Welcome to day 16 of the Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge. Can you believe it’s been three weeks? To catch up on previous tasks, go here.
Read a Blog Post and Comment on it
Before we get to that, first set up your Gravatar. That way, each time you comment your author photo automatically appears as well as a link to your blog. If you have a WordPress.com blog, you already have a Gravatar. Everyone else should go to https://en.gravatar.com/ and create your avatar.
An “avatar” is an image that represents you online—a little picture that appears next to your name when you interact with websites.
A Gravatar is a Globally Recognized Avatar. You upload it and create your profile just once, and then when you participate in any Gravatar-enabled site, your Gravatar image will automatically follow you there.
Good. Now we can get to today’s task: commenting on a blog post.
On Day 1, everyone added their blog’s URL in the comments. Go pick one or more and read their blog posts, comment and you’re done! (If you haven’t added your blog’s URL to Day 1’s comments, go and do that now.)
Dos and Don’ts of Commenting on Blog Posts
- Don’t leave a comment along the lines of: “Hey, cool post. Come check out my blog.” It’s as bad as tweeting someone to follow you or to buy your book.
- Don’t insult the writer of the blog post. Everyone makes typos/grammar errors/spelling mistakes – don’t jump on it to show your superiority. No-one likes that person.
- Don’t pick a fight. There’s always something to compliment about a post (Love the GIFs!) even if you don’t agree about the content.
- Do compliment the writer on images/topic/whatever stood out.
- Do share your own experience. Maybe you’ve experienced something similar to the blog’s content – share your story in a couple of paragraphs (keep it shortish) and make friends. (E.g. the blog post is about horses that are actually fun-loving Faeries. You knew a horse that had a puckish side.) A long comment can always be the inspiration for a new post on your own blog.
- Do add another perspective. Sure the blog post was great, but there’s an angle that was completely ignored. Share, respectfully, your perspective. (E.g. the blog post is about diversity in books. Your perspective is that it is context that creates diversity.) Don’t be afraid to add to the conversation.
- Do ask questions. A great post will be thought-provoking. Instead of keeping your questions for yourself (or googling the answer for the next few hours) ask the blogger. (E.g. the post was about Irish Phoukas in folklore. You want to know if Phoukas and Pookas are the same thing.)
What’s the Point of Commenting on other Blogs?
Great question. If you leave an interesting comment on someone’s blog, they (and others) are likely to visit your blog. You want to reach outside of your current reader base to grow your platform.
You can make connections with like-minded bloggers and by sharing your perspective, you might even gain new blog readers.
Commenting on blogs with a large reader base can definitely get you noticed by the readers if not by the blogger who gets hundreds of comments on a post and probably doesn’t have the time to visit everyone. The point there is to have other readers go to your blog, not expect the blogger to do so. (Though, if you’re really interesting they might pop by to see what you’re up to.)
Did you comment on a blog post (after reading it, of course)? Did you comment on several posts? Great! Share your experience here in the comments or on Twitter #AuthorOPChal.
Author: Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Ronel writes dark fantasy filled with mythology and folklore, some of which can be read on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. When not leading her Rottweiler pack or arguing with her characters, she’s writing award-winning fiction.