Blog commenting is a double-edged sword. If you do it right, you can build a community and a relationship with another blog and pull their users into your circles. If you do it wrong, you can very quickly earn yourself a place on blacklists across the Internet and a firm label as a spammer. If you want to do it right, follow these instructions.
If you want to grow traffic to your own site through blog comments, you first need to identify the blogs you want to comment on. You are looking for a handful of blogs to follow. Ideally these blogs will meet several conditions.
One good way to go about creating this list is to note down every blog you can find that might even be worth commenting on, and then divide them up into categories. Make a pile for small blogs, make a pile for blogs without comments, make a pile with blogs that are too out of your niche, and generally narrow things down until you have a central list of blogs that can be potentially very high value and start there.
Some blogs have nearly completely unmoderated comments sections, where anything goes. Some blogs have strict rules for their comments sections and will prune out or fail to verify comments that don’t quite pass muster. Go through the rules for each blog you want to comment on regularly and make sure you know anything worth noting. Make notes of any important rules, but don’t bother writing down every rule; you don’t need to write down how every blog would prefer that you post with clean grammar and spelling, do you?
One thing you shouldn’t concern yourself with is the dofollow vs nofollow variance between blogs. Links aren’t going to be your primary concern with your blog commenting. Instead, you’re going to be focusing on the interplay of content; what you respond to, what you say and how you back up your posts. The links are tertiary at best. In most cases, you’re going to only include links to specific blog posts, and maybe a general link in your commenter profile.
If you need to register for a site like Disqus or Gravatar to create a universal profile, do so now. This should have a link to your webpage home or a potent landing page and should include a good picture.
Check each blog on your list and follow as they update. If you have to, create an RSS feed that aggregates all of the blogs you follow and check that each day. Your goal is to be watching for opportunities to leave insightful comments.
When in doubt, don’t comment. No comment is better than a comment with nothing more than a “thanks for writing!” The reason for this is because so many other people post those simple thank you messages in an attempt to get their profile link seen by other people. It’s transparent and it doesn’t work.
Instead, save your comment energy for when you have something valuable to say. Respond to a point made in the post. Refute a point and start a discussion. Add further clarification or a personal example to the mix.
This is important enough to dedicate an entire bullet point to it. Don’t spam your link. Don’t go into a blog and post your link with no context. Don’t post your link without value attached to it. Ask yourself; is this link directed to a post that responds to or clarifies the topic being discussed? If not, don’t post your link.
Posting your link too often will earn you a spam flag or will see your link removed.
Each time you see a comment opportunity, create a comment for that post. Your goal is to strike a balance. Avoid writing a comment more than a paragraph or two long. If you have more to say about the subject, write it down and write a blog post about it later. Use that post as a response to the original post, and comment on the original post again with a link to your rebuttal post.
If you don’t have quite that much to say, but you still have something valuable to add, just leave a thoughtful comment. Don’t shoehorn your link into the discussion where it isn’t necessary.
When you make a comment, note down the link to that comment and check back later. There is a chance that the blogger responded with a thanks. In that case, you can thank them in return and move on. On the other hand, maybe they – or one of their readers – decided to continue the discussion. If this happens, you have the chance to dig deeper into the topic and discuss it with both the blogger and their audience.
When you dig deeper into a discussion, you are able to create opportunities to link to your posts without needing to justify those links. Your goal in this case would be to swing the conversation around naturally to something you have already covered. Conversely, you can write a quick post on your blog about the subject and link it, to further back up your statements.
Repeat this process on an ongoing basis. You are doing several things by doing this. First, you’re building an online reputation as an insightful and watchful commenter. Second, you’re building links to your site, slowly but surely. Third, you’re avoiding a spam label by showing you’re in it for more than a short-term boost.
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