"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Art of Blog Commenting-How to do it right and get results!

“It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

Some time ago, I received an email from one of my writing clients whose goal was to increase her fan base and her bottom line. She was frustrated that in the two years since her site launched, her growth was as slow as the country's economic recovery.

I had previously shared a few tried and true methods that had worked for me, (one being commenting on other blogs). She tried. It didn't work. So she found herself again seeking my assistance.

It's a common problem for many bloggers.
They mistakenly expect that if they create a cute site, post some pictures, and put out content on a weekly basis, they will build a following, a community of supporters and make money.
Not so.
Although these practices and principles can contribute to overall success, the savvy blogger recognizes that due to vast competition, he must employ a more strategic approach.
The premise, “If you build it, they will come” doesn't work in the virtual world, my friend.
This is where the art of blog commenting can make a difference.

Here's how to master it and improve your stats! Stat!

Understand blog culture.
Not all sites are created equally. Depending upon how involved the host is at social media sites, respective readers may be more inclined to “tweet” or “like” their content as opposed to commenting on it. Your comment might get ignored. Do your homework.

Recognize that some niches are typically more “active” than others, because of the subject matter and popularity.
Some examples would be personal self-development blogs, frugal living, and work and career sites.

Make a good first impression.
Double check to be certain that your words are spelled properly, and that your input is intelligent before you hit that “send comment” button.

Pay attention to what people pay attention to.
Here are a few things to consider. Does your blog have an interesting name? Is your comment unique or funny? Is your response accompanied by an attractive gravatar image?

Don't be a blog snob.
Many folks flock to the well-known, popular sites, because these spots typically have a lot of readers and prestige. But the down side is that they also may have 50-200 comments posted. As such, yours may or may not be read, depending upon where it falls in a sea of many voices.

Have the courage to take a position that is contrary to that of the majority, if you are so inclined.
You may not win a popularity contest by doing so, but I guarantee it'll get attention. In the words of singer Bonnie Raitt, “give em' somethin' to talk about.”

Keep it brief.
This is no time to “hog the microphone”. Say what you need to say then exit gracefully. Short and sweet is the key.

Increase your odds for increased traffic by making sure that your site is up to par and welcoming when others hop over from a referring site. If not, you have defeated your purpose.

Give it your best then give it some time.
Follow these sage tips and you‘ll have more traffic than the Eisenhower expressway during rush hour!

Comments? :-)

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  1. Excellent tips. I'll add one more (humbly): only comment on a blog when you have something to say. At first I commented on other people's blogs just for the sake of leaving a comment -- and the lack of substance in my comments yielded equally insubstantial results. I'm now trying a new strategy: commenting only when I have a little something to add to the conversation.

    Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, Jennifer!


  2. Great points, Jennifer! My blog just had its two month anniversary, and I'm still learning about the world of commenting in the context of a blog, rather than as an un-URLed anonymous.

    I'm curious about your thoughts on one point of etiquette - comment name. If you're Johnny Awesome at Awesome Blog, should you post as simply "Johnny A.", or is posting your comment name as "Johnny | Awesome Blog" considered gauche? I'm generally in favor of the latter option, as it signals that a person has a blog that may provide some context on their comment. But, I've seen it go both ways, and I haven't seen a clear direction for consensus. What do you think?

  3. Good points. It does take a while to establish oneself, and beyond that, to stay the course. Patience and effort (maybe not in that order...:) are important factors.

    Two things that boost interest in my blog are interviews and giveaways. These features may not suit certain niches though, but perhaps can inspire other interesting features to offer.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Very good tips. I enjoy commenting on other blogs and am equally excited when I receive comments too. I've been blogging for over a year and I enjoy it very much. Thanks for a great post!

  5. Doingtoomuch,

    Well articulated! I would agree. Though sometimes it's just nice to hear from folks--even if the comment is just a simple "hello" or thanks. :-)I see it as a token of appreciation for the blogger's efforts. Thanks!

  6. Barry,

    Thanks for stopping by. And happy 2-month anniversary! How wonderful. I agree that the latter would be better in terms of a blog commenting name. B/T/W/ I left a comment @ your spot.

  7. Karen,

    Good input. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. Happy holiday 2 U as well!

  8. Cynthia,

    I greatly appreciate your input and your "simply positive" style. :-) Be well.

  9. Hi Jennifer,

    Good tips! I agree with all of the above. :)

    I've been blogging for a year and it took time, patience and persistence to increase my traffic.

    I make it a habit to comment when I can add to the discussion. When I don't have anything to add, I will Tweet, Facebook, and other.

    Take care,


  10. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 27, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Hi Evelyn,

    It does indeed take patience, but it's worth the effort.

    Sounds like you have a good plan in place.

    Thanks much!

  11. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 28, 2011 at 5:59 AM

    testing, testing comments feature.

    Sorry for this interruption, folks.

    ...Have had problems posting @ other "blogger" spots today, so I wanted to check mine out as well. Carry on. :-)

  12. Jennifer: I think this is such great advice. All great suggestions and I think they all point to the importance of being genuine and connecting with the community in the niche you are interested in. I think that piece of advice that you shared about understanding blog culture is a good one ... very important. Great post Jennifer.

  13. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Hi Sibyl,

    So glad to have you join the discussion.:-) Yep, the blog culture concept is one that many folks sometimes get tripped up on.

    And no matter who writes what, I've found that certain blogs will garner more comments and interaction just by virtue of their topic and nature.

    As always, I dig having you weigh in. Thanks!

  14. Setting up a cute blog and expecting people to want to follow it is like putting on your best outfit, standing at Michigan and Oak and expecting 100 people to ask to be your friend. Though you will be lookin' good, so you might get an offer for a date, but perhaps not the kind you'd like.

    Thoughtful and personable as always, Jennifer.

  15. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM


    I love that parallel. And love the fact that you stopped by to share your perspective.
    Have a wonderful weekend. :-)

  16. I second what Rebecca said! I'm no commenting expert but I do know that, depending on what your niche is and who you are, commenting is very much a give and get thing. If you focus on giving, you will reap the benefits in due time. As long as it's done properly, as you say.

    I think the thing that you pointed out that's most important is *where* we comment. This can make all the difference. Testing is everything! The good news is that no good comment is a comment wasted, so testing is beneficial no matter what the outcome is.

  17. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 29, 2011 at 4:46 AM

    Hi Tia,

    Welcome back. :-) I agree with you that "no good comment is wasted." Almost...

    I'd also like to add that due to time constraints, and realistic life demands, it's simply impossible for me personally to comment on every blog that I truly dig.

    Heck, there are so many awesome ones out
    there---I have dozens "book marked"!
    Which is why strategy is important.

    Thanks so much for your input.

    B/T/W/ Did you see that I mentioned "BIZ CHICK BLOGS" in my recent PRO BLOGGER guest post?

  18. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 29, 2011 at 5:01 AM


    Scratch that last question. I just saw where you commented on my PROBLOGGER guest post. So, obviously you did see it. lol

  19. Sounds like good advice. I'd like to hear what kind of results blog commenting has provided for you.

  20. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 30, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    Hi John,

    Good question. It's actually worked in two ways.

    When I have made comments @ sites that have "do follow" and the comment is interesting and insightful, it has piqued interest in who I am and my site--which causes folks to click on my name and check out my site. Some ultimately "follow" my blog.

    Also, some of the blogs I now read and enjoy are a result of comments I have read on other sites, and found the personalities behind them to be interesting.
    Either way, it's a win-win situation.

    Thanks for "commenting." :-)

  21. I only comments on things that are relevant to me or that I think I can "add to." I don't usually don't comment for comments sake. I'm finding these days that I have a greater following offline than online so I'm beginning to feel that I'm blogging just for the love it.

  22. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 4, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Thanks for sharing.

  23. Blog commenting is becoming more and more popular now-a-days, not only because it is an easy way to build free one-way links to your website, but
    also because it’s a great way to meet new people and make your name recognizable among other bloggers in your field. It is also a way to form or enter a network of like-minded bloggers and build good relationships. Thanks
    a lot.

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