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The Power of a Comment

Posted By Darren Rowse 11th of February 2009 Blog Promotion 111

leaving commentsIn this post Lisa Newton from Travelin’ Local shares the story of how leaving a comment on a blog increased traffic back to her blog 975% in a day.

It’s a well-known fact that commenting on other people’s blogs helps drive traffic to your own blog. I knew this, but until today, I had never seen its real results. Harnessing the action ability has led individual blog owners to comment back, which happened to me several times, like here, here, and here.

But, this time it was different:

To begin with I received a new digital camera for Christmas.

Now not knowing too much about digital photography, I went searching the experts over the Internet.

One of the first places I landed was at the Digital Photography School.
I immediately fell in love with the site and instantly subscribed to their RSS feed.

Low and behold, the other day, just as I was browsing my Google Reader, a new post from DPS popped up, What is Your Favorite Landscape Location?.
I just had to comment, and like most California girls, my favorite place to shoot pictures is at the beach.

Now, I know I’d hit it lucky because my comment was only the second one on the list. The prevailing theory is that the closer your comment is to being first, the more hits it will get.

Because my blog is only a month old, I usually don’t get much traffic, on average about 15 -20 hits per day. But on the day I made the comment, I got 195 hits, an increase of over 975%, with almost all of it coming via the Digital
Photography School
. Recently Darren over at Problogger reported getting his single largest day of hits on DPS to the tune of 250,000 hits. Although 195 isn’t even close to 250,000, but I’ll bet the increased percentage on Travelin’ Local was higher.

All from that one comment.

On another bright spot, dgwphotography left the following comment on this blog post’s featured photo at Flickr:

“This is beautiful – I saw this from your reply on the Digital Photography School blog.

I love the deep depth of field here…”

The power of comments is truly inspirational; when translated into action.

Do you leave valuable comments? Have you ever had a comment experience like this?

Note from Darren: thanks to Lisa for this post. As Lisa says – 195 hits from a comment might not seem like a lot – but for a blog starting out it is a great way to grow traffic. Of course the danger in leaving comments as a way to drive traffic is that some bloggers fall into the trap of getting ‘spammy’. To help you avoid this I’ve previously written a post titled 11 Tips for Getting Your Comments Noticed on a Popular Blog. I hope it helps!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. I try to leave specific or useful comments, and I definitely find increased readership from commenting on new to me blogs. When a comment tells a little story or asks a question I get many hits from others replying.

  2. I consider commenting as part of my blog/business marketing plan. Of course all the comments I make are relevant to the post at hand. If I have nothing to say in response to a particular post, I move on, knowing that on another day I’ll have something more interesting to contribute to the conversation.

  3. Good post, Lisa.

    It would be interesting to know how many of those who visited your site became regular readers / subscribers — not always an easy or exact number to work out.

    Your site, though not explicitly about photography, is pretty heavy on the (great) images. I wonder if that encouraged people to stick around? If your blog had been about something completely unrelated to photography, you may still have had the visitors but they would generally have been far less targeted.

  4. I’d love to have a say on every blog post I read, although there were times that I do restrain myself from commenting, especially if the post is too technical for me.

    I don’t want to post a comment just for the sake of commenting.

    It might bring traffic, but it doesn’t get much reputation :)

    I just come back when I believe I can drop some lines with sense.

  5. Another aspect of commenting is that, when you comment on higher-traffic blogs, you can actually receive long-term traffic… which is more important to me than quick traffic bursts.

    I still get a fair number of visitors from comments I’ve left weeks or even months ago.

    All (non spam) commenting is a good traffic-building strategy… But learning to recognize posts that have the potential for longevity (people will still be reading the posts years from now) can help you get the most out of your commenting efforts.

  6. I have noticed this as well with comments, in fact i find they are one of the most powerful forms of getting your blog seen.. I made a rule for myself recently when ever i read a post i have to comment and i tell you what it becomes automatic after a while.. :)
    About a quarter to one fifth of my traffic today is from comments.. :)

  7. I believe that commenting really brings traffic, even on blogs with nofollow links.

    So far, I’ve left about 30 comments (on blogs relevant to my niches), and I’m still getting 2 or 3 visitors everyday. Sometimes, I get 6 to 12 visitors.

    The problem is – writing insightful comments takes a lot of time. Those 30 comments ate up one whole day.

  8. I know that the more I get out there and comment, the more people recognize me, stop by my site to visit, and the more connected I feel to my readers and blogging in general.

    My big problem is committing the time to it!

    From a beginning bloggers perspective though, would you rather receive a “nice article” comment than no comment at all? To bring people back to your site, a relevant comment that contributes to the conversation is key, but in order to support other bloggers, what if I all I can come up with is “thanks, that was useful” for whatever reason. Would you rather I left the comment or just left without commenting?

  9. Congrats on the Camera! We got a Flip so we have been making videos like mad. Have fun!

  10. I didn’t notice about traffic from comments. But I’ll surely leave comments now to get some extra traffic. Thanks for the information. :)

  11. I totally agree. Even though my blog is also only a month old and only getting 10-20 hits a day, I do see some of my traffic from comments I’ve left at other blogs.

    I think it is a great way to do three things:

    1) Interact with other people in your industry
    2) Learn more about your industry after reading other people’s posts
    3) It’s an easy way to build links

    Thanks for the info!

  12. This is an interesting post. I have a question for the author and the readers on this site. Do any of you get hostile comments? I don’t mean valid comments of the opposing view that create lively debate – I mean downright vituperative comments that serve no purpose.

    If so, how do you handle it?

  13. I comment to take part in the community and also to get traffic. Comments get me a little bit of traffic but not a significant amount. It’s a good way to get starting traffic

  14. Comments are a great way to drive traffic to a blog.

  15. Excellent post! I have been trying to get my colleagues to comment on more blogs and I think that this post will help them realize why it can be beneficial.

  16. I’ve noticed that when you actually have something to add to the conversation, that’s when you get the most traffic from it. I can’t remember how many blogs I’ve visited just b/c I liked what they had to say in the comments on another blog!

    Also, as far as whether or not it is ok to add links, whether your own or others, I’d say it’s ok or even BENEFICIAL if the link adds to the conversation! For instance, if I HAD ever written a post about commenting and resulting traffic, I’d probably add a link IF it adds more helpful information.

    Bloggers I’ve interacted with actually appreciate the links IF they contain helpful information along the same topic.

  17. This is a great post! I’ve just recently been assigned the task of being the blogger for the small business I work for, and I comment on other bloggers’ sites on a daily basis.

    Our blog has only been running since last week, but I’ve already seen an increase in viewers and comments!

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us :)

  18. Thanks for your insight Lisa. But I am curious. You said that you had 15-20 hits a day after about a month. My blog is only a couple of weeks old and I have only had one day (like the third day) where I have had 14 hits. The other days are close to nil. How did you get your initial traffic? Was it through marketing at all, word-of-mouth, or something else?

    Thanks, Su Prieta.

  19. I believe it is funny that a blog about commenting is getting so many comments. But anyways, I believe the ability for a reader to comment with something that adds to the conversation and in return get hits to their own site allows for a great community to build up with ideas growing more and more everyday.

    Building a community is one of my goals as a blogger considering my blog is niched in investigations of what a happy life may be. Everybody seems to win.


  20. I read this blog all the time but rarely comment. I really enjoyed this post. I didn’t know that the closer you are to being first the more likely you are to get hits. That is very interesting and I think I will work on doing that. I have noticed that when I comment on blogs I get more comments back. I am new to blogging and I am building up my google reader so that I can read and comment on blogs. I really do appreciate this post.

  21. Harry Blogger rightly said commenting on other sites increase your blog traffic. I started blogging in 2005 but realized the potential of commenting only after Harry Blogger told me his secrets. Thank to both Problogger for this post and Harry Blogger for giving his valuable interview to me for posting.

  22. Great post as always.
    Definitely quality content comes first, but I have found through commenting on other blogs and communicating through Twitter a huge increase in traffic recently. After trying a few blog ideas, I have finally hit upon a successful, steadily growing niche market of up and coming artists and collectors.
    And my favorite place to take pictures is Italy, though it’s not often enough. I hope to put up my slide show soon. It’s been a year and a half since I was there, but the paintings and photos will be up soon.
    I’m going to check out the blogs you mentioned,
    Thanks, Gabriel

  23. I read this blog daily, but I rarely comment. Lets see if people visit my blog because of this comment….

    Check out my blog….. (does this really work?)

  24. Great story Lisa, and so true, commenting is a great way to get traffic and network with other bloggers, I have made so many friends and have met a lot of new people.

  25. While I’ve never gotten a big surge of traffic from any one comment, I get regular traffic from commenting on various blogs. I commented on one blog almost a year ago, and I still get 1 or 2 hits a month from that blog from that one comment I left.

    I get a number of comments from people who don’t say anything on my blog, and I tend not to approve them. If you want to get traffic from blog comments, you need to actually engage on the blogs. Say something of substance, add to the conversation. I think, for me, that drives much of the traffic I get from commenting on other blogs. I never comment just for the sake of commenting, but only when I actually have something to say about the blog post.

  26. I think that regular commenting, along with relevant content in that comment, is very important.

    I’ve had comments from people along the lines of “Hi, I like your blog. You can read mine at …” Those are closer to spam. They don’t generate traffic. Often, they get deleted. Commenting for the sake of traffic generating can get to be fairly transparent.

    But becoming a regular, adding your thoughts on a regular basis, and maintaining a well run blog with interesting content is the most important thing. I’ve fond several blogs through comments.

    (And you know, in all my years of reading / subscribing to Problogger, this is one of my first comments!)

  27. Thank you everyone for all of our well wishes and thoughts about comments. I’ve learned quite a bit by reading them.

    @Nancy I haven’t had the experience of dealing with negative comments (and I hope I don’t have to), but here’s a great resource to help you deal with negative comments, How to deal with negative comments?

    @Su Prieta Most of my initial hits have been from comments on other blogs I regularly read and comment on. I also researched different blogs in my niche, and discovered a several I enjoy greatly. Making “friends” online is great.

  28. Well commenting is very important but its more important to be the first to comment, you need to be glued to your Google reader for that.

  29. This post was like linkbait for comments. Seriously wish I’d thought of it! Good job. Now, I’m tapping my toe and waiting for the traffic to come streaming to my site. ;-)

  30. I usually avoid trying to get traffic from the big blogs, but it seems to have worked for you! Well Done

  31. I think the comments also increase the amount of inlinks you have to your blogs. This should result in higher search engine placement most of time.

  32. I’ve never had an outcome that big from commenting, but perhaps I’ll still get my turn someday. I’ve never actively tried to get one of the first few spots on my favorite blogs though either.

  33. I am definitely on the 15-20 range for visitors a day; and I want it to grow. I try and comment as much as I can – and keep them authentic: like this one.

    I enjoy your posts and because of your blog I believe I am growing. I read it alot. Though, I may not be catching up on things quickly, I am learning. Currently, I am trying to figure out how to generate some revenue so that I can do more things on THE BLOG. I’m working on a blog ring, with a cooperative home page that will provide ministry resources.

    Thanks for sharing!

  34. What a pity for me! I’ve been a lazy commentor and I’ve lost a lot of traffic. Thanks Lisa for her experience.

  35. Same as phaoloo, I’m a lazy commentor too! Addition, comment must be useful and make sure you contribute something that helps everyone. Or else, you will become a spam commenter and get ignored by everyone!


  36. Your post really brought back memories. I went to college at UCSD, and have walked that beach many many times in the past. Great post.

    You know good things come out of good posts. And when your post is full of eye candy, it’s no wonder really that you got a lot of traffic. I think that’s what blogging is all about. Good stories, good content, good reading, could experience.

    Keep up the good work, and could you post another one about San Diego please ;-).

  37. Comments, schomments. Just kidding!

    I’ve held back for the past several months on dropping comments because I didn’t feel I had enough content on my blog.

    Now that it’s starting to build, I’m starting to enjoy “socializing” on other people’s blog and mingling with their readers.

  38. Hi Lisa Newton, how are you?

    First of all, I’d like to thanks for the great article. Every word said here is really trully. Unfortunally I’m learning english yet, so, I can’t say what a would like to say because the lack of vocabulary, but I can read well and i love the post.

    So, thanks.
    Monthiel, Brazilian.

  39. I usually comment on few web sites every day. By reading this post I got two things for my self.

    1. I got inspiration for commenting

    2. I told my self that I’m going to comment on first 10 next time. not on the bottom.

  40. Ya, it is true, but i can’t guaranty “975% in a day” and we can increase our blog exposure day by day in this way. So lets start commenting.

  41. As someone who mainly does SEO for web traffic I can say that commenting can help you there as well and not just from throwing a few comments on dofollow blogs.

    A good comment should add relevant content to the blog post which helps add more keyword combinations to the page. While Google may not follow the nofollow link, Yahoo will and Yahoo loves relevant content even more than Google does.

    Also, leaving a good comment will often bring a blog owner to your blog which means that you’ll get good, relevant content, comments on your blog as well. Developing a relationship the the blogger will also often result in more links which also helps your SEO profile.

    Lastly, when you leave a comment on a post, Stumble it and Twitter it too. The blog owner will appreciate it and you may get some residual traffic from that traffic boost as well.

  42. Well so much for the top of the list… But its nice to know, when the comments are done quickly they can really drive traffic! Thanks Lisa and Darren

  43. I never had a comment experience such as yours but I do enjoy reading and commenting on other blogs regardless if they check mine out or not. Its one of the best parts of blogging for me.

  44. Thank you Lisa and Daren! It’s been very inspiring.
    I’ve noticed that as well, specially when you try to be helpful to others. Adding a few tips to enrich the post could trigger some interest in some bloggers to come and read your blog!

  45. Thank you Lisa and Darren.

    This tips is a real eye opener. I know that commenting on blogs would provide a visible link – but I did not realise how this can generate so many visits!

    At the moment I have just started my blog but as I have time I would start blogging frequenty (2 times a week – at night). I would remember this tips for sure.

    Thanks again!

  46. I was so selfish before that. Very rare I comment on other’s blog even if I found the article good. But after knowin the Power of Comments, I will be used to it.

    Thanks for information.

  47. I have been leaving comments but have not realized such kind of traffic, but one thing I have noticed is that where I left a comment, they are recognised as external links which do improve my link popularity. But thanks for sharing this valuable information

  48. Traffic that comes through comments is of very poor quality. Although leaving comments on blogs is a good habit but it is not something that can do wonders.

  49. I blog commenting for fun,I blog commenting to appreciate the value of the thread they are giving me,from every blog I read I know what could I do to improve the quality of my company ,I don’t expect blog commenting will improve traffic,in contrary, I think it will make the back link dropping,however,I cannot let the fun go,that’s why I know what power of blog commenting to me,”its give me pleasure of sharing and learning

  50. I’ve not experienced a huge traffic from comments yet, but I think it’s good because you get to know what others think, you share your thoughts, you learn and enjoy, you could even find some readers, and most importantly, you’ll get back links that will work for you. Those links maybe the most durable results that you get.
    I’m sure that those back links will help your position in search engines. Then, the traffic coming from search will be the high quality ones.

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