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A Blog Commenting Strategy

This guest post is by Joe of Web Programming 360.

When I first started my blog, about two months ago, I had a hard time getting five visitors a day. I got so tired of doing so much work to end up being a nobody on the side of the highway. One lucky day, I decided to convert all of the popular blogs traffic to my little blog.

Why and how? Well, readers of the popular blogs are high converters and very targeted to my blog. More than likely, they will stay on my blog for more than five minutes. Chances are that my content, which I work so hard to produce, will finally pay off into thousands of subscribers!

There are two different ways to get traffic from those A+ blogs. While one is more valuable than the other, the other is easy and fast. First is guest posting. Yes: guest posting. But have no fear! The next source of blog traffic is blog commenting.

Blog commenting is so easy, even leaving a sentence can supply you with an excellent 50 unique visitors. Then possibly another ten subscribers will come out of that group, since it’s so targeted. What are the steps for driving traffic through commenting on other blogs?

1. Find popular, targeted blogs

Before commenting, you need to know exactly where to comment. If your blog’s about dog training and you comment on Web Designers Ledger, you should know the amount of traffic will be little and the SEO gain may be zero. The most important thing in blog commenting is the blog you comment on. If you get that wrong, then your whole comment traffic strategy collapses.

Let’s find the blogs you want to comment on. This is really easy. What’s your niche? For example, if I was trying to find blogs for Darren at ProBlogger to comment on, I’d Google “blogging blogs.” He’s in the blogging niche and we’re looking for blogs. Combine that to get “blogging blogs.”

blogging blogs search

Searching for blogging blogs

The first result actually gives us a huge list of the top 25 blogging blogs. You can comment on every single one of those blogs every day to receive an extra hundred—or possibly thousand—visitors a day.

But wait! How will you know when they update those blogs? You may not want to be constantly checking 25 blogs every day. That’s a time- and work-waster.

2. Receive blog updates automatically

RSS is a life-saver here. RSS, Really Simple Syndication, gives you instant updates for any blog whenever they occur. To start using RSS you need an RSS reader. I prefer Google Reader as it seems to be fast efficient and checks for new listings in the RSS feeds constantly. My Google Reader is a great example…

google reader

Google Reader

I am subscribed to eleven blogs that are updated around once a day. What do I like best about Google Reader? The related RSS feature gives you RSS feeds similar to the current RSS feeds your subscribed to. If I looked under Recommended Items, I would find a bunch of related blogs to comment on. I think that’s really helpful when you have trouble finding popular blogs related to yours—finding one and adding it to Google Reader will give you other similar blogs to comment on.

3. Consider quality and placement

I hope you’ve realized that in order to drive traffic to your blog through commenting, your comment needs to be in the top five or three comments. Being first counts more than you think. It’s just like Google: you’re trying to rank #1, #2, or #3.

Sometimes in order to complete a tough task like that, you might think you’ll need to rush through the article and just say something random. Wrong! Don’t ever do that. It will be obvious that all you’re trying to do is get traffic. Being third is better than being first if your comment makes relevant sense and provides a valuable bonus for the readers.

One other thing: always read the article. If you don’t read it, you won’t be able to comment with relevance and insight. Headlines may be misleading so always read the article.

What about replies? Some blogs allow you to reply to other comments. If you were too late and there have already been 20 comments on a post, why not reply to the first comment to get an awesome position, plus a great quality comment? Replies are only helpful when the quality of the comment is super-high, though. It must be an actual reply to the first comment, not just a comment for the sake of commenting. While it doesn’t have to be long, your comment should contain very valuable information.

4. What fourth step?

That’s how easy commenting is: it only takes three steps to build your traffic through blog commenting. Here’s the proof, from my own experience implementing this commenting strategy:

comment traffic

The traffic my comments generated

These aren’t the best comments I’ve made—they’re just the results from the most recent comments I’ve made. 19 high quality visitors stayed on for an average of four minutes. This was my comment, “I’m not much of a JavaScript programmer, but using JavaScript on the client side rather than on the server side seems better to me.” That one tiny sentence brought me 19 visitors.

Are you commenting on blogs? Do you have a commenting strategy you’d like to share with us?

Joe is web designer/developer. He enjoys programming with HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, and MySQL. On the side, Joe blogs about programming, SEO, traffic and conversions at Web Programming 360. Follow him on Twitter at @WebProgramming1.

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Comments

  1. I guess I’ve been doing this all wrong. I comment on blogs I think are useful because I want to thank the writer for giving me free content or to continue the discussion, build the community.

    i.e. I don’t give gifts so I can get one in return.

    Guess my blog will never have many visitors.

    • :) Well, you just got one more visitor, Mary!

      I agree with you – SEO and driving track have their place. To flip your point, though, you’re not going to be successful if all you are looking for is to drive traffic. I enjoy the discussion of “high quality” comments, where “high quality” is really a code phrase for, like you said, continuing the discussion and building the community.

      I’ve also found that focusing on good comments has made me a better member of the blogosphere – it helps me write better posts, and has even given me a few ideas for posts. And that’s the point of the game, right – to make yourself and the world better than they were before?

      • Yes Barry, I agree with you.
        I do undestand a need to concentrate on key words and SEO but what is the point of driving traffic if you have nothing of quality to provide. If a post has solid information which is either helpful or stimulates discussion, then you are on a winning blog. Give poeple a reason to come…and stay. Problogger, for instance, is a superb blog which gives us newbies an insight into a different style of social commentary…the blog. Without its plethera of topics, it would be a ghost town, or should I say, ghost site.
        Of course, new blogs, like my own, do need time to get on their feet and a degree of patience should also be exhibited by the ‘pros’. Everything takes time when quality is involved. No point in hashing out one sentence gibberish, a common aspect and problem of facebook. Create a topic of interest and educated discussion should eventuate, and who knows, we might just surprise ourselves as human beings.

    • Mary,

      That seems like a negative attitude. Why not try this strategy out and see if it works for you? That’s what I would recommend anyway. Cheers!

      Peter

      • Manuel says:

        The post says is right. I’m a blogger from Romania and I read a lot of blogs, ProBlogger among them. I Commenting on a lot of blogs using my name Manuel gave me the SEO advantage that, when you write Manuel in Google Romania, I show up on first page with my blog. If you comment on a very high trafficked blog you can get easily ten of visitors. A lot of my visitors are from top blogs I comment on, so the recipe presented here is a proven one!

        Great post and great blog!

      • That’s a very good inspirational post.I will try to implement it now.

    • Hi Mary,
      Be More Positive. It’s the fact that you give without expecting anything in return that will eventuate in you having more visitors.
      Keep your chin up. Comment because you want to not because you feel obligated that you have to.

    • Joe Burnett says:

      See she tricked you all! You all read her comment, and probably visited her blog :)

  2. Archan Mehta says:

    Hey Joe,

    First off, let me thank you for contributing this post. You have an interesting angle on this issue.

    Me, I am not sure about strategy. I do not think I have much to gain from leaving comments on blogs. Reason: I do not own any blog. I have just not found the time to start one, that’s all.

    Also, I prefer to read the writing of other people out there compared to my own writing. My writing does not interest me all that much, objectively. Some of the bloggers out there, however, are really top-notch.

    In other words, their blog post arouse my curiosity and I leave comments just for the heck of it. Just because I found what they wrote to be interesting and that sort of piqued my curiosity. You will find that I am a regular contributor to several blogs, that is, mostly I just leave my comments.

    As for leaving value-added comments: I am really not too sure about what you mean. Adding value can be quite subjective. I may think I have left a value-added comment; somebody else may think that my comment does not make sense or it is shallow and so on.

    Some of my “best” comments would appear as “worst” comments to others. The reverse is also true.
    Hence, the saying: one man’s nectar is another man’s poison. Just to paraphrase. Cheers.

  3. Paulo says:

    Another tool for the arsenal. Would I be right to say that by leaving your blog address you’re also increasing your search engine rating?

    • Joe says:

      Correct, that is one of the many other benefits that I left out, but Google will not count it as much link juice since there are around 20 other links near you on that page.

  4. Marie Noelle says:

    You shared some really great tips in this post! Commenting on post does not assure you’ll get traffic on your blog but if you choose where you are leaving comments and say something smart, you’ll attract readers to your blog! They’ll want to know if you write smart stuff on your own blog too ;)

  5. Joe,

    Thanks for the pointers. I’ve notices up-ticks following some comments but haven’t systematized this (yet).

    Question: what about using trackbacks? On many blogs these appear between the posts and the comments. What is your experience with these? What about sites that don’t allow comments?

    Would love to get your view on the above.

    Thanks!

  6. Aleksander says:

    But sometimes comments are stupid and useless.

  7. Paul Anthony says:

    Honestly can’t remember the last time I followed a link back from another commenter and turned into a long time reader. Unless they have something profound to say. Spending time creating comments on other people’s websites with the view to getting them to convert isn’t imo, the best use of time. Sure it might get you one or two stragglers, but will so will creating content on your own site.

  8. Marcie says:

    For me, guest blogging on highly targeted blogs works. After being published on this site, I’m creating a strategy to guest post on at least once a month. Thanks for sharing your strategy

  9. Great post….I am definitely going to follow your advice. I especially liked the suggestions for Google Reader, I have had it, and added blogs to it, but I have not truly utilized it correctly. I do like adding blogs to read to my igoogle, so when I open my browser they are right there…(my favorite blogs of course). I still need to make a better effort in commenting..you inspired me. Thanks

  10. Kevin Cullis says:

    My takeaway so far: Making frequent good comments on great blogs is a quick way of getting noticed, like on a daily basis, but guest blogging once a month on great blog sites provides what seems like creating a lasting relationship with others.

    Thanks for the post.

  11. Fran Civile says:

    Joe,
    I was impressed with the information in your post about commenting and plan to apply some of your ideas, especially the way you organize your Google Reader.

    But I’m surprised at your lack of participation in the comments about your post! I only saw one comment by you … although I admit to possibly missed a couple. Wouldn’t some of the commenters be more likely to click on your name if you interacted with them?

    Fran

    • Joe says:

      Hey Fran! Sorry and I know I should have responded to more comments, but I have been really busy lately. Thanks for your comment though!

  12. Don says:

    Hi, I visited your blog. IMHO you’re making a big mistake having the same pop up ad appear every time a visitor views a page.

    Cheers Don

  13. Boffill says:

    Thanks for this tip. I have observed it too in my blog’s traffic. Some of my visitors are from my comments from other blogs! :)

  14. An excellent strategy, Joe, but I would add one thing. I get tons of comments from people who clearly don’t know ANYTHING about my subject and probably haven’t even read the post they commented on. They heap on the praise, but there’s no substance to the comment, nothing to indicate they’ve given any thought to the content, in short, no added value.

    WordPress tosses most of those in the trash automatically, but the ones that slip through, I also delete unless they’re really comments. Then I go and puke. People who do that are oily con artists who are wasting my time and insulting my intelligence. Donna

  15. PS. Another tip? Take the time to check spelling and grammar. Most of the fake comments I’m talking about are pretty much illiterate. Donna

  16. chris says:

    I try to comment at least once a day but how many do you recommend a day to make a difference?

    • Joe says:

      Honestly I have about seven of my favorite blogs I comment on. Sometimes I have something to say and sometimes I don’t. It just depends on what the blogs post everyday. If you don;t have something to say don’t say it. Comments are supposed to provide value to other readers.

  17. I use the google RSS reader to keep my finger on the pulse of certain topics. I try to comment on at least 5 or 6 of the top blogs a week and try to stick to a similar topic each week. I then try to write a blog post regarding those topics so that if people see my comment and decide to go to my website they will be happy to find a post about a similar topic. I try to engage by answering a question people may be posing or sharing expertise with the other commenters and readers.

  18. Kent says:

    Yea, but then you get a ton of fake comments on your blog only because people want traffic rather than really liking the article they commented on. I think that’s lame.

  19. I have found commenting on other blogs to be a real asset to my blog. Not just the amount of traffic (and yes there is that), but also the connections I’m making. A lot of the blogs I comment on will then come and comment on one of my posts. This opens up a blog buddy type of relationship. As for commenting for the “right” reasons. . .I do comment on more blogs than I would if I didn’t have traffic in the back of my mind, but I NEVER comment if I don’t have something worthwhile to say.

  20. Jay Vance says:

    The best tip I can offer is, if you have been cranking out top notch content, then you should have answers to people’s problems already on your blog. I link to posts back to my site within my blog comments directing users to check out what I have already wrote on this topic. This sends huge traffic back to my sites.

  21. Tim says:

    I’m wondering if now that we can use Facebook Pages to leave comments on other blog Facebook pages that it would be another positive commenting strategy.

  22. Joy says:

    Like you Jillian, I enjoy the relationship connections that blog commenting brings to my blog. I’m still fairly new to this, and was thrilled that someone visited my site because of a comment I had made on another site she had visited. The little things in life excite me, but the whole blog commenting concept really works.
    Thanks Joe for the post.

  23. Hi Joe,

    By commenting on Other blog we not only improve our visibility but also improve trust factors of readers of that blog. It means by commenting on other blog we try to earn some quality traffice for blog or site.

    I love this post because you had described very well blog commenting strategy,

    Thanks for sharing
    John

  24. Kara Kelso says:

    Personally I like to make use of RSS feeds via Outlook, since I can read my favorite blogs when I’m also checking email. I only add blogs I have interest in, and make comments as I feel necessary. I applaud you for giving tips on driving traffic to your site with comments without telling people to spam. If there is one thing I can’t stand is spammy comments on my blogs that really have nothing to add to the post and are obviously just a ploy to get a link in.

  25. PiP says:

    Since the wordpress postaday/postaweek challenge I now have followers from all over the world. I found out by accident that commenting on blogs drives traffic to yours. I was only supporting other bloggers who joined the challenge and I had a really nice surprise to discover that most reciprocated. I always respond to comments and interaction is what I look for when seeking out new blogs to follow.

  26. Jacqueline says:

    My original plan in the first month and of half of my blog’s existence was to write a post, google that topic, then comment on the first 5 or so blog posts about the topic with a link back to my post. It brought in some traffic, but really nothing like what I hoped for. My new method works much better- like you, I look at the newest posts on really popular blogs and try to leave useful comments on those, and when I can I’ll sneak in a link to my blog.

    So here is a link to my blog… :) … I post monthly updates on my traffic and income, so hopefully this month will see a big increase from better comments and some other different strategies I’ve been using.

    http://www.escapenormal.com/category/monthly-traffic-income-reports/

    Also I’m not sure if this is true for everyone, but when I skim through comments on posts I really like, I tend to stop when I see someone has commented with a link, because I associate them with useful information.

  27. Powerserve says:

    Commenting on a blog without reading the article just seems wrong. At that point the only reason you’re posting is to get people to click over to your site. It just seems dirty to me, like getting a reward without doing the work.

    While I do have a set of blogs I keep in my Google Reader, they are blogs that have excellent and helpful posts. I feel growing traffic through sharing our expertise will generate better, more relevant traffic who may convert to customers. While I’m all for “getting the numbers up,” I think commenting on other blogs is just a piece of the puzzle. Plus it’s simply fun to read others’ work and share my opinion on it.

    Thanks for the post!

  28. I never really thought about there being a strategy to commenting on blog, but you make some excellent points here. I think commenting in the right places is definitely important. I’ve actually found that commenting on smaller blogs that don’t get as much comments or traffic can be really great for your blog. It may not get you tons of hits, but the blogger is more likely to check out your blog and return the favor, which of course builds some awesome relationships!

  29. Tripper10 says:

    Thanks for this useful information…
    I will try this strategies to get some visitor for our travel site…

    Thanks again… :)

  30. I almost never comment to get traffic on huge blogs, because I own a local business and that traffic will not convert. I mostly comment because that is what i love about internet, the interaction. Thanks for a very useful article.

  31. Yingjie Hu says:

    I have tested that few days ago and gave me 2 traffic. But I lost them quickly, too. Because I did not post for two days. I think for new blogs, it is better to post every day to keep these subscribers.