This post is a guest post by Stuart Bourne
Blog commenting, as a way of building backlinks is not a new idea. It’s been going on for years, but it’s still one of the most powerful components in building a prosperous internet marketing strategy. Not only that, it’s very simple to do. Then why do some people still get it wrong?
It’s important to remember that there are 2 main reasons for using blog commenting as part of your own sites SEO and they are:
1) By building backlinks from other sites you are increasing your visibility and authority with the search engines.
2) By positioning your links in front of your sites target audience, you can increase traffic to your site.
I think the mistake that some people make is that they only go as far as the first step and don’t put any thought into the second. While just having backlinks is fine, there is a great opportunity to be had in gaining some free, organic and targeted traffic. Below are some techniques that have worked well for me in the past and continue to do so.
Comment within your niche
This should be pretty straightforward. For example, if your site and campaigns are in the pet care niche, it will be highly unlikely that any you are going to capture your target audience by commenting on a computer gaming blog. Leaving backlinks to your site on too many unrelated sites will also have an adverse effect on how the search engines see the links.
Also by commenting within your niche gives you the chance to present yourself as an expert, or at the very least someone who knows what they’re talking about. For this reason, you need to be consistent on all of the blogs that you are commenting on.
Try and be first
While you can leave a comment at any point, you should always strive to be one of the first 10 people to do so. This will definitely improve the chances of your comment being read. This is of particular importance if the blog you are commenting on usually receives a lot of other comments. You can still leave a comment after the first 50 people have already done so (because you will still get your backlink), but the chances of people getting to your comment, reading it and following your link are reduced.
Don’t hide behind a nick name.
You need to remember that there is more to blog commenting than just slipping in your backlink and doing a runner. You can use the opportunity of blog commenting to increase your reputation as an expert within your niche, as well as building relationships with the blog host’s and their readers. The best way of doing this is if you are identifiable as a real person.
While the internet allows its users a degree of anonymity, if you are looking to build trust then you will need to appear as a real person, rather than some nameless and faceless entity. Also if the blog allows for it then you should always use a Gravatar. From my experience I have found that more people tend to comment or follow a link when I’ve used a personal Gravatar, rather than the generic picture supplied by the blog.
Actually read the post
I don’t mean to sound like “Captain Stating the Bleeding Obvious”, but you would be surprised how many people just skip the post and go straight for the comments box and start typing the usual generic comment straight out of the Spammers Guide to Blog Commenting, e.g. “Cool post. Thanks for sharing such great information”. Chances are if you see comments like that then they haven’t even read the post. Yes, a comment like that would still get the backlink, but it wouldn’t attract any traffic.
The comment you leave needs to be directly related to the post, and it should be more than just saying how “cool it was that they shared”; even if it was. In an ideal world your comment should add something to the post, or to other comments that have been left. Also don’t be afraid to question the post or disagree with the opinions/information that it contains, although you should always be prepared to back up any statements that you make. Just don’t be rude!
Short and sweet
Try and remember that you are only leaving a comment, not a blog post of your own; so keep what you have to say short and to the point. You don’t want to give too much of your expertise and content away on someone else’s blog. You need to leave just enough to get the reader interested before they follow you backlink straight to your site.
You should also remember that most website users just skim through content anyway, so having read through a 500+ word blog post already, the last thing that they want from the comments is an essay about the post they have just read.
If you have the option then subscribe to the blogs comment feed, or just keep revisiting any post that you have commented on and check on whether anyone has left anymore comments that you can comment on, or you may find that someone has commented on your comment. It’s a great way to start a conversation with other readers and will quickly get you involved into that blogs community.
Even better is if the conversation involves the blog writer as well. If there are people who regularly read the blog and they see that the writer of the blog is interested in talking with you, then other readers will be interested in you too.
The best thing about the above techniques is that they are all so simple and only take a fraction more time than just leaving “Great post” in the comments. All you need to do is spend an hour or so every day commenting on different blogs and you should soon start seeing the results
About the author: Stuart Bourne is a full time affiliate marketer, who also finds the time to write for CPANetworkReviews, a site offering unbiased information and reviews about the leading CPA and affiliate networks, as well as providing helpful tips and guides about internet marketing on the blog pages.