We’ve all read great blog posts then scrolled down to the comments section to see what other readers have to say about it. Quite often you’ll find comments like this:
If you’re like me, you probably skim past those types of comment without a second thought. Other times you find a comment the puts forth a different opinion to the post, adds some new information, or makes you view the post in a different light. If you’re like me, you may click on the link to this person’s blog to read more of what they have to say. This person has just boosted the traffic to their own blog by commenting on someone else’s. It’s a great strategy if you do it well. Here are some tips to help you drive traffic to your own blog by commenting on other blogs (pay attention, there will be a test!)
Tips to Boost Your Traffic by Commenting on Other Blogs
Your ultimate aim of commenting on other blogs is to drive traffic to your own blog. It should be obvious that you should only comment on posts that are relevant to your niche. People who visit your blog through a comment you made on an article about women’s fitness are going to be disappointed if your blog is about Civil War re-enactments. That’s not to say you should only comment on blogs that are in your niche, but posts that are in your niche. Occasionally, a blogger may post something that is a little outside their usual topic. This is a great opportunity for you to jump in and demonstrate your expertise.
There’s some evidence to suggest that commenting on the big blogs in your niche is no more (or even less) effective than commenting on smaller blogs. This makes sense to me in one way; if someone is reading the big blogs, they are already getting good information (big blogs don’t get big by posting trash). But you should also see this as an opportunity; post a comment showing how you have a unique angle compared to the big blogs and you’ll attract traffic looking for something a little different.
Spread Your Comments Around, But Not Too Thinly
A great one off comment can really help drive traffic, but this impact grows exponentially over time and as you build a presence on other blogs. Don’t rely on one or two blogs for your commenting strategy. You’ll soon exhaust the traffic. Instead, be on the lookout for new blogs and commenting opportunities. Keep a portfolio of relevant blogs, check them regularly (daily if you can) and leave a comment on the two or three most interesting articles.
If you want to take this a step further, you could keep a spreadsheet of the blogs you comment on. Haven’t commented on a particular blog for a while? Head over there now and see if you can add anything to the most recent post. This will have the added advantage of helping you keep up to date with what’s going on in your niche.
Post Comments That Add Value
More than anything else make sure your comments add value. Every one of your comments is an ambassador for your blog. That means that it represents you and your blog to the other blog and its audience. Don’t cheapen your brand by posting inane, irrelevant, misspelled, sloppy comments.
Your comments should be well-written, succinct, interesting, original and relevant. Does that sound like too much to ask? If you can’t fulfil those criteria with your comment, then don’t post it. Think of each of your comments as a mini blog post and maintain the same editorial standards you use for your own blog. If you wouldn’t post it on your own blog, don’t post it on someone else’s.
Don’t Hide Behind a Nickname
Use your real name or your brand name when posting comments and keep it the same every time you comment. Soon people will start recognizing you as your brand grows. I always comment as David Borrowdale. I’m lucky to have quite an unusual name so people recognize it when they see it. If your name is John Smith, you might like to add your blog name too, for example John Smith @blogname.
Don’t try to shoehorn keywords into your name such as, Best Diet Pills. It shows you up as a spammer and doesn’t work anyway.
Keep It Short, but Not Too Short
A six word comment is not going to add value, so people will skip it. A solid block of text that goes on and on for hundreds of lines is intimidating, so people will skip it. Aim for around four to eight sentences and format your comment with paragraph breaks. Think of your first comment as testing the water. If people are interested, they’ll ask for more. Lists also attract attention so don’t be afraid to hit the return key in your comments.
Get In Early
Post your comment as soon as possible after the post is published. Ideally you want to be the first comment. Don’t be shy, just post. Comments at the top of the list will be read by many more people than those at the bottom.
This is a good general rule, but you should avoid being the first to comment on every post on a particular blog. Let someone else have a turn and chime in with your opinion later. It’s bad manners to hog the conversation.
Also, don’t comment on every post. Just concentrate on the posts that are most in line with your own interests and expertise. If you’re the first name at the top of every blog post on a particular blog, soon readers will start skipping your comments to get a fresh perspective.
Set The Right Tone
If you disagree with a post, that’s fine. The writer won’t (shouldn’t) be offended. Just put your opposing view across succinctly and politely. If the writer is worth his salt, he’ll thank you for your comment and tell you succinctly and politely why he thinks you are wrong! This is good. This is how blog comments are supposed to work. Never be afraid to put across an opposing view, but be careful not to become the guy who disagrees with everything.
If the writer has missed the point, feel free to make it clear in a comment. If you can be light hearted and use humor (when it is appropriate), then do so. If you know of an example (especially one you have blogged about) that reinforces or disproves the writer’s point of view, add a link.
But don’t rant. Don’t call the writer an idiot or that he clearly has no idea what he’s talking about. Don’t go on for hundreds of words trying to convince everyone yours is the only correct view. This smacks of arrogance and desperation and does not put you or your blog in a good light.
Start a Conversation
Many bloggers end their posts by posing a question or asking readers to give their opinions about the post. This is a good way to encourage comments. Why not add a question at the end of your comment to encourage a conversation? Anyone you draw in to the conversation is bound to visit your site, and by showing you know a lot about the subject, those just following the conversation may also check out your blog. Don’t make it too obvious though. Only ask relevant questions that you are genuinely curious about. Don’t just ask, “Did you like my comment?”
Use Your Profile Wisely
We’ve already discussed how you should not hide behind a nickname when commenting on other blogs, but there are other ways you can make your comment profile work for you.
- Create an account with Gravatar and link a good profile picture (a good head shot with no gimmicks) to your email addresses.
- In the website field, add a link to an about page that will immediately tell visitors what your blog is about and direct them to content they may find useful. You can create several custom about pages depending on the type or level of blog you’re commenting on.
- If you use Twitter to promote your blog, put your @username at the bottom of your comment.
Promote The Post
If a post is interesting enough for you to leave a comment, then why not promote it through your own social media profiles? You can either link to the post or link directly to your comment. Your followers will probably find value in the post, and the writer will be grateful and be more likely to visit your blog and promote your posts.
Blog Comments Don’t Help Your SEO
Posting links in blog comments is not going to earn link juice for your blog. Why? Because most themes use the rel=”nofollow” attribute on links in comments. This means that Google and other search engine crawlers are being told not to follow the link to your blog.
So, is it all a waste of time? Absolutely not. Your comments may not send crawlers to your blog, but it will send people and, after all, it is people, not crawlers, who read your articles, buy your products, and click your affiliate links.