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11 Tips for Getting Your Comments Noticed on a Popular Blog


One of the comments on this week’s post – The Power of Commenting on Blogs – was from The Great Seducer who asked:

“Do you have any suggestions for commenting in a way that will draw interest to you? Obviously an insightful comment is the best plan…. but when there are 100+ comments sometimes they get over looked.”

In this post I’m going to suggest 11 tips for leaving tips on blogs that not only get noticed but that help build your profile and generate traffic.

1. Be the Early Bird

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to be get in early. I know numerous bloggers who are great at leaving the first comment on a post and generating some good traffic as a result. Of course being first won’t help you if you don’t have anything worthwhile to say – so read on….. (warning: being first all of the time can be quite annoying both for the blogger whose blog you’re commenting on as well as other readers. I know of a few people who’ve actually hurt their reputation by being too eager to comment on every post without actually adding value to conversations.

2. Share an Example

A great way to add value to a post that someone else has written is to give an example that illustrates their main point. Quite often bloggers writing ‘how to’ or ‘instructional’ posts cover the theory of a topic really well but fail to give practical examples of how it works itself out in reality. I find that readers really love to see examples – so if you can give them in comments they’ll often be grateful and will check out who is behind them. The examples could be to your own work – or that of others.

3. Add a Point

Did the blogger miss a point on their post? Extending the post by adding another argument or point can improve the conversation and show yourself off to be someone who knows what they’re talking about. Some bloggers will even highlight your comment in an update to the post.

4. Disagree

One way to stand out from the crowd is to disagree with the post and/or what others are writing in comments. This isn’t something you will want to do on every comment that you leave (and it could be something that gets you into trouble) but it can be quite refreshing to see someone who dares to put forward a different idea to everyone else. Of course you don’t need to do it in an argumentative or attacking way – but respectfully and politely disagree (where you actually do) and you can actually create a real impressions on others.

5. Write with conviction, passion and personality

Sometimes when I read the comments left on blogs I wonder if there is anyone with personality behind them or whether they’re written by some sort of zombie like half human half robotic bloggers. Inject some feeling, passion, conviction and emotion into your posts. This doesn’t mean you need to write everything in CAPS or use lots of EXPLANATION MARKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – but when a post excites you, let that feeling enter your comments, when you are happy, let your comment be cheery, when a post evokes anger – don’t be afraid to comment with a little edge.

6. Use Humor

As a blogger who has a blog with posts that can get hundreds of comments I know just how mind numbing it can be to read through them all. One type of comment that snaps me out of this state when I’m in moderation mode is a comment that makes me laugh. Of course humor can also be misinterpreted and cause offense – so be a little careful :-)

7. Ask a Question

I notice here on ProBlogger that it is often comments that ask questions that get the most responses from other commenters. I guess it makes sense – asking a question calls for a response – we’re all wired to answer them – so they do stop people in their tracks a little and cause them to at least stop and think about how they’d answer it (whether they do or not).

8. Formatting Comments

I want to say right up front that this one should be done with caution (and could make you look like a try hard spammer) – but a subtle and clever use of formatting in comments can actually draw the eye to your comment. Scan through the comments left on a highly commented upon post and see what you notice. In most cases it’s only broken up by the names of commenters. Many blogs will allow you to use html in comments – allowing you to bold words, use italics and more (for example here at ProBlogger using ‘blockquotes’ in comments will change the formatting. Do this too much and you can actually find yourself in trouble – but bolding the occasional word for emphasis, using a little white space, using a symbol etc can give those viewing the page a subtle visual cue to look at your comment. Like I say – this should be done with caution.

An example of this is to bullet your comments with different symbols. A number of readers of ProBlogger do this using symbols like ‘**’ or ‘–>’

9. Helpful Links

We’ve debated whether leaving links in posts is good practice previously – but my opinion is that when a link is helpful to those reading and when it adds value to the conversation in some way that it’s OK. I personally don’t like signature links in comments – but links as examples not only will potentially send people to your blog – they actually act as a visual cue (web users are wired to be on the look out for them).

10. Comment Length

Are all the comments on a post long? Leave a short one – it’ll stand out. Are all the other comments short? Leave a long one – again, it’ll stand out.

11. Lists/Break it down

A big turn off with comments can be when someone leaves a long detailed comment that has massive blocks of text. This can often be made to look worse than it is when the comments area is actually narrower than the area given to posts (as in here at ProBlogger). One way to break up the amount of text is to break your comment down into a list of short posts.

Keep in mind that while leaving comments on other people’s blogs can be a great way to draw traffic to your blog – that it can also hurt your reputation/brand. Read more on this in my post – 10 Ways to Hurt Your Blog’s Brand by Commenting on Other Blogs.

PS: I just noticed that Caroline just posted on a similar topic and outlined some suggestions for a blog commenting strategy.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Great post.

    Here’s another tip:
    Don’t say “W00t! First comment LOL!”

    P.S. You wrote “EXPLANATION MARKS!!” Shouldn’t that be “exclamation”?

  2. fast enough?

  3. missed it by 120 seconds

  4. You have made some very great points here in your post. I’m not actually trying to get any attention with this post, just wanted to give you a little recognition for having such an informative and useful blog! All the best to you!

  5. Can the question being asked be rhetorical?

    I think so.

  6. Speaking of being the early bird…
    How insightful of you!

    I’ve made it a quest of mine to be more active with comments. I have a rule now that simply says, if I’m going to take the time to read someone’s post, then I’m going to take the time to comment on it, whether or not I liked the writing.

    There’s just no sense in NOT participating in discussions…that’s what blogs are for!

  7. Sometimes the original post can be so well written and exhaustive that it is difficult to think of something to say. But one thing that is often overlooked is the continuation of the post within the comments themselves.

    On popular blogs, you may find that other readers ask questions and as a fellow commenter you may be able to answer that readers question for them.

    I’ve seen that happen on my own blog and it’s really nice to see readers helping each other out in that way and I think it helps to build a sense of community around a blog, rather than just a one-way conversation between the blogger and the readers.

  8. I’d like to echo Caroline’s comment about answering the questions of other readers if you are able and have relevant knowledge to share.

    That is a practice that I have followed on a few blogs that I frequent. This is a great way to build a relationship with other readers of a blog. As you demonstrate an ability to help other people via your comments, they will be more likely to pay you a visit. As an added bonus, doing so can actually catch the attention of the blog owner as I had happen recently and as a result has opened a new door of opportunity for me.

    While I think most of these tips are spot on advice, I’ve never been a big fan of formatting my comments and am usually hesitant to add a link, particularly to anything of my own even if it is relevant. Some blogs don’t allow formatting and others frown upon the links, so I have just found it easier to avoid in most cases.

  9. That is nice to know, I wonder how many people read 20-50-100 comments on 1 post. Do they read them all? Do they click on commentators links?

  10. This is a great guide :D

  11. What do you think about the name you specify? For example, all of the commenters so far, me included, have used our regular names or a nickname. What about people who use their domain name or blog title as their name? It does make the linkback stand out a bit more, and as long as they end the comment with their real name, I have no problem with it.

  12. I agree with most of you tips, except for one. If you have something to say about a topic and it’s going to be long discussion, as a blogger, I would write an article and point my comment to it. I find very rude to leave super long comments on other people’s blog. That’s just my two cents.

    How did I do?

  13. I agree with Bontb, that would be a good idea for a poll on problogger I think?

    Also, do leaving trackbacks get you noticed as much as comments do?

  14. Hey Sam Smith that’s insightful, true blog have comments so as conversations are held.

    But what if there was no website block??

    Darren, take this challenge, in a future post, REMOVE the ability for us to have the website link, I know it’s not a piece of cake, but man that would cut down your comments reading time!!


  15. It really is basic… if you go to a block and give as good, if not better information in the comment than what was in the post, people are bound to check out your blog.

    I’ve subscribed to a lot of my readers rss feeds simply because I was amazed at the insights I was given in their comments on my blog.

    I think it also has to do with commenting often certain blogs. I’ve noticed that my first couple comments on a blog don’t bring me traffic, but after about 4-5 comments (on a less popular blog than this of course) I start seeing traffic

  16. I would be very curious about the 50+comments and how often readers read that far. Being more informative then anything else in my own posting I get very few comments could be the small size of niche too.

    @Luis I agree with the long comment turning into a blog post instead. However there are also times when an article doesn’t fit within ones blogs direction. At those times I feel it would be best to leave the long post instead of confusing your readers though I do that myself from time to time.


  18. @bontb

    I find I only read all the comments if the post itself is interesting, and the value that can be added by those commentating supplements the original post.

    ProBlogger comments tend to be made by enthusiastic, knowledgable people, and therefore have more value (to me) than comments made on a number of other sites that I read on a daily basis. I’m sure it has its own fair share of well disguised spam, like any site, but a trawl through the comments of most posts on here reveal that there is a generally low signal-to-noise ratio (is that the right way round – you get my drift I’m sure?)


    I prefer to see people use their real name, if only for the extra personality it brings to a comment. Nicknames and Site URL’s are less likely to have me click through to that site. I get the url by holding my mouse over it – real name + interesting domain name wins over nickname/site url + interesting domain name. Just a personal view.

  19. Another great list, but when comments really pile in, it’s quite challenging to join in the conversation right away.

    There were times that I was making a reply to a comment but by the time I got hit the submit button, the blog owner just edited it out.

    Being the early bird does have a lot of benefits.

  20. I disagree with this list and can easily write a better one. See what I did there? :)

  21. If you have something to say, say it.

    That’s always been my policy in commenting on other blogs.

    Though like jhay said if the comments pile up (like it always do at Problogger) it will be better to get in fast, as most people don’t read more than the first 10-20comments.

  22. How about think of comments as short posts where all the post formatting rules apply?

  23. Leaving a super long comment will be annoying to some commenters because it seems like a post instead of a comment. But leaving a short comment with one sentence is never a good thing.

    What i have always been doing is if i have an argumentative point, then i will blog about it and drop a comment here with my maxmium of 2 paragraph of comment with no more than 6 sentences in each. I hope that helps.

  24. Number 11 is so true. I find that if the comment left on my blog is long and in one giant block of text, it bugs me so much that I’ll edit it into paragraphs myself. I guess it’s just my nature as a writer. Stuff like that gets under my skin.

  25. What about adding colourful characters?

    (>”)> *wave*

  26. Dave: That’s what I usually do (mouseover and look at domain). Unfortunately many Movable Type powered blogs obfuscate the URL through some tracking URL which makes this impossible. I’m generally therefore less likely to visit commenters’ sites on those blogs.. which is sad really. Down with obfuscation!

  27. Two bloggers walk in to a bar….

    One says “I’ve just blogged about this bar”.
    “I know says” the other blogger. “That’s why I’m here!”
    “OH!” says the blogging blogger. “Well I’m going to blog about that right here and now using my Apple iPhone”
    “I know you are” said the bloggers mate. “I just blogged about that before I came out… I only came in person so I could add the photo using my iPhone mark 2” [sfx photo click]

    You’re forgetting (at least) one thing. “Why?”

    Blog comments should add value to the original blog and not be a PR vehicle to your own rantings (cough). Or a mindless I’m still breathing. (BTW I am still breathing…) or just to big-up the ego of the original blogger (BTW very nice Daren ;-) ).

    I do not really believe people discover other blogs through comments, else I’d have shed loads of traffic (LOL).

    And with no follow links, there’s little benefit to commenting either from an SEO find my own blog perspective.

    It’s a shame that Blogs do not promote real debate and discussion. But I guess that’s what Forums are for, if one can manage the spam.

    But seriously I think the best use of comments, is simply to thumbs up or thumbs down the blog. It’s great to know that 1) somebody read it and 2) that somebody care enough to mention they liked it or not.

    Do we really need a “strategy” for that?

    AYK a blog is just a one way opinion of the blogger. It isn’t really a basis for discussion or interaction. It is “I think this and I’m going to tell you about it”.

    In an ideal would each blog article would teach people something, or inspire them to do something of their own. AYK many blogs are not like that.

    So let me thumbs down this post. You’ve tried to teach people how to comment on blogs for better effect.

    1) Not because they deserve it because what they have to say is relevant, important or worthy.

    2) But merely to join in to a fake community and boost the bloggers own self importance.

    SO my point, is why propel myths that blog comments are even worth discussing or that a strategy is needed?

    Isn’t there more important stuff to discuss than the furony.com of discussing discussion?

    Like “How to change your own life in 7 seconds!” Yes I’ll be putting that blog up myself, but you’re very welcome to do your own. Then the blogosphere will have 14 seconds of quality content ;-)

    BTW do you think surveys/pols are more or less popular than comments?

    PS I always quite liked w00t – LOL


    “I comment therefore I am…”

  28. I presume we will now lead go into an era with a lot of decoration below every post on problogger ..

    —~~|*77&77^^%4$$ anyone!!|—~~~– :D

  29. To be early bird you have to be sitting with your pc 24 h and moving from one blog to the other. It’s not easy.

  30. Yes, everyone knows about the benefit of commenting early on in posts, especially on A List blogs like yours and John Chow’s. Not only does it garner attention from the author of the blog but it also results in traffic.

    But you know, the problem in commenting early, especially for people living outside the US is that most bloggers tend to post according to the time in the ‘States. For example, I currently live in Eritrea and when I get to comment on blogs, most of them are already full of them as the posts were published when I was sleeping.

    Another problem is the fact that there’s so much competition for the first spot. Let me give you an example: One day I was reading my feed and suddenly a new post by John Chow appeared. I quickly went to the blog but saw that within 1 minute of the post’s publication, it already had 5 comments!

  31. Good post, I however disagree (an honest disagreement) with the bolding and attempt to highlight words. Your comments should not be so long that you need to highlight certain sections, short and sweet are best.

  32. That was quick towards 20 comments. Darren, I agree with you. I have seen a bit of a spike in traffic since I have started commenting on the bigger blogs. But it is true that you have to get in early because the middle comments rarely seem to get read, just those at the beginning and the end. I missed the ball on this one ;-)

  33. I notice that commenting “guidelines” vary from blogger to blogger, but there is a mean golden rule that comments should follow the thread of the topic.

    However, there have been times when I had a burning question that was not exactly related to the focus of the article, but carries significance to people reading the blog.

    For example, the article here is on suggestions for commenting. Maybe what I really want to know is how effective commenting on other blogs is in driving traffic to my blog compared to social networking and advertising. Would it be violating the unseen rules of commenting by throwing that question into the comment thread?

  34. Something similar to asking a question would be to insert some sort of call to action. For example, if you want other bloggers to look into a new service, something like “Try this program and let us know what you think!” could catch the eye and spur people to do something – even in a comment.

  35. I would also add that if you are going to write a seriously long comment, that either submit it as a possible guest post to that blogger or write it on your own blog (if it works with your topic) and leave a trackback. Then not only are you responding, you are adding value to the original content and adding to the sense of community around that post.

  36. Number 6 is near and dear to my heart. I love humor and try to sprinkle a little of it in everything I write.

    And to redwall_hp I definitely agree with that tip. I see comments along the line of “w00t! First comment!” way too often for my taste and I never pay those folks any attention other than my initial annoyance.

  37. *****I’ve noticed that alot of comments here at Problogger tend to be of a congratulatory nature and not much else, after one reads 10-30 of those, well it’s abit annoying. I personally do click on insightful commenters links, have done it many times. I’ve also rec’d some traffic myself.

    [TIP] Add value.

    [QUESTION] How does one BOLD in a comment box?

  38. I’d add one more to the list – don’t comment on every post! You may feel you’re a blogger’s greatest fan, but they probably think you’re a deranged stalker, and end up taking extra care locking the doors and windows at night.

    On my anonymous blog I had one woman who wrote volumes after each of my posts, going into all sorts of detail about how the same thing happened to her 15 years ago, and wasn’t that the most amazing thing ever, and usually ending with how she’d like to live in Ireland too.

    If you find yourself commenting on the same blog every day, then you probably need a long holiday where the sun shines and a broadband connection is nowhere to be found.

  39. Let me try the suggestion by breaking it down.

    1. Click my link
    2. Click my link
    3. Click my link and go to my website! :)

  40. I just wrote the world’s most humorous, satirical post in response to this post. Now it’s lost in the ether. Darn.

    I’ll just throw in my final phrase from that comment, although the original, full comment was funnier:

    “I’m just worried about the possibility of a new generation of blogs about blog commenting optimization.”

  41. Being that I was NOT one of the “eArLy BiRdS” my comment will probably get lost in the shuffle crowd, but, I think another good options for comments would be to offer some added value to the post or other comments.

    I can’t stand comment posters that just say GREAT POST and then leave some worthless link for others to follow. :)

    Leave something of added value :)


  42. Problogger,

    Why don’t you run pool and ask your readers

    “Do you read all comments, just some of them, or you just comment and leave?”

    @Nick: Thanks on agreement

    @Dave: Got your point, I am the same way.

  43. Adding advice and asking a question are two important ones. I think it’s hard to standout with comments, as the blog post is what is supposed to stand out in the first place.

  44. Maybe. But i think many people already know about that. Its good and i can said some beginners need to know more about you talking here..

    Its good if you want to get more traffic in short time..

  45. Would commenting off topic be another way to get noticed?

    If so, then here’s something unrelated, please vote for Sciencebase in the science category of the 2007 weblog awards. There’s some stiff competition, but I’d hope to finish at least not tenth…




  46. I might just ad – Think before you write – especially if you would like to flame the author.

    Think about what you would like to say logically and then come back and post your views.

  47. I disagree! lol

    no, seriously that it some good advice, and which can also be carried into blog posts

  48. 12. Comment on less popular blogs
    Instead of struggling to be heard above the noise of 100 repetitive “great post” notes, find a smaller forum where your contributions will receive all the attention they deserve.

    Martial Development welcomes your insightful commentary!

  49. Thanks Darren

    Another top post. I think this is a part of blogging that we mostly neglect. I never in my wildest dreams thought that the length of my comments could be so easily “strategized”…


  50. Chris: Your addition of number 12 is a good one. Something that I’ve started doing as well, is I try to visit the blogs of those who comment on mine and read/comment on theirs.

    I realize that for larger blogs (like problogger) that would be insane to try and do but for the smaller ones it works rather well. Then I can build a rapport with my “readers” outside of my blog as well.

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