Blog commenting used to be a thing of the past, back when the internet was young and naïve. Blog commenters snowballed their blog’s traffic during the prime time of blog comments, but the times have changed and people learned other tactics to boost traffic, thus abandoning their good old habits. Others even turned off the commenting options because of spammers.
However, all data show an unimaginable increase in the number of internet users, bloggers, and the rise of the quantity of content. So how can you distinguish yourself from a pool of blogs operating within the same niche as you?
You guessed it right! With blog comments. Yes, they are back in the game, hopefully, in it to stay. Stick a fork in them to check if they are alive and they’ll probably be tickled. A sign of life! Finally, a blast from the past I like. It’s how you distinguish yourself from that pool I mentioned above and how you cut through the competition. Significantly.
- Why You Should Be Using Blog Comments
- How Not to Comment
- How to Manage Spammy Comments
- How to Blog Comment
- Benefits of Good Commenting
- The Domino Effect
Why You Should Be Using Blog Comments
Blog commenters are a blog’s overlooked potential. They are your regulars, kind of like regular customers. You walk into your neighborhood’s pastry shop every day for a blueberry muffin and you get that cozy feeling when the salesperson greets you with joy and they already prepare your muffin without even asking you what you want because they know. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar. It sparks a connection on a deeper level.
Well, it’s the same with your regular visitors – they can turn into regular blog commenters if you engage with them. If you show some care and interest. Blog comments have a lot to offer. I personally consider them as relics. Relics of social proof. They are the living proof that your blog exists apart from your content. If treated with care and respect, they can become your blog’s heartbeat.
It’s about leaving a legacy behind you, not burying your amazing content when it can easily shine and provide that value people are craving for. Keeping your blog low profile brings no good.
Crowds magnet crowds, so the more the merrier is what I always say. I mean, focusing more on your blog commenters and the blog comments they leave on your website will encourage other people to check out your content. They see there is a fuss about your blog and they jump to it to see what’s shaking.
Or, there is another scenario: another blogger’s post has attracted a lot of comments or you are interested in getting that particular blogger's attention. That’s your cue to post a comment and interest the author to check you out. If they liked your contribution to their site, they can return the favor. Do it the highway, through well thought out comments, not by dumping links in their comment section.
On the other hand, you can stumble upon relevant sources and websites in the comments sections and get inspired for fresh content on your own. Never exclude that opportunity as well. It can inspire you to take a different course or look at things from a different perspective. Think of your blog as a gold mine and think of your blog comments as little gold nuggets. Small, but crucial. Real game-changers.
If you want to gain a wider audience and be noticed again, you do it by leaving blog comments on other websites. You write a comment on a given topic and you find yourself wanting to post another comment further explaining yourself or you post one comment but it’s super long. Pretty soon you realize you have a lot to say about a given subject, so why not write a whole new blog post? Your thoughts have expanded, all thanks to the blog comments section.
You cannot deny yourself the opportunity to engage with the blogger/writer and possibly establish a connection that can evolve into a collaboration. You are passionate about the same things; you operate within the same niche, it’s only right you join forces and efforts.
Now, this was why. But let’s think of the how it’s what would make all the difference. Let’s unravel the backbone to successful blog commenting together. Scroll on.
How Not to Comment
First of all, when creating content you need to put in value. Big time. That’s one of the reasons I over-deliver. I want my audience to get everything they want and need. I want to help you out guys, so I never hold back when it comes to producing great content or giving out gifts. I believe in generosity, and it’s what has gotten me this far.
As soon as your audience catches that glimpse of effort and investment, they will not let it go unnoticed. Blog commenters are an opportunity, and you should treat them as such. Good blog comments on a relevant site can bring you miles ahead and land you an audience you never even dreamt of acquiring.
What I’ll be writing about next goes both ways: when you are posting a blog comment on other sites to get noticed or when you are responding to comments coming to your site. Here are the biggest red flags to avoid:
Fake Name / Funny Nickname / Fake Email Address
Transparency. You want to have a professional-looking website. Unlike using a name that’s not yours or using a nickname which shows that you do not take your audience or your future potential audience seriously. You have nothing to hide, so why use some shady name or a nickname? Why not use your real name? It’s the least you can do to honor a great blog comment the commenter has left under your post and a great way to promote your website and get noticed.
In a way, your name is your brand and you should never miss out on a chance to promote your blog, your brand, and what you stand for. Using your real name the same as your real email address will attract genuine readers, real fans who will provide meaningful blog comments in the future. You certainly don’t want a Masquerade ball where everyone goes under some funny nickname or uses a fake email. Not professional. At all.
You want value exchange, creating a bond with people operating or interested in your niche. You don’t want a blog commenter sending you an email and they never hear from you. Irreparable damage to your reputation. What you want to do is create a work email and keep things organized.
If you ever even thought of doing this, I suggest you shut down those ideas. Block them. Blog commenters are human beings, and so are you. Generic, mechanic, automatic replies are a huge turnoff. Such generic replies generated by some bot or software may be timesaving for you, but they are vague, off-topic, and show you don’t care. What bloggers, heck, what any audience is after is the word genuine. Dedicated and engaged.
Comments like “Very cool” or “Nice job” or “Great insight” just aren't going to cut it.
You may be swinging the fences trying hard, but what if the comments you provide are not relevant to the topic discussed? Assist your blog commenters, assist your followers by providing answers to their questions. Be kind and generous.
You don’t want to be bragging or answering a question with a question when someone is asking about advice on say, affiliate marketing, or how to improve their writing, or deal with plagiarized content, for instance.
Similarly, you don’t want to post blog comments unrelated to the topic and leave bloggers wondering like what’s this guy’s deal? Keep your focus in line: don’t stray from the topic, provide relevant comments. Eyes on the prize, right?
No Gravatar Connected Email
Your Gravatar image will provide your picture next to every comment you leave. A professional image says a lot about you and increases your chances of meeting that goal you want.
Before anything else, your picture should not be pixilated or cropped back from a party with your friends where you get to see someone’s arm hanging around your neck. Your picture should be professional. There is no other word for it.
You represent your branding and you establish your blogging authority and we all know that getting noticed matters, so your picture should be a representation of your public image whether you are posting a comment somewhere or answering to a blog commenter that commented on your post. Transparency, authority, and credibility go hand in hand, they are mutually exclusive. One cannot exist without the other.
It’s how I’ve established myself as an authority in my niche – by showing a lot of care, by stuffing my audience with gifts, by creating enormous value, by spending time with my audience, by putting some time into creating my blog comments not just randomly throwing them at every blog I come across, and by being my audience’s coach, mentor, cautiously going through what people need or want to learn more about. Once you have that, the rest will naturally follow.
Being Offensive and Dismissive
A tremendous no-no! The last thing you want to do is flame blog commenters and offend the author. You disagree with something they’ve said, so what?
Blog comments are there for diversity. Blog commenters cannot melt into the same group – your worshippers. Bloggers do not need to share the same opinion as you. Some will eventually disagree, but you have to respect differences. It only proves how professional, understanding, and down-to-earth you really are. Humbleness is a virtue, remember.
Using Slang or Abbreviations
When blog commenters comment on your post using slang or abbreviations, it’s fine. But, if you want to leave a good impression, using i, u, yr, btw, tbh and whatnot is not recommendable. You don’t want the author confused or thinking you have no manners.
I mean, this is your moment to shine, so come on, take it up a notch! Such blog comments do not reflect a blogger who wants to get noticed. Slang or abbreviated forms sound cool, but they have their setting and this just isn’t it.
How to Manage Spammy Comments
Overused memes, punctuation emojis, self-promotion, unrelated text, embedded links, and whatnot. It all smells like spam to me. Chase those spammers away! With moderation. WordPress offers you a tool called AkismetPlugin that deletes spams.
When such comments appear, you need to fight against them otherwise they may reduce the quality of discussion and it can get ugly.
Such spammy blog comments will not add value to your blog. Blog commenters may get mad because their blog comments are missing and so they post even more such comments, but that’s on them.
Comments like “Nice post” or “Thanks for the post” are nice, but they don’t add any value, so it’s up to you if you want to allow them or not. The exception is when you are writing about some product reviews or when providing a solution. Blog comments such as “It worked, thanks!” are more than welcome.
Grammar errors in blog comments are something some people disagree with and find unappealing. Some blog commenters use slang and abbreviations, others may not be native-speakers or some may not find grammar to be their forte. Either way, that’s upon you to decide – whether you’ll accept those comments or not.
They can point out to the demographic group reading your posts or just be responsible for attracting a similar audience. So if you are going for a highly educated audience, fix those grammar mistakes, you don’t have to delete them.
If you are using WordPress as I do, then go to settings and navigate to the section named discussion. Locate the before a comment appears section. Check the option comment must be manually approved and click save changes.
That way you can get a preview of the comments and see which ones you will approve, which ones you will reject.
How to Blog Comment
Quality over quantity. You can say the same with 100 words, you don’t need to write a blog post within a comment. Be concise, but pack your comment with value – that way people will actually read what you’ve written.
You want to make your blog comment engaging, thoughtful, and worth reading, so that means you should be positive, interested, and to further a conversation. A sarcastic tone of voice or answering a question with a question will push people away.
Another thing is self-promotion and being overly personal, over-sharing. Bloggers hate spams, off-topic comments. Also, don't have other people write your comments instead of you, it’s not fair. State your opinion – if you don’t get one blog comment right, you’ll get the next one then. It takes practice like everything else.
So, how to blog comment? What’s the anatomy of the perfect comment?
Start by not repeating what the author has said. It will irritate them. You don’t want their reaction to be, I literally just said that in MY post!
The right comment has:
- The Friendly Greeting
- A Heartfelt Compliment
- A Farewell Promise
A nice warm-up would be: Hi, Hey, Hi there, Howdy plus the name of the author. It’s friendly, it’s positive, it’s engaging. Next, you want to jump to that sincere compliment. It can be about the author or the blog post, or a combo of the two. Just make sure it’s not over the top because it will look like you’re trying too much.
Blog comment value is the butter in your sandwich – it makes it nice and juicy. It’s the milk in your coffee (if you drink your coffee with milk), and it’s the sunshine after a rainy day. What I am trying to say is it’s the integral part.
By value, I mean sharing personal experience, tips, and insights. Also, asking challenging, but thoughtful questions that inspire discussion, and adding a detail that wasn’t covered before. A revolutionary comment will explode the blogger’s comments section and will bring in more people to their post. They will be eternally grateful and maybe will even want to get to know you – the person responsible for their traffic burst.
The farewell promise is the cherry on top of that creamy, mouthwatering chocolate cake you prepared. You are wooing the blogger, so make the last sentence count. Say that you’ve enjoyed the post and you are going to share it so that more people will get in touch with the amazing content inside and you can even tag them on your social media post when sharing. That’s it. After you’ve done this, drop the mike like a sir and repeat.
Benefits of Good Commenting
Blog commenting gets you noticed and increases your popularity. Commenting shapes and builds blogger-blog commenter relationships and drives traffic your way if you provide a valuable blog comment on somebody’s website. That means it’s good for your SEO. Yup, you heard it. Never underestimate the power blog comment SEO brings in the game, if done, and used right.
Besides, you can get new ideas by reading the comments section on your blog post or at somebody else’s post. Blog commenting gives you feedback about the post you’ve created and helps you know in which directions you should move.
It also helps you understand what people are passionate about reading, which keeps them interested and engaged. Given the tremendous number of blogs, there are on earth, it has gotten harder and harder to gain readers’ attention, so use every weapon you have to rank higher and distinguish yourself from that averageness pool.
Blog commenting shows your expertise at a given niche and shows your regulars you care about them enough to give them your time. Time is money, so you are not giving out just anything.
The Domino Effect
A good comment by a blog commenter can do a lot. It has a domino effect. If you post one good blog comment others will follow as well. It’s all about attracting the right people using the right words.
Blog comments may not be the most important thing when blogging, but they have an influence that should not be disregarded. On a lower level, they have their impact, which can surprise you in a literally-my-jaw-dropped kind of way.
Whether you are answering blog comments at your site or posting on others’ blogs, it’s important to be engaging, positive, thoughtful, interesting, and to avoid spamming. Care and effort go a long way, and people will notice that. If not right from the first time, then definitely soon after. Providing value NEVER goes unnoticed.