Blog commenting started off as a popular link building tactic years ago. You might come across blog sites that still promote this tactic, but this is a very outdated strategy that hasn’t worked for the longest time.
“Why doesn’t it work anymore?”
Like many other popular link building techniques, blog commenting was quickly abused and has since become outdated.
During blog commenting’s peak in popularity, blog posts became quickly overrun with spammy, incoherent, and generic comments left for the sole purpose of building links with keyword-rich anchor text. Gone were the insightful comments from people who took the time to read blog posts and comment thoughtfully.
Unethical spammers eventually developed tools to automate this process, and the spammy comments quickly caused significant problems for all site owners. This tactic eventually grabbed the attention of Google, forcing it to roll out new updates to its SEO algorithm to discourage this behavior.
The nofollow attribute was announced by Google in 2005 to help site owners combat spam. When the nofollow tag is applied to an outgoing link that’s been left by a visitor, website owners are telling search engines that they don’t endorse the website that link points to, and no value should be passed within that outgoing link.
Most blogging platforms and other content management systems that allow users to submit comments started implementing the nofollow tag on all links added within visitors’ comments, and this has since solved the problem of people leaving spam comments in comments sections.
Blog comments have become obsolete when it comes to link building, but they haven’t lost their value – their purpose has simply changed.
Blog comments can still create an impact on your website’s traffic when utilized properly. Instead of using them to build links, you now take advantage of it to increase traffic to your site and establish a presence in your industry.
Contributions from users in the form of comments, social media shares, and backlinks can go a long way towards spreading brand awareness. However, not every comment is relevant or provides value.
That said, let’s discuss what you should always keep in mind when commenting on other blogs.
Writing valuable comments on industry blogs is a common content marketing tactic that still works because it has the potential to send you qualified leads and customers. However, this won’t work if you make the big mistake of not using your full name when commenting on posts.
Think about it this way: when you attend a live workshop, do you walk up to strangers and start pitching your product/service without introducing yourself first?
Of course not!
Using your full name when commenting on other blogs gives a professional impression and demonstrates that you’re an actual person. Not using your full name is a missed opportunity to promote your brand, because the foundation of your brand actually begins with your name.
You wouldn’t want people to leave comments on your blog posts without using their full names, right?
Be selective about which blogs you read and comment on. Why?
It’s simple: so that you don’t waste your valuable time.
If you leave comments on blogs that aren’t related to your niche and industry, you won’t drive traffic to your blog because the people reading that blog have different interests that probably won’t align with what you have to offer.
Not all blogs are created equal. The blogs you read and leave comments on matters. Create a list of industry-related blogs so that when the time comes to read other people’s blogs, you’ll work more efficiently.
Don’t write comments just for the sake of leaving a comment. It doesn’t help anyone and it definitely doesn’t help you.
If your comment isn’t relevant to the topic, then it’s automatically considered spam, and where does spam end up? The trash. Trust me, nothing annoys a content writer or blogger more than an unrelated comment.
Unrelated comments are useless and do nothing for your blog.
Comments are important, but so is the substance of the comment itself. How do you know what comment to leave? Should you add your two cents or simply ask a question?
The common mistake bloggers make when commenting is sharing their opinion when they’re not qualified to. This tends to happen more regularly on non-niche related blogs.
If you read a post on a topic you’re not an authority in, even in your own niche, I wouldn’t recommend asserting your own opinion as fact. In these situations, you should ask questions. This gives the writer of that article an opportunity to shed more light on complicated or complex areas of that topic.
There will always be topics we lack knowledge of (even in our own niches), so it’s best not to assert our own opinion of topics we lack the knowledge and expertise in.
Now that we’ve gone through the common etiquette of commenting on other people’s blogs, let’s now discuss how to handle blog comments on your own website.
The comments section of your blog posts shouldn’t be saturated with spammy and irrelevant comments, so to help filter spam comments from legitimate ones, install the Akismet WordPress plugin.
Akismet filters spam comments by combining information about spam captured on all participating sites and uses those spam rules to block future spam on your website.
Trust me – this plugin is an absolute necessity.
Once the comments on your blog posts have been filtered, you can focus on replying to the legitimate comments.
People on the internet are ruthless, and the sooner you come to terms with this fact, the better.
Learn to take criticisms because not everyone who reads your posts will agree with you. There WILL be a degree of conflict at some point, but you need to learn how to handle that in a diplomatic manner.
Picking on someone who disagrees with you or shares negative thoughts in the comments section of your blog gives off the impression that you only care about your opinions. That closes the door for discourse with visitors and makes you and your brand look bad.
We always have something to learn about our niches, so don’t be so ready to dismiss other people’s conflicting opinions.
When replying to negative comments, address the problem. Make the commenter feel valued (because they are). Every single comment on your blog post is an opportunity for lead generation.
That visitor left a comment on your post because the article left an impression on them, good or bad. It may have stirred up a dying passion, or contributed greatly to their current situation. One thing’s for sure, though – they were invested in what you had to say in some way.
You may have heard about hiring virtual assistants (VAs) to make the process of replying to comments on your blog much easier and more efficient.
Yes, blog commenting can be outsourced in the same way article writing can be outsourced to freelance writers. A VA can help with writing useful replies to comments on recent blog posts.
However, I wouldn’t recommend hiring a VA to someone who’s starting out. Only hire a VA if you already have a steady stream of traffic and are already earning enough to cover the costs of outsourcing work.
While blog commenting has now become useless as a link building strategy, when utilized properly, it can result in an increase in traffic to your website.
Blog comments are a useful way to gain exposure and form blogger-to-blogger relationships within the blogging community when you add valuable commentary and support other bloggers.
Lots of comments left on a post will not only signal that your content is highly engaging, but they can also provide additional valuable content that’s a supplement to your own. Users’ comments can provide additional insights and are typically rich with targeted keywords.
If you are looking to gain exposure within your niche, I would consider commenting on relevant blog posts you can add valuable and helpful commentary to based on your expertise on the subject.
This allows for the opportunity for other readers to come across your comment, find it informative, and visit your site as a result.
If you’re not leveraging the comments section to grow your blog, then you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Leaving a comment on blog posts that seem relevant to your blog isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.
However, don’t leave irrelevant, “spammy” comments and expect great results. Using blog commenting as a way to build links to your website is a waste of time.
When commenting on other people’s blogs, always remember to:
When responding to comments on your own blog, always remember to:
While link building through blog commenting has become totally useless, it’s still a strong tool for lead generation. Focus on the quality and value you can provide through your comments and people will flock to your site.
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