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Blog Commenting: The Definitive Guide (+Secret + Bonus!)

Blog commenting is a must for all aspiring bloggers.

No.

This is not an overstatement. This is what I learnt the hard way after two years of blogging. Previously commenting was solely (or should I say, predominantly) an SEO technique, a simple way of getting more backlinks to get better ranks at Google's SERP.

But after Google's Panda algorithm updates, this is no more a reality. 

In fact most websites have no-followed their comment sections and any comments you get posted their with a link-back to your site is by most chances, no-followed.

And that's were most bloggers get it wrong.


Blog commenting

If you are like how I was two and a half years back, then the post till here is sufficient to deter you from commenting at other blogs in and around your niche.

But, hang on a minute. I affirm that blog commenting for SEO is dead but is the art of providing quality comments at other blogs finished?

Umm.. no.

Absolutely not.

Quite the contrary actually. Why, you ask?

Well, that brings us to the next section which is-

Why You Should Comment on Other Blog Posts

The thing is nowadays, quality links matter much more than the quantity of backlinks you have to your site. So, if you focus too much on getting a huge number of low quality backlinks to your site, what you will get is a penalty from Google instead of traffic.


Blog Comments Help SEO

And this bring to our second point.

Why do you need quality backlinks? You want to rank at Google right? Dumb question, but yeah, the reason you want that is because you want a flood of traffic to your site. And blog commenting does just that.


Blog Commenting Brings Traffic to Your Site

It helps increase the number of visitors to your website while simultaneously increasing your brand awareness.

Now brand awareness is a very important factor to keep in mind as a blogger. The more people know about you, the more your chances are at getting sponsorships or more customers, more sales or even more backlinks, if that's what you are after.


Blog Commenting Helps Build Your Personal Brand

Simple sh*t. Brand awareness = more money.

And guess what, blog commenting does all that and even more.

So, don't restrict yourself to comment on those almost-extinct do-follow blogs. That won't get you any benefits of blog commenting.

And, therefore-

Sites Where You Should Comment

Websites Where You Should Comment

Commenting on blog is easy. But there's a way to do it to maximize your impact, and we'll come to that in a sec.

But, before that comes the question, where should you comment?

The answer is simple. Don't marginalise or differentiate no-follow and do-follow comment boxes. Instead opt for industry specific blogs.

For example, if you blog about tech stuff, good sites to comment on would be TechRepublic, TechCrunch, Techbii etc. 

Posts on your niche in generic but huge websites like Forbes, Huffington Post aren't that worthy when it comes to drawing quality traffic that converts into leads.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't comment on those top-notch sites.

By all means, you should if you want to get on to the radar of the contributors who write there in related niches, coz you can then ask them to ask the editors to hook you up as another contributor to that site.

Of course you got to be able to write good and have some quality posts under your belt before you get the chance.

And, hey this is a chance many people clamour for! In fact getting in the radar of top bloggers and influencers in your niche is a goal for which blog commenting serves a very useful purpose.

In order to make this more easy for you, get an idea of the top influencers and experts in your niche. Keep a portfolio of their blogs and guest posts and try to comment in as many of them as you possibly can.

How To Comment on Blogs for Maximum Effect

Now, before I begin this section, let's first take a look at the first section, which is "why should you comment in the first place?".

Obviously, it is because you want to get yourself known by top-notch experts and influencers in your related niches. 

You also are looking for quality traffic and if possible some backlinks out of this relation building program.

So, here comes the question, how do you make sure that actually happens and you don't spend your time in a fruitless effort?

#1: Your Comment Should Add Value to the Article

Your Comment Should Add Value

Isn't is irritating, when a blogger writes a quality post hoping to have someone throw his two cents on the topic, when all he gets is some idiotic self-branding and link building scheme used by some no-brainer who gives 0 sh*ts about Google's SEO practice or about the site-owner actually accepting his useless comment.

Two difficult to understand?

In simpler terms, I mean, when someone writes a post about some tech gadget, you should be morally inclined to comment regarding that tech gadget and not your foot massage website.

If someone writes about SEO, don't comment why your ticket-vending business is the best in Delaware. And please, for god's sake actually read the article where you want to comment.

#2: Your Comment Should Encourage or Start A Conversation

A true meaningful conversation..... Always remember comments at a post are a social signal. A post with 0 comments attract few if not, no comments and a post that has a comment which encourages others to comment is just the blog owner wants.


Comments Should Encourage Conversation

And, that's what you should try to give him.

Mild controversial comments are welcome too, but please for God's sake, don't go attacking other commentator's or their beliefs.

#3: Ask Meaningful Questions

Meaningful questions are always welcome. It helps add value to the post (tip 1), puts the author of the article in charge and lets them help you (which according to psychology makes people feel good.. Bonus Point there!).


Comments Can be Questions

It is a powerful trick but don't forget the word "meaningful".

Asking baseless or stupid questions that can be easily looked up by doing a Google search or reading the article in the first place is sure to piss the author up.

And, don't forget tip 2. If all you do, is ask questions, it won't get you far. The author will get irritated by your incessant questions and may even stop replying to your questions, if that's all you do when trying out "blog commenting".

The Don'ts When It Comes to Blog Commenting

Don't Do These When Commenting

I don't think the last section is enough, and I don't think you will be able to steer clear of the don'ts when it comes to commenting at other websites, if I don't write about the don'ts here, which therefore brings us to-

#1. Don't Stuff Links To Your Website

All bloggers hate people who comment for backlinks. That's like the ultima of evil. Why would you even do that!?

Don't try to act smartass and stuff your backlinks into the comment and make it look relevant. People are not dumb. Bloggers do recognise if the comment has been tailored to include backlinks.

Even if you put in a question, even if you encourage a conversation don't add a backlink. But if you think you can genuinely add value to the post, then you can try to include relevant backlinks, otherwise not.

#2. Don't talk about irrelevant stuff

Well, nothing new here. Just keep to the topic discussed in the post. For example, in this article I talk about blog commenting, and if you put in a comment that talks about the best brand of shoes available, I'll just hit the delete button.

Try me!

(Unless, you want to send me a pair of Jordans.. then we can talk about shoes! Size 9 by the way.. 😏)

#3. Don't talk about your website or business

Self promotion takes time. If it was as easy as commenting on all the blogs that you could set your eyes upon, everyone would do it. Wouldn't they?

So, if you don't want your comment to end up in the trash, but rather be published, follow the three tips I outlined in the previous section and don't talk about your website or biz.

#4. Don't comment for the sake of commenting

Pretty simple but there are people who just want to speed up the process and comment on as many blogs as they can.

Some people automate the process using bots which is Class-A spam and some people just drop a search string on Google and put in basic "Nice post", "Keep it up"- typish comments.

Don't to that. It doesn't qualify any of the above three tips, your chances of getting known by the site-owner or getting traffic is slim to none.

#5. Don't Skip The Article and Just Drop in A Comment

-because 90% of the times you can't add value by just taking an educated guess at the headline. The headline may tell you what the post is about but, it won't get you to the nitty-gritty of the post.

It won't tell you the author's opinion, his likes and dislikes and if there is any flaw in the post.

You won't be able to get any of the above three tips right if you don't read the post in its entirety.

#6. And Please, No Comments like the Following

  • Nice post
  • Great article
  • Nice job
  • Keep it up
  • Nicely said
  • I like your article
  • Good job
  • 👍
These are really basic comments and suggests to the blog author that you haven't gone through the article even if you actually have. Also it doesn't help you get traffic. On the contrary writing a thoughtful comment may take some seconds more of your time, but they bring several fold more value.

#7. Try to Keep the Comment Spelling and Grammatical Error Free

Hey, a spelling or grammatical mistake is pretty small an error. After all it is human to make mistakes. Also, if your comment is thoughtful enough, I am sure most bloggers will overlook your error. However, try not to make repeated errors in your comment.

Comments should be error-free

One or two errors is fine. But an unreadable comment isn't fine. It also makes you look like you are not an authority in the field where you are commenting.

This affects the traffic that you can presume to get via a thoughtful comment.

And that pretty much sums up this section.

Have A Plan When You Comment at Others' Websites

Planning is very important and relates to whatever it is that you are going to do. And, it is the same here too.


Strategize before commenting on others' blogs

You need to first create a list of what it is that you want from blog commenting and then you need to approach that as an action plan in a well ordered manner.

For example, if my goal is to get myself known by top bloggers or guys in my niche, then I want to comment on their blog posts in a regular basis.

Posting 5 comments in one day and then forgetting about the website looks rather spammyish.

Instead gradual relation building is the best approach for a plan with a goal like that of mine.

If you have a goal like mine, then your best approach to creating a plan would be to create an Excel document or a Spreadsheet, where you log the weekly comments that you chime in, on their blog posts.

Also, try to look at their reactions to find what they like or dislike. Try to find their guest posts on other websites and comment there too. It works like a charm and helps draw visitors back to your site.

So, then that's like a double benefit!

You can also include other niceties in your plan and that's what I talk about in the next section.

The Niceties: What are they and Should You Be Doing Them?

A Little Extra is never bad in building connections

Niceties are what goes along a blog commenting campaign for optimal results if your goal is to make friends or get yourself known by the blog owners or founders or authors.

Basically it doesn't upfront help you in building traffic to your website but what it does help in, is building a great long-lasting and genuine relationship.

Few people actually do this because it takes so much of time but people don't actually understand its importance.

Niceties are stuff like mentioning the person (whose blog post you are commenting on), on Twitter or liking his articles on LinkedIn etc.

Yeah, it is basically social media interactions with the people concerned in your blog commenting campaign.

This increases the chance of you getting known by the big-shots and gets you a chance of being featured in their blog posts and stuff like that.

It also increases your chance of getting your social media accounts being featured by them, resulting in huge branding for you.

And, if they mention you in their blog posts, then you might even get loads of traffic.

Now this is a far-off thought, but the main thing is this.

If you want to be recognised by the big-shots you can't restrict yourself to just blog commenting.

You need supplements.

Now I wouldn't say social media interaction is a must for the blog-commenting campaign, but I would definitely say, it makes your job a hell lot easier.

And as I said before planning is key.

So if you want to give niceties a shot along with commenting on their blog posts, you may want to include it into your plan.

That way, you will know what you are doing and how effective your actions are getting.

It will help you learn from your mistakes and also tweak the process for your best-suited way.

Blog Commenting Case Studies (Bonus)

Now that you know, what and how you need to comment on blog posts, you need to know how you can steer some simple comments into sales, engagement or optimal branding.

And for that, I got some guys who succeeded in doing just that to share their journeys.


Marcus Miller - Bowler Hat; Twitter - @marcusbowlerhat

This is incredibly hard to quantify from a pure traffic and SEO perspective. If only because it is unlikely to be the only approach in use and the only real impact you can measure here are sales or referral traffic. Caveat aside, this can be a powerful marketing tactic. Particularly if you can add real value to users in the comments. 

A few approaches of interest:

1. Add the first comment and add some value to the initial post.
2. Monitor comments and help people who have problems relating to the original post


A tip here is to use IFTTT to monitor blogs and then jump on them when there is a comment added. Then monitor the comments and just try and help folks. Typically, if you can help people a percentage of those people will get to know you and may move to a paid model. 

Ben Stanford - Red Cedar Websites
I have subscribed to many subreddits and left comments. It has provided a plethora of traffic. The best thing about refit traffic is that it is targeted and can contribute to your overall credibility through Reddit karma.

James Pollard - The Advisor Coach; Twitter - @theadvisorcoach 
One of the ways that I have found consulting clients is by commenting on blogs within the financial services industry. When people see me and they get a quick glimpse of what I do, some people are interested and they click on my comment to learn more and are taken to my website. 

There aren't many blogs out there that allow dofollow links, but some still do. I would estimate that I've gotten a couple dozen dofollow links through blog commenting and several hundred nofollow links across different domains. However, I'm primarily commenting on relevant blogs where my customers hang out, so my goal is visibility. 

Traffic definitely increases with every new blog comment I get. If it's a new blog post that goes viral and I'm one of the early commenters, I could get a couple hundred extra visitors easily. That usually leads to a few conversions.

Eric Bowlin - IdealREI; Twitter - @ericjbowlin
Blog commenting lead to the first 15 or so high value links on IdealREI and I’m using the same strategy now with my new website huntingforbinoculars.net.

The basic strategy is this:
  1. Find blogs to follow and then comment on their articles over a period of weeks. 
  2. Once you have established yourself as an actual reader, use the contact form or find their email address and just reach out to say hi. The point is to build a little bit of a relationship. 
  3. After an email or two have exchanged back and forth, opportunities to guest post or link to your cornerstone content or linkable assets will pop up. 
  4. Then, continue to maintain the relationship over time as you’ll most likely link to each others content for years.
While you could continue to do this indefinitely, I used it to put my website on the map and build those critical first 10-20 links. 

As for traffic, many of those comments would generate 2 or 3 people as referral traffic a few times a week, so for a brand new blog it was important traffic but in general it’s insignificant. 

The links that were built did send a lot of traffic. Occasionally, if you can land links on a high traffic blog, you can see several thousand click throughs in a single day. While that traffic doesn’t stay, I’d say around 10% of that traffic would come back more regularly to the site afterward. 
That’s because the blogs I tended to write on were the kind that had a true following and not just organic traffic.
Max Robinson - Fish Tank Bank; Twitter - @maxRobi07230476

Reddit is a scary place for marketers, as the users tend to hate any form of self promotion on the platform. However, as long as you're not spamming Reddit with your links, and you're only mentioning your product/service when it is relevant, Reddit can be a great source of traffic and sales. 

The best way to comment on Reddit is to look for relevant subreddits, and click on the 'rising' tab. You'll then see submissions which are pretty new but which are quickly gaining traction. If you comment on these posts early, it's likely that your comment will be seen by more people. 

And if what you've commented is relevant, then you could rise to be the top comment pretty quickly. The great thing about Reddit is that many of the threads rank on Google for high traffic terms too, so if you have a top comment on one of these threads it can be a long-term source of relevant traffic.

Open Invitation


As I said before, the number of comments in a blog are a social factor. It signals that the audience of a blog are engaged.

As such, every blog owner and founder and his dog is looking for ways to get more interaction and engagement in his/her's blog. As such, I would love to get you all a perk.


It's this.


As you all saw, I receive a lot of spam comments and I don't publish them. But, once a while, a nice guy pops up, and shares his thoughts. Those comments warm my heart.


And I would love to have a warm heart.


So, I would like to invite you all to comment in this blog. At WinSavvy, if your comments are published, you will win a chance to be featured in my expert roundups as well as guest posts.


Now, it's your turn. Why do you want to start commenting on others' blogs? Is it to get links, is it to increase your branding or is it just to get to know the blog owners? Share it with me in the comments!

Comments

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