One of the best ways to get targeted online traffic to your site or blog is to comment on other blogs.
The reason why it’s so targeted is because you’re commenting and displaying your thoughts and expertise on blogs that are relevant to your niche.
If you’re writing excellent comments on a relevant blog, then the links that you leave will probably get traffic that is looking for something you have to offer. So, the traffic you receive from commenting on blogs will be very targeted.
There are many reasons why you’d want to comment on people’s blogs, but I’m only going to nail down the most important reasons here:
Reason 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In case you’re unfamiliar with SEO (or Search Engine Optimization), it’s the process of making your blog or blog posts attractive to the search engines to get your site to rank near the top of a search.
At least that’s SEO in a nutshell.
One of the determining factors for reaching the top of a search for a post has been linking.
If you comment Search Engine Optimization on a blog, most of the time the owner of the blog will allow you to post a link to your home page from his site.
Search engines like Google couldn’t help but notice that people were commenting and leaving links all over the place in an effort to get links that pointed to their own sites.
This meant that these sites, no matter how bad they were, got good rankings in the search engine results pages.
Google also noticed that some people had loads of links going from their site to all sorts of sites that were unrelated in many cases.
Turns out that these unscrupulous site owners were getting paid to have links from their sites to other people’s sites. Just getting links, no matter how bad the sites themselves were was the name of the game.
Google, being the incredible search engine that it is, decided to police this sort of action in an effort to be the highest quality search engine on the planet. They came up with an algorithm or mathematical code that would look at links and rate them.
There were a lot of factors involved with solving this problem but the bottom line is this:
- If your links come from a site that has no visible content relationship with the site that is linking to your site, then the link probably won’t be any good. As a matter of fact, Google might even start ignoring you. (For example, a metal detecting site getting a link from a site about sculpting.)
- If you link to a site that has nothing to do with your subject matter, it could also hurt your rankings.
Then the problem arose that people started posting on blogs merely to get links from the blogs they were posting to.
In other words, these people would go to someone’s blog, make a bogus comment (they usually didn’t even read the post, and left unrelated comments that had nothing to do with the post) and then leave a link to their site.
Sometimes the comments hurt the rankings of the blog that was commented on because the links had no relation to the site it was linking to.
One of the ways Google policed this linking action was by encoding the links so that spammers that were merely trying to get links to boost their ratings, didn’t get the same boost as the links that were approved by the people that owned the blog.
Thus the “dofollow” and the “nofollow” link attributes were born.
Now, most blogs have a built in function that automatically assign the “nofollow” attributes. In the code on your blog, they look like this:
<a href=”http://wordpress.org/” rel=”nofollow”>wordpress!</a>
What this basically does is tell search engines to not follow or count these links. This is to keep the comment spammers from getting your site penalized.
However, there are times that you will want a link to count.
If the search engines see that you are linking to content that is relevant to your site, they will help rank your site better.
Let’s say that you wrote a post about the best types of software to use in writing reports. So you write about 10 reviews about different software companies and leave links to those sites.
Those would be relevant to your post and you would want them to count.
The search engine gods would then look at your site and the post as a research report and say, “Very good, you have our blessings!” The post you wrote might move up quite a bit in the search engine results for the keywords that really matter in your post.
There is another good reason to use the “dofollow” attribute rather than the “nofollow”.
Many really good websites and blogs have people that manage and check links that you post from your site to theirs that are “dofollow’ because it will help their SEO.
Sometimes they see that your site has helped them and they will respond in kind by linking to your site. This is a tremendous help because you will get “link juice” from a site that is rated pretty high by Google or another search engine.
This will really help out your site or post rankings as well. Not only that, but if a prominent site with a large audience links to yours you can bet you’ll probably get loads of traffic from that site.
Reason 2: Branding
Another reason for leaving great comments on posts is because they will leave behind a good impression with your target audience.
This is where branding comes in.
Branding is a part of marketing but it is a different way to market.
Let me explain.
Marketing is a means of promoting a product by selling, advertising, and any other method you can think of pushing your product to get sold.
Branding is the means of marketing your product by drawing people to you by way of influence, reputation and familiarity.
So marketing is selling or pushing the product or service to your target market, and branding is like pulling your target market to your product or service.
How to Brand Yourself on Blog Comments
Build Strategic Relationships – This is an advanced technique that you can use to make that will help you enlist the help of people that influence or big players in your market.
Just remember that you need to be cordial and nice when you are connecting with these folks, so make sure that you show manners and good form at all times.
If you’re going to get their attention and help, you’re going to need to give a little at first in order to get.
And here’s how you do that step by step:
Don’t pick too many, maybe 4 or 5 at most.
You will need to frequent and sign up to their blogs and start following them on all of the social media centers they hang out at.
Any way that you can think of connecting to these folks, you should do it. This is to include going to a convention they’re speaking at and saying “hi” if you can.
I’m not talking about stalking a guru or being a pest, but if you can politely shake their hand and say, “Thanks, man. I’ve learned a ton from you.” You will really make their day.
Step 2: Become Their Biggest Fan
Now remember, I said not to be a pest or a stalker.
You want to go on their site and remind them regularly how much you appreciate them. What I like to do is link to their site from mine and then let them know that I did it.
I write large 4000 to 6000 word posts that are highly detailed.
One of the reasons why I do this is because if I go through the process of commenting regularly on their blog posts― and then mention that I linked to their post from my blog, they may visit my site.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if a Neil Patel, Dan Kennedy, or Yanik Silver just happens to go to my site to see if I really linked to them, or to just see if I’m blowing smoke, then I want them to see that I’m very serious.
That’s why I take my time writing the best posts I can.
And just so we’re clear on this, I won’t ever tell someone that they are awesome unless they really are and I’ve been helped by their work.
You want to be totally genuine and honest at all times.
Make sure that you frequent their blog and contribute on their social media sites as well.
Many times posting to sites like Twitter can be a thankless affair and commenting or re-tweeting their post will let them know someone out there is paying attention; they’ll really appreciate it.
If you notice that there is a particular problem the guru is having, you can point them in the direction of a resource or something that will help them.
For example, if they write a post on how to keep track of social media shares, you could let them know about a site that has a tool like that.
Even if they already know about it , they’ll probably thank you and take notice of the fact that you apparently know your stuff.
This is very similar to the previous step, but worth mentioning.
If you’re frequenting a blog and you happen to notice that there is a particular headache or problem the blogger is mentioning in their posts, this can be a golden opportunity for you.
If they mention, for example, that they’re having problems with a particular WordPress plugin or something like that, you could do some research online to find out if someone else had found a solution to that particular problem.
Once you find a good solution to the problem, you can then mention your findings in the comment section of the post where it was mentioned.
This is the sort of thing that really makes your targeted blogger sit up and take notice of you. If you do this enough times, you’ll have superstar status and if you ever want to ask him or her for a favor, they’ll probably grant it.
Reason 3: Becoming a Maven in Your Field
As I mentioned earlier, branding is mostly an attraction form of marketing. You are trying to draw people into your fold.
One of the best ways to do that is by creating a maven personality.
The term “maven” comes from the Hebrew language and it means “One who understands”. By definition a maven is a highly trusted expert in a particular field or endeavor.
In other words — a go – to – guy.
One of the best ways to do that is by creating expert status for yourself by making sure that you look and read like a highly competent expert.
Here’s a few ways to do that:
- Give your audience a reason to believe in you. You need to do some serious work on the front end to really pull this off. However, when you are building a body of work and a long list of satisfied clients, you’re gaining valuable experience as well as making yourself stand out as an authority.
- Stand out by posting something that everyone will get a value from. I’ve seen all sorts of crappy attempts at commenting that are devoid of all meaning and ad zero value to a conversation. Usually I see people that say something like, “Way to go Bill! Great post!” Those kind of comments will not make you stand out as an expert or a maven. You need to really read the post and then add some solid value to it.
- Use an advanced strategy like placing yourself in front of some of the high–rollers. I comment on some of the bigger Internet marketers blogs around and I’m not afraid to disagree with them when I honestly have a disagreement. However, if it takes a couple thousand words to make my case, then so be it. But I’m always sure to make a darn good case and back it up with all sorts of facts. Usually, I get a response to my comment, which means that I at least caught the eyes of some of the industry players.
- Don’t be afraid to throw some sand into the gears and use discourse. Make people think. Stand out. Be a shape-maker instead of being shaped, and say something dangerous once in a while. Risk takers have a bigger return on their efforts if it pays off, so why not push the envelope once in a while. Take a stand or a calculated risk for once and see if it helps you build your maven status.
- Always use good form. Remember that you’re a pro, so act like one. Always display a professional attitude and make your pictures, profile and writing look like you’ve got a brain.
No matter where you comment at, it is always advisable to leave great, insightful and respectable comments that reflect a professional image.
As a personal note, the Internet has become a hot bed of foul language, bad attitudes and being rude to others. Lately, a lot of people want to be seen as the next “bad-boy” of Internet marketing.
I personally think that is a big mistake.
There are a lot of people with that will not spend money in places where there is this rude type of behavior. These are very stable people, these are people that will become a part of your party and become loyal, and these are people that have money to spend.
When you’re trying to be macho, cool or relevant, you’re going to axe out a lot of people.
Look, I’m not trying to be your Dad or anything like that, but you will lose money over this, I guarantee it.
You may not see it, but you’ll be turning off a part of your target market by doing this, and is it really worth losing money or part of your target market over?
Just my 2 cents, but I had to say it.
How to Leave “Knock ‘em Dead Comments” on Other People’s Blogs
Here are some very helpful tips that will show you how to use blog commenting to increase traffic to your site and accomplish some of the goals you’ve established for yourself.
Tip 1: Make sure you add value. As I spoke of earlier, you want to add valuable points to your comments. If you can find a gap in what was written or if you think you can add to the post, make sure that you comment on it.
The higher quality information you can provide, the more you’ll be seen as someone with knowledge of the niche or subject. Remember to be humble and polite in writing your comment so that you won’t come off as an arrogant know – it – all.
Tip 2: Comment as Early as You Can. If you can comment earlier in someone’s blog post, then so much the better. However, if you do it all the time to the same blogs, then you might be seen as some sort of pest.
I only comment early when the post really resonates with me and when I’m real passionate about the subject matter. How do I keep track of the blogs I’m really interested in? I use an RSS Feed Reader that’s hooked up to my Google Chrome browser.
Tip 3: Disagree without Being Disagreeable. I don’t like disagreeing just to disagree, but if I can point out something that goes against the grain, I’ll do it. I talked about this a bit in the Maven persona part of this post, but I think it bears repeating.
If you have information or a position that you can take which is contrary to what you’ve been reading, then go ahead point it out. You don’t have to go along with everything you hear on someone’s blog.
A little controversy on a subject never hurt anyone, and in some cases, it can actually help sometimes.
You want to contribute AND influence others, and it’s rather hard to do that while acting like a piece of cardboard. There is no harm in adding some humor, excitement, and passion in your writing and comments.
I’ve read quite a few blog posts in the past and I can tell you from experience that I mostly remember the one’s that got me fired up and excited.
Tip 5: Format your posts if you can. I like to space out my phrases and sentences quite a bit because I know that people get an overwhelming feeling when they read a comment section and it looks like 7 or 8 highly dense paragraphs.
When I write a comment, I like to only write sections that have 4 lines at the most, unless it’s a bullet-point section, like this one.
I usually write about two lines and then space them out, write a sentence, then space again, much like a standard blog post. This will make it so much easier on the reader’s eyes and yours as well.
How to Totally Wreck Your Blog Commenting Efforts
Here’s some tips on what NOT to do when commenting on blogposts that you need to know. (Now you can’t say you were never warned…)
As a matter of fact, you may want to NOT comment every single time your favorite blogger posts. You don’t want to overdo it because it’s annoying and can be a royal pain in the butt. My advice is to be cool…Just chill out and be cool…
First of all, you’ll probably get ignored and second, nobody will follow your stinkin’ link. As a matter of fact, it’s hard enough to get people to follow you when you’re kickin’ it and laying out super high-quality comments and content.
So don’t fool yourself and think for a nanosecond that you’ll do any value marketing by using such a tactic.
Tip 3: Not Knowing What You’re Talking About and Not Reading the Post Now, this is almost as annoying as getting spammed. As a matter of fact, I really don’t see too much difference between getting spammed and this, to be honest with you.
Commenting on a post when you really don’t have a clue as to what the heck they’re talking about will get you noticed in a bad way. Either that, or you’ll get banned from the site eventually.
The whole strategy behind commenting on blog posts is to show off your expertise and to actually get some insight on the information you’re reading about. So rather than waste everyone’s time with not understanding the post or knowing what you’re talking about is pretty stupid.
Concluding Thoughts on Commenting
Commenting on blog posts won’t give you rock star blogging status, but it should be a part of your marketing mix.
It will make it easier for you to make connections in the future, as well as help you gain some authority on your subject matter. Commenting done in the right blogs at the right time can help your site gain traffic as well as help you build your marketing list.
Follow these guidelines as well as you can and you’ll be able to build a solid reputation that will last you for years.
To Your Continued Success!
Mark “Elmo” Ellis is an advertising copywriter and rabid blogger living in Richmond, KY right next to the Valley View Ferry. Mark lives with his lovely wife on 3 beautiful acres with their 2 dogs, Waggles and Ginny.