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The Minimalist’s 4-Step Guide to Commenting on a Blog

by Gip Plaster on June 9th, 2010

Minimalists, by most definitions, shun unnecessary actions in favor of a simpler, more deliberate life. So why would a minimalist comment on someone else’s blog post? It isn’t necessary, is it?

Yet everyday, I see new posts from minimalist writers getting a handful of fairly articulate comments within minutes of posting. Why would a fellow minimalist bother?

We’re good people, as it turns out, and we know that comments make a blog more active and vibrant. We want to help each other by supporting our blogging colleagues. You’ve noticed, haven’t you? Most commenters on blog posts are other bloggers.

I still don’t get very many comments around here, and that’s fine. My readers must be true minimalist — not even willing to move their fingers in support of a blog that obviously means so much to them.

Based on months of reading blogs and their associated comments, I’ve come up with four pieces of advice for would-be commenters. Following this advice, you can maintain your minimal standards — sorry, minimalist standards while supporting quality bloggers like me.

First, be brief.

I know you only want to exert minimal effort, so two or three sentences are plenty. If you’re in a hurry, one sentence is fine. If you really have something to say, go for it: write paragraph after paragraph. Your host blogger will approve your comment either way. But they’re more likely to read every word if you’re brief. So be brief. And don’t be repetitive. No one likes writers who repeat things more times than necessary. And also: Keep it short. I can’t say that enough times.

Second, add to the post.

Say something really good that expands the conversation. Everyone likes good writing, so show off a little. Write something so good you will want to copy and paste it right away and make a post for your blog from it. (Because we all know you have a blog of your own. I’ve mentioned that, haven’t I?) Seriously, though, don’t waste a blogger’s time with a useless comment. We know it’s a great post; that’s why we wrote it. We don’t know why you’ve bothered to comment, so tell us.

Third, promote yourself.

We’re all wondering who you are anyway, so go ahead and include a link to your blog — and maybe even a link to a specific post in the text of your comment if you think it’s relevant. It’s not rude or crass. If you’ve said something interesting, we’ll want to read more of your writing, so make it easier for us. And if you aren’t that interesting, we stopped reading your comments weeks ago, so no one will notice your links anyway. Besides, we’re minimalists. Don’t make us Google you. We think that’s too much trouble. Or we’ll at least be upset at how many keystrokes it took to find you, especially if you turn out to be uninteresting after all.

Fourth, just do it — please.

Whether you’re really a blogger yourself or not, you can type. We know you can. Your webmail password always comes out just fine, so surely you can write a few words to make the day of a struggling blogger. You see, we don’t know if anyone is reading unless you comment, tweet us all over the place or at least sign up for our email updates. It really quite minimal effort on your part, but it means a lot to the blogger on the other end.

Oh, and finally: Don’t really go off on a blogger who’s trying to be slightly funny while tackling a seriously important subject. That isn’t something a good person would do. Maybe he was seriously out of ideas. Or maybe he was seriously trying to get people to comment more often on his blog. (That’s probably it.)

Are there any comments?

Believe it or not, I write professionally! If you need professional writing services from a web content writer, visit Fort Worth Copywriter.

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18 Comments
  1. To a blogger, his article is a work of art – and his readers should augment this work of art with their own special contribution, like this one:-)

  2. Love it! (is that enough?)

    Just kidding. As an aspiring minimalist and blogger, I think connecting with other bloggers is so important and commenting is a great way to do it!

    The blogosphere might not be a traditional community, but it is a community that I support!

    Thanks for your post,
    Courtney

  3. Thanks Courtney and Arvind.

    I like to think of this blog as a work of art around which a community are gathering. That’s a very nice picture in my head.

  4. I comment on blogs to show that I’m a member of the community. I think that whether you’re a minimalist or not, you should show some comment luv – it’s just “nice”.

  5. Ha. I would have thought there would be a ton of comments on this one! This post is helpful as I’m reading more blogs and figuring where to comment and where to add value. The recommendation of leaving links to your blog is a good one–I have not done that as I didnt want to seem like I was only commenting to promote myself. However I am not going to do it here because I cannot find the perfect tidbit.

    But I am a huge fan of the Just Do It group when it comes to comments. As a blogger and writer I cannot tell you how far it goes when even a comment or two come through. That’s when I really feel I’ve done something worthwhile. Because in the end, ReadingForYourSuccess exists to improve others’ lives. Simple as that. When someone tells me I’ve helped in some way, it absolutely makes my day!

    Happy commenting,
    Scott

  6. finallygettingtoeven.com permalink

    hi Gip…

    just found your site and after scrolling though it quickly i can see that i have a ton to catch up on… more work, more work…haha

    I will add you to my rss feed but i tell you, if i keep this up i may just have to quit my day job. Day job? oh yea, i got rid of that with the last load to goodwill…hm… whatever will i do now

    how about start MY own blog, check! 3 weeks and counting (and all my computer savvy friends and family will no longer answer their phones), i am all alone here in this great big computer world, but not to worry, all my fellow bloggers are out here, i think i have found my people…

    now please everyone that reads this, come on over to my place and i’ll show you mine, i’m not shy!

    Have a great day Gip, and everyone else that see’s this, coz i know Gip you are going to be a SUPERSTAR!

    Chow!

  7. Oh, good. At least I’m getting some comments on this one. Keep ’em coming.

    I appreciate all of you!

  8. Steve permalink

    I didn’t really think that commenting was all that important before reading this. Thanks.

  9. I recommend to install commentluv, a wordpress plugin which automatically links to the newest blogpost of your blog, while you write a comment.

    Minimalism gives you room to enjoy the things you really love more and spend less time on unpleasing stuff. For me, comments are a way of appreciation so I enjoy them.

  10. Michael —

    Thanks for recommending commentluv. That’s a great idea, and I’ve installed it. It should be working now, but please let me know if it doesn’t work for you.

    I’m glad you’ve found this blog. Your contributions are making a difference already.

  11. Don’t feel bad, I wasn’t getting any comments either unless you count the Chinese porno ones. Then I started networking within the blog communities and now I have started getting some comments. I used to think they didn’t matter as my blog was just my therapy of sorts. But now I find myself looking forward to those comments! I guess it has become part of my social life now.
    katlupe recently posted Cats Rule On Peaceful Forest Homestead!

  12. Thanks for joining us Katlupe. There’s nothing worse than checking for coments and only finding spam! It’s nice to have some real ones.

  13. Betty Jo permalink

    Great post and I love Arvind’s comment.
    Betty Jo recently posted decluttering is addictive

  14. I like Arvind’s comment, too. I hope you’re following his wonderful blog.

    And thanks, Betty Jo, for joining the discussion here. I look forward to more comments from you.

    Gip

  15. jenny smythe permalink

    I like seeing these ‘how to’ or ‘guide’ type of posts. As a newbie minimalist blogger these are the type of posts I just love to gobble up! Thanks!
    jenny smythe recently posted Progress on the 100 Thing Challenge

    • I like reading and writing this type of post, too. I really need to write more like this. I always get good responses to this kind of thing.

      Thanks for reading!
      Gip

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