Jason Yormark

Commenting Etiquette 101

One of the things I’ve loved about blogging is getting to see the growth ofblog-commenting2-300x244 comments on my blog over the years.  I’m always incredibly thankful for those that actually take the time to leave their thoughts on my blog posts, and it makes it that much more inspiring for me to continue to write here.  I make practically no money off of my blog, so my efforts here are strictly authentic in being helpful, entertaining and to connect with as many people as I can.

However with more comments comes more questionable responses.  I’ve gotten my fair share, and it got me thinking about comment etiquette.  I suppose there are no hard fast rules per say when it comes to commenting on blogs, but I do believe there are at least some unwritten ones that I believe in.

1. Using Your Real Name – Don’t hide behind a moniker or nickname.  By using your real name, you instantly gain credibility and respect regardless of whether you are critical in your response or not.

2. Avoid Self Promotion – Most commenting systems inherently are set up so that you get a link back to your site already.  Don’t leave comments just to promote yourself or business, and certainly do not post using keyword speak just to gain attention.

3. Don’t Be A Grammar Nazi! – This is one of my biggest pet peeves.  People that just troll and leave comments pointing out your grammar mistakes or misspellings are the worst.  If you really care about it, privately message the person, don’t grandstand and try to make yourself sound like Mr./Ms. Smarty Pants.

4. Leave Meaningful Responses – Another thing you see quite a bit of is people leaving comments just to increase backlinks (see #2).  Don’t comment just to comment.  Leave meaningful responses and contribute to the conversation rather then just saying “Great blog post!!!!”.

5. Respond To Commenters – If you own a blog, respond to those that take the time to comment.  I always try to respond to all comments on my blog not only to thank them for doing so, but to contribute to the conversation.

I’m sure there are plenty more commenting pet peeves out there.  Feel free to share yours in the comments which I of course will respond to!

Jason Yormark
I'm a 20 year veteran of digital marketing & the owner and founder of Socialistics, a social media agency based in Seattle. My spare time is filled with writing, baseball, my boys and everything Seattle has to offer.


  1. Great reminders, Jason! I think I’d add overly aggressive commenters to the list. Disagreeing is fine, but sometimes people use the comment box as a tool of mass destruction. Comments aren’t meant as an opportunity to insult and call the blogger names. They’re the chance, if you disagree, to share your constructive thoughts and arguments for why you disagree. At least in my opinion, that is.

    If a commenter wants to offer a different point of view from the blogger, that’s totally fine. It’s just a good rule of etiquette not to be on attack mode when you do it. 😉

    1. Well said Amber. Totally agree. Plenty of folks out there that just like to stir the pot. If you’ve got a nice community of people commenting on your site, they usually swoop in and call it for what it is.

  2. I had a few people leave long comments on a post that had nothing to do with the post. They just wanted to add links so people could click on their blogs. Pretty annoying. I try to always leave a thoughtful comment on blogs if I liked the post.

  3. Too funny – today I had a guy come on my blog and comment on two posts.  He went point by point and attached a Vlog of himself addressing each point.
    I didn’t know whether or not to take him serious.  In the end I didn’t.

  4. I have Russians who comment on my blog and I can’t understand them half the time; I’m not sure if they’re bashing me or complimenting me. I try to err on the positive side. But all of these are good reminders, and i should be more aware, so thanks for your thoughts.

  5. I so badly want to be a smartass and call myself “Eustus Tortellini”, promote my online pharmacy, and whip out my frustration about usage of your / you’re / ur; there / their, and etcetera. Instead, I just want to say “Nice blog post! Very useful information.”

  6. Jason, good points. 

    What I don’t understand is why people still think commenting will earn them backlinks. Most blogs have nofollow links in comments. I’m no SEO guru, maybe someone will tell me these nofollow links have some value. But the pile of spam comments I get, automatically caught by akisment, and with nofollow status on any that get through, make me wonder why comment spammers believe they will get any backlinks from this approach. 

    Then again, maybe if I was a spammer I would see the potential for benefit differently.

    1. Nofollow is kind of a misnomer, and it has lost most of its initial intent. In any case, the overall link profile of a site should be “natural”. When it is propped up with a bunch of comments and forum posts, while it is lacking in other links, it is a good sign of a worthless and spammy website.

      Comment spamming is a quick and easy way to end up in a penalty box with search engines. I have had companies come to me asking me to fix their mistakes after having hired a rogue SEO that sold them a package of blog comment links. It is a terrible strategy, but willfully confused companies get suckered into it all the time. All I can say is that when somebody asks me to clean up after that mistake, my fees are no less than $10,000 per month.

  7. Hi Jason,
    Excellent points!
    I think our blog is right up there as spam bait with yours Mark! A recent twist – taking a couple of sentences from the post and putting it through as a comment… jeez! Like you won’t recognize your own writing? 
    As far as approving massive comments in Russian? Hahaha no way!
    Thanks for the post!

  8. I’m new here and to blogging in general. I really like what I have just read. It’s nice to see the “how to’s” in blogging because it helps us newbies,

    Thanks for the post!

  9. I really wish the spammers would read this post!  Why do they do it?  I want people to comment on my blog but the spam was getting out of control.  Recent spam comments that I’ve had include the ones with just lots of random letters and lots of spam links, lots of the same comment ‘I found you on stumbled upon, thanx for sharing’ (from exactly the same ip address) but the best one yet has to be ‘I adore Lady Gaga’. 

    My blog is not to do with music or celebrities and the post in question was about using visualisations to achieve a goal. It did not mention Lady Gaga 🙂

    This prompted me to get it sorted and I now have 2 spam blockers.


    PS if someone picked me up on my grammar, I would at least be grateful that they had bothered to read my post – unlike the spammers!

    1. You know, I’d actually be OK with someone pointing out a grammar mistake or spelling error as long as it was preceded with a thoughtful response.  At least that way you know they aren’t just trying to sound like a know it all.

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