Commenting on other blogs, especially the more successful ones with large readerships, is a well-known method to increase your own blog’s visibility, backlinks, branding and traffic.
It can also help to build a relationship with the owner of the blog, which could lead to invaluable opportunities to ‘guest post’ further down the track.
As Ryan Biddulph the ‘Comment King’ from ‘Blogging From Paradise’ says “By simply sharing my thoughts in an effective, thorough fashion, I am able to drive blog traffic and build friendships with top bloggers in my niche.
How else can new or struggling bloggers make inroads with seasoned pros, all by sharing their opinion for free?”
And, “The second benefit of commenting is the near and long term traffic you drive through comments. Folks find me through in-depth comments I leave on top shelf blogs, whether they happened upon an oldie but goodie comment or a newer, fresh comment I published. Good technique for driving steady blog traffic.”
Tips For Writing Good Comments
- Write with passion and enthusiasm. This will add conviction to your comment.
- Disagree occasionally – if you can do so constructively of course, but be polite!
- Try and be first, as more people will view your comment.
- Get a Gravatar! This is an image of you that follows you from site to site in the comments section of blogs. This helps you to stand out and be more memorable, which is one of your main aims when commenting. Make sure you use your real face and not a cartoon image – real faces have been proven to get more click thru’s.
- Give an example – add useful feedback to the discussion with a relevant example.
- Ask a Question – this can lead to some back and forth with the writer which makes you more visible and memorable.
- Use the writer’s name, as in “Hi John” – this alone will help you to stand out from the main body of commentators and make a good impression with the author. To quote Ryan Biddulph again, “Because my first name is the best-sounding word in the English language to me. You care about me if you address me by name. At least in most cases.”
- If most comments are short, make yours long (normally aim for at least two or three paragraphs). Or if most are long, make it a short one – once again you’ll stand out.
Try and comment regularly on the same high-profile blogs. Over time the blogger will get to know you well and that can only be a good thing (so long as you don’t overdo it and make a nuisance of yourself.)
Commenting Practices to Avoid:
- Failing to read the post – you can’t leave an insightful comment if you don’t know what the blogger has written!
- ‘Drive-by’ Comments – quickie comments such as “Great Post” or “Good Tips!” These are often written just so the commenter (or more likely, spammer) can leave their URL, and add nothing of value. Certainly they won’t leave any favorable impression on the writer, some of whom will just view them as spam and delete them.
- Personal Attacks – also known as ‘flaming‘. As your mother told you, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything!”
- Self-linking – only leave a link if it’s relevant. Your own URL should show up when your name/Gravatar is moused-over. Leaving links in comments can also get your domain blacklisted by Google as well as the blog owner.
- Dominating the Thread – don’t try to take over the conversation, let others have their say as well.
- Overly Long Comments – “A long-winded blog comment, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.” – Kevin Duncan, Be A Better Blogger
- Using ALL CAPS – this looks like you’re shouting and most readers find it annoying. In fact don’t do it in any form of text communication (unless you WANT to look like you’re shouting of course.)
- Poor Grammar/Spelling – you’re much more likely to attract readers back to your blog if don’t write as if you’re poorly educated (your/you’re is one of the most frequent spelling errors by the way.) Sometimes comments are so poorly written I can’t even decipher what point the commenter is trying to make.
Many of the big blogs have chosen to close their comment sections due to incessant spamming. When Copyblogger did this they gave the following reason, “In a little over eight years, Copyblogger has published more than 130,000 approved comments. Which is pretty amazing, right?
But over that period, that’s only about 4% of the comments that were left on the site. The remaining 96% were pointless, time-wasting spam.”
It’s a pointless practice anyway – all WordPress blogs are ‘nofollow’ by default, so it doesn’t help the spammer from an SEO viewpoint.
WHERE Should You Comment?
This is an easy one—the top shelf blogs of course! (Within your own niche naturally.) Not only do they have the most eyeballs to view your carefully crafted pearls of prose, you also improve your chances of forming one of those relationships I mentioned earlier. So go for the big time with the high profile bloggers and their massive readerships, and maybe divert some of their huge traffic in the direction of your own blog.
Comment on my comments about comments in the comments below!
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