Being a regular reader and commenter on other blogs in your niche is a great way to build your brand and bring some traffic over to your own blog. This is probably nothing you haven’t seen before. However, have you ever thought about your strategy to actually doing it?
Many people hear that it is a traffic builder to comment on other blogs and they simply just go out and start bloviating on other blogs. That is the wrong approach. I don’t know how many times I see a comment come through on my own blogs that says something like:
This is a great post. I have bookmarked it and will definitely come back again.
Well, that’s wonderful. But, it is a totally USELESS comment. Moreover, you can usually tell it is just a lame attempt for traffic because they’ll put some keywords into the name field and a link to their site. Personally, I don’t approve comments like this. It is a waste of my time.
Now, I know that there will always be blog spammers. Writing a post like this which talks about how to post a comment is going to ring hollow on these people because half the time it is a robot doing the posting anyway. However, if you want to gain maximum benefit from posting on other blogs, there are some rules of the road.
Don’t Worry About SEO
Blog comments are almost never going to result in search engine juice for your blog. Why? Because most blogs use the nofollow attribute on links in comments. This means that search engine spiders are being told NOT to follow that link. That means – No Google juice for you!
So, your audience with a blog comment is actual people – not search engines. Don’t worry about putting keywords in the name field. It just makes you look like a spammer.
Use Your Name
On a related note to the above, I recommend that you use your real name or your brand name in the Name field when commenting on another blog. In my case, I will always use my name (David Risley) when commenting on a blog. Even if I comment on a tech site, I’ll use my name. Now, I could post as “PCMech” and that would mean that I am commenting while representing the BRAND of PCMech.com. I could also post as “David Risley @ PCMech” and that would be fine. However, you will never see me post a comment using a name like “Computers and Technology”. It is stupid. It is meaningless. And it serves no benefit to my brand.
Focus on VALUE
Every single comment you post on another blog is an outpost for your blog. That means that it represents YOU and your blog to that blog’s audience. So, use it as an opportunity to carry your brand over to that audience.
For example, if I post a comment on ProBlogger, if I just post a stupid comment like “This is a great post, Darren”, then I add no value whatsoever. It isn’t going to tell anybody reading ProBlogger that I know what I’m doing and that my blog might be worth reading. It would be a lazy, half-ass attempt at self-promotion. However, if I post a comment which backs up whatever Darren is writing about and adds to it, providing some actual value to the reader and to Darren’s blog post, then I’ve done something useful. His readers are more likely to gain something from my comment and are thus more likely to check out this blog. If there is a tasteful and strategic way to “hook” the reader into checking out my site, then I might do that, too. For example, providing a useful comment and then mentioning that I covered it in more detail on my own blog.
This point is the most important in this post. Every comment should be something worth reading.
Think About Relevance
You will get maximum benefit from comments when you are commenting on blogs which are related to your’s. If I linked to PCMech while posting a comment on some celebrity gossip blog, then I have almost zero chance of gaining a reader.
When choosing sites to be active on, choose blogs related to your niche. Find out who the top bloggers are in your niche and comment there. But, don’t just go for the a-listers in your market. Don’t ignore the smaller bloggers in your niche, either.
Lastly, when posting a comment on a blog, always use the URL field for the comment to link to whichever blog is MOST relevant to that blog’s audience. If you only have one blog, then just link to it. If you have more than one, then always present the most relevant blog.
Use a Gravatar
Many blogs use gravatars and you should have one. It means so much more to your brand recognition than simply your name because many people tend to be more visual. For more on gravatars, read this post.
To wrap up, I highly encourage you to comment on other blogs in a strategic fashion rather than just shooting from the hip and peppering the blogosphere with your links. Every blog comment you post should be treated like a mini blog post.