Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

photo credit attributed

How To Show You Care When Engaging And Not Come Off As Phony

Daniel Wood:

“Hi Frank Great job. I was unaware of CommentHour till I read your post. It seems like a great way to increase the user engagement for your blog. I found your blog posts very interesting and informative. Would read all your posts.

I have one suggestion for your blog, please change your post font-style as it doesn’t match to a professional blogger’s style. Anyways its only my opinion.”

This was a recent comment I received on my post about #CommentHour.  Why am I sharing this with you?  Simply put, not only did Daniel have some kind words for the valuable information I shared, but he followed up with suggestion to improve my blog, which I always appreciate from all of my readers.  However, most people may just respond to the comment.  I did that, however, I went past that to create a friendship between Daniel and myself.  Let me make something clear as well, this is not a fake friendship which I see a lot of people to do just so they can get something from their reader, like a sale.  So what I did was email Daniel to see which font he would like me to use on the blog to make the reading the blog more enjoyable.

“I just wanted to thank you for your recent comment on my blog post about CommentHour.  I just wanted to follow up with you on your feedback about the post style font I use.  Which font style do you think would be better or easier to read?  I’d like to look into this for you if it would make it easier for you to read my posts!  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.”

Here was his response when I emailed him:

“Hope you are doing well. Truly speaking, I was not expecting a mail from you seeking my opinion on font-style as I am nobody to suggest you anything. It’s your blog and you have every right to choose everything. This shows how concerned you are for your readers and for your blog.”

I think this response from Daniel says it all.  To sum it all up, when you do something that creates “the element of surprise”, you are showing respect for your reader and improving your social engagement practices online.  These are behaviors that should be used when not only engaging through email, but on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or even Google Plus.  Most people tend to take constructive criticism in the wrong way.  Instead of feeling insulted, take a step back and realize that your readers want you to succeed.

Following Up With Your Community Maintains A Strong Foundation

The biggest mistake that people tend to make with their community and continuing to build their relationships is not following up with them. I like to follow up and check in with my community.  I recently checked in with Daniel to let him know that I was running into some difficulties trying to adjust the font style for the posts on my blog. Now, I don’t need to do this, but I care enough to do so.  That’s going the extra mile and now Daniel knows that I’m out to help my community however I can.  I personally believe this practice needs to be utilized with your entire community and not just one person because then you might loose a relationship with someone.

Are You Going To Go The Extra Mile?

Obviously in the end, we’re all looking to gain an edge on our competition, but the online world we live in is saturated with the same redundant information.  So besides being unique and different in our approach, we must also go the extra mile.  It’s true that email is one of the best ways to connect with your community because it’s personal, but don’t forget that when you have someone reaching out to you on a social media platform, you should make an effort there too.  Don’t ignore questions or feedback…embrace it!  It will help improve your relationships for the better.  So tell me, what have you done to go the extra mile? What was their reaction?  How can I improve this blog for you?


  • What a fantastic post.  I followed a link fellow blogger and friend shared on Google+ and I’m glad that I read this.  I think it’s so important to build those quality relationships.  Recently, I started unfollowing blogs, because I’d rather focus on building friendships than building links.

    To be honest, I would have been initially annoyed by the comment, but after blogging for a while, I understand how important it is to appreciate feedback.  The fact that someone goes out of the way to leave a thoughtful comment should be cause for celebration, not aggravation.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Well said, Kim! I’d rather build friendships as well. It makes for more constructive and beneficial conversation. I am very appreciative of the fact that you took the time out to comment on my post and share your thoughts with me.

      I do understand that at first some may feel annoyed by criticism, however, I believe that constructive criticism can only make you better. I didn’t feel attacked, rather, I felt more aware of what someone else was experiencing when they read my blog. Maybe others felt the same way, but weren’t saying anything.

  • Brilliant. Loved reading this one… love the element of surprise. I want to come back and read more of what you share… excellent. Glad to meet you via #commenthour this week!

    • I hope to see you back again soon too, Julie! I’m happy to hear that you liked the article and that I provided something useful for others to check out. What was the element of surprise for you?

  • Since I started blogging I’ve formed some unexpected online relationships that have only made me better. It’s amazing the difference a kind word can make – it’s especially nice to see this post when all I usually read about are people attacking each other from behind their computer screens. 

    Found you through #commenthour 🙂

    • Trolls attack people from behind their computer screens. They’re cowards especially since they hide behind a computer screen. However, there’s nothing better than receiving constructive criticism. I am in the same boat as you with having developed some great unexpected online relationships. I believe that’s one of the best things about online interaction.

  • Excellent advice!  I’ll keep reading.

    • Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing more of your feedback!

  • I think this is great! Even on my small personal blog I always respond to any comment I get and I think that brings people back!!

    • Everyone deserves a response. I think it’s wrong to ignore someone when they’re attempting to talk to you. By you responding, it definitely works to your favor. As you said, people are going back to your blog 🙂

  • Nice to see you again on #commenthour. It’s sad that caring can be an element of surprise, but it’s absolutely a great thing to go the extra mile for your community members.

    • Great to see you again too, Denise! I will always go the extra mile for my community because they are the people that matter and make blogging enjoyable. Caring is the only way to go because when you care, your community cares!

  • I do my best to always reply to comments left on my blog. More people should do this! #commenthour

    • As long as you are making the effort, that’s the important thing. It’s important to stay consistent with it!

  • bernadith ong

    Consistency is very important for a blogger. We must always let our clients feel that we are always there listening to what they say and what they want. 

    • I think that’s what most people forget. It’s about the reader or the client who helps make you who you are. They’re a direct result of your success and listening to what they have to say can only benefit you in a positive manner.

  • Lisa Ladrido

    I think the personal touch is so important. I know how important it is to return and respond to comments on my blog. Lately I have had a hard time being consistent, either because of lack of time or distractions! Great information Frank! Great to see you on #commenthour and congratulations on being featured too! Lisa

    • Thank you, Lisa! I have heard from many people that staying consistent and getting back to every comment can be a challenge. Yes, there are a lot of distractions online and in our lives. Personally, I just try to set time aside to get back to each person because I know they took the time to say something to me and I want to acknowledge them.

  • I always try to respond to any and everyone who comments my blog or a twitter. I’m finding however that sometimes you don’t get that back from other bloggers. But I still do it, regardless because I want them to know that without them, my blog would be nothing. Just a site taking up space online. Ya know? Very good post today!

    • You have the correct frame of mind, Heather! The last thing you want is no community because then the blog is nothing. The fact that you make it a point to get back to everyone will separate you from the rest of the pack 🙂

  • I myself only post once a week (Friday’s, but I may extend to two in the future), but I keep it consistent because I want readers to become use to the pattern. Leaving comments is the same practice. You want your readers to grow accustom to the fact that you respond to comments so that it’s a two way conversation and that they aren’t talking to themselves. However, I do understand that everyone has busy schedules and sometimes it might not be feasible to get back to each person. I personally want to get back to them because I enjoy the conversation.

    I don’t think there’s every “too late” of a time to get back to someone. As the saying goes, “better late, than never.” Also, I like to email first time commenters and thank them for their thoughts. I like to make it personal because it can mean them returning to your blog and becoming a loyal part of your community. Be yourself and let them know that you want their feedback at the end of your post. A call to action encourages feedback!

  • Great post. I try and do my best to respond to each and every comment! #commenthour

    • Thanks, Amber! It’s can be a challenge to respond to every comment, but I look at it this way. If someone says hello to you, are you going to ignore them? Of course not, so if someone leaves a comment on a post I write, I make it a priority to get back to them. That’s at least how I look at it.