This may seem to be a trivial post.
At the same time when you consider that the humble blog comment (a comment you leave on someone else’s blog) accounts for about 10% of the traffic I bring to this blog, it might still not seem so statistically meaningless.
Here’s a further clue to it’s importance, I had about 4300 unique visitors from Dec 1 – Dec 22. That means about 430 unique visitors arrived at this blog because of comments I made on other blogs.
Imagine having a party and having 430 people come over because you drafted a note and dropped it in their mailbox. And it was such a simple act that anyone can use it.
What’s great about blog comments?
- They cost nothing to post
- They persist as long as the blog you posted on is around
- They give you an opportunity to extend your geographical reach way beyond your own borders
- You can target specific countries and niches with laser-precise accuracy if you choose to
Having said that, I’ve seen a number of Internet Marketers employ blog commenting strategies in a way that ensures they’ll crash and burn (a major clue: I get a bad taste in my mouth after reading the comment).
Here’s a couple of tips:
- Stay away from automated “intelligent” commenting software: This purported “revolutionary” software is old news. It spams comments across hundreds of blogs every hour. The bad news is that your comments will be deleted by the hundreds every hour too.
- Stay away from generic comments: The worst comments to leave any blogger would be “nice”, “interesting post”, “I like your post”, “thanks”. I’m not saying you can’t leave these types of posts, but if you do say “nice post”, spend an additional 1-2 minutes more saying “why” you like the post. Was it the bloggers writing style? Their scintillating personality? The freshness of their idea? By expressing yourself this way, you catch the blogger’s attention. You start the basis of a dialogue. More on that shortly.
A blog comment gives massive leverage over publishing a post on your own blog IF you observe the following:
- You identify blogs relevant to your niche
- You shortlist the top 10 blogs in your niche
- You regularly read these 10 blogs and get an idea of the blogger’s vibe
- You post comments that are insightful, analytical, sarcastic, funny or introduce an alternative perspective (backed by appropriate support). An ideal comment (not easy to achieve) would contain a combination of all of the above.
How to use a comment to devastating effect:
There are a couple of levels of interactivity when you’re using blog comments.
Broadly speaking, I consider three levels of interaction via blog comments.
- Billboard in the Desert: This is where you post a fairly generic comment, including your name, blog URL in the comment. I’d consider this to be the lowest level of interaction because it is just about as good as billboard in the desert. It beats not leaving anything at all, although I guess the clickthrough rates (to borrow a contextual advertising term) might be in the 1-2% range.
- The Informative Interaction: Here’s where you start a dialogue with the blogger. You take the blogger or another blog commenter’s point and you run with it. You extend or bring the discussion along a different path. You start a debate/discussion/argument (depending on the intensity). Take a look at the comments for Shoemoney’s recent “10 Reasons Why Microsoft Will Aquire Yahoo In 2007“
- The Transactional Exchange: This is the deepest level of interaction possible and requires the highest level of trust and credibility to pull off. Reason being there’s a transaction or barter in place where money or products and services with a monetary value are being exchange. If you pull this off, you’d obviously have good cachet with the blogger.
As you’ve moving up the interaction value chain, you’ll find your circle of influence increasing too.
And as you become more influential, you’ll find that other bloggers start leaving more comments on your blog too.
Most think of blogging as merely a process of publishing posts.
But if you think of blogging as a form of ‘personal journalism’ as I mentioned in “Kickstart Your Blogging Business and Make Big Money: 7 Reality Checks“, you’ll see that blogging is at its heart a 2-way communication channel. Blog comments are as much a part of the process as the blog posts themselves.