Blog Commenting is often the first strategy that fledgling bloggers are advised to use as a way of getting traffic and visitors back to their own website. And it’s true that commenting on other people’s blogs can lead to traffic and visitors to your own website.
This is the reason that I started commenting on other people’s blogs a few weeks ago.
And it’s resulted in people coming and reading my articles and blog posts, and leaving comments. Which is great.
But what I’ve also found is that the benefits of commenting on blogs – and answering comments on your own blog – go way beyond attracting visitors to your website.It’s a strategy that has got hidden depths.
In fact there are 5 solid, tangible benefits that I’ve found whilst engaged in commenting on other people’s blogs and answering comments I’ve received on my blog.
Let’s start with the obvious one.
#1 Traffic And Backlinks
The most basic reason to go out and comment on other people’s blogs – and you get this advice just about everywhere – is that leaving intelligent/insightful/interesting comments on other people’s blogs will start the process of attracting visitors to your website or blog.
Most blog comment forms have a place where you can put in the URL of your website, and when your comment is published your name gets hyperlinked so that people reading your blog comment can click on your name and hop over to your website.
Some blogs are ‘Do Follow’ blogs – which means those links have meaning in the way Google ranks websites, and can help get you ranked in the natural search engine results.
And this is what I started doing. Leaving blog comments on other people’s blogs. And hoping my comments would be interesting to some of that blog’s audience and that they would follow me back to the One Spoon website and check out my site.
And the strategy works. What’s more though, it often leads the owners of the blogs where you’ve commented to come back to your website and leave a comment. And a bunch of comments on your posts adds up to the next tangible benefit from blog commenting.
That’s Social Proof.
#2 Social Proof
Imagine a new visitor lands on your blog and scans your post summaries and sees 20 comments, 30 comments, 40 comments on every post. Aren’t they more likely to stick around and actually read some of the posts than if there are no comments? Or one or two comments?
That’s the power of social proof.
Because if they find a blog post headline that seems appealing, they scan the first paragraph, then see that there are 30 or 40 comments they’re likely to think, if only on a subconscious level: 30 or 40 people liked this post enough to read it, and then comment on it. It must be worth reading.
And there’s a good chance they’ll read it. And who knows, maybe leave a comment too.
What lends additional kudos to your social proof is if one of the blog comments is by someone your audience perceives to be an authority in some way. And this can happen when you leave good comments on other people’s blogs, sometimes the blogger will read your comment and come to your site and check out some of your posts.
The law of reciprocity tells us that if you’ve done something to help out someone, that they’re more likely to do something for you in return. And a blog comment by them on your blog is a natural way for them to do that.
And that can lead to the next benefit of blogging. And that is to build relationships.
#3 Building Relationships
Once you comment on someone’s blog regularly, and then find that they return the favour and comment on your blog, then a relationship starts to develop. That relationship may just be confined to comments on each other’s blogs. Or you may exchange occasional emails. Or hey, you may even end up chatting on Skype or on the telephone.
Now these relationships may be superficial. Or they may go a bit deeper than that. But it’s possible that over time they can turn into something that’s beneficial to both parties.
Two examples of this: I published the first guest post on the blog section of my website a week or so ago. It was written by a friend of mine – Marina Brito – who is in two of the three online mastermind groups that I’m a member of. And she emailed me, told me she had an article that fitted well with a series I was writing, and that she had no place of her own where it made sense to publish it. And did I want to publish it? And yep, I did want to. And I did.
And that got me thinking. Guest Posting is something that I have planned as a way of raising my profile – but it was something that was tentatively scheduled for April or May. But there are a few bloggers who I’ve made some relationships with, and I thought WTF, and emailed a couple of them to see if they would be interested in a guest post written by me to be published on their blogs.
One post has been accepted, and should be published in the next few days. The second post I’ve not written yet, but the blogger in question knows it’s coming and sounds interested.
Now if I’d not made any efforts to communicate with these guys then I’d probably have got a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ response to my emails. (And truth be told, probably wouldn’t have sent the emails in the first place).
I think if you’re a normal kind of person, if you start leaving blog comments then you’re going to start building relationships. Even if that’s not your intention. And there’s another benefit to this – especially if a lot of this relationship building goes on in the ‘to-and-fro’ of blog comments.
And that benefit is the informal nature of blog comments can lead to the revelation of more of your character. Which is all part of revealing your personality, which in my opinion enhances your ‘brand.’
#4 Personal Branding
Now ‘brand’ can be an ugly word – it sounds calculated and deliberate. But your goal as a blogger should be to convert people from being readers, into being something a bit less passive. Seth Godin’s book Tribes talks about this – and about building your tribe.
And to build your tribe, it helps people to trust you if they get to know you better. But it’s sometimes difficult in a blog orientated to business to just interrupt a stream of ‘serious’ articles with an article on what your favourite drink is. Or what your favourite ski resort is. Or facts like that about you that complete the picture your audience has of you.
Sure, there’s the About Me page. And you can put some personal information on the About Me page – but it’s often like the ‘you’ that’s featured on the About Me page IS you, but dressed in suit and tie and ready for a day at the office.
The informal nature of the blog comments section – of both your blog, and other people’s blogs – allows you to chill out a bit and dress down.
For example in various comments in the blogosphere over the last few weeks I’ve revealed the following personal facts that I wouldn’t think to put anywhere on the One Spoon Website:
- My two favourite drinks – coffee and Guinness
- My two favourite sports – rugby and cricket
- I worked in a ski resort in France for 5 years
- I once skied the Flying Kilometre (and screamed all the way down 🙂 )
- That I’m partially colour blind
- That I believe you should follow your bliss. For me, that’s writing
- That I’m moderating a challenge on a private forum where 25 of us are attempting to write 100 Articles/Posts in 100 Days
All these things help my readers get a rounder, and more three-dimensional picture of who I am. Hopefully that will help with the likeability and trust factor when I launch my series of Webinars on building an audience with YouTube style videos.
That leads us to the fifth – and by far most powerful – reason you should be actively commenting on blogs, and answering all the comments on your own blog. It’s a fabulous way to generate ideas.
#5 Idea Generation
Whenever I comment on people’s blogs I always try and read the original post (of course!) and try and read as many of the comments already posted as I can. This gives me a flavour of what’s being said, and makes sure I don’t repeat what someone else has already pointed out.
All this reading though is fertile ground for coming up with new ideas for blog posts and articles. I wrote an article on keeping and maintaining an Idea Bank (insert link) – most of my ideas come from blog commenting. Either something I’ve written on someone’s blog can be expanded out into its own post.
Or something I’ve read on someone’s blog given a twist or a different slant, becomes an idea that I can write about.
Seriously if you’re ever stuck with something to write for your blog and you don’t know what, just commit to go and commenting on 10 or 15 blogs in your market area. By the time you’ve finished, you should have dozens of ideas.
If this was the ONLY benefit of Blog Commenting, it would be worth doing a hundred times over.
Blog Commenting is often touted as a strategy to get more visitors to your own website – probably because it works. But it’s a much deeper, and richer, strategy than just attracting visitors.
As well as attracting visitors, blog commenting can lead to:
- Social Proof
- Building Relationships
- Personal Branding
- Idea Generation
Honestly, it’s a strategy I can’t recommend highly enough.
Start blog commenting. Leave a comment below on what your thoughts are on this article. Am I on the money? Or am I way off the beam? Let’s start a discussion going – if you comment here, I’m honour bound to follow back to your website and comment on your website. So leave a comment – and I’ll see you at your place!