Creativity Magazine

15 Tips On How To Build A Network By Leaving Comments That Add Value

By Mrstrongest @mrstrongarm

Sorry to be so long between posts. It’s fall here in New Hampshire. I’ve been out chopping wood and trying to get wood chips out of my socks… : (BlankVertSpace.4pixels

I read a post about the power of comments recently.

The basic idea is this: one of the best ways to build your online network, is by leaving comments that add value on other people’s posts. The idea of comments leading to connections conjured up this illustration.

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Battery with comments as electrical wires connecting spiral CFL lightbulbs with meter showing high network strength idea leaving comments on posts helps you make connections and build network

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Am I somebody that does his own electrical wiring? No. I can change a lightbulb– that’s about it. Here’s a detail image.
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detail image Battery with comments as electrical wires connecting spiral CFL lightbulbs with meter showing high network strength idea leaving comments on posts helps you make connections and build network

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Some comments are definitely better than others. I like chocolate. It inspires me…
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Two Hershey's foil-wrapped chocolate kisses with little tags kisses hugs caresses squeezes kama sutra endorphins representing enthusiastic comments left on blog

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What do I mean by leaving a comment that “adds value”?
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Comments like “Nice post!” and “Really enjoyed it!” don’t add anything to a post, content-wise. I’m not saying they don’t have value– they do. They’re kind, they’re supportive, they’re appreciated– but they’re not likely to engage the author or other readers.

A comment that contributes to the discussion, however, adds value. When you leave such a comment, you’re providing additional content. You’re sharing your own expertise or experience, and making the post stronger and more comprehensive. Such comments get special attention– from the author and from other readers.

By leaving an “added-value” comment, you’re drawing attention to yourself as someone worth knowing. The author may reach out to you, so may other readers, asking to connect. Perhaps you’ll be the one to reach out. But don’t rush things. Leaving a comment is like planting a seed of goodwill. Give it time to germinate.

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Here are 15 tips on leaving comments, as a strategy for expanding your online network.

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1. Make it a point to comment on a few posts every day.

2. Choose posts that attract the kind of people you’d like to connect with.

3. Comment with a view towards building a relationship.

4. Be polite, stay positive. Always. Avoid direct criticism in favor of positive suggestions.

5. Comment on something specific in the post, and/or add a new thought.

6. Draw on your own experience and expertise when you comment.

7. Consider responding to other readers’ comments, and attracting their attention.

8. Never force a comment. If a post has no real value, don’t waste your time.

9. If you’re the post author, always respond to any comment left on your post.

10. If someone responds to your comment, do not immediately ask to connect. It reeks of insincerity and opportunism.

11. Never engage negative or abusive people.

12. Be patient, be persistent. Give comments time to work and establish trust.

13. Accept the fact that a comment may fall unheeded into the void. That’s life.

14. Say no to profanity. Some will defend it as hip. Don’t buy it. Attitude is a poor substitute for professionalism.

15. Your comments are a part of your brand. Every word. Never forget that truth.

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Did you know that blogging goes back to around 3100 B.C.? That’s when hieroglyphics first made their appearance. Here, take a look:
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Cartoon showing ancient Egyptians looking at hieroglyphics on wall representing blog post, social media share icons, and comment someone left on post

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Here’s a close-up detail. My favorite part of the cartoon is the little social media icons (Google+, Vimeo, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc). Yup, just press the wall to share the post with your friends!
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detail image Cartoon showing ancient Egyptians looking at hieroglyphics on wall representing blog post, social media share icons, and comment someone left on post

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Are you someone who leaves comments? Ever left one and wound up making a friend?

Do you have a strategy for making connections and building your online network? Care to share it?


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