Read & Respond week 10: Comment Culture

This week we’ll be talking about talking: How to get people talking about your work (promotion) and how to deal with those who are talking about it (commenters). The links you’ll be looking through touch on each of these areas. Lots of material here, so skim to the stuff that serves you.


  • How do you promote your blog? Start with this list – we’ve already discussed several (commenting elsewhere; building long-term content). Pay particular attention to the Rule of 100.
  • Learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Jeff Goins offers some tactics for writing SEO heds and posts, but beware – there can be a fine line between SEO and Clickbait.
  • (Then again, maybe it’s all Clickbait…)
  • Are you using Twitter as a tool or still just tweeting about mozzarella sticks with your buddies? If you just can’t adulterate your personal account, consider making a separate one to get your professional name out there.


Remember to respond to these readings in a comment to this post by  11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 16. More importantly, come prepared to discuss these examples and, ideally, some of your own.

14 Responses to Read & Respond week 10: Comment Culture

  1. Ryan Decker says:

    Promoting your blog is obviously one of the best ways to get your blog’s name out there. Like David Risley said in the Ultimate Blog Promotion Guide just hitting the publish- or post-button doesn’t mean people will see it. You have to promote what you write. Obviously social media is a great way to promote your blog, but one thing that I, personally, hadn’t given much thought to is establishing an email list. It’s kind of an old-school way of getting in contact with people, but still effective and something I’ll have to look into more. Something else I’m glad he touched on was ads. It’s something that I have thought about putting on my site, but he makes a good point that those ads can be counterintuitive and lead people away from your site.

    Something else that will help with getting more traffic on your website is proper use of SEOs. You need to make sure your using the right words, titles and links, and get a good reputation. If you can do those things well, you can potentially raise up the Google search page, which directs more people to your site.

    Jeff Goins’ article went hand in hand with a lot of what the SEO video on one of the other links said. He also says it’s important to chose the right keywords, write a good title and link to other pages.

  2. carlyperez5 says:

    Anyone can have a blog, but it is up to you to get your content out there for people to see. David Risley, author of The Ultimate Blog Promotion Guide, said, “Building a blog today would be similar to building a tiny log cabin in the middle of the vast expanse of the Montana forest. Nobody knows you’re even back there.” I really like this quote because it goes to show that you have to work hard for your blog to become what you want it to be.

    I’ve taken some measures to promoting my blog such as the use of Twitter and Facebook, as well as finding similar blogs and commenting on their content. Although I haven’t been offered to promote anyone’s product through an add, I found it interesting that this may actually draw people away from your blog.

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another way to get your content out there. SEO’s can be helpful if they are used correctly, although people try to cheat the system by adding or even buying links from all over the Internet that will link back to their page. When someone cheats the system it turns into clickbait.

    People are much more open and truthful when they can remain anonymous, although sometimes this causes trouble. I believe Google was going somewhere when they introduced the “real names” policy. It is a shame to see such a good idea go to waste because Google was simply afraid people would not use their site.

  3. The Ultimate Blog Promotion guide was very eye-opening. It looks at blogs with only one thing in mind page view. Which makes sense thats why its there, but 80/20 rule completely changed how I view blogs. It suggests that 20% should be creating content and 80% go into promotion. Prioritizing promotion over creating content is a weird concept to wrap your head around, but thats how blogs gain views.

    In the everything is clickbait article the writer takes an interesting take on clickbait. He simplifies the definition to asking does the post need to exist? If it is created for the sake of making a thing it is clickbait. Since a post’s worthiness is subjective to the reader, almost anything can be considered clickbait. This begs the question; are we moving to a clickbait-driven internet?

    In the video with Obama consoling the crying baby, I was actually surprised about the lack of negativity. Perhaps its because I am so used to seeing foul comments, that these comments were mild. There were some bad comments, but it is mostly politic-based comments. Popular videos generally have some gross comments on them and it is probably because people behind the computer screen are naturally bolder. Whether it’s for laughs or to show disdain, the comment section can be a zoo.

    In the same aspect it makes sense Google+ reversed it’s “real names policy”. The internet and anonymity go hand in hand. People are more inclined to say negative things when anonymous. A lot of these people troll because they can get a way with saying heinous things without it going back on them. Naturally, any time there is an option of being anonymous it will be more popular than using the person’s actual name.

  4. michalalynn says:

    Promoting your blog is obviously the best way to get your blog out there. Personally, I often push my blog posts to my personal Facebook page and to my twitter feed. In the Ultimate Blog Promotion guide, I liked that the author specified that posting is output, not outflow and for your blog to work you are going to have to talk to people. I also loved what Risley had to say about not including ads on your site until a year or two after you’ve been posting. I never thought about compiling an email list and using those numbers to try to encourage advertisers to pay for your content. I also loved that idea of compiling a master excel spreadsheet with all of your competitors listed so you can watch the competition using only one source. It’s also a good reminder that they stated if you want to leave comments to make sure that they are smart comments and not just fluffy comments left to leave behind your link back. I also think it’s important that they point out that you need to go to where the conversation is happening and it’s okay that that might not be in your blog’s comments.

  5. kameronduncan says:

    As we have discussed in class, a blog can have some of the best content available, but it doesn’t matter much if it is not promoted well. The Ultimate Blog Promotion Guide by David Risley emphasizes this. In the guide, Risley says first and foremost that “outflow creates inflow.” What this essentially means is that the more one promotes their site or blog, the more readers they will have. If someone is constantly promoting, then they will almost surely have more readers than someone who rarely does, just based on the number of impressions that they have managed to make. Risley also includes some valuable advice when it comes to the actual promotion process. He says that “pillar posts” are important to successfully promoting because when someone has pillar posts, they can promote the strongest portion of their blog. For example, if someone runs a blog about movies, and they get the highest amount of traffic on comedy posts, then the comedy category would be a pillar for them.

    One thing that people want to avoid when promoting is making “clickbait”, or using a salacious or controversial title in hopes of more page views than normal. The rules of what is and what is not clickbait are difficult to determine. Most can agree that outright misdirection and lies fall under the umbrella, but other definitions are more inclusive. Some simply say that clickbait are things that don’t interest them.

    As for comment sections, I think that the value of anonymity is very important to a lot of people on the internet for several reasons. For one, being anonymous reduces the consequences for certain things someone may say in the comment section. People can’t tie a viewpoint to a certain person, and because of that , people feel that they can say whatever they want. Another thing that anonymity does is give people the opportunity to say how they truly feel without their views being tied to their families or their jobs.

  6. jayrudolph says:

    Promoting your blog is the best way to get your name out there. Whether it is by word of the mouth of whether it is by social media self promotion is important. Taking to twitter has been something I really have tried to excel in. Whenever I get something new from a company or see something important that needs to be shared I take to the world of twitter. Twitter has actually gotten me some views on the blog I currently run.

    Salty language is a term that I believe defines our generation. Comment sections have become a place for “trolls” people that have nothing better to do with their time then make fun of others and start internet drama. Comments also allow for good interaction though, people can now discuss on the video themselves what they think. Without having to take to a different place this allows for a great public feed back.

  7. Beyond Craft Beer says:

    My dog may or may not have hit my phone and possibly published my other comment. Anyways.

    Promoting your blog isn’t difficult with simple marketing skills. Using certain words, how often and when you post, following the right blogs can put your blog at the top of Google searches in relation to your niche.

    Don’t keep tweaking your blog. Resist the urge to change everything all of the time. Don’t fix it if it isnt broken.

    Don’t post click bait. Offer an interesting headline but deliver. Don’t say “best ways to save money” and then talk about Mac and cheese. That is click bait, but if you can provide what you offered then it’s blog promotion.

    Comments are out of control. From stupid forums that discuss things people have no actual idea about to news website comments screaming about politics. I totally think people should not be able to comment directly to something. If you’re pissed about the game then tweet about it on your own account rather than tainting the websites image.

  8. I really liked reading about promotion. It’s crucial for somebody who puts their content online. Writing a good blog takes a lot of time, effort and skill, but if one can not promote it and share it with the rest of the world, all the hard work is basically pointless. I do agree with 10 smart blog promotion strategies. Knowing how to correctly and efficiently promote something is a skill. If one is just being an annoying ‘weenie’, or a new Youtuber asking to support small Youtubers, etc. this will only drive people away, because people have seen it 1000 times before.
    As for comments, you have to have a pretty thick skin if you put your content out in the world, as judgment and negativity will follow inevitably. This is a big part of the internet. I’ve read some of the articles that talk about shutting down comment sections and restricting some comments. While this might be a good idea in some cases, it might be not so great for interactivity. If we were not able to comment and share our opinions, the interactive side of the internet would vanish.

  9. lmalexander1 says:

    Promoting your blog in any way that you can is highly important. I tweet the link to every post that i write on my personal twitter account. That’s one way to promote your blog. Hashtag are also another great way to promote your blog because the hashtags enable people to find your blog simply by searching one of the things that you hashtagged.

    Once people find your blog, they’ll start talking about it. And more importantly, talking on it. But with that comes salty language. We have to be careful of this, and careful of trolls who have no lives other than harshly commenting and judging on the internet. Other than that, comments on you blog have a huge impact on your blogs traffic. You can also promote your blog by commenting on others blogs, giving them a chance to recognize you blog, from which the comment is coming from, and poke around on your blog a bit.

  10. Promoting media online is vital to building and keeping an audience, but the Internet is a scary place and lots of people are worried about interacting with the digital audience. The Internet has been a bit like the wild west in regard to comment culture because for so long it became a breeding ground for trolls who could say anything, no matter how harmful or problematic and get away with it because the attention was not on them. That is still happening, but things are changing. In the text, there is a quote Virginia Heffernen wrote in a New York Times Magazine article, saying that news commenters are becoming a part of the online journalism world and someone needs to start paying more attention to making that voice count. Well, pay attention they have. Luke Plunkett wrote that Gawker Media (now Gizmodo) was already working on tightening their comment restrictions back in 2013. I don’t think scare tactics like taking anonymity away will work, I think that it is up to platforms and news organizations to create a serious, relevant and official environment. That might mean screening comments or having certain security measures to make sure trolls aren’t getting in easily, or it could mean taking comment sections away all together like NPR and relying more on social media interaction. It is different for every group, but the overall goal should be distinguishing your platform as official and credible and taking it out of the remaining wild west of the Internet – leave that to YouTube and Reddit.

  11. smarino92 says:

    I am a big comment reader, especially on YouTube, even those those comments about Obama gave me cancer- I am more into the comments than the video or an article half the time. I admit I spend too much time on the internet, I see anything and everything. I think my problem is I’m too honest and open, my personal Facebook would probably ruin my chances of getting a job, seriously. But, that’s a different story. Anyways, being online comes with the pros, and the cons, and blogging is no different. I think the hardest part is gathering that following cause people just don’t care about things generally. It is what it is, I think we as a generation are becoming too offender by everything like I thought we were supposed to be the most open minded.

  12. alexaciattarelli says:

    Alexa Ciattarelli

    No matter your major, skills, or field of expertise, marketing and promoting can be an easy task with the help of some simple steps.

    Sticking to a schedule, utilizing social media, saying no to ads and more can get your blog more views than you ever expected. This idea is called search engine optimization. As stated online, SEO “is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.”

    However, make sure to steer away from clickbait. Clickbait is promising potential readers something in your title, compelling them to follow your link, and not delivering something promised. For example, if you are promising readers a story on how to get in the best shape of their life with 3 simple steps, don’t post about Thanksgiving dinner and the best turkey recipe known to mankind. Make sure you are giving what you say you will. If your readers know they can count on your stories or posts to deliver, they are more than likely to return.

    Besides for what you bring to readers, what they return can also be very interesting. Sometimes, it can help you to know what they are looking for, what they expected, what their response is, or bluntly, what they are feeling no matter how relevant it may be. Personally, I think online commenting is dumb. If you feel a certain way, there is no need to trash talk someone else. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I personally don’t blame Popular Science for shutting down its comment section.

  13. Jaz Brown says:

    Promotion is a huge asset when you’re trying to create a popular blog. David Risley of the “Blog Promotion” article brings up some interesting points when he suggests that email lists and retargeting are a strong way to increase the traffic on ones site. I’ve become kind of desensitized to that method because, most of the email blasts I recieve from companies I just skip over, but 2/10 times I’ll open an email and follow the link. And it’s moments like those that make all the difference when you’re trying to gain popularity early on. Jeff Goins of the ” Writing SEO Pages” article makes a good suggestion as well with the idea of adding keywords to your posts url in order to increase your chances of being read.

    Creating a concise yet clever or intriguing title definitely can help as well, without being considered clickbait. Titles and captions can definitely be intriguing without being a form of “misdirection and lying” as James Hamblin of, “It’s Everywhere, the Clickbait” wrote. The main concept of these promotional tips are that none of these ideas are new, but they have been proven to be the most effective methods for gaining an audience.

    Comments are a tricky subject, at times, because if you want to gain an audience, you need to let them have a voice. But sometimes those voices, when hidden behind the veil of anonymity, can project irrelevant commentary onto your site and distract other readers from the original message (ex. clickbait and trolling). Keeping an open comment section is useful though, because sometimes those anonymous voices can help your sight by honestly reflecting, reviewing and/or highlighting positive and negative areas within your piece, without the worry of receiving any backlash.

  14. rmsurella says:

    Twitter is a risky yet necessary device for young journalists to utilize. Unlike other generations, many of us have had twitter accounts for social purposes since we were much younger. My twitter account was created in June 2010, less than a month after i turned 15 years old. Obviously the level of maturity in my twitter content has improved as I have matured in life, however this does not matter when discussing the reputation of a journalist. I believe that it is an advantage for those who did not use twitter prior to the start of their journalism career to not have to deal with this issue. Because of these reasons, I will be in the group who needs to create a separate professional Twitter account. This is why anonymity can be useful in other open online forums such as Youtube. I believe that Youtube is one of the best platforms of personal expression available to users of the internet. I fear that would not be the case if contributors to the site didn’t have the option to anonymously post for varying reasons. People don’t always want to draw attention to themselves through personal expression, and therefore they should have the option to remain anonymous.

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