Why Commenting on Blogs is Worth Your Time

If you’re like most people, you’ve never left a comment on a website or blog. In fact, only a small percentage of blog visitors leave comments.

For the longest time, I was one of those people too. I equated blog comments with the vitriolic remarks left on newspaper articles or felt it was only for people who had too much time on their hands.

Although that can certainly be true, the blog community (for the most part) is much different. Bloggers welcome comments and a healthy discourse. You’ll still find the occasional troll, but that behavior is typically not tolerated on the blogosphere.

Why blog commenting works

But, I know what you’re thinking – why take the time to leave comments at all?  You’ve got plenty of work on your plate and this is just one more item to add to your list.

Here are a few reasons why blog commenting is beneficial to your business:

  • Raise awareness.  Leaving comments on blogs can help put you on the map with influential bloggers and their community. This can be a great way to gain momentum for your brand.
  • Drive traffic. Many commenting systems show links back to your latest blog post. Leaving a smart comment may encourage other community members to check out your content.
  • Build relationships.  Blog communities are fertile ground for developing key relationships for your business. I’ve secured guest posts on popular blogs and even done business with people as a result of spending time in a blogger’s comment section and building relationships with people there. And, I’m not alone.
  • Generate business. I’m working with a client right now and blog commenting is a key part of our approach. In the first month, we’ve already secured a number of leads just as a result of leaving thoughtful comments on relevant articles. 

Convinced yet?

How to get started

Now that you see what blog commenting can do for you, I’ll walk you through a simple process for getting your blog commenting effort off the ground.

  • Set up profiles. When you comment on blogs, you want to have an avatar (photo) and your company website associated with your name. To do this, you need to set up a Gravatar account, which will recognize your name and email address and automatically show your photo every time you leave a blog comment. You should also set up accounts on the major commenting platforms, including Disqus (what I use here), Livefyre and IntenseDebate so you will be ready to comment no matter which platform is used.
  • Set up searches. To find relevant blogs and articles to comment on, search for keywords using Google Alerts and Twitter searches. That way, you’ll be notified about blog posts that are talking about your desired topic.  If you need help setting this up, use this step-by-step guide.
  • Subscribe to relevant blogs. In addition to your keyword research, you can find relevant blogs using Alltop, Google Blogsearch and Technorati. Once you find targeted blogs, subscribe to their RSS feed so you can monitor their posts for opportunities to jump in.
  • Leave smart comments on relevant posts. The best blog posts for commenting are those where you can lend your ideas and expertise to the conversation. To stand out, you need to go beyond patting the blogger on the back and adding your viewpoint to the conversation. Here are some additional tips to help you stand out:

    • Use the blogger’s name to make it more personal when you comment.
    • Ask questions to further the conversation and help the community explore a different angle.
    • Don’t be afraid to disagree with the blogger, just make sure you’re not being disagreeable when doing so.
    • Offer up your product or service when it is relevant and can help the blogger or community, just be careful not to oversell or be too pushy. Frame it in a way that is helpful, not overtly salesy.
  • Participate in follow-up conversation. Most commenting systems allow you to receive email notifications for people who respond to you. Make sure you monitor responses and the rest of the conversation to see if there are additional opportunities for you to jump in if need be.
  • Monitor and track your results. Set up a spreadsheet to track all of your comments. Did anyone respond to you? Did you get any traffic as a result of your comment? Do you get any interest from the blogger or community? Tracking all of this will help you see if your effort works.

Do you leave comments on blogs? Why or why not? Has it worked for you?

If you’ve never left a comment before, I’d love to hear from you! Try it out below and let me know what you think!

Image credit: premasagar

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  • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

    I started commenting before I had a blog and honestly after a couple of months of researching and lots of commenting it clarified what I wanted to do here. They’ve helped guide me.

    What happens? Comments sometimes become great conversations which often move to email or a phone conversation. I’ve met some great people and those relationships started on the comment sections of their respective blogs.

    Comments build community and lead to friendships. They may even lead to business :)

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Yes, yes, yes! You nailed it, Craig. Commenting can help spark relationships and you never know what may come of that. In fact, that’s how we met. It’s a beautiful thing! :)

  • ShakirahDawud

    When I first started reading blogs, what I hated most were the comments and never considered adding one of my own. That’s because most of the blogs I read were not growing community; they were simply producing content. And the comments showed: spam, flame-throwing, bad language, unrelated issues… it was ridiculous, and I had no respect for the people who contributed their thoughts in such a vacuous space.

    But when I visited the well-manicured lawns of blogs like yours–where I felt comfortable walking in my bare feet, if you know what I mean–I couldn’t help but join in. And the more I opened up, the broader a trail people could use to follow me back to my own blog.

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Shakirah! And, you did it so eloquently too! I love the idea of the blog being a front yard where people can come over and play! Ironically, my very first blog post had a picture of a welcome mat. :)

      So glad I’ve gotten to know you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rdopping Ralph Dopping

    Hi Laura. How can I not comment now? BTW, I am not trolling (at least I hope not). I have seen you comment on many of the same blogs I frequent. I seem to be finding all kinds of new resources even though I am not in the same industry. I do find a ton of good content around the blogosphere that helps me learn how to navigate this space.

    Agree that relationships can build through this type of engagement too. In fact, if you don’t comment there is really no way to develop any type of relationship in these spaces. So, kudos on the article. Great ideas here.

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Hi Ralph – Good to see you here! You make a great point – relationships are made in the comment sections of blogs. I think the ties are much stronger in comment sections than those made simply through Twitter and the like.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/AKatcher Aileen Katcher

    Good reminders. I know I should comment on blogs more and your post is the nudge I need to do it. Thanks.

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Awesome! I’m glad this gave you the encouragement you needed. :)

  • http://twitter.com/ltcassociates LTCA INC

    This topic is definitely a minefiled; nevertheless one onto which I’ve nimbly walked for several years. It may be nigh impossible to measure results, but I like to think of the intangibles: I’m certain that my name (ie company name LTCA) has been spread far and wide simply by my posting in the most widely-read newspaper columns across the US (NYT, WSJ, USA Today, or wherever they’ll have me).

    Whenever there’s an article bashing long-term care insurance (a bat-signal goes up), you’ll find me and about the same 3 intrepid colleagues from my industry arrive shortly to defend our products and careers. It’s about 40-to-1 in terms of Ranters vs. Defenders. You cannot win, and it’s a thankless job wading into the Lion’s Den.

    But the myth and misinformation that spews forth like poison in these Comments sections cannot be permitted to spread. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; but I cannot countenance opinions which are not based in emprics. In the end, I feel my work is done if I’ve said something reasonable for posterity’s sake: I won’t convert the non-believers, but the internet is forever, so my hope is that one day a reasonable browser may stumble into the forum and read the blog: I write for that future reader.

    Many forums / comments don’t permit links, but if you list your name, title and company, you have to trust that interest folks will find you easily enough. Those are the only customers that matter in the end, anyhow.

    Cheers,
    Stephen D. Forman
    @ltcassociates

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Stephen – Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. You’re right – you’ll never win over the haters. And, it’s really tough to wade into those infested waters. But, I commend you for sticking your neck out there to do it.

      I think commenting – especially when you’re adding to the discussion and showing your point of view – can be of incredible value. You might not see the fruit of your labor overnight, but I do think it will benefit you and your business. Those that really want to know more about what you have to say will find you.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/JohnWEllis John W. Ellis

    Laura,

    Great post! There is so much value to commenting on blogs. Plus, there is the extra layer of SEO value. This is the good content that Google loves, something that actually ads to the discussion. Not the comment spamming that we’ve all seen. If done well, and with good intentions, bloggers are rewarded.

    -John Ellis
    http://www.crescentinteractive.com

    • http://www.flybluekite.com Laura Click

      Excellent point, John. I think the relationship part is the best, but we can’t ignore the power of SEO too! I think you should write about that. :)

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  • Michael Braganza

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  • krauna

    really a good desciption………i admire all the points

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