Nowadays spammy link builder polluted blog commenting art and harmed link builders reputation.However, if done properly, blog commenting can be a perfectly consider as form of marketing capable of getting you some serious traffic.What I’m talking about here is using blog commenting to build relationships and authority in your industry, and how those two things will ultimately lead to organic links and new traffic.
Finding the Right Blogs
When you’re searching for places to comment, you’re looking for blogs in your industry. And not just any blogs, but ones that receive some good traffic and engagement. They don’t have to be the top blogs, mind you, but you want them to have some significant amount of active commenters already.
One great place to start is to PostRank. Look up your topic of interest, say SEO, and you’ll find a list of some of the top blogs on that topic based on the amount of social shares and comments those blogs receive.
Another, for the Internet marketing industry at least, is Sphinn. Posts on their homepage are generally from blogs that have great content and therefore a good bit of discussion happening.
Once you’ve found a few great blogs to start with, then continue to branch out by following links from commenters to their blog. This will help you grow your base of sites to comment upon.
Also, on sites with many different authors, such as this one, check out the author bio to see if the writer’s have their own blogs and join their community as well, assuming those are also in your industry.
Use Your Real Name
Usernames, like “Real Estate Wizard” or “Marketing Magician” may seem cute to you, but to most everyone reading the comments, they make you seem, at best, unauthentic and, at worst, a shyster. It’s always better to use your real name, so you seem like a real person. Just be straightforward and honest about who you are. It takes your interactions to a more personal level. Notice how mine simply states my name and what I am.
Use Your Real Picture
You can reinforce the idea you’re a real person and not a spambot by including a genuine photo of yourself beside your name. To really make a connection with readers, try to use an up close picture where viewers can see your face. Being able to see your eyes, smile, etc. makes it easier for people to remember you and feel like they know you.
Also, use the same avatar everywhere you go (Twitter, Facebook, Disqus, etc.), so people begin to recognize your face.
Target Blogs in Your Niche
This may be a no-brainer, but there’s not much point networking with those who aren’t involved or interested in your industry. For any chance of increasing conversions, you have to build awareness of yourself and your brand among relevant bloggers and their readers. There is an abundance of blogs about my industry (inbound marketing and social media marketing), but finding relevant blogs in a smaller niche market may require a little bit more research.
Only Comment if You Have Something Valuable to Add to the Discussion
This factor is huge! Kind of like the line you might have heard while growing up about how if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Well in this case, if you don’t have something useful to contribute to the comments, don’t try to comment. You will want to leave a comment that others can learn from and that the blog owner will be impressed by.
Try to be First
Don’t do it in the annoying forum way by just commenting “first” or similarly, “great post.” You want to be first, but only after you’ve read the article and know you have something great to say about it.
Just like the click-through rate on Google’s first organic result is much higher than the following results, the likelihood of other commenters clicking your link if you’re first is much higher than if you’re getting to the party after 50 other people have arrived and left their mark. But even that is dependent upon the next step.
Become a Regular
Again, this goes against the link building grain of getting lots of links from lots of different domains. But we’re not here to build links by spam commenting, right? Good, then that shouldn’t matter.
You will want to become a regular face around the community. Which reminds me, if you don’t have a Gravatar yet, then please do so. Or if the blog uses Disqus, sign up for a commenter account with them and get your profile photo up. Whatever commenting system the blog uses, make sure, if possible, it will have your photo associated with your comment.
Keep it Brief
Most folks aren’t going to take the time to read long comments and generally skip over anything longer than a paragraph. The lack of headings, pictures, etc. simply makes it too tedious. Try to summarize your points in a few sentences, and if you have more that you just have to say, write about the topic on your own blog.
Think of it as Building a Reputation
The best way to approach comment marketing is by thinking of it as a chance to build your reputation — not as an opportunity for backlinks. Yes, everyone wants links and traffic, but those things will come if people become interested in YOU.
Use comments as a way to network, form relationships, learn from others, build awareness, and to participate in industry discussions. If the audience likes what you’re saying and sees your face enough, they will become curious and will click your name to learn more about you. With enough exposure and valuable postings, readers will feel like they know you and will trust your comments when they come across them.