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