Welcome to our series of posts on Blogging Best Practices! Each Thursday for 10 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you create great content, share it with the world, and become a better blogger. Check out other posts in the series here!
As a blog writer and a blog reader you'll find that one of the most valuable practices you keep revolves around the comment form. It's not enough to simply open commenting on your own blog, waiting for random blog cruisers to pop in and comment; you have to be a commenter too.
The effort made in making relevant, high quality comments on blogs you read will help build an audience and reputation for you as a commenter. In creating or joining conversations on the blogs of others, providing value with your voice and thoughts, you will find that your commenting peers will want to know what else you have to say. How do they do that? By turning to your blog. In time, you will notice that the community surrounding your own blog will begin to grow.
As you receive more comments on your blog you'll need to put forth the effort of replying to comments left for you. If you want the conversation around a post to keep flowing, make sure your comments have content and aren't just a "thank you!" to your reader. While enthusiastic replies can be nice, the conversation ends when nothing of value is added.
If you're not certain what makes a good, or even great, comment, there are invaluable resources available via a quick search for "how to write a great comment." One particular link that you might find useful is How to Write a Great Blog Comment by Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty. Do your own search to read what others think brings value to a comment, then try them out for yourself. Not every tip may be suitable for your specific blog, but remain open to trying them and seeing what works best for your blog's community and the communities to which you belong.
Remember that great content doesn't have to stop at the end of your blog post; often times the best content happens when engaging with your audience after that post goes live.