What Does it Mean to Comment on Blogs - and Why Bother?One piece of advice we routinely give authors – after telling them they should have a blog – is tofollow some good blogs on their topic/area of expertise, become familiar with them and join in theconversation with blog comments. Yet it’s probably one of the least followed pieces of advice.Image by qthrul via FlickrI think it’s safe to say the major reason for avoiding blog commenting is feeling uncomfortable with,and uninformed about, the process. So, let’s take a look at what blog commenting entails, and whyit’s worthwhile.Plain and simple, blog commenting helps you build links back to your site and these inbound linksare important for your Google Page Rank. The higher your rank, the higher up your blog and/orwebsite will appear in search results. That means your chance of being discovered is greater. But it’snot worth taking time to comment on blogs if it’s only about your own gain. Instead, focus on theinformation you can share and the contacts you can make by commenting on blogs.Some ideas to get startedImage via CrunchBase
For instance, if you’re a mystery author, why not network with like-minded authors via their blogs?Many mystery authors blog about writing, their inspiration, their books, writer’s conferences â€¦ alltopics that lend themselves to commenting. Those relationships you build by becoming a regular canlead to guest blogging invitations, blog tour opportunities and so on.If your topic is in the self-help arena, seek out others who use their blogs to inspire and share yourown expertise. Invite them to guest blog for you. Don’t think of them as competitors, but as potentialpartners in marketing. Some may not want to help, but many may be willing to partner with you insome way.Besides guest blogging, you can offer interviews, giveaways, do podcasts, book reviews and muchmore. Chances are if you provide these opportunities for others they will want to return the favor.Image via WikipediaRegardless of your genre or area of expertise there are plenty of others blogging about your topic,and good bloggers welcome and encourage comments. Once you’ve established yourself as aregular you may see traffic increase on your own blog as that blogger – and many of his or herreaders – start following your blog.Commenting etiquetteThere are a few things to remember when blog commenting:
Profile: What does your profile look like? Many times we forget to check our profile and thatmysteryauthor@gmail address may be fine for sending emails but does nothing to brand you whenyou’re leaving comments on blogs. Check the preview option before you publish so you canproofread your post and see what your profile looks like. Be transparent, and make it easy for peopleto learn who you are.Controversy: While controversy isn’t always a bad thing, if there’s a hot button topic and you wantto stir up the pot, make sure you’re ready to handle the heat that may result. Once you’ve hit the“send” button it’s too late! If you do decide to jump in, be sure to recheck your comment forresponses (you may want to reply) and also keep track of activity on your own blog as theconversation may travel to your site. There’s nothing worse than someone who amps up thediscussion only to be unavailable to respond to any follow-up comments and questions.Sharing: Feel free to share your own experiences and tips. If you have something that is trulyrelevant to the topic, offer a comment and/or a related link to a good resource. However, do not golink crazy, your profile already offers a link back to your site. The point of commenting is not to loadup links back to your site. You’ll just appear to be a spammer and could be blocked.KISS: Keep it short and sweet; blog comments are not mini novels. If you truly feel there are myriadareas left to explore in an issue, offer a point on the blog, then invite people back to your site whereyou can dig further into the topic and seek other opinions.Image by Jeff Youngstrom via FlickrProfessionalism: Remember that you’re commenting online and anyone online may see yourcomment. Even mom! So make sure that whatever you write is consistent with the image you wantto project.Blog commenting can be a useful tool in your marketing efforts. Find some bloggers who strike achord with your topic, genre or expertise and then jump in and join the conversation. Good luck!