Monday, 28 November 2011

How to comment on a blog post

Many Grape Vine readers are new to the world of blogs, and some of you have never visited any other blogs, or commented on them, but there are so many lovely competitions being run by lovely, friendly bloggers that it really is well worth joining in. Not only do you stand a better chance of winning than you do in many other kinds of competition, but you could get to know some interesting new people too. The majority of blogs are run by individuals and one-person businesses, so there isn't the "facelessness" of simply filling in a form on a website or writing your details on a postcard.

But when I have run competitions here on the blog, a few Grape Vine readers have told me that they didn't know how to comment. Go on, you old blogging hands who are tittering behind your hands now, you must have been first timers once! Today's advice is for the newbies who may, one day, be as experienced as you are!

First of all, a blog is different from a website and often the blogger doesn't have much control over the form that they use. So some blogs  - this one included - don't have a box to collect your email address. This means that unless they are using a widget like the Rafflecopter one I have used for recent competitions, the blog owner will need a way to contact you if you win.

One way to do this is to sign up for  a Google account. You can do this at www.plus.google.com or by clicking on the "Join this site with Google friend Connect" button that you will see on the right of many blogs. Once you have signed up, go to your dashboard and  choose "privacy" and tick  the box marked "Show my email address". That won't show it to the whole world, but if you have followed a blog and then win  a competition on it, the blogger will be able to email you to tell you that you have won.

If you don't want to do that, and have a Twitter account,  you can use that as a way to be contacted. Just put your Twitter name in your comment.

If you don't have either of these ways  top be contacted, you may want to give your email address in your comment. But please, don't write it in its usual form. There are computers set up to search the internet for email addresses that appear anywhere public, and when they find them, they deluge them with spam. You don't want that to happen, so write it in a way that a computer can't recognise. The most popular way to do this, and one that most bloggers will understand, is to replace the @ sign with the word AT.

Right, we've worked out how you can be contacted when you win, now we need to find out how you are going to actually make that comment! First of all, make sure you are reading the specific post rather than the whole blog. To do this, click on the subject line at the top of the post you are reading, for instance "How to comment on a blog post" at the top of this one. Next look for the words "comment on this post" or "post a comment". They will usually be at the very bottom of the post, but occasionally right at the top. Sometimes you need to scroll a long way down, past other comments, to find them. On the Grape Vine blog, scroll right past the end of the post and past the "You might also like" suggestions  and you will see a box to write your comment in. On some blogs, instead of the box,  there will be a  link: click on it and the box will appear in a pop-up window.

Write your comment in the box, making sure that if there is a question, you have answered it correctly,  and if necessary, left a way to contact you as described above. Then select "Google ID" if you have one, or otherwise "anonymous" from the  drop down menu, and click on "Post comment". On some blogs you will be given a Captcha code to fill in before your comment is complete.

Once that is done, your comment will appear immediately, or a little while later after the blog owner has approved  it. There is one final thing to do if you are entering a competition that uses a Rafflecopter widget, and that is to go back to the widget and click "I did this" next to the "Leave a comment" option. The widget  will collect your email address safely and securely so you won't need to worry about spammers.

If you are new to commenting on blogs, why not try it out here? Just say Hello, tell me what you want for Christmas, tell  me about the weather - just say SOMETHING so that next time you see a competition that asks you to comment on a blog, you won't think "I can't do that, I've never commented on  a blog". And as I check all comments before they are posted, I promise I won't allow your comment to appear if you have accidentally included your email address.

And then why not take a look at some of the lovely blogs on "My Blog List" on the lower right of this page, where you might find some competitions to make a start on!

6 comments :

  1. How informative. Thank you for your constant helpful blog posts.x

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  2. Hi Jane; What I want for Christmas is 500 new subscribers for Grapevine. I'll just leave a comment on "Santa@Northpole.Blogspot.com"...

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  3. Ooops, I seem to have deleted a comment by accident and can't get it back - that serves me right for tackling things before my first cup of tea in the morning!
    The comment was a question about how to put a photo in a blog comment. I've just been doing some research and trying out some of the suggestions, but none of them worked, and it was in the process of deleting one of these failures that I deleted the original comment. I'm very sorry and if the author would like to post it again I'll be able to reinstate it.
    Meanwhile I'll carry on researching and if I find a way, I'll let you all know.

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