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Leave Comments on Other Blogs [Day 20 – 31DBBB]

Posted By Darren Rowse 25th of April 2009 Blog Promotion 0 Comments

This post is an excerpt from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook

“Leave comments on other blogs.”

If there’s one piece of advice for building traffic to a blog that is given to new bloggers more than any other it is about leaving comments on other blogs.

Today your task in the 31 Days to Build a Better blog is to do just that – spend 10-15 minutes reading and interacting on other blogs on your topic (or surrounding topics).

The benefits of commenting on others blogs:

  • You’ll be getting to know what other bloggers in your niche are doing
  • You’ll hopefully read some great content that could spark ideas for your own blog
  • You’ll be reaching out to another blogger in your niche (often comments are the start of fruitful relationships
  • You’ll be creating a small doorway back to your own blog for the readers of that blog
  • You’ll be building your own profile in your niche – it’s a chance to show your expertise, knowledge and understanding of the topic.

Warning!

It should go without saying but just having moderated the comments on my own blogs I suspect it needs to be said a day – DON’T BE A COMMENT SPAMMER!

More than that – DON’T LOOK LIKE A COMMENT SPAMMER!

I add that second warning because I come across a lot of bloggers who try to leave comments on other blogs in a way that they think is genuine – but that looks very spammy. Their comments more often than not get them on blacklists of comment spam filters.

The rule of thumb that I advise when leaving comments on other people’s blogs is simple – add value.

A comment that simply says ‘great post’ and that then has a link signature back to your own blog adds little if any value to the blog. It looks spammy. The only visitors you’ll get back to your blog are people wanting to know who the spammer is!

  • Keep comments on topic
  • Let your comment show that you’ve read the post
  • Say what you like or don’t like about the post
  • Add an example or another point that the blogger might have missed
  • If you put a link back to your own blog in the comment try to make it a relevant one that adds to the post and will be useful to those who follow it.
  • Ask a relevant and insightful question

Comments are Mini Resumes – Every comment you leave is like a mini resume for you and your blog (read more about that in the last point of Lorelle’s post on comments here).

Comments can Hurt Your Brand – On the flip side – every comment you write can potentially hurt your reputation and brand as a blogger. Here are 10 Ways that comments can actually do more harm than good to the brand of your blog.

Further Reading: I wrote a comment back in 2007 (which I think is still relevant today) with 11 Tips for Getting Your Comments Noticed on a Popular Blog.

Your task today is to find blogs on a similar or related topic to yours and to spend 10-15 minutes interacting on them in a genuine and useful way. Let us know how you go below (with a comment of course)!

Want More?

This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.

Join over 14,000 other bloggers and Get your Copy Today.

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, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. I think commenting on another blog is an easy way to gain more traffic to blog/website.

    I write this comment, my blog(http://visablogging.blogspot.com/) will gain some more traffic.

    To whom visits my blog through this comment, please let me say thanks you very much for spending ur time to visit.

    Thanks for the great lesson,today,Darren!

  2. This post is so true it is scary. Blogging is all about community and if no one is commenting you have no community. Give your opinion it will help everyone to give your insight.

  3. Not only leaving comments, but replying to comments left on your own blog… I find that just as (if not more) important.

    But yes, I try to make the rounds of my favorite blogs, leaving comments at each one. And then I try to find a few new ones to read. If I can add to the conversation, I will. And most times, I have yet another blog to add to my favorite blogs list.

  4. Too bad I wasn’t first to comment.

    This technique really works. When I started my blog The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide in January 2008, I left a lot of comments on boomer blogs to raise my readership.

    As I began a second blog and writing a guest post once a week for Boomer411, I didn’t take the time to do it daily.

    Thanks for the lesson. My goal is to leave 20 comments this weekend.

    I see many of my comments in Google listings on the Web, so you are absolutely right that the comments need to be positive and relevant — and especially not attacking.

    I’ve seen a few Twitter tweets in Google search inquiries. Will Google be including the millions of Twitter tweets in its searches?

    Rita

  5. I do that very often. It can be very helpful in bringing readers to your blogposts especially for personal/hobby blogs. And yes, blogs are also used like social networking platforms these days! And some blogs have a short posts and a hundred comments arguing that the post is right or wrong. Actually, the blogger lets the commenters to be a major part of his/her posts!!

    Destination Infinity

  6. leaving comment is enjoyable to do. in addition, it improves social networking over the net, unless you’re a comment spammer.

  7. So do these comments link back from the website address i typed in?.

    I was thinking at first it was from the screen name, but i guess that wouldnt work.

    Well i dont know if the leaving of comments brings readers to my blog, or not, but i ahve read it said on a few sites that it can increase visitors to blogs!.

  8. Well, but does commenting really help, if most blogs put “nofollow” in their external links?

  9. This is something that I actually enjoy doing. Seeking out new blogs introduces me to new ideas and I like to let the authors know how I’ve benefited from their story.

    I wish more folks would leave ideas and comments on our blog. We really wanted it to be more conversational in the sharing of ideas.

    Any suggestions on approaching this? How does one go about increasing comments on their own site?

    http://www.changebecomeschange.typepad.com

  10. Thanks for all your help Darren . Please take your time and do vist my blog on bloggers.com .I will be trying to use all the help that i have learned from this seris of emails and your website has been a great help for me .
    Friends take your time and do vist my blog on health and life style .

    Healthy Regards
    Sudeep Chitnis
    “e-swastya” Blogging for Optimum Health Care

  11. I don’t comment as often as I should on blogs I read. It’s a habit I work on periodically.

    One thing that helps me is to keep the various niches I follow in separate folders in my feed reader. That way I can focus on a particular topic more easily.

  12. I try to comment, but I don’t think I do it as much as I should have.

    I have received spammer comments too. Its apparent that they did not read my post, because their link and comment has nothing to do what I said. I ‘ll be more observing of this in the future.

    Good advice, I’d better go and finish commenting. :)

    Evelyn

  13. And if I hadn’t found Jan’s blog through your 31DBBB forum, and left comments, he wouldn’t have found MY blog, and learned that Commentluv was available for Blogger blogs. I’ve found some great blogs through the links here and in the forum.

    I blog because I write to be read (as opposed to the teenaged diarist who writes to lock up her words and shove them under the mattress, hoping – always in vain – that her little brother won’t find her journal and humiliate her in front of her boyfriends). I blog because it’s a great way to start a conversation with a wide variety of people. It’s disappointing not to get comments.

    That said, I’m a writer – and I’m merciless on the spammers. So if you’re a spammer reading this? Don’t click my name. Just don’t do it. Those comments are just fodder for another post…like my Ten Secrets to Hugely Successful Article Writing.

    On second thought…I can always use the inspiration.

  14. Two things about comments I’ve noticed. I have definitely found that leaving a valuable comment, which shows that you read and comprehended the post, can make you new friends. I’ve had people follow me on Twitter, come to my blog, and email me because of comments I’ve left.

    Another thing I’ve seen is that my Google presence gets deeper and deeper (about 20 pages of Google now on my name before it goes into the genealogy entries), as I leave more comments. That was quite a surprise when I first realized it was happening.

    Commenting is an art. The core of it is really caring about what you’re saying and considering your reader as well as the blogger you’re commenting on.

    Aren’t opinions wonderful? !!
    Cheers
    Suzanna Stinnett

  15. @Thomas,

    it’s not so much about the “nofollow” as it is about engaging other folks who are reading the same blogs as you. They’ll see your clever comment and think maybe it’s worth their time to click through to your site. Or, if a comment isn’t relevant or interesting to the post, then the other folks will skim past it.

  16. I enjoy leaving meaningful comments and adding to the value of another blog. I have created friendships with other bloggers because of this, and I love it.

    Because I only comment on posts that I truly enjoy, and that I can relate to, my comments are intended as a direct reply to the author, with an indirect benefit to the readers.

    I would like to comment more than I do. The main issue is lack of time, so I don’t do it on a daily basis. There are blogs on my list that I still have to comment on…

  17. I do place comments on others blogs, especially those that I visit reguarly and on vistors who visit my site.

  18. I got a comment on my blog recently and when I clicked the link to this person’s blog, it was a friend I hadn’t seen in over 15 years! She had gotten one of my posts by email from a friend and commented, not knowing it was me. Now we’re back in touch, so……

    You never know what a comment will bring you!

  19. It is such a simple thing but I learned from this. I like to visit other sites and see what other people are doing in the photography niche. I like to comment, but I think my comments are not productive enough. I just leave a quick and concise comment and leave it at that. Maybe I should do move.

    I have commented about similarities between our two types of photography, but I need to do more. Thank you for these suggestions. I do not want my comments to be considered as spam!

    Again, thank you for this valuable tip!

    Bridget Casas

  20. Hey, Darren, I’m a new blogger and an “old” teacher who is trying to instruct my college students on All Things New Media. Today’s posts about adding comments to drive traffic was spot-on to respond to one person’s question. I also referred my readers to your 2007 post on 11 Tips for Getting Noticed on Popular Websites. Probably my only additional comment on comments had to do with businesses responding to complaints, i.e. Handling disagreeable comments in a polite and respectful manner goes a long way to building better relationships and the community that companies are now trying to establish.

  21. Darren,
    I belong to the real estate network Activerain. I learned very quickly if I wanted people to even read my posts, never mind comment on them I had to comment on their posts. I have, in 2.5 months, made some very good connections, good friends, I have people I follow and people who follow me. This is very important.
    As others have said, it gives an added bonus, google sees all those comments! The one thing I can’t do is to put a link back to myself in other peoples comments as it is considered marketing material of another realtor. I can live with that.
    The blog I used for these purposes is a free wordpress blog, which I love. The comments that are on there are a direct result of this program of yours. I loved getting the comments, and they were all good.
    I have heard the term “speed commenting” used, pretty funny actually. It is a horrible thing to do. If I can’t think of something to say, I try to come back after thinking about it and comment later. I want people to know I am reading, that I was there. And, it works. I have an average of 15 comments on my posts on AR. I am very pleased with that. As I said, I have developed great relationships with people, and their comments help me to fine tune my posts, to write FOR them and get them interested.
    The one thing I try NOT to do (other than speed commenting) is be rude and obnoxious if I disagree strongly. I have avoided blogs where I know the poster does not want a discussion, but is looking to put everyone down.
    Lastly, going back and answering the people who commented, and if I don’t know them, or don’t already subscribe, I go to their blogs, read, and comment.
    Thank you for a great program. I am blown away daily by the generosity of time, talent and treasure by people. This comment has a life of its own, sorry!

  22. Great tip that ensures good will in the blogosphere. http://budurl.com/5x6s

  23. comments are way to interact with bloggers and share your views on article.

  24. My rule of thumb is to build new traffic is to leave at least 3 meaningful comments a day.

  25. Commenting in others similar niche blog with yours, it could helps on SERPS too. Besides these, 1 comment equal to 1 backlinks too. But do leave genuine comment, not to spam, else your comment couldn’t be able to see the light in the blog.

    Regards,
    Lee

  26. Thank you Darren. I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful people comment on my site from the Problogger challenge since taking part and I have done the same. It’s a great way to connect, share interest, form friendships and then work together in the future.

  27. Thanks again Darren! Everytime I check into the workshop, I learn something new…
    This blog comments exercise is very interesting because I’ve been commenting on media pieces for some years and it never occurred to me that a simple goodwill gesture; “Good job!” will be viewed as spam.
    I’m fairly new to blogging and so my commenting habit has not been shaped by some ulterior motive to get something from the other party – a comment back fine but nothing more.
    When I read something on a blog that I feel strongly about, then my comment is based on my response to what I read. However, from time to time, I read things I simply enjoy and feel that a short sweet note is equally valuable.
    Wow, I think it would be truly sad if we become so picky about comments that others offer; after all it is not made by force and the fact that someone stopped by and signed in should say something…
    Sure, there are people who leave spam links and messages about contacting them for all kinds of crap but that should be obvious.
    Maybe I am somewhat naive and have not reached the place where, as a blogger, I get pissed because someone said “nice job” on my masterpiece. lol! But then, it is a place I don’t want to visit; an attitude I don’t want to adopt.
    I guess I have been wearing blinders on this one and, you know, I ‘d like to keep them on and assume that unless a comment is obscene or a scam offer, the fact that you stopped by and said hello in 6 words or 60 is great. If you stay a while and share a bit more – hey thanks too!
    Just my two cents!
    Cheers!

  28. Completely agree with Mrs Green’s comment and have been fortunate to have her stop by my blog and comment (she’s wonderful)!!!

    Wonderful advice, Darren. I try to take time every other day or so to read my favorite bloggers. Question, should I be returning to the blogs to see if the author has commented on my comment? And if he/she has commented, should I comment back?

  29. I don’t find anythong wrong with just leaving a ‘Great Post’ comment if that is how I felt after reading it. ( I might however not include a link back to my website in that case)

  30. How great that tool works I could see while opening my first blog and deciding to promote it only by comments – at thet atime I didn’t know any other way. I gained pretty good exposure and about 1,700 vistitors monthly in 4 months.
    Greetings,

  31. Thanks for reminding us Darren on how to properly comment on other blogs and forums. Commenting is a very tiring task but I’m pretty sure it’ll give additional traffic and backlinks to our site. Thanks for the tips again.

  32. The exercise I did yesterday was actually a combination of yesterday’s (#19) and today’s (#20) lessons. I was looking around for a topic to write an opinion article about so I decided to see what other bloggers were writing about. One article on charging passengers for their carry-on luggage caught my eye. I left a comment and later wrote an article, expanding on the subject, and linking my article to the first. The blogger returned the gesture & linked his article to mine. Really cool!
    I totally agree with you that it’s important to look around at what fellow bloggers are writing because, as you’ve pointed out: it’s a great source of ideas, reaching out and showing interest.

  33. What’s your take on Keyword Luv and such plug-ins? Nobody likes comment spam, but would you allow keywords? I’m a little undecided… there are several opinions.

  34. One of the best parts about commenting on other blogs is simply reading all the great posts. I’ll set out to leave a bunch of comments on blogs I follow which honestly does bring some traffic and builds my relationship with the bloggers as they get to know me. But more then that I learn so much! Its the best way to stay on top of what is going on in your industry while making some connections along the way.

  35. Yeah, great idea. I bet we all have the 150 minutes to spare every day to leave 10 thoughtful, value-adding comments to other blogs in our niche.

  36. You said: “I come across a lot of bloggers who try to leave comments on other blogs in a way that they think is genuine – but that looks very spammy.”

    Are you talking about just saying “Nice blog” or “great post” and saying nothing else? Or are you talking about something else?

    I don’t really know how I did commenting in the beginning, as I kind of felt like I was “eavesdropping” and felt a little shy of it. But I am hoping I do better now.

    I got a comment one time where all they said was “hi.” That’s the shortest comment I ever received.

  37. I read a long time ago about how important it is to leave comments on other blogs. And it seems like it still important nowadays after all those periods of times. And I have to say, YES it is important! both to build more traffic to your website and also a sound relationship with others.

  38. Blog commenting is definitely the best invention since bread!

  39. I am one of those that say “great post”, because I am moved to have read something I appreciate, if there is a comment page, isn’t it up to the individual to be free to comment, not everyone is out for traffic or back links.

    I have read some really good articles, and it nice to see others appreciating them as much as I do.

    I’d rather see people say great post then nothing at all…..then I know I am not writing to thin air

  40. This has long been one of my favorite strategies for clients, particularly ones, who do not have much traffic to their website and blog. We aggressively look for related topics using google alerts to find them, and post comments.

    I appreciate the suggestions on how to avoid being perceived as “spamming” I had not considered that, since I wasn’t a spammer and had a legitimate website, that my short comments might land me in the same bucket as the people offering low price car insurance and photos of teen age girls.

    Thanks for another great tip!

  41. No Spam! But commenting indeed is very necessary for bloggers to do.

  42. Thanks for those tips, which i will surely keep in mind when leaving my comments on other peoples’ blog. I didnt quite realize that I can come out like a spammer even if I had pure motives. I am a newbie at this, that why these lessons have been very helpful to me.

    Again thanks for those pointers!!!!

  43. Great Idea. I leave my comments open to allow for maximum exposure on my free samples site.

  44. In some ways, leaving comments on other blogs are more enjoyable than writing blog posts – at least for me. I try to write at least 10 comments a day – sometimes more.

  45. I love commenting on other blogs, as well as reading the other comments. Often the other comments lead me to that bloggers blog. And generally, if I like a comment, I also enjoy that blog site. The downfall for me is, I can spend hours reading others work instead of putting work into my own blog. I believe the word for it is procratination.

  46. Commenting is something I do if I’m really thrilled with what I saw or I have something to add. This whole process has been great, even if I’m a little slow at keeping up.

    I enjoyed this post and just wanted to add that as useful as it is to read in a niche blog, reading blogs on other topics are just as good. For one thing, you get a better sense of how other bloggers write and how many different writing styles there are out there. Also, it keeps you from getting burned out in your regular topic.

  47. I read the complete post. I was wrong before this post because I was typing just “good, nice, great, etc” but now I understood the way of comments. I did not receive any good back traffic from them. I read about backlinks so I thought that just leaving blog’s url on others sites its called backlinks. I will try to follow and then I will check the result. Thanks Darren Rowse

  48. This seems like a no-brainer but I very consciously spend time doing this. Every time I go through my blog reader, I basically skim everything, but “star” posts I want to read more carefully. Some I’ll post about, some I’ll just comment on, some I’ll share in Google Reader, some I’ll tweet. But whatever level of engagement I have with these particular blog posts, I try and make this part of my blogging routine. My comments are tracked here on Backtype.

  49. I have become a reader of (at least) one other blog solely because of a comment they left on mine. I like the comment and wanted to find out more about them.

    The CommentLuv WordPress plugin is a neat way to reward commenerts to your blog – it ads a little footer that lists the commenter’s latest post.

  50. I totally agree with you Darren, on it being the most important aspect of branding and blogging. I try to do a few comments a day on related blogs and it helps like you say get ideas to blog about yourself..

    I agree with everyone else though, if i cannot add to a post in some way some value content in a comment i will not comment.

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