One of the questions I’m often asked is whether it’s still worthwhile to comment on other blogs. In our recent experience, commenting is still very effective. The trade-off in traffic to effort is outstanding. It’s a powerful, legitimate way to make your blog stand out within your niche and grow your web presence organically.
As with all effective content marketing strategies, this one begins with research. You will want to compile a list of some of the most popular blogs in your niche, then read over the posts on those sites.
Few respectable bloggers need their egos stroked with platitudes. Avoid leaving the kind of comments spammers place on sites to gain backlinks, along the lines of, “This is very good blog. Brilliant! Your article was most helpful in my learning on this subject. Keep up the good work.” (Thank you Askimet, for catching that.) Your comments should be related directly to the post you have just read.
Can you provide additional information? Or do you disagree with one or more points? Healthy debates can increase the traffic on both websites.
Do you have a thought-provoking question that may be shared by other readers? Asking questions is a good way to get a dialog thread going with the writer and other readers.
Do you have links to other content the writer may like to list in their “Related Articles”? (Note: I would avoid including links to your own content until your value on this site has been well established.)
Is there anything you can contribute to the writer to enhance the post? Are you a photographer or illustrator? If you own the rights to an image that illustrates the post perfectly, you might want to make it available. Does their post include data? Perhaps you would like to prepare an infographic that provides a visual of that information. Can you draw a cartoon that demonstrates the folly of something the writer warned against?
Comment early and often
Ever notice that on the hottest niche blogs, the same people seem to comment right after the post goes live? And if you follow those commenters, you’ll discover they are generally well recognized in that niche or industry as well. They follow the blog’s RSS feed, or author’s Google+ posts, and they’re pouncing on the opportunity to respond first. But why?
When a writer puts a new post out there, they are monitoring the feedback, checking JetPack stats… eager to see it go viral. When other recognized writers in that niche comment on the blog and recommend it on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, you can be almost certain the content auth0r will take the time to reply and reciprocate. A few blog posts and a hundred comments later, your comment is unlikely to receive that attention.
Is DoFollow necessary?
In order not to give away all their ‘link juice’, many savvy bloggers are choosing not to offer DoFollow links any more. Should you still comment on those sites? If you comment early, so one of the active threads appears under your comment, I would respond with an enthusiastic yes. The visibility you gain should be well worth the effort, whether Google follows the link or not.
Check the sidebars of the blogs you wish to comment on. Some blogs use NoFollow Free, a WordPress plugin granting DoFollow links to anyone with more than 3 or 5 comments under their belts. And KeywordLuv or CommentLuv provide unique benefits to active bloggers.