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Blog Commenting [Ultimate Guide]

blog-commenting

This is a continuation of my series on Ultimate Guides (see past topics here). The goal behind these is to present various internet marketing topics in an all in one comprehensive fashion. If you like what you see please share it with others.

Recently I discussed how I got to my first 1,000 RSS subscribers and one area I covered in that post was the marketing strategies I used to reach that mile stone. Blog commenting is one strategy that I have used in the past for a wide variety of reasons beyond just a small spike in traffic and today I will outline everything you should know about blog commenting in this second installment of ultimate guides.

Why I comment on related blogs


I comment on blogs as an opportunity to connect with the blog owner, drive traffic to my blog from the people reading the comments and as a way to build free easy links. I’ll explain why each of these benefits are important later on in the guide, but first I want to cover where you can find various blogs to comment on in your niche.

How to Find Blogs to Comment On

Much like I said before in my ultimate guide on guest posting it’s important to know your niche. I know at least 30 other bloggers both large and small that I connect with on a regular basis. If you don’t know the other blogs in your niche one of the easiest ways to find them is with a simple search.

Google Search: Search Google for related blogs using the keywords you’re targeting on your own blog and look at the blogs that come up in the search results. Visit these blogs and subscribe to their RSS feeds. The goal being that if you’re the first to comment on an article, more people will see it and if your comment is good you’ll reap the rewards.
Follow the People Who Comment: Once I find the blogs to comment on then I go through and click through the people that commented on the blog to find more blogs to comment on. This is something you can repeat multiple times and is how I’ve found brand new blogs to comment on that I never would have found by doing a Google search.

These are the two main ways I find new blogs to comment on, but finding the blog is only the first step. The most important component is what you should write about in your blog comment.

How to Comment Effectively

This section may be reminder for you, but I still see people that fail to comment effectively and this component is crucial. First, always comment using your name and not a keyword (unless they have Keyword Luv WordPress plugin installed). Now as you write comments the key to remember is that to get the best results you must truly add something extra to the conversation. Read the other comments on an article first and if you find something that you don’t agree with start there with a response and tell them why they are wrong. Likewise, if someone shares a good comment or writes a powerful blog post try to reply with a comment that builds on the foundation they set out by adding in your own unique point of view or an additional useful piece of information. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself this question, “Does what I’m about to share actually contribute anything to the conversation or does it just add to the noise?” As I’ve said before many people do share great comments, but I still see numerous useless comments on blogs I read every day. In any case, now that we’ve got the fundamentals out of the way I want to dive into the deeper stuff with specific examples of why I comment on blogs and how I’ve done so effectively.

Connect with the Blogger

First and foremost I comment on blogs because I like to get my name in front of the blog owner. I know that if I contribute real value there is a chance they’ll stop by and visit my blog as well. From that point they may start reading my blog regularly and maybe even link to an article I’ve written from time to time or retweet something I’ve posted. I also use this as the first stage of my future guest posting proposal. If I provide great value in the comments I share on another blog there is a better chance they’ll publish my guest post as well. At the very least if you comment enough eventually they will learn your name which is incredibly important for future contact related to (guest post inquiries, interviews, joint venture opps and anything else that may benefit each person’s business). This is why it’s so important that you don’t look like an idiot when you comment on someones blog.

Driving traffic back to your blog

Generally speaking you should not include a link (other than for your name) in your comment on another person’s blog. You have to feel this out on a blog by blog basis as certain bloggers have different opinions. I believe that if the article you link to truly adds value and fits within the context of the conversation that it can work (see this example). If you look at the other comments in that article the author actually referred people to the article I included in my comment because she recognized my knowledge on the topic and the value it brought to her readers. I believe if you ever do include a link to one of your own articles in a comment you should never use keyword based anchor text for the article because that really shows you don’t have the best intentions in mind when commenting on a blog and instead are just trying to rank some article (it’s already a tough sell to include an extra link in your comment anyway).

Even if you don’t link to another article on your blog within a comment there is an opportunity to drive traffic back to your blog as long as you provide value with your comment. Readers will see what you have to say and if it’s intelligent they’ll probably investigate for more information. Another strategy to drive traffic via blog comments is to be among the first few people to comment on a popular blog. This has been said before, but if you combine all of the elements I’ve listed above when posting your comments it can drive substantial traffic when you’re among the first to comment. Subscribe to numerous blog RSS feeds and you’ll have opportunities throughout the day to be the first commenter on many different articles (watch for patterns on when they publish their articles i.e. I publish most often at 6:00 AM PST).

Commenting for Links

If you’re looking to build links from commenting than make sure the blog is using some type of do follow plugin (blogs that remove the rel=”no follow” attribute from comment links). I’ve seen numerous blogs that display do follow badges but if you look at their code they aren’t actually removing the no follow attribute from comment links (I use Firebug to determine this). From an SEO standpoint I don’t think Google provides much weight to the links in comments anyway (especially if you’re not among the first) so although I think that link building with comments can help a little I believe you should focus on more effective strategies for link building instead.

What not to do

You should not spam via comments unless you recently invented a miracle tooth whitening product. Because if you invented a new miracle tooth whitening product you should find a way to let everyone know about it. Beyond that, if you’ve been paying attention to any of the advice I shared above it’s safe to assume that doing the opposite of what I suggest would be unwise. Here’s an example on how to do everything wrong:

This is obviously a pre written comment as it doesn’t address the topic of the article (the new Amazon Wireless affiliate program), it doesn’t add anything new to the conversation and he tried linking to his blog with his target keyword anchor text within the comment itself. If he hadn’t used an a keyword based anchor text to link back to his blog I probably would have just published it despite the fact that it added little to no value. The worst part is that the offending party is actually trying to run a legitimate blog (if it wasn’t a legit blog I wouldn’t have cared that much because I would have just assumed it was a bot). I didn’t bother including any comments that were just straight spamming porn, San Diego divorce lawyers etc. because they are obviously bots.

Note: I was going to show the blogger in the comment but I am pretty sure he reads this blog and there is no need to embarrass him, so I removed the elements that would identify him.

Closing Thoughts

Taken by itself blog commenting isn’t my preferred strategy for traffic growth. It does help if you’re the first to comment on a blog, but if you had to break up the time you have available to grow your blog I’d focus less than 10% of that time on blog commenting (unless you’re launching a brand new blog). I prefer to use blog commenting first and foremost as a means to get on the radar of a blogger by providing a good first impression and to showcase my knowledge on a particular topic. I then have a better shot at going to the blogger at a later date asking to get my guest post published or to get their involvement in a future joint venture deal.

What do you think of my outlook on blog commenting and the way I like to use it? I’m looking forward to seeing your comments below.

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27 comments… add one

  1. You have some good points. It amazes me what people will try in blog comments. Amazes me more that it must work well enough that the spammers keep it up. I know it’s just bots, but for even a bot to be worth the time there has to be some benefit.

    Some of the spammers are pretty tricky. I had one a while back just take a quote from the middle of the post and use that as their comment. Almost looked genuine, but I recognized it.

    Reply
    1. Well, with the bots the operators just sort of turn them loose and I believe they just crawl the Google Blog search engine to find blogs to auto comment on etc.

      Reply
      1. Awesome job Chris. You’ve really identified a spam comment even if it’s a 3 paragraph comment. I really agree with you regarding blog commenting. Blog commenting not only gives you added exposure to your link, but also gives you some future opportunities like guest posting, joint ventures etc. if the blog owner already recognizes your name, then you’re really doing a good job commenting.

        Kind regards,

        Gary

        Reply
  2. Really great post Chris,

    Your are absolutely right! Blog commenting really works, most especially for new blogs, it is also an added advantage if you could be the first to comment.
    Concerning building relationship before guest posts, I will begin to give that a trial now.

    Thanks so much for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

    Reply
  3. Yep, for me it means I get to interact with other people, the opportunity to drive traffic to my blog and maybe even stumble across new blogs linked by other commentators.

    Reply
  4. Good post. As the first commenter, I’m in an awkward place that hopefully you can help me out of.

    What if, all I want to say is that I read and appreciated what you wrote? How do I do that without immediately appearing as a comment spammer?

    Obviously, I could expand my comment into a slighter longer comment like this one, but I still haven’t really said anything other than “Nice post.”

    Reply
    1. I think it’s more about having to add something to the conversation. If you don’t have anything to add to the conversation, just saying (in different words) “good post” won’t give you as much traffic and other benefits as adding something unique to the conversation would. That’s just what I’ve seen based on tracking results via Google Analytics at least.

      Reply
  5. Great post. I take all of that to heart. I have been commenting on a lot of blogs recently for these exact reasons you listed above.

    Reply
  6. Hey Chirs,

    Awesome Post man. Some good points man.
    I really like the ultimate series.

    Blog commenting is on of the easiest and effective way to get targeted traffic, backlinks, build relationship..etc!!

    Thanks for sharing this great post.

    ~Dev

    Reply
  7. Why did you use my post as an example of a bad one! :(

    Reply
    1. lol, it wasn’t you :D

      Reply
  8. It’s funny how everyone who has posted on this blog so far has been worried that there post will, ironically, look like spam!!!

    Especially like the “even though i’ve written this long post, all i’ve said is ‘nice post'” from Dane.

    The point I wanted to make was this…

    I’ve used plenty of social media channels before and what’s quite clear is that using commenting as a way of increasing traffic is a hugely laborious way of getting a few extra clicks. For people to actually visit your site/blog after a post would need you to be genuinely interesting with every post – which takes time (even if you’re a ‘naturally interesting’ person)! What posting is much more useful for is doing things like making your site more visible to search enginge bots, etc. That’s where it has it’s highest value. Although, of course, some blogs don’t even post ‘follow through’ links, so you can’t just plow in head first.

    Nice post though, informative.

    Reply
    1. Good points Rec_Wizard. My goal wasn’t to strike fear into people as they try to comment, but rather to discuss the reasons I comment on blogs and how I’ve received the most benefits.

      Reply
  9. Hey Chris,

    You said that blog commenting isn’t the best way to build links. Are you planning an “ultimate guide” for link building?

    Currently I’m driving myself crazy writing and spinning articles for backlinks and I’m curious about how you build links for SEO purposes.

    Reply
    1. Hey Clayton,

      Yah that sounds like a good idea. I’m not sure how much more information I can provide then what’s already been said but I will look at how it can be done. I don’t think blog commenting is the best strategy, but I do believe it can help a little bit.

      Reply
  10. I have a lot of those pre-written comment on my spam. They are not even talking about the article that I created.

    Reply
  11. lol I did a search for the first 2 lines of that comment and it’s a duplicate comment (word for word) that’s showing on 6,900,000 websites. That’s not spam eh? :)

    Reply
  12. This is slightly off-topic but I hope you don’t see it as spamming. I’ve been thinking about installing a commentluv or keywordluv plugin but not sure if it’s a good idea or not. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this will encourage spam comments?

    Reply
    1. I think you’ll get spam no matter what, but I personally don’t use Keyword Luv or follow the links in my comments because I want people to comment on my blog because they want to communicate with me and the other commentors. Not to get a link.

      Reply
  13. Blog commenting is the thing that i will do in daily basis. I love to leave comment after i read the interesting article. However, i will not force myself to leave a comment if i really do not have anything to talk about. Thanks for your sharing Chris!

    Reply
  14. I thought the article was to the point & direct. I did think the “what not to do” was directed at your blog too. :)

    I thought the “free wordpress themese” was great, as I will sign up for his blog after this post.

    I’m a rss subscriber and reader to this site’s articles; guest writer articles so I can make money; the owner allows a backlink. I read the articles so I try and hit the subject matter – amazon wirless, etc. Many people do have a sincere interest in reading true content, and leaving a backlink – but it’s not a big deal for those who are reading for the content. Thanks again.

    Reply
  15. Thanks so much for the post. I know you only said spend 10% of your time commenting on blogs but i enjoy it more than any other form of advertising. It just means you can get involved with the blogging community easily and hopefully learn something by reading through all the posts.

    Reply
  16. I’m starting to see the value of blog commenting, especially in the Comment Luv network. I mean, you can’t beat getting commenters within a day or two. A lot faster than waiting for pages to rank SEO-wise.

    But then again, that’s the point of ranking well to begin with. Your site gains in authority, gains in PR ranking, thereby having your pages rank well.

    I wish I’d started blogging and blog commenting much sooner, but I never totally understood the purpose back then. Blogging is a huge community, and bloggers have the biggest advantage of doing well search engine-wise.

    Reply
  17. If you like dofollow comments so much why don’t you enable them here. This way you will reward your valuable comments with a dofollow link. I don’t think is ethical to have rel=”external nofollow” on an article that speaks about SEO and blogging.

    Reply
    1. I don’t want people coming to my blog just to get a link. Makes me spend that much more time sorting through the crap and what’s good. If people care enough about what I have to say they’ll comment anyway.

      I don’t know how ethic’s has anything to do with how I run my blog… it’s not like I’m trying to sell any product I know to be of low quality and/or dangerous.

      Reply
  18. Thanks Chris,
    Its always nice reading from your blog post. Blog, Forum or site commenting is effective for a site seo growth help if done well without spamming.

    commenting on authority site – high trustrank and pagerank site helps a site to attain good SERP.

    Thanks chris, this blog commenting post helps to add to what i know before.

    Regards

    Reply
  19. Blog commenting is by far the best way to get backlinks and as a result traffic after guest posting.

    Of course many people just send spam comments or writing something like “I love your blog” and their comments are not approved by blog owners.

    On the other side people who follow the advises you write here and contribute regularly in related to their niche blogs get a ton of backlinks and as a result theirs rankings on search engines start climbing really fast

    Reply

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