Is commenting on blogs worth the effort? Can you benefit from one of the most abused link-building methods on the internet?
First, you must ask yourself why are you are commenting? What are you trying to achieve?
If you want to build backlinks, then it’s not the best use of your time. Not least because most links in the comments section of a site are set to ‘nofollow’, which means they pass no link juice to the page/site they point to.
If you want to use commenting as a promotional or networking tool, then it’s certainly worth the time and effort, as long as you take it seriously and do it properly.
The ultimate goal of your comment(s) is to attract the attention of the blog owner and fellow readers. Your aim is to impress them so much they want to find out more about you, and click on your name, which is usually a link back to your site or another URL of your choice.
First, though, you need to get your comment approved.
As long as your comment isn’t full of spammy links or complete gibberish, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting it approved.
We’ve been around the blog commenting block quite a few times now.
So, here are a few tips from us that will help you make the most of commenting as a networking and promotional tool.
Be Nice – It’s Free!
People are rightly precious about their blogs. They work hard on them. They spend a lot of time putting together blog posts and don’t like people coming along and taking advantage of their hard work.
Be aware of this when you are looking for blog posts to comment on and act with respect and courtesy.
Here are three basic guidelines to think about:
- Be friendly, polite and add to the conversation and your comments generally get approved and published.
- Be argumentative and state the case for the opposition and your comments will (probably) be accepted too (everyone likes a debate).
- Be rude, aggressive and spammy and you will find your comments will (probably) be deleted before they see the light of day.
Let’s get into a bit more detail…
1. Read the post before commenting
Sounds like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised by the amount of people who don’t do this, or at least appear not to do it.
If you haven’t got the time to read a full post, at least skim through it so you get the gist. Pick up on the important points and make a mental note of them, you want your comment to make sense and be on-topic otherwise it won’t stand much chance of being approved.
2. Make your comment interesting and say more than “great post”
When you comment on a blog you are promoting yourself, your blog and your brand.
People read comments (you often find hidden gems of information buried deep within them); they are not ignored (especially the ones made very soon after a post goes live).
Grab attention by saying something more than “great post”. Try introducing an idea or talk about your experience of a similar situation.
You don’t have to go into a lot of detail, just enough to get your message across and yourself noticed.
3. Use your name and not keywords for your signature
This is an area which splits opinion. Some blog owners don’t mind keywords in signatures, whilst others loathe it.
I don’t like keywords in signatures and generally don’t approve comments that include them.
When I comment on other blogs, I always use my real name. Using keyword just seems too rude and as if I am only there to generate a link back to my blog.
If you are not sure what do, see what others are doing or err on the side of caution and use your name.
4. The comment space is an opportunity to sell yourself and your blog
Similar to an earlier entry. Recognition in your niche is important, therefore, what you say and how you present yourself when commenting is also important.
Use every comment you make as an opportunity to sell yourself (in a non-salesy kind of way).
You want to stand out from the crowd, you want to tempt people to your site, to follow you on Twitter or even reply to your comment on the same site.
It’s all about grabbing attention.
5. Many blog owners don’t like links inside a comment – don’t do it
If you include a link in your comment that doesn’t add value or is self-promoting it could be seen by the blog owner as disrespectful or spammy. A link to a relevant tutorial or guide is usually okay.
Again, see what others are doing and err on the side of caution if you are not sure.
6. Be the first to comment
Comments are usually displayed in the order they were received. So the oldest comments typically appear at the top of the pile.
If you comment on a particularly busy site, you stand a better chance of clickthroughs if your comment is near the top. It should still be relevant though, a “great post” comment will be mostly ignored.
7. Comments can open doors and lead to new friendships and business opportunities
You never know who might read your comment, almost certainly the blog’s owner will, but plenty of other people will too. Sharing your knowledge and experience could lead to long-term friendships and profitable business relationships.
8. Don’t be afraid of speaking your mind
Don’t feel as though you should only ever compliment another blogger, especially if you disagree with him/her. If you disagree, say so.
People like a debate, and your point of view/experience may eventually lead to people changing their opinion on the subject.
9. You get a link to your own blog and (maybe) generate some traffic
Most blogs turn a signature into a link. Many of these links will not pass link juice as they have the NOFOLLOW attribute attached. If you make comments that interest people or offer value in other ways, you are likely to get traffic to your blog as people want to see what else you have to say.
This is your ultimate goal, not building backlinks.
10. Don’t waffle
Short and concise comments work best. Unless the post requires a lengthy response. “Great post” isn’t good enough though. To stand out, you need to add some context – tell a story, write about your experience or ask a question.
That’s it on the tips front. I hope you find these useful.