The Ultimate Guide To Commenting For Your Blog

By on April 8, 2013

Blog commenting is a vastly underrated part of your blog marketing campaign, and one that you need to draw closer to in the coming months. When you have a firm grasp on your commenting systems and policies, more people will begin to comment and share on your posts than ever before. Today I’m giving you the A-Z on blog commenting.

What is Blog Commenting?

Contrary to popular belief, blog commenting is not simply ‘commenting on a blog.’ There is a complex system that goes into creating a commenting strategy – that will help your blog build a readership, gain long term fans and really engage your readers in conversation. As you know, the more engaged people are on your blog – the higher your chances are of selling them one of your products.

So, blog commenting is actually the process that you use to improve blog engagement, increase earning potential and grow your fan base.

If you don’t have any sort of blog commenting strategy – you are not alone. It’s supposed to be an essential feature of your blog outreach program, and a central part of your sites search engine optimization techniques.

Blog Commenting is a 2 Way Street

There are 2 kinds of blog commenting that you should integrate into your daily social media marketing tactics. I like to call these on-site commenting, and off-site commenting. If you can master these basic forms of communication you can achieve these improvements:

• More readers commenting on your posts
• More social media shares for your posts on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
• Less spam, and fewer unwanted viruses
• More traffic on your site
• More leads for business partnerships
• Greater viral potential for blog posts

Onsite Blog Commenting Strategy

An onsite blog commenting strategy involves how you decide to moderate the comments that your readers leave on your posts. It also involves how you can or can’t reply to your readers. Here is a detailed strategy summary of your average onsite commenting policy.

#1: Learn What Is Real and What is Fake

People will comment on your blog for more than one reason. Most of the time, they are doing it to establish a link on your website. When they are able to publish a link on your blog, via a comment – it gives their linked website extra link juice from yours.

Practice: Only publish authentic comments from real people. Do not publish junk links or spam comments – ever. Publish links if the commenter has taken the time to add something valuable to your blog discussion.

#2: How To Spot Spam Comments

You will receive a lot of spam comments on your blog, because of black hat SEO firms. For some reason, ignorant people still think this blog commenting method works. These are standard, pointless messages meant to be mass distributed to hundreds of blogs. Don’t publish them, or you will get huge amounts of spam on your blog.

• Spam comments usually contain poor English
• They have poor grammar and spelling
• They don’t make sense when read, as programs create them
• They are mystically general
• They are over-flattering
• They have words that are used out of context
• They ask non-related questions on your blog post

A few to watch out for:

“Great post! I has my wife to thank for this new business blog which information you have shared with me! I am forever in your debt.”

“This is an awesome post. I’ve seen some truly great posts on {insert blog subject} but yours is clearly better than all the rest! What a brilliant writer you must be!”

“Thank you for this information. I used it to start my company and because of you, I now have a company that earns lots of money.”

“I found your blog via Google, and I’ve subscribed to your feed and social media pages. You really helped connect the dots.”

“Service x is good, but I personally use service Y more often” – [email protected]

Practice: To prevent spam here are some good rules to live by. If it sounds like spam, it is spam. If it’s not English, you don’t want it on your blog anyway. If the product suggested matches the guys email address, it’s spam. If you copy and paste the blog comment into Google, and it comes up on 100 other blogs, it’s spam.

#3: Having Publishing Rules

All blog commenting strategies need publishing rules. Simple rules like ‘no profanity’ are common. Mention in your blog commenting section that reader’s comments are subject to moderation and won’t be published if they violate any of your rules.

• Do not troll on your blog
• Do not pick fights or defame people on your blog
• Do not publish affiliate marketing links on the blog
• Do not publish spam comments on the blog
• Do not use inflammatory language on the blog

You can really make up whatever rules you like. When you have a blog commenting tab or link, you can refer readers there that repeatedly ask why their comments are appearing. Then you can simply state that they have violated your terms of use.

#4: Responding To Readers

It helps if you call them by name, or use a plugin like Disqus that identifies who you are talking to. All reader responses should be amiable, friendly and encourage future reading. There are a number of ways you can do this, but it all comes down to your writing style and theme of your blog. Everyone will have different rules.

Practice: Answer all legitimate questions that your readers ask. If they mention you in one of their posts, visit their blog and comment on that post.

Offsite Blog Commenting System

An offsite blog commenting strategy involves attracting traffic, readers and leads to your blog in a non-spammy way – by commenting on other people’s blogs. Blog comments should always be authentic and never mass produced. You will get a horrible reputation if you don’t keep your voice intact.

#1: Find a Few Blogs Everyday To Comment On

If you comment on a few top ranking blogs every day, by month 3 you will have built up a nice little network of backlinks. Only include your link in the space they leave for your website address. If you’re going to include it in the body of your comment, make your comment engaging, interesting and add to the social discussion.

Practice: Find some great new blogs to comment on by using bookmarking services like Google RSS, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit and Delicious.

#2: Use Keywords in Your Comments

I like to use keywords in any comments I leave on other sites. Usually, I check to see if the post itself has any strong keywords I can use. If it does, I integrate these naturally into the comment, which actually improves the blogger’s overall page SEO. They appreciate it, and your link ranks better along with their post.

Practice: If you use Google Chrome, click on ‘tools’ and ‘view source’ in your toolbar to see if the blog post has any obvious SEO. Support it by optimizing your comment for the blogger. Don’t overdo it, just be supportive.

#3: Use Links That Can Be Tracked

It’s super easy to go out into the world and leave a million links on a huge variety of blogs. But what happens when Google updates again, and starts penalizing you for leaving links on poor quality sites? Suddenly your link juice drops. You should never apply your blog commenting strategy to poor quality blogs, but that isn’t the point.

Blogs can become defunct, or forgotten and your links devalued. Always use a trackable link system so that you can check your link networks every now and then. Then, you can remove broken links and comment when you need to, which is great for maintaining SEO.

Practice: Register with a link service like Bit.ly and run all your links through this system. Blog commenting will become so much easier when you use technology to manage large volumes of content that you’ve published online.

#4: Say Something Worth Saying

As a rule, blog commenting is also a strategic marketing tool. If you put out a really good argument or comment, people will
directly click on your link to find out who you are. So, you’re looking for referral traffic as well. Make your comment so good that other people will want to become a fan of yours.

Practice: Always add new dimensions to the argument. Blog commenting is about attraction, so invite conversation with ‘content bait’ comments.

#5: Impress The Blogger

Another goal for your blog commenting system, is to impress the blogger that you’re talking to. They are going to read your blog and decide whether it’s worth publishing. They are also going to reply to you based on what you say. Comments can be closed, or open-ended. If you want to establish a relationship with the blogger, leave yours open. Start a discussion!

Practice: Always edit your blog comments before you publish them. Check them for correct grammar, spelling and language. Adhere to the blog’s rules. Impress the blogger by actually showing up on their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.

A Few Extra Rules To Live By

Blog commenting can be a very rewarding marketing tool if you stick to the basic social principles of authenticity. Be yourself, not a robot. Say something great, don’t just prattle on to get your link. More and more, I’m seeing bloggers delete comments from real people, because these people are not trying hard enough.

• Bloggers can receive hundreds of spam comments every day.
• Bloggers aren’t impressed by ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re great’ comments
• Bloggers like people that understand the rules of blog commenting
• Bloggers appreciate correct SEO practices
• Bloggers like it when you are a genuine fan of theirs

The 10 Rules I Adhere To:

#1: Before blog commenting for the first time, find out what the bloggers name is. Use it in your comment, and stick to the title subject. If the blog is about rabbits, don’t go on and on about ducks.

#2: Jump into a conversation. Read the other comments and see if you can’t add something really special to the discussion. The blogger will love it.

#3: If you want to get to know the blogger, actually READ the posts. Skimming won’t do, and it’s a poor practice. Read, compute, comment. That’s how it’s done.

#4: A good comment is a little bit longer than a tweet, but no more. In extreme cases, you can post a long comment – but it’s a hassle to read for the blogger. Email them instead.

#5: Never, I mean never link more than once in a comment. This proves instantly to the blogger that you are a massive spammer.

#6: Blog commenting is about being real. Use your real business, your real name, your real photo. People want to know who they are talking to – so be real!

#7: Suck up in the right manner by promoting your comment and the blogger’s post on your social network. “I just X here, and commented – check it out {add link}.”

#8: If the commenting system allows for editing and html use it. Make your comment look good, so that the blogger’s page looks nice. It’s just good manners.

#9: Never use a company or product name in the ‘name’ area. As I mentioned before, blog commenting is not about blatant promotion, it’s about respect and authenticity.

#10: Meet new fans on other people’s blogs. Chat to people using commenting systems – it takes longer yes, but it proves that you are active online. Then you can invite your new fans over to your blog to gain some additional readers.

This has been my all-in-one post on blog commenting. I hope this answers all the questions you have on how to do it, but if it doesn’t then shoot me a comment here.

Is there anything else about blog commenting you don’t understand?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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