How To Strategically Comment On Other Blogs

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…

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.

About David Risley
David Risley is the founder of the Blog Marketing Academy, a 20-year veteran blogger and online entrepreneur. His focus? Building a reliable, recurring business around his "lifestyle" and the lives of his students. He has this weird obsession with traveling in his motorhome around the country with his wife and 2 kids. David also likes to talk about himself in the third person. In bios like this one. Read his full story.
  • Jeremiah Say says:

    Yes I totally agree that nofollow links doesn’t contribute to link juice. I don’t seem why there’s a need to comment on so many blogs to get ‘quality backlinks’

  • Heather says:

    Great tips and it does make sense. But what if you’re just trying to encourage fellow bloggers? I totally get that’s not the point of your post but I’m genuinely wondering… Does leaving a simple comment like “This is a great post” come across as spam?

    (Honest question, not trying to be a jerk)

    • David Risley says:

      Unfortunately, comments like that come in bad company. So many spammers do it, then those comments which are genuinely just trying to be nice end up getting crowded out. It is usually better to just post stuff which contributes to the conversation.

  • For those who write only for self promotion, how do they know their link will be dofollow?

    Even when they use bots or writing itself, it will be a wasting time because maybe the webmaster of the site where he/she is commenting probably won’t allow that type of comment.

    But for those who want to participate in a legitimate way, what is their purpose?

    • Add value to the comments and enrichment ideas to the post because they want and they enjoy reading the blog or;
    • just an attempt to gain visibility and hope some readers click on their profile to visit their own website?

    Could every one try to post a comment without leaving their link to its own website?

    I couldn’t resist.

  • Hi David,

    What would be the value of commenting and using your LinkedIn profile as a return point? What good would this do to my LinkedIn profile other than having links to it? Or. like you said, would there even be links back to it since there is “nofollow” in the code?

    By the way, even though you said not to leave useless posts, some still did it.

    Thanks for this good post.

  • KD says:

    Two questions. First, is there a reason you don’t date your post and comments? I guess if I knew the last comment was years ago I probably wouldn’t post. At the same time, I’m more likely to post though if I know this is a current space.

    Second – I’m having trouble commenting on a lot of sites without getting my comment flagged as spam. Basically, I had a great experience refinancing my student loans and I’m saving a ton of interest. I also follow a lot of finance blogs and stories about student loan debt. When I post about my experience I want to leave my referral link. Yes, in part because I make money if someone uses it. The big reason though, is the person who uses it makes the SAME amount of money. If I’m telling you about an option available to you and you are going to use it, wouldn’t you want to know if there was a way to make an extra $100 while using it? It seems irresponsible not to mention it. The link, however gets me thrown into spam. So I tried created a blogpost about my experience instead with the link there. If I’m commenting somewhere that doesn’t automatically link my name and website (like Disqus for example) the blog link gets me thrown into spam.

    Is there any way to tell people about student loan refinance options and share my link without blogs just chucking me into spam?

    • David Risley says:

      (1) Because most people make that same calculation, and its a bad one. Most comments on this blog are evergreen.
      (2) Stop trying to promote your link by commenting. You need to build your own property – that’s how you do it.

  • The thing about nofollow attributes may have changed in recent days. I believe google still credits your blog despite the nofollow. There may be cases when google still passes link juice. Many bloggers say they never did any link building apart from blog comments and it worked improve their google rankings, too

  • Bev says:

    My question is what kind of blogs do I comment on? Blogs that I would consider my competitors? Or someone else in my niche who is more successful than me? Less successful? Or am I looking for complementary websites?
    Thanks!

  • It looks like you have the answers I’m looking for, I often stumble back to your website when searching how to advertise my blog. Can’t wait to try out your techniques for commenting on other blogs. Thanks!

  • David, I really liked this post. All your points make perfect sense. I too find no value in someone commenting vaguely with something like, “Great post,” where there is no indication that they have even read the post!

  • Adele Gibbes says:

    I just started three blogs:
    Into the Great Unknown – travel, music, eco, recipes – a hub of my expertise and knowledge. I’m doing series on Yellowstone, Non-Profit of the Week and more – all organized by series.

    The Inkspot is a promotional/interactional tool for promoting my books. ‘Murder in Custer State Park – A Playhouse Mystery’ was just released, so I’m blogging about travel highlights in the Black Hills and Dakota inspired recipes tying back to the book.

    It takes a while to build traffic. My goal is to write about what I’m passionate about and improve my content. I do this because I want people to enjoy the content and to interact with other bloggers. I think it is a great resource to comment and connect with other bloggers, but it should be done with genuine interest about the other blogger’s content, not simply trying to drive focus to your blog. If people like your comments they will be drawn to your site.

  • These are great tips in terms of your responsibilities as a commenter. I’ve found people commenting on my blog on posts where I wrote I didn’t like a particular travel destination: “Wow! Amazing photos!” They clearly didn’t take the time to even read the post! LOL

  • Great content as usual, thanks for sharing this information. I think a lot of new bloggers face some of the same hurdles you share above and thus fine things very challenging. It’s good to know that this resource is out there.

  • Sim says:

    Hi,
    Before i reading this article i just wonder why am not getting any comments. Is my website just a waste of reading? Then i decide not to comment in others blog too. After reading your article i understand what is my mistake. So lets see how this make me some comments. Any way great article.

  • Vinaykumarg2010 says:

    I am Vinay Kumar. I read your article about blog comment. It is too good.

     

  • Marc says:

    Agreed Sir David. There are other ways to get traffic via comments then waiting for G to crawl them. Write a good reply, have a engaging photo of yourself or your company logo w/gravatar and just type your url like “MyBlog.com” below your comment if they do not seem to be allowing hyperlinks and IF it seems appropriate (use good judgment). If you seem interesting, then people will copy/paste your url and find you.

  • Marc says:

    Agreed Sir David. There are other ways to get traffic via comments then waiting for G to crawl them. Write a good reply, have a engaging photo of yourself or your company logo w/gravatar and just type your url like “MyBlog.com” below your comment if they do not seem to be allowing hyperlinks and IF it seems appropriate (use good judgment). If you seem interesting, then people will copy/paste your url and find you.

  • Advertising says:

    Wow… Thanks for posting this. I’m still new with blogging and still having some resistance. This sure helps a lot! Keep blogging. Looking forward to reading your next post.

  • Its worthy as well as very important information. Doing great job to sharing it. Thanks a lot for sharing this Incredibly useful article with us. Keep blogging.

  • David says:

    That was a great help, but i was wondering (this is off topic) but does google pick up these DISQUS comments or not, because if it is Java I don't think it does.

    Please contact me it google does pick these up.

  • genecoleman says:

    This post has been helpful. It has made me think more about a gravatar. Prior to this, I never gave much thought about a gravatar. I thought of it as just something pretty useless. I will now get one and try to create a presence. thanks

  • Casper_Christensen says:

    I think your right. A comment can also serve as feedback. But still you should elaborate why you like the post, and not just: “Nice article, thank you”.

  • This is a very helpful post for me. I follow a variety of blogs for a variety of reasons. I am following people like you, David, because I am a new business owner, and I find your blog to be extremely educational. My blog is only a part of my business, but it IS a part of my business, so I benefit a lot from the information I pick up on these blogs.

    I am someone who reads a lot and comments little. I don’t see the point in commenting when one has nothing of value to say. I guess it’s just the way I am. I fully believe that “time is money,” and I don’t like for people to waste my time, so I try not to waste theirs, either. Why post a “me, too,” you know?

    Have a great day!
    Jennifer @ JenniferLynn Productions

  • Hi David,

    I agree with all your points on strategically commenting at blogs. As you rightly pointed out, comments are meant for people and not for the “spiders”. Point well taken… But don’t you think Comments are also a means to provide feedback to the blogger?

    For example, I read a wonderful blog post (something like yours :D) and have nothing much to add to it… But I really wish to appreciate the Blogger for what he has written, that would serve as a positive feedback. A lot of positive feedbacks like these might make the Blogger feel that he/she is in the right direction.

    In this case, would you call this a lame comment? Any thoughts?

    Regards,
    Ashwin

  • I am an avid blog commenter. I agree with almost every thing you say except your comment about nofollow. Yahoo does not follow the “Google Nofollow Convention.” You can easliy check the links that Yahoo shows to your site and they do not discriminate between nofollow and dofollow.

    I believe that the nofollow idea is totally misunderstood by most people. Google has said that they will not leak Google Page rank through links that are nofollowed, not that they will not follow the link.

    Rick

    I believe nofollow is great for channeling the google page rank around your own website but a nofollow link from a high ranked page is still a valuable link.

  • Chef Patrick says:

    Some excellent points. Let me leave a nonsense comment and see if I get any traffic 🙂

  • It’s always good to see that your posts confirm a lot of what I’m doing right, however I never cease to pick up a nugget or two on top of it of things I can do better.

    The concept of added value so people have a “desire” to visit my blog is crucial and I get it.

    Since I’ve started up a new blog basically and have started from scratch I’m reminded to get out there, network and don’t be a blog potato! (Someone who just posts & then sits and waits for traffic to magically appear)

    On top of that its not only the importance of bringing in traffic but the quality of relationships that I’ve created by making an effort to get involved in the community & get to know those people.

    Since I blog about personal development and the development of relationships on line & off, your post didn’t just ring about about how to properly “engage” but more importantly how to “connect” with them!

    Thanks!

  • Brent says:

    I think this is my first blog comment ever. I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now.. Very helpful stuff… Thank you! I started a blog for my company a month or so ago. (No Comments on it yet) I have been designing and building eCom stores for almost 10 years now and never paid much attention to blogs until now. I just signed up for a Gravitar because of the post you wrote last week and hopefully will be making regular comments on relevant blogs. This is going to be fun!

  • I’ve actually noticed that commenting on the smaller and mid-sized blogs in a niche (of course using useful comments) tend to bring more potential readers to a site over any of the larger blogs in a niche.

    Maybe that’s just me and the niches I have blogs in but it does seem to be the case from my experience 😉

  • JR Griggs says:

    Another great tip is make sure that you type your email address correctly. Other wise your gravatar will not show up as you can see in my comment above this.

    So besides proofing the comment also proof your name, email and site. 🙁

  • JR Griggs says:

    This is a great post, David

    lol, sorry I couldn’t resist.

    But seriously, I have seen a lot of those on the “big” blogs. Luckily I was able to learn early and not look like a dope. I honestly have not spent enough time commenting on other blogs. The blogs I have been commenting are blogs like yours here because I truly have something to say. Even though your readers may not have any interest in my blog. I do need to start getting involved in some blogs in my niche as well.

  • Mike Wasylik says:

    Back in the days of proto-blogging I always found that starting a genuine conversation with someone was the best way to get attention. In other words, give interest to get interest.

    That became even more true when “comment technology” came on the scene. (Back in, uh, 2000?) The ability to leave a comment of someone else’s blog is power that, used responsibly, can deliver great benefits. A thoughtful comment that engages the poster or other readers can help build reputation and promote interest in one’s own site.

    A clueless or tossed-off comment is like littering in someone else’s living room, or even worse.

  • I have been a big proponent of the power of comments if done right and have written more than a few posts on the subject. The latest one is here if you are interested http://www.winextra.com/index.php/2009/02/26/the-power-of-comments/

    In this day of Twitter and blah blah quick thoughts blasted out to friends and followers I still think that for bloggers the comments they make on other blogs and the comments readers make on our home blogs are much more long lasting.

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