Leave Comments on Other Blogs [Day 20 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog from Problogger]

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

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.

Become A Problogger with Darren Rowse

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 

don'ts

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.

Additionally:

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

Do

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.

Additionally:

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.

Read more:

*   *   *

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? 

{Click to go back to day 19 here} {Click to go forward to day 21 here} *Coming Soon*

 

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

104 Comments

  1. Great tips, Johnathan. I have always commented on other blogs, even before I started blogging, so I see the benefit of it. I find it’s also a bit of a morale booster, as a blogger, to get comments, and you have to give to get!

    • Marie the main ideas in bold are Darren’s for the most part. Anything that is additionally added are my expanded ideas on his content. Spelling and grammar for example. The rest of the content including examples are my own. I do not own the course notes but they are available on his site for sale. Thanks for commenting and reading!

  2. Before I even had a blog of my own, I would always read the comment section. It is a great place to discover some new reads, ideas and tips. I comment on any piece I find interesting or appealing be it beauty and fashion related or parenting and lifestyle :-)(1) x

  3. Hey Jonathan,

    Glad I stumbled onto this post. I love checking out other bogs and if I find value I always leave a constructive comment.

    As yo say if No value is found its better to simply leave than add a negative or non serving comment, the author took the time and you may not be their target audience so go slow on sarcasm or negative feedback.
    I believe it depends on the forum you are commenting in. If you visit an Influencer’s blog first, the you are in for a treat…:) esp. if you leave a constructive & value comment!
    So I am sharing this coz there are lots of bloggers that just dont love to give…

    • Hey Julie thanks for stopping by! I agree you have to give to get back. It’s a basic law of reciprocity. It’s important to comment by adding value to the discussion. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. I’m glad you mentioned (and Darren presumably) people leaving links in the comment when there’s already the option to leave it. Some bloggers still fight and promote that people should do it, but it is spammy! Totally.

    The one thing I need to sort out is commenting under my blog where it’s a wordpress.com blog (I think), and it doesn’t seem to like my name, instead it puts my blog name down instead. The only way I can get round it at the moment, is to use twitter to do my comments instead.
    Emma T recently posted…Bogey PrincessesMy Profile

    • Emma I hear you on people leaving links on their comments. It’s a bit frustrating when you have a section for people to insert their link AND you provide a plugin that allows them to link up their 10 latest posts. Thanks for commenting and reading!

  5. Great tips. I love learning as much as I can on blogging and proper blogging etiquette. It is so nice to get comments on your blog. And it is important to respond to those comments. I love the sense of community it builds and it definitely can give you material for another post.
    LaKisha recently posted…4 Fall Must HavesMy Profile

  6. Would you believe I feel a little self conscious now posting this comment? 😉 Those are all valuable tips. In my head I’m thinking, “So more is good, but not too much more, stay positive, and extend the conversation!” Does he mention what “too many comments” would be? A number perhaps? I comment maybe 5-10 times a day. Maybe up to 15? I just wondered. Eager to catch up to your other posts. Thanks so much!
    Vi Dotter recently posted…Laughing At PipelinesMy Profile

    • I know right Vi? Darren said some of his comments were 500-600 words. I think he was talking about commenting on the same post multiple times. I guess it depends on the blog, the comments, and engagement of others. Thanks for checking out the site! Feel free to check out the other blogging tips and thanks for stopping by.

  7. Jonathan, first of all, great job covering these. To answer your question #1, I think this was a thorough review for anyone who’s been doing this for awhile, and #2 I honestly don’t leave many comments unless prompted to (for example your questions which are inviting). I always leave a question at the end of my posts so those who want to leave a comment but aren’t sure what to write have a guide but find most people don’t answer them.
    Second of all: Can’t. Stop. Laughing. (1)
    Blessings,
    Deborah recently posted…Three Ways To Grow Your FaithMy Profile

  8. I’m glad you are enjoying Darren’s course. It was the best gift I gave myself when I started blogging 6+ years ago. Sadly, many bloggers don’t honor the rules you mentioned above and it used to bother me a lot. Recently, I’ve come to terms with the fact that spammy, irrelevant comments, and fake names are a refection on those bloggers, and not on me. <3

  9. Such a great post. I just started blogging about a month ago and commenting and connecting with other bloggers has been so beneficial for me. It has taught me so many things to do and not to do with my own blog. It’s also given me so much inspiration for future posts of my own and connected me with new blogging friends. I want to work harder on spending (like you suggested) 5-10 minutes each day commenting and researching blogs in my niche just to meet more people and gain new ideas. Thanks for the tips 🙂 I’ll have to go listen to these podcasts!
    Anna Harris recently posted…My Trip to Wilmington!My Profile

  10. I agree with most of these, but I don’t often write my comments in complete sentences. I comment on so many blogs daily. I know you said quality is important, but I also join a lot of blog hops. Most hops require you comment on at least one to three blogs on the hop. I try my best to meet that requirement to be fair. Thus, if I link up to three hops, I may have to comment on 3 to 9 blog posts. It is time consuming. Of course, this comment is longer than normal for me. LOL
    Mary Hill recently posted…Captured By Your Love, JesusMy Profile

    • Mary I totally understand and get it. This is something I’ve been learning myself. This is a shift in my thinking as well. It’s important to take 2-4 minutes to comment on other blogs in a meaningful way like you did here. Think Pf it this way…. You are more likely to generate traffic to your site with a well thought out comment verses a “thanks for the tips” type comment wouldn’t you agree? Thanks for reading and stopping by!

  11. I’m not the best at visiting other blogs, and even worse at commenting. I’m so busy “working” on my own I forget that visiting and commenting is part of the work. Thanks for the reminder. I will add that since we started Welcome Home Wednesdays Linky Party it has taken me to lots of blogs I was unaware of and looking forward to each party for the chance to read more posts and comment!!! Thanks for sharing with us again at the party!
    Tracy Snyder recently posted…DIY Harvest Pallet SignMy Profile

    • Wow Kathleen that’s fantastic! I suppose my theory was correct then. Posting about blogging tips in a blog booster party I guess works. Thanks for letting me know and hosting a great party every week!

  12. Congratulations on being featured in the Blog Booster Party! Commenting has been a wonderful method of networking as I have started my blog this year. I have found several new blogs as well by following the links in people’s post comments. 🙂

  13. I think it’s just a simple principle to grasp. People spend a lot of effort to create blogs and just want someone to read and affirm that they haven’t wasted their time. It only stands to reason that when you take time to read and comment, others will be much more willing to reciprocate. I enjoyed all the commenting guidelines too. thanks!
    Karen Woodall recently posted…Straighten UpMy Profile

  14. I’m very new to blogging, and I have noticed so much more traffic to my site when I comment on other peoples blogs. It’s natural for a blogger to check out the site of someone who has taken the time to fully read and participate in the conversation.

    This post was very thorough and VERY helpful. (1)
    Lindsey recently posted…DIY Tree ArtMy Profile

  15. Thanks for sharing all these great and useful tips. I’m just getting really serious about blogging and I found that it is very important that you read, comment and help support your fellow bloggers.

    • Vinesh I’m glad you enjoyed the read and found it useful. Reading, commenting, and supporting other bloggers is key. It’s the great law of reciprocation – it makes the world go round. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Very well said, and excellent blogging etiquette in general. I’ve benefited greatly from getting off of my own site, and connecting with others. The relationships I’m forming are key to my own learning, and blog growth. Their also a whole lot of fun too.

    I’m sure there have been times when I’ve been too overzealous, and other’s where I have not been proactive enough. I think that balance also comes with time and practice 🙂
    Jed recently posted…A Year of Teamwork–My 2016 Theme and Goal (With Link-Up)My Profile

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