If you are looking for online traffic, and who is not, you probably think that blog commenting is a joke. You probably looked at many blog comments and if you were not turned off by the obvious SEO spam of most blog comments, you would dismiss the rest of the comments as essentially worthless. After all, a lot of blog comments read the same. They are all saying good job, great post, or I book marked your post, that kind of thing. Let us face it. It is too easy to become dismissive of blog comments because there are so many bad blog comments out there.
Be that as it may, if you play the blog comment game correctly, you can actually drive quite a bit of traffic with the right comments. In fact, if you know what you are doing, you not only drive targeted traffic but you could actually create a solid online brand and build solid relationships with your comments. You just have to be very clear as to what you are doing and be systematic and methodical about it. Keep the following discussion in mind so you can turbo-charge the results you get with your blog comments.
Be Clear on your Objectives
A lot of people who comment on blogs to drive traffic, give in to the temptation of just creating a link and calling it a day. They focus too much on the link that they are creating or the traffic that they are trying to get from the blog post instead of actually creating solid value. This is a shame. You should focus on what your objectives are in blog commenting. Your objective should be to establish a solid brand on a blog that caters to the same target audience as your own blog. You should also focus on establishing credibility, so that whoever moderates, administers or owns the blog that you are commenting on will see the value that you add and would be encouraged to solicit a contribution from you.
Regardless, when you comment on other people’s blogs, you create an opportunity for building a solid relationship between your blog and their blog. You get an opportunity to demonstrate how well you know your stuff. You get an opportunity to essentially become credible to a potentially lucrative new audience. That is how you should look at blog commenting. That is what your objectives should be. All other objectives are just secondary or just irrelevant. If your objective is to pull direct traffic, you have to be credible. If your objective is to establish a solid link, you have to be credible. Otherwise, your link will be deleted because the owner of the site dismissed you as a spammer.
Why Establish a Brand?
When you comment on blog posts with branding in mind, you position yourself to become credible in your niche. When you seek to comment on blogs with branding on your mind, you can go a long way in establishing credibility with influential people in your niche. Bloggers tend to be influential. I am, of course, talking about real bloggers, people who put up blogs not because they want to spam or to get cheap traffic off search engines, but real bloggers who are passionate about their niche. These people are always looking for like minded people. They are looking for people that are focused on quality and who are focused on providing value to the niche that they cover.
When you leave credible blog comments, you establish credibility with these people. These are great individuals to have on your site. Another reason why you should focus on commenting as a form of establishing a brand, is that by doing so you establish your blog brand as a source of specific quality information. Every niche always has sub niches. Every niche often has one or two blogs that tend to be the “go to source” for that niche. This does not necessarily mean that that niche is effectively off limits to all other bloggers. All this means is that you need to establish a sub niche that you can be an authority in.
When you comment on the main authority blog in your niche, you get an opportunity to brand you blog as a source of specific sub niche quality information. Finally, when you produce high quality comments on other people’s blogs, you contribute content that helps influential people in your niche. Do not for a moment think that this contribution will go unnoticed. If you are consistent with your high quality commenting, you will eventually become an authority and these influential people might ask you to contribute as an expert writer for their blog.
ROI is King
Before you get too carried away with blog commenting and spend all these time and energy producing high quality blog comments, keep in mind that you should focus on ROI. What is ROI? Return on investment or return on effort. This means that you must get the most benefit for the least amount of effort. Using this principle, you must target the right blogs which will benefit you the most for the least amount of effort. This means you have to really target niche blogs on your website that have certain qualities that can truly benefit your website. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time. You have to use this criteria so you can target the right blogs for quality comments.
Look for the Following to Maximise ROI
Keep the following factors in mind when researching blogs to post high quality comments on. At the very least, these blogs should have decent traffic volume. You can use alexa.com’s site info feature to get an overall educated guess as to how much traffic that particular blog gets. Do not get too fixated on this however, there are other filters. Regardless, you should focus on a blog that gets enough traffic so that you would at least get some direct traffic from your blog comment link.
Quick Sprout screenshot
Next, use Quick Sprout to see how attractive the blog is to social media users. Just enter the URL and Quick Sprout will show how popular its posts are to people on Twitter, Facebook and Google plus. You are looking for some level of popularity. You are not looking for the most popular website on Twitter if that website also does not get a decent volume of direct traffic. Remember, all these factors all complement each other. You are looking for blogs that have all these features.
Finally, use Open Site Explorer to figure out how many other websites link to the blog you are thinking of commenting on. Obviously, the more websites link to that blog, the more attractive it should be. Pay attention to page authority and domain authority. The higher the blog scores on these different matrix, the more you should consider it. You should look for balance between all these factors. Ideally, you should look for blogs that have a high traffic level, lots of back links and have these social media engagements. Obviously, this is fairly uncommon. So, you should look for a blog that shows a healthy balance among all these different ranking factors.
Blog Commenting Styles
Now that you are ready to comment on your target blog, you have to be aware of the different commenting styles that you can use. Avoid being a suck up or a kiss ass. Nothing is more annoying than posting congratulatory or overly positive comments. If you are complementing the blog post all the time, you will come off as annoying. If it annoys you when other people do this, what do you think people will think when you do this yourself. This type of blog commenting style does not work. What works is a more engaging style.
But how do you engage people with your blog comments? Ask questions. Challenge the blog post. I do not mean being insulting, I do not mean being disrespectful, but challenge the writer to produce more information or to explain certain parts that are unclear. Alternatively, you can offer information that has been left out of the blog post. Many blog post often leave out crucial bits of information. Make the blog writer know that you are paying attention, and offer that information that has been left out. Finally, you can be very respectful and try to be the devil’s advocate. Take the other side of the blog post and argue. Make some argumentation, offer some evidence and see where the discussion goes. You can also try tying in the blog post with what has been said in other blogs, and compare and contrast the specific posts’ treatment of the subject matter compared to other blog’s treatment.
By focusing on building a dialogue between your blog and your brand and the blog you are commenting on, you provide context for your blog. At the very least, you let influential people in your niche know what your blog is all about and what your level of expertise is. Once you establish a high enough level of credibility, more and more people in your niche will seek you out. Keep in mind that true experts in all niches are few and far between. By constantly engaging influential people in their blogs through your comments, you increase the likelihood of building solid professional connections that can only benefit your blog in the long run.
Lewis Crutch runs the Marketing Bees blog that provides a wealth of information on a range of online marketing topics from SEO through to content marketing. He has a particular passion for both email marketing and social media marketing.