones that just say, “I like what you are doing and will be back for me”.

I think we all love comments on our blog and unless we know the person commenting the vague – thanks, good job, I’ll be back types of comments (especially those with a link embedded) tend to be aggravating.

However, if I know the person – I love if they leave even a simple note, such as, “Thanks” because that let’s me know they were around on my blog and took the 60 seconds or so to leave the comment.

Have a great day!

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Davy Kestens March 27, 2010 at 1:24 am

Hi all, thanks for commenting!
@DigitalAlan: Indeed, when you own a blog, comments also let you know that you’re not only writing for search-engine-bots, but that there is really a live audience visiting your website and appreciating your content.

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Design Informer March 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm

That’s awesome Davy. You’re all over the place. :)

Anyway, great article. People just don’t understand the value of commenting, and this article is spot on.

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Doug Brown March 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Great perspective, especially as regards manners within the blogosphere. I came across the Bloggers Code of Conduct recently which lead to some interesting observations about the commenter’s responsibility on a blog. I posted this about it: http://copelandcommunications.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/wrestling-with-the-pigs/

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Richard Hostler March 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Well written article. I plan to share it on my Facebook fan page. I think my blog readers will enjoy it.

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Toam March 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Nice read Davy. Good luck with your project

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DigitalAlan March 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Have to say I loved This article.

Writing for my own blog when I find the time – It is the comments questions that keep me interested and know that I am reaching someone more than a search spider or someone looking to sell something in the comments.

Thanks
DA

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tripwire team March 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

@DigitalAlan, Toam, Richard, Melody, Fabian – I agree with you that Davys article is great and I believe the topic is really important. Bloggers put a lot of hard work in writing posts that help, inspire etc. their readers and often too few generally take a minute to share their thoughts. Thanks for your comments.

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Melody March 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Though comments are always welcome, I think there is a sense of disappointment regarding “Good Post” related comments. Personally, I love engaging in discussion with readers, after all–that’s the point of even starting a blog.

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Fabian March 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Hey Davy, thanks for the post, comes right in time: some minutes ago i posted a helpless “very nice collection, thanks for the post! <3" and though i really wanted to leave a thank you note, i didn't feel quite right with it. i guess instead of judging i could have just written *why* i liked it so much: because the author put very different styles into it (a collection of moleskine sketches btw: http://feedgrids.com/originals/post/brilliant_examples_of_moleskine_art/ ).
which proves again that "why" is really the most important question, whatever you do… :-]

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Cool Ideas March 26, 2010 at 10:12 am

Amazing article. Thanks for info

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Windows xp Fixes March 26, 2010 at 10:05 am

That was great thing about Internet Ethics, i was unaware of this aspect of internet.
i am someone related to company providing various Windows xp Fixes in most reasonable and ease way.

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tripwire team March 26, 2010 at 10:56 am

@Windows xp Fixes, thanks for your input. Really interesting to see how you combine it with a link to you own site. It’s really a balance not to cross the line.

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