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How To Unleash the True Power of Blog Commenting

This is a guest post by David Murton.

Unleash the True Power of Blog CommentingBlog posts are rapidly becoming more like forum threads, in which an original poster offers an idea or a question and interested readers respond. As a blog or website owner, you can take advantage of this paradigm shift by actively commenting on blogs within your niche. As more individuals obtain broadband connections, the audience for blogs (and their potential traffic levels) increases. A successful blog commenting campaign can increase traffic levels for your site and cause other site owners to view your site as an authoritative source.

Why Should You Do It?

Blog commenting, when done correctly, establishes you as an expert in your field. By posting interesting, valuable comments on blog posts related to your niche, both the owners and readers of the external blog will take notice. When other blog owners begin to view you as a reputable expert, new business relationships open and external inbound links are created that direct traffic to your site. In addition, you can cleverly place inbound links to your sites in the comments you post, driving additional traffic to your blog.

On a more general scale, blog commenting is about building a knowledgeable, focused and sharing community around your niche and improving the overall, Internet-wide quality of the content related to it.

How to Find Blogs Relevant to Your Niche

Before you start a blog commenting campaign, it’s crucial to find the best blogs already devoting content to your niche. The alternative, which is to blanket the Internet with comments on any blog you can find, results in wasted resources and the possibility that your commenting campaign will be viewed as spam.

One of the best resources for finding blogs in your niche is Technorati, a specialized search engine that, by 2008, had indexed nearly 113 million individual blogs and well over 250 million pieces of social media content. Technorati allows you to search for either posts or blogs according to keyword, or you can browse by category. The site also maintains a list of Top 100 blogs that receive the highest traffic levels, which make ideal targets for blog commenting campaigns.

Once you find a few blogs related to your niche via Technorati or another search engine, view the latest posts and peruse the comments. You’re likely to find other blog owners who are also engaging in blog commenting campaigns, and following the links they post will often reveal additional blogs worth commenting on.

Tips for Writing Helpful and Valuable Comments

Poorly written, uninformative or redundant blog comments can do more harm than good to your blog’s reputation and traffic levels. By following a few tips, you can write comments that impress the readers and owners of other blog sites:

  • Read the comment posting rules. Vulgar language and personal attacks are rarely tolerated by reputable blogs, even if rules regarding them aren’t explicitly listed. The blog may also prohibit the posting of affiliate links.
  • Strive to answer questions posted by other commenters or by the original article writer.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own, so long as the information can’t be easily gained elsewhere. For example, you might ask for the original poster’s opinion on a controversial topic related to the subject matter.
  • Post your opposing viewpoint, but do it respectfully and back up your opinion with facts.
  • Take your time. Quality rules over quantity when it comes to blog commenting, and hastily writing posts only so that you can pack in a few more per day is a waste of resources.
  • Format your comment properly. If the comment exceeds more than four or five lines, break it up into paragraphs.
  • Pay careful attention to grammar and spelling.

You should put the same level of care into your blog comments as you put into your own original posts on your blog. Many readers assume (often correctly) that the quality of your comments will reflect the quality of everything else you post on the Internet.

Make Sure Your Comments Get Noticed

You’ve found the best blogs for your niche and you’re ready to comment. However, commenting on every post would be impractical. Follow these tips to only post on the blog articles that will maximize your traffic and build your reputation:

  • It’s best to post as early in the conversation as possible. The most popular blog posts receive hundreds of comments, and most of the comments that fall below the first page are largely ignored except by the most interested readers. By being the first to comment, your post will practically appear as a footnote to the original article, increasing your visibility to both readers and the original poster.
  • Don’t bother commenting on posts that have been inactive for a week or longer. If a post hasn’t generated some conversation within a few days of its posting, odds are good that it will stay that way.
  • Prioritize posts that are being actively re-tweeted on Twitter and shared on Facebook. When social media sites start linking to blog posts, it greatly increases their exposure, subsequently increasing the exposure to your comments.

Things to Avoid

Certain things should never make it into the blog comments you post:

  • Blatant self promotion. There’s no need to directly promote your blog or site in comments, as most readers find it tacky and detrimental to your credibility. The quality of the content you post should be good enough to convince readers to check out your site.
  • Extremely brief and meaningless comments. This includes such comments as “good post,” “bad post” and “I agree!”
  • Links to your own articles in every comment you post. This is only acceptable when the link is truly relevant, such as to an article on your blog that directly relates to the subject matter discussed. In all other cases, the only link in your comment should be attached to your username, which you can enter as you’re completing the comment form.

Is it Important to Comment on Your Own Blog?

Absolutely, and the ways in which you respond to your commenters is just as important as the act of responding. If your readers are seeing that their comments are continually ignored, they won’t bother to post again. Answer the questions posed by your commenters thoroughly and as quickly as you notice them. Enforce posting guidelines of your own, and delete any posts that don’t adhere to them.

Don’t be afraid to say so when you don’t know the answer to one of your reader’s questions. Post links to additional resources. Although this causes traffic to initially leave your site, that same traffic (and more) will return as you establish yourself as an involved, authoritative source on your niche.

About the author: David Murton has been helping companies build and maintain their online relationships with customers since 2006. He is also a professional writer and blogger, with a particular interest in the open source Drupal platform. On a more personal note, David is an avid piano and accordion player, drawn especially to music of the classical and romantic periods.

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Got a Question or Comment?

  1. The most time consuming part of blog commenting or me is in finding the right blogs to comment on, so I really appreciated the tip on using Technorati. I had even resorted to purchasing a list of supposedly “do follow” blogs, but that was inexpensive & largely unrelated to my niche. Not sure if that is a concern on not, any views on that?

    • In my experience, most of those blogs that actively brag about “do follow” are just big spam magnets. I wouldn’t worry about the “do follow” stuff as much as I would about the blog being relevant, and then just posting a great comment. I’m more interested in earning readers than simply fueling the Google spider. :-)

      • I agree with you, Dave, about the Do-follow craze. I’m give my commenters CommentLuv. I think that’s generous enough. I never jumped on the bandwagon. I don’t think it’s obligatory to give out link juice for free.

  2. Those brief comments don’t last long on my blog..because if its brief..then its not even a comment if you ask me.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  3. Awesome post!
    I think posting valuable comments on other blogs will definitely draw a lot of attention to your blog! Commenting on the right blogs is mandatory :) Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Alan Ashwood says:

      Why do people insist on over use if the word AWESOME. We have good/great/excellent/amazing/fantastic language to use.
      Awesome is watching your first bay being born – not a blog post.
      Where would you go if it was even better? Super awesome? Mega awesome? Awesome awesome.
      Sorry David. This is a very good and interesting post.
      But it ain’t awesome.

  4. Hi David,

    You have put in a lot of detail here and your step by step strategy is quite useful for blog commenting. More than backlinks, I see blog commenting as a way to build relationships. And we can build good relationships only if we “behave” properly.

    Cheers for the great post.

    Jane.

  5. One question? Should you use your name as the username, or maybe the name of your blog – assuming it is a targeted keyword. I guess it won’t do any good for backlinks if it is a no-follow, but it is still branding the blog.

  6. Hi David and David

    I have really seen the power of commenting recently, I had up until a month ago been making regular comments and had seen a considerable rise in popularity, I had put comment luv on my blog based on the fact that a few of the people I respect use it

    I don’t know if it links in since then I have been showered with so much junk commenting, sometimes up to 50 a day, clearly this takes up a lot of time to control

    given that you guys are more popular than I will ever be what solutions do you have for spam comments

    Thanks for sharing Tony

    • Just good filtering. :-) But, when you use something like CommentLuv, you’re just opening up to spam because it sets the environment up to be enticing to somebody looking for just a link. That’s why I don’t like CommentLuv. I know many who would disagree with me (and that’s fine), but that’s my thought.

      • I had a question in regards to Disqus vs Comment luv; you just answered it. I use Disqus but I have been seeing a lot of blogs using comment luv. I believe that Comment Luv is a WordPress thing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great post, Mr. Murton, and a good reminder that I need to make more of an effort in this area. I fall down on this mainly because these days I can barely find time to skim the blogs I like, let alone seek out new blogs or take the time to come up with anything useful or relevant to say. So I tend to reserve commenting for the times when a response springs to mind right away (like this one) that I can dash off quickly before getting back to work.

  8. Great post you should check out my site that sells…. Wait that wont work.

    Hey awesome post I actually sell some great… crap! That wont work either.

    I actually invented commenting and am possibly the greatest person alive, you should check out my blog at… Craaaaap!

    I guess old habits are hard to break :-)

  9. Joemerchant says:

    My few tips;
    1. Don’t immediately reply to comments on your blog. It actually pays to stay away from your own site for a while. The reason is that visitors will answer a commenter’s question for you…thus building community.
    2. A question a commenter has on your site (or a realted one) is a great source of article ideas!

    • I only half agree with your first point. I think the value of replying to comments is to show that you give a crap and are involved with your audience. Trying to let the audience simply deal with itself kinda misses the point.

    • Alan Ashwood says:

      I always respond to commenters as quickly as possible. I believe it shows gratitude and respect.
      Besides, I like the conversation. It can lead to a lot of entertainment too.

  10. I comment everyday on blogs that I like even if they are not necessarily in my niche.. I think it is o.k. to comment on blogs that are not related to your niche as long as your blog is interesting to read.

    • Hi Justin,
      I agree with you. I’m in the personal development niche, but I find I enjoy reading blog such as this and ProBlogger which gives me great info on how to build a great blog. In fact, I think almost any blogger from any niche can contribute usefully to this kind of blog.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Justin, I used to do this too and found a bunch of people commented on my posts as well, which is good for building a sense of community. But when I launched my first info product last year, I noticed that the vast majority of sales went to people I had never heard of. Since then I’ve been trying to be more focused in my commenting approach, but I still read blogs (such as this one) which is helpful to me and I comment less.

  11. Anonymous says:

    As with most things online, the best practices involve making a quality contribution instead of just adding to the information overload. Commenting on blogs is indeed a great way to benefit your own blog if you do it right, which means taking some time with it! It’s about more than just dropping links all over the net, it’s about advancing a high quality discussion on topics people find important enough to bother reading.

  12. I’m curious if blog comments can really build a relationship with someone who you deem as an expert and you want to connect with them? I recognize the value of networking and relationship building but do blogs REALLY create that?

    • If you comment a lot and with quality, yes. When people routinely make great comments on this blog, I notice. :-)

    • Alan Ashwood says:

      Absolutely Marianne.
      I have quickly built up a number of friendship through commenting. You don’t have to look for an ‘expert’ only. Conversations between similar bloggers can go a long way to relationship building which in turn can lean to great exchanges of information.
      After all, till now, you didn’t know I existed did you?
      Well I do.

  13. David,
    Regarding your point “On a more general scale, blog commenting is about building a knowledgeable, focused and sharing community around your niche and improving the overall, Internet-wide quality of the content related to it.” This is something I did because I found the subject matter was what I enjoyed reading. Because of this many of the blog owners are now following me on Twitter and we engage in conversations – it’s has build a real community of like-minded people.

    I found that subscribing to blogs using Feedly has really helped me keep up-to-date on the latest posts.

    I really enjoyed your blog.

    Connie

  14. I went to Technorati and I really didn’t find any blogs in my niche. Maybe I didn’t know how to search correctly? My website is about spirituality and self growth. I looked under those keywords and didn’t find anything I could really relate to. Got any advice?
    Thanks,
    Sharon

  15. The only comments I have gotten are spam and Akismet is a great filter. Does that mean I’m just not getting any legitimate traffic?

    • Alan Ashwood says:

      Hi Sharon
      Like you I find the spam outweighs the comments every single day. However, don’t be tempted to switch off Askimet though. Every time I find a blog that lets anything through, I never go back – ever.
      Perhaps you need to look at your titles, and read up on the dreaded SEO. These really can help to get you visitors – and good comments too.
      Another way s to make good and valid comments on posts, and keep a list of those that return the compliment by revisiting you. You’ll pretty soon make some contacts and friends.
      Good luck

  16. Been there and done that. I mean, both commenting constructively and also blatant promotion of my blog.. haha. Anyway, lesson learnt and yeah, I always make sure to answer every comments that came in, to the best I can. But some prefer to email me so its the same – always reply commentors even if there is no response after that. I personally hate being left in the dark if my questions are unanswered or acknowleged.

  17. Have you all tried Highlighter, the free WordPress plugin from the founders of Unique Blog Designs? It’s a great application that I’ve experimented with a little bit to allow readers to engage in conversation by adding comments tied directly to certain phrases, images, or words on a blog post, therefore allowing the comments to stay relevant to their context.

  18. This simple but effective tactic is time consuming but rewarding. Just make it a habit to get at least 10 new links like this every week and I can promise you a very fair amount of free traffic in return. Because of the process of you providing quality content to your visitors, the search engines will also reward you with higher rankings.

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  19. Really a nice post………..
    I am a very poor in blog commenting….
    Thanks for this nice guidance.

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  22. Blog posts are rapidly becoming more like forum threads, in which an original poster offers an idea or a question and interested readers respond. As a blog or website owner, you can take advantage of this paradigm shift by actively commenting on blogs within your niche.

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  24. Thanks for sharing the idea there would be some apprehensions from segment but i am up for it.

  25.  I like to systemise my blogging as much as possible partly out of time efficiency but also down to the return on my investment. I have been on Technorati for some time, but never really used it how you have described.

  26. Great post you should check out my site that sells…. Wait that wont work.

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  29. I don’t agree with what you said about not bothering with posts that have been inactive for more than a week. In fact I think they are sometimes the best posts to comment on as you might be able to initiate some type of discussion.
    I do agree with commenting on your own blog, some people don’t really realize this. If you have a blog of your own I would advise you to add the option for people to choose if they want an email sent if they comment is replayed too. People love to see they have the blog owners attention. If you have a blog that gets alot of comments I would comment every 5-1- comments and make sure you respond to each person in that comment.

    NIck 

  30. Blog commenting is supposed to be done in such a way that there’s a relationship built with the other people who left comments and with the author of the post where one’s leaving the comment.

    – Ray

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  33. I do agree with commenting on your own blog, some people don’t really
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  37. Great post, Mr. Murton, and a good reminder that I need to make more of an effort in this area. I fall down on this mainly because these days I can barely find time to skim the blogs I like, let alone seek out new blogs or take the time to come up with anything useful or relevant to say.

  38. Hi,

    I think it is very important to comment and gain back links that too quality back links. It gives our site a very good rapo and boosts its rank also.

  39. Blog commenting or sharing of thoughts can help to improve the content of the blog or the web page. And it is the way of interaction between the writer and the reader.

  40. David, I must tell you I have seen your work and read a good few of your posts on your blog. Also, I have taken part and signed up twice for your blog transformation challenge as i find the information absolutely meaningful and helpful. Guys like you really help us fellow bloggers trying to make it out here in the harsh internet marketing world. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

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