I have been running web sites since 2002. That’s when I also enrolled in various forums in my chosen niches. As soon as blogging started getting noticed, I also drove a lot of traffic to my sites by doing blog commenting.
Of course, you might have marginal success, you might make a killing with it, depending on how you plan your campaigns, how interesting your comments are, what blogs you target etc.
The truth is that forum posting (will create an in-depth article about this great traffic strategy in a future article) and blog commenting are amazing ways for a web site to get TARGETED traffic and convert visitors to readers, members and even buyers.
Here is my tried and proven method to get the most of your blog commenting strategy and really boost your web site traffic
Look for the big players in your niche
Ideally you have decided to create a web site that’s not too general. In my case I target personal finance blogs that are worth commenting on. I have even gone that far to create a LIST you can use yourself (if you are working on a same niche blog). If not, you’ll have to do your own research. It’s not that difficult, you can look for ‘martial arts blog‘, ‘lifestyle blog‘ or any type of web site you are focusing on right now.
Why the big players?
You can also bookmark smaller web sites, maybe even blogs that are still as small as yours. This would allow you to get in touch with new bloggers who are pretty willing to visit your web site and connect (since they are also trying to get noticed).
The issue with this strategy is that it would take some time you could use to drop comments on some really big blogs. The small players are visiting there anyway, chances are they’ll notice you.
Sure, if you do get to see a really nice small blog, by all means comment. You’ll foster some nice relations and get a little boost as well.
OK, back to our main task here: find the best blogs in your chosen niche.
After you’ve found them, there are few things you need to look at:
- they allow comments – there are many huge players in any industry who don’t allow comments on their blogs. To your blog commenting strategy they are useless. You can follow them to get ideas for posts, see how they organize content, but you cannot use them to get traffic this way.
- they are using the WordPress comment system – I personally HATE any third party comment plugin. I don’t need Disqus, Isso, the Facebook comments or anything that’s not hosted on my site and directly into my database. Your issue with many of these is that you cannot add your URL in the comment form, which is what we need to do. So unless you see the following fields (name, email, website and comment), don’t bother.
- bonus – they have Commentluv – as you can see in our comment section, if a commenter has a web site, the Commentluv plugin will display a link to the commenter’s latest article. Commentluv is not a sine qua non condition though, so it’s good to have it, but not mandatory.
Bookmark the blogs you’d like to comment on and visit them regularly
You could use RSS feeds to get notified, or subscribe to their lists, but, if you are like me, you’d probably dislike the idea of getting even more mail in your inbox. You can also see how often they post and visit when they have new content.
Try and get to know the bloggers a bit, read few articles, get a sense of their writing. You should comment ONLY on blogs you enjoy and find the exact articles that make you want to ‘say something’.
Try to comment as soon as a new article is posted
The comments being posted first will get the most traffic and notice from the community, so you’ll probably wish to be there as soon as possible. One word of caution though: do not post low quality messages just to get a spot there. You’ll probably annoy the blogger and his community as well.
Quick tip: if there are many other comments posted and you’d really want to get a say, you can reply to one of the first comments (if the blog offers nested comments). Make sure your reply is interesting and nice,.
If you don’t have anything useful to add, just skip the article and come back when the blogger has something that’s more appealing to you.
Which takes us to our next point:
Try to provide useful / interesting comments
I personally hate any ‘me too’ comments and crap like ‘oh, what a nice article’. Sure, if you like my articles, please do say so, but, after praising me for my efforts, why not add something from your own experience?
Here is an example that will probably not get you ‘booted’ from the blog:
Hey, really nice tips.
I have noticed there is traffic to be made even if you cannot be the first to comment, as long as the message is engaging and attracts attention. Even if you’ll probably not get hundreds of visits, you can still get some traffic and convert.
Now that’s something anyone would love to get: a personal insight on our main topic today, the commenter’s own experiences and tips.
You can also disagree with the blogger, but be polite. I personally have no issue with someone coming and correcting me, but, if you come and call me an idiot, you’ll never set foot in my blog comments section again.
Whenever you post a comment, please make sure it’s useful and it’s the type of a comment you’d personally love to receive. It’s true that we get more traffic with more comments (at least in theory), but don’t comment just so that you appear there.
Use a photo of yourself
Go to Gravatar.com and set up a profile. Set the email address you’ll be using and a pic with your nice face. Whenever you’ll post on a WordPress blog in the comments section, Gravatar will automatically set your desired photo ‘tied’ with your email address.
Refrain from using keywords in your name
Yes, blog commenting could help with your SEO, reason why many are commenting like ‘Personal Finance Today’ for instance or ‘original tennis shoes’.
As bloggers, we don’t like it, so please use your name. If you are allowed to add your blog title (something like Ramona @ Personal Finance Today), that’s fine, but you should use your name.
Refrain from adding links in the comment field …
… unless they are REALLY related and you think the blogger’s community will have anything to gain from accessing this resources. Most spammers are adding links in their comments so many bloggers are pretty tired of this ‘game‘.
Don’t be a jerk! Ever!
You could get noticed really easily if you were picking on anyone and just being annoying. But it’s not the image you’ll (probably) want to create about yourself. Always be nice in your comments, supportive and respectful.
Sure, the blogger might be ‘full of it’ or entirely wrong. I’ve read articles, even on huge blogs, that had some pretty serious mistakes presented as great strategies to implement. Or I was just NOT in agreement with the blogger.
Instead of calling them names, I just respectfully presented my experiences. We all had something to gain: the article got even more depth, via the tips we were providing in the comments section, the community got access to more strategies and we all had a great say.
The best strategy to really connect with the bloggers is to come often and comment. If you don’t have such a huge list, it’s not going to take too much time to do blog commenting the right way. And, getting noticed on the big boys’ blogs will send you more targeted traffic as a result.
What else would you add to my small list? What other blog commenting strategies have worked for you?