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.
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