Here’s my notes on Darren Rowse’s Problogger Free Podcast on 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. You can listen to Darren Rowse’s free podcast here Day 20 leave comments on other blogs. The complete list can read here on Day 0 – Welcome and Introduction.
In order for us all to get the full benefit of this series, I’m going to go at a slower pace posting going forward in September on Tuesdays each week. I hope with this challenge we are all able to improve our blogs and websites. Yes I did jump from day 11 to Day 20. I thought this one was really relevant and I learned a lot from this one. I hope you do as well!
So lets do this together! Day 20 here we go! Subscribe and check back often! #31DBBB
Day 20: Today the challenge is to get off your blog and leave comments on some other people’s blogs.
This could have all kinds of benefits including driving some traffic to your blog, generating ideas, and collaboration with other bloggers. I do want to say that I skipped ahead to this day because I think it can be highly beneficial to consider and think on this day’s particular challenge. I know it was very beneficial to me. I also want to clarify that not everything stated in my posts are in Darren’s podcast. For example, I often add to his ideas and may use different illustrations.
The most common advice in building traffic to your blog is leave comments on other people’s blogs. This is a great technique that can be fantastic in helping you build your profile and to generate some traffic back to your blog. Darren cautions though that today’s challenge also has a potential to hurt your blog. Read further to find out more!
Benefits of Commenting on Other People’s Blogs
By commenting on other blogs it gets you off your blog and viewing other people’s blogs. This helps you learn how other people approach blogging. This may even spark ideas for your own blog posts by answering a question, taking a different view, or adding a few points to a post. This can be particularly useful if you are reading other blogs in your niche. By commenting on other blogs you meet other bloggers in your niche. These could lead to collaboration and partnerships throughout the years. These other bloggers in your niche would also be more willing to link to your content and work with you in some way as they get to know you. This also creates a small doorway to your blog for the readers of these other blogs. By commenting on other blogs you are also building your profile and showcasing your expertise if you leave good comments.
Dangers of Commenting on Other People’s Blogs
So what happens if you don’t comment well? This should be rather obvious. You could come across as overly self-promotional, spammy, pushy, or just trying too hard. I personally think when I started my first blog and even at the launch of this second blog I made the mistake of self-promoting too much and I was rather pushy. It came across as I was just too hard. I also included my blog link in a lot of my comments which I’m sure other bloggers didn’t really appreciate very much. I really wanted to share today what I learned and gleaned from Darren.
What are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to commenting on blogs?
Don’t Do When Commenting On Other Blogs
1. Don’t leave too many links. Don’t leave a link in the text of your first post on a site. Particularly if the blogger has a field for entering your website or a plugin widget such as Comment Luv.
2. Don’t leave too many comments. This could come across as spammy or simply trying too hard. Post a comment on one or two articles and that should be sufficient. Don’t post a comment on their last 15 posts.
3. Don’t dominate the conversation. Don’t respond to every comment on the post. That is the job and privilege of the author.
4. Don’t always be the first one to leave a comment. This can get really annoying to a blog author. It can also discourage others from posting in the same article. Darren says there’s nothing worse as a blogger than a person who comments first on every post and dominates the conversation.
5. Don’t always talk about yourself. Use your brain and engage the actual article. Talk about the blogger, the blog post subject, and what they’re saying. If you’re going to mention something about yourself comment on the article first and then remember to make it relevant.
6. Don’t attack the other blogger or readers. This should be self-explanatory. But by attacking others you are actually doing the opposite of what your goal should be. You are hurting your reputation and coming across as confrontational on another person’s blog.
7. Don’t use a pseudo name. Darren stresses if you are going to build community it’s important to use your real name. This is particularly true if you plan to stick around and comment regularly on blogs be it in or outside your niche. Please, don’t use your blog name. Darren says it is really unnecessary. Many bloggers allow you to insert a link back to your blog. If people are interested in reading your blog they will click on the link.
8. Don’t leave a strictly negative comment on another person’s blog. That person took time and effort to create their content. Be respectful of their work. If you leave negative feedback make it respectful and make sure you are giving constructive criticism.
9. Don’t leave comments that add little or no value to the conversation. Some example of comments that leave little value are “that is interesting”, “so true”, “great picture”, or “thanks for the information”. When you comment, make sure you are addressing the actual article in some way.
To Do When Commenting On Other Blogs
1. Do read the post first. It’s amazing how many people skim poorly or simply skip down to comment on a post. One blogger recently wrote questioning comments on her article in that people were congratulating her on her cake making skills when the post clearly stated that her other half bought her the cake. Reading comprehension and attention to details comes into play here. Let’s try something as an example. If you decide to comment on this post please type the number one after your comment. I have been wanting to do this for weeks. This seems like the appropriate post to do so to illustrate my point. At times, I myself can fall into the trap of skimming mindlessly and commenting on one particular aspect of the post without reading the post in its entirety. This is a habit I’m trying to break.
2. Do add value to the post. Add an experience or an example. Expand on one of the points the author made. If the author is talking about saving for basic emergencies you could add that having about at least 3-6 months of expenses saved up should be the goal for a fully funded emergency fund.
3. Do be personal. Use your name. Yes, your real name. Even if it’s just a first name all by itself. Or perhaps use your first name and the first initial of your last name. Write in a personal conversational tone as if you are having a conversation with a friend. Remember, the goal is to build relationships with other readers and bloggers on the particular site you are commenting on.
4. Do be relevant with your comments. Avoid tangents that have nothing to do with the post. If the post is an article on a food recipe don’t talk about the latest political news. If the article is about personal finance in getting out of debt for example don’t give investing advice. If the article is about blogging avoid talking about your pet unless there’s a clear connection.
5. Do be honest if you disagree with the blogger but remember to be gracious. Bloggers typically will welcome a good discussion and often want to read different views. This spurs on the conversation. Remember that it is possible to disagree with someone without being sarcastic or insulting.
6. Do add advice where you are invited to do so but don’t go too far. Base that advice on your expertise or own experience. Try not to contradict the advice of the blog author. If you do contradict the blog author’s post, provide in a respectful manner your own data to support your claim.
7. Do ask relevant and insightful questions that keep the conversational alive. Bloggers love it when conversations develops in the comments of their posts. Don’t just add your opinion but also consider asking a question. Don’t ask rhetorical questions. Allow either the author or someone else to answer the question.
8. Do respond to what other commenters have said. Maybe agree with or ask a question to one or two other people in the article. This will engage other people in the discussion and add value to your comment. It will also drive back people to that person’s blog if they are following replies to that particular blog’s article.
9. Do fill in your link in the URL form of the comments section. Let that be the main way people find you. Don’t post your blog link in the comment itself. There is a field there and the blogger wants you to leave a link. Otherwise, the option would not be included in his or her blog.
10. Do occasionally leave a link in the comment itself if it’s highly relevant to the conversation. It might also be good to say at the end of your comment “If this is not relevant please feel free to or delete it.” This is really good, common courtesy. This gives a clear signal to the blog author that if they don’t consider the link relevant they are free to remove it.
11. Do check your grammar and spelling. I sometimes can forget to do this myself in my zeal to comment on multiple posts. Remember that quality is the key here. Not simply quantity. Remember to use complete sentences, capitalization, and punctuation. Don’t use texting abbreviations. Unless of course you are commenting on Twitter and that is the norm for example.
Two Final Thoughts
1. Build commenting on other blogs into your daily rhythm and routine. Doing this 5-10 minutes a day could lead to all kinds of good things with good, value added comments. It could be a great way to generate traffic to your blog and to build relationships with other bloggers within your niche or even those outside your niche.
2. Pay attention to the comment you are leaving. Ask yourself if you could turn your comment into a blog post. An insightful, value added comment can easily become a 500-600 or more word blog post. Link back to the original post. Take this comment I made here on Savings Advice that turned into this blog post.
- The Ultimate Guide to Leaving Comments on Blogs
- Writer’s Digest – How to Leave Meaningful Blog Comments
- Social Media Examiner – 19 Ways to Build Relationships with Blog Comments
- SEO Siren – Benefits of Comment Marketing for Traffic and Popularity
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What are one or two things you learned about commenting on other blogs you feel you can put into practice? Which blogs will you comment on in your niche today?