Last week I participated in a comment exchange party – each participant posted a link to a blog post that she wanted additional comments on and then OTHERS in the party would leave comments on the post.
Makes total sense, right? You get more traffic on a blog post, they get more links to their website, you get to read new articles, your name is seen by more people… It’s a win-win, right?
Well, maybe. There are a LOT of factors involved when it comes to commenting on other people’s blogs.
- MOST blogs have a nofollow policy which means that the link to YOUR website is listed as nofollow. Now, I’m not an SEO expert but I think this boils down to the link isn’t as valuable as an incoming link with a nofollow tag as it is without.
- People don’t always reciprocate. In an event like this, it’s completely possible I would comment on more blogs than would comment on mine.
- Time. Even if you skim the articles, it still takes time to read them. But the biggest time-overhead is the commenting itself. And sometimes it’s tough to even figure out HOW to comment!
- Finding something to say. There have been times I’ve been involved in comment-swaps like this and I knew NOTHING about the blog’s topic and had zero interest. Makes it hard to say anything that “Thanks! Great post!”
- Not all blogs delete spam comments, moderate snarky or mean commenters, or engage with their readers. Personally, I reserve the right to delete ANY comment on my blog.
So how DO you write a good comment on somebody’s blog?
Decide WHY you’re doing it. I’m usually looking to get my name out there and expand my visibility in the blog-o-world. And with most blogs not offering a ‘follow’ link back to MY site, SEO reasons aren’t my main consideration.
Standardize your “profile”. Most blogs ask for name, email address, and URL. Always put in the same information! I also recommend having a gravatar image. Here’s how.
Give a blogger encouragement. If there’s a blog you like to read regularly, even if it’s just your friend’s blog about her kids, comment and tell her you liked the pictures of the birthday party! I read once that for every reader who comments, there can be up to TEN readers who don’t!
Comment from your computer, not smartphone. It’s not that you CAN’T comment from a smartphone, it’s just that it’s a 1,000 times EASIER to do it from your computer! Save yourself the headache.
Set aside time each week to do your commenting. I set a timer for 20 minutes a day and work through the blogs I read as part of my groups. If that doesn’t work, and some weeks, it doesn’t I set aside time first thing on Friday mornings.
Give yourself enough time to read the post, think about it, and comment thoughtfully. NOTHING is worse than spending hours on a blog article to get a bunch of comments that say: “Great post. Thanks for sharing!”
Do thank the author for the post. It is just good manners! But then take the time to tell them what you learned, what you liked, share a quick story, etc. But please, go beyond the “Great post. Thanks for sharing!”
Relate your comment back to your favorite point of the post. This may not be the MAIN point! Because I regularly participate in comment swaps I comment on blogs that don’t always relate to my life – especially blogs about parenting. I have no frame of reference for RAISING kids so I tie my comment back to when I WAS a child.
Make it meaningful – if you can! If you REALLY can’t come up with anything meaningful to write (it happens occasionally) try for a more robust version of the “Great post” comment. I can ALWAYS say something like “Thanks for taking the time to write this article [blog author]. I never really thought about [post topic] and how it [impacts my life/impacts subject of the blog].” I ALWAYS feel bad about leaving such a skinny comment so I try to follow up with sharing it on social media.
Share on social media. Most blogs have “share” buttons on every post. If it does, give the author a little extra love and share the article on your favorite network. I’ll be honest here: I share on Facebook ONLY things I know my people are interested in; I share everything else on Twitter since my followers there are more random.
Share THIS article! Commenting on blogs does build your site’s SEO and your own visibility and credibility. But you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t get into the habit of leaving quality comments!