Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

The Power of Commenting on Blogs

Posted By Darren Rowse 4th of November 2007 Blog Promotion 0 Comments

I just came across a nice post by Caroline Middlebrook who did some analysis of her blog’s stats for the month of October.

Her blog increased it’s traffic from 3,000 readers in September to 11,000 in October – that’s pretty good growth. That’s partly due to some great StumbleUpon traffic (which accounted for 8000+ visitors) – but Caroline also worked a number of other sources over the month.

What struck me about her analysis was a section on traffic from other blogs (including ProBlogger). ProBlogger sent Caroline 94 visitors. When I checked to see when I linked to her I wasn’t able to find a link. The traffic came completely from comments that Caroline left on my posts.

In fact Caroline had just under 700 visitors to her blog this month from leaving comments on other people’s blogs.

The key to her success with this is that Caroline doesn’t spam blogs with meaningless comments – but she contributes to the conversations already happening, stays on topic and adds value to the blogs that she visits (or at least she has here at ProBlogger. Caroline doesn’t leave links in her comments – the traffic comes from people clicking her name to find out who is behind the insightful comments that she leaves.

Of course some will argue that 700 visitors isn’t a lot of traffic per month from the activity of commenting on blogs – however I think it’s actually fairly decent for a blog that is only a few months old – particularly when you consider that she’s managing to convert readers into subscribers. Add 4 or 5 new loyal readers to your blog every day (like Caroline has done by the looks of her RSS feed stats) and you end up with thousands of readers a day over a year.

So while it is perhaps the most overused ‘blog tip’ on finding readers for a blog – I guess commenting on other people’s blogs continues to be an activity that pays off.

found via my Vanity Folder

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. 700 visitors just via comments is a pretty good number. Also I get quite a number of visitors by leaving comments on popular blogs as well, one of them being problogger.

    I should analyze my monthly traffic and see how many visits I get from comments alone. thank you for posting this article darren, it just gave me one more reason to keep visiting and reading and commenting other blogs.

    But like you said, comments have to add value to the post and meaningful. It is amazing how many people will visit a blog and simply leave their URL and write ” visit so and so to get this free ” and all that.

    If used and written properly comments can be a pretty good source of visitors, as we can all see from Caroline’s analysis

  2. Congratulations Caroline! That’s fabulous! Perhaps the seasoned bloggers might think those numbers to be low, but bloggers who haven’t quite reach those numbers will be happy to learn this great news.

    I’m not sure where my increase of traffic is coming from either, whether by commenting on other blogs inside and outside my niche, but something is working well.

    Getting some nice thumbs up on Stumbling is always helpful too. :) I think I’m addicted to Stumble now.

  3. I just read that article on Caroline’s blog earlier today … and became one of those new RSS subscribers. She’s also got a good series on twitter (something I want to learn more about). She’s got a nice blog.

  4. I saw a similar post about this on Digg today. About 30% of my traffic comes from commenting on other blogs. I don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon, especially with sites that remove the nofollow tag and encourage commenters.

  5. I have also seen the power of commenting on other blogs when I actually started implementing it. Most people think that it’s a waste of time or something, but the rewards are wonderful. It’s marketing/networking/discussing/etc. all rolled into one simple comment.

  6. Yeah I think comments are a great way of getting new traffic. If you use a picture for your profile on blogger, more people will click on your name also.

  7. I read Yaro post a similar post about her yesterday, which shows that her commenting on blogs like yours isn’t going unnoticed and she has gotten a fair bit of good publicity. So I would say that it definitely hasn’t been in vain.

  8. I do agree with it.. But never been able to find the reason for happening so..
    Anyway.. I am also trying to check whether is is true by this post.. :)

  9. I agree that this is a great way of getting more traffic to your blog since I just started a blog last month and have been getting a decent amount of traffic from the activity of commenting on blogs. In some blogs, what also helps is that they have a list of top commentators in the sidebar, which can provide another link to your blog. For blogs that are just getting started like mine, 700 visitors is way more than decent. Last month, I wasn’t even able to get 500 unique visitors. Maybe I need to make my comments more insightful? I think that what also helps is putting your blog’s name instead of your own name because the name itself might grab the interest of some people. The negative part of this strategy is that it might make it look like you are commenting just to get traffic and not to add value to the blog.

  10. Commenting can bring more people to your site, but sometimes I feel like I spend more time commenting on other blogs than preparing material for my own blog. Does anyone have any rules of thumb on the amount of time you should spend commenting as opposed to writing up new material on your own blog?

  11. So obvious yet so few take advantage of that. Commenting on the big blogs, such as yours, is a sure thing for some quality traffic – provided one leaves a smart comment. Which, by the way, this particular comment is exempt from because these past 4 lines have already lost me some traffic. Ay!

  12. I brought this very point up not too long ago over at Aaron Wall’s blog.

    Blog commenting on blogs and forum participation (with signature link) are two of the most cost effective ways to get highly targeted traffic to your site. At least, that’s how I’ve done it in the past and I have had very good success with this model.

    The following is the whole secret of using this method of traffic generation:

    The key to her success with this is that Caroline doesn’t spam blogs with meaningless comments – but she contributes to the conversations already happening, stays on topic and adds value to the blogs that she visits (or at least she has here at ProBlogger. Caroline doesn’t leave links in her comments – the traffic comes from people clicking her name to find out who is behind the insightful comments that she leaves.

    The point you raise about the number of visitors is also a key point here. No, 700 visitors is not a large “raw” number, but like you said, she’s converting these users and that’s what adds up.

    I’ll gladly take 10 targeted users who keep coming back over 100 random visitors who will click off within 30 seconds of landing on my site.

  13. Even if most know the advantages of commenting on other blogs, few take advantage of it. They remain passive and consume everything. Don’t they know that what makes a blog powerful is the power to interact with others.

    Just my 1 cent thought.

    Abdul Rahman,
    Fly Copy

  14. I’ve also found it an effective way to build traffic and build relationships with other blogs. I also make an effort to visit the blogs people link to in their comments on big sites like this one since they often have interesting things to say beyond just their comment.

  15. From my limited experience it seems that one of the real tricks to getting comments on other blogs to pay off is leaving comments that will give the reader a good impression of who you are as a writer, and what your area of expertise is. I’ve left some comments on blogs related in subject matter to mine but added some quality input from a perspective that nobody else had. In the end, those comments have been both consistent traffic grabbers and introductions to my blog for what are now repeat visitors. There is no doubt in my mind that commenting is important for the benefit of your own blog, and besides that its fun. You can make new friends and have some great discussions!

  16. I can attest to her success with commenting because I’ve experienced the same thing. Over the past month you’ve sent me 49 visitors, shoemoney sent me 129, etc. Well worth the effort to comment on other blogs if you have something relevant to say

  17. I, too, find that reading and contributing comments to other people’s blogs, especially those on similar topic of my own, helps increase my stats. But it’s not just about stats and raising the numbers. It’s really, as pointed out in this article, about contributing something positive to other blogs by way of your comments. Anyone can go in, leave a few remarks and dart out. It’s the meaningful comments that count.

  18. Darren, I learned this from one of your posts when I first visited. I post comments on only 3 sites at this time that interest me, 2 being related in content to my site.

    I think this would be a good time to say “thanks” for allowing me the opportunity to learn about blogging and being able to leave a link to my site.

    Has it helped? Absolutely. I didn’t know about the vast types of statistics available until recently but now I see that about 70% of the visitors are coming from you and the other 2 sites.

    I have recently provided a link back to you and the other 2 sites on my home page. Is this proper without letting the sites know about it? You might have mentioned this topic but I’m still reading all your past posts.

    I would hope that irrelevant comments posted for self promotion would become obvious and if I was the moderator, I would ban them.

  19. Great work Caroline ! Good comments on blogs will take attention of blogger and visitors. It creates high possibility to increase your subscribers. But, this requires time. I am a student, doing my PG. So not able to read and comment much on lots of blogs. Any blogging tip for me (student) Darren .

  20. Commenting is like the new conversation, though I agree many are not quite there yet in terms of how to add value but there’ll always be good conversation and bad. It’s what the guys who wrote the cluetrain manifesto were on about all those years ago. Markets are conversations.

    I have recently won a premium wordpress theme and an iPod nano by giving the most valuable feedback in a commenting competition, and that’s another great way to get people involved is to incentivize getting involved.

    There’s this great plugin which rewards commenters through a commenters tag cloud and those with the most comments have their names larger in proportion. Check it out at http://www.webaddict.co.za/other-addicts/, I haven’t used it yet because I don’t have enough commenters on my blog yet, still a newbie.

    Last month I received 196 visitors on 1 day, much more than i had ever received before because someone mentioned me on a post about their logo design. Conversation is the name of the game now.

  21. I too can attest to the power of commenting on other blogs. I comment on a wide variety of the blogs I read, without once shamelessly promoting my site, but rather to just simply comment on posts that I find interesting. So whether it is a blog about House M.D. , The Green Bay Packers, or Lifehacker, I comment because I like to share my opinion. The traffic follows as a result of curiosity from others. F.Y.I, Problogger sends me about 50 readers a month from Darren’sFree Blogger Templates post alone.

  22. This is a good techniqe which I also have been testing for the last one month and getting progress day by day.

    It is true that this technique not big source of traffic for a blog. But, I am getting some blog owner as regular reader to my blog and in some cases they also add a post from my blog to their blog and sending some good unexpected traffic to my blog.

  23. Yup, i agree with that. In terms of traffic attraction, good post will lead a definitely a point of change to readers and whenever it has anything to do to a reader including something for further reading or remind the reader of something, it will somehow attracts the readers to quickly wants to discover about the poster. Well, you know in our life we will always found “chemistry” with one of the reason is when we find something similar between us??.. :)

  24. You know what is also great about being an active commenter on other people’s blogs? Sometimes two big blogs will pick up on it in one week, write about you and send a ton more visitors :D

    Thanks very much for this post Darren! As I said to Yaro, I often have an advantage with yours and Yaro’s blogs as you guys are in Australia and I am in the UK so I get a lot of your posts come through my feeder during the day when the US is asleep so I am often one of the first to comment. (Though oddly, this post didn’t come though my feed reader at all – I picked it up from an alert)

    With regards to time, it can take a lot of time – it’s not so much the time to comment itself, but reading all the posts, on many different blogs. I’ve only recently started to analyze it so of course I have also spent a lot of time on blogs that aren’t that great and don’t send traffic. It’s a learning process :)

    Thanks again for the mention Darren!

  25. I think tht leaving comments helps you to build branding on other people’s blog, same like when they buy a 125×125 ad spot. When other people who are going around visiting top blogs leaving comments – you’ll see the same person doing the same thing..

    when you got a brand like problogger, everybody wants to go to your site!

  26. I really love commenting and participating in other blog topics which I visit. I just hate it when people comment something that is off the topic in my blog posts. It’s like spamming and ruining the content of my blog.

    It’s really good to see a concrete example like Caroline who had a huge benefit from commenting in other blogs the right way.

  27. Congrats to Caroline! That’s huge…

    Speaking of Readers, I noticed your RSS count is down to 19000 subscribers today, Darren – any clue as to the drop?

  28. Commenting with relevant answers to the topic was what Caroline did and it did pull in a number of referral traffic from Problogger to Her blog. I was one of those who happen to stumble her name and blog through problogger and she did a great job on her blog.

    Robert – This problem is helping across the blogosphere, it is not something new though, you see the widget feedbar as xxxx number but over at your own account you see another figure which is the true number of subscribers you have, i guess a day or two and it will be solved.

  29. I know that a comment must add value to a blog post and in fact a long comment might attract other commentators to look at your comment and if your luck is better, they will click on your link that will bring them to your site.

    Although I have heard traffic building tips like submitting URLs to directories and register for those free traffic programmes, I still think that commenting on other blogs and continue to write great contents is what that bring a blog quality visitors (visitors that read, subscribe, comment, bookmark or submit your article to social media).

    I see Caroline Middlebrook very often in other comments section of a blog but what I didn’t know until the buzz is happening now that her link is being clicked so many times! I guess the simple way still rocks.

  30. Commenting on blogs has effect only if you are writing interesting comments and you really add value to the host blog. If you write shitty comments with stupid advertising sentences you have two choices:

    1. To be banned by the blog moderator.
    2. Nobody will click on your name.

    The result: total waste of time!

    My story: I have started my blog in June 2007 and using only commenting as a marketing strategy I succeeded to make 200 unique visitors per day and more than 50 RSS subscribers till the end of the same month.

    I don’t know if this is a good or bad result, but I was very happy to have an audience that reads my blog daily and thinks that what I am writing is valuable.

  31. Nice post as usual Darren, thanks for the helpful tip.

    Congrats to you as well Caroline. My blog is very new as well, and I know that if I had the increase that you had I would be very excited, so I’m sure you are as well.

    to Robert Kingston: It looks like Feedburner is messing up, because my count dropped suddenly as well. I doubt that Darren just lost 12,000 subscribers

  32. I always stop to read a comment from Caroline, they are always meaningful.

    Commenting on Problogger sends Blogging Fingers about 120 visitors per month ;)

  33. lol – had to laugh at this entry. I get about 50-70 uniques a day from ProBlogger, some from your link to my site, and some from comments I’ve made, and you know the funny thing, despite my high PR, nobody ever comments, bizarre!

  34. I will agree that 700 visitors a month from leaving comments is very good traffic for a newer blog like Carolines.This goes to show the power of commenting you see so many preach about here in the blog world.Job well done Caroline.


  35. I’ve found comments to be very effective long term, providing the site is big enough. Get your comment in early, make it worth reading and if you can add a link to a relevant post on your site all the better. Do it on enough posts and it provides a very steady stream of visitors. In some cases I get more visitors this way than I would get from them linking directly to me.

  36. Thats right, I have increased my traffic since i spend more time to write comments instead of writing my new posts.
    But maybe for a long term it is better to write a lot of content and just wait for the Visitior who came frome google and co.

  37. Note to self: do not put a link in this comment.

    I’ve had a few people pop over from comments as well, definitely not 94 though. If she thought that was a lot, wait until she sees how many visitors this post sends her!

  38. and ironically caroline didn’t comment on this post (if I am not mistaken)

    I recently discovered her blog when she visited my blog probably via my comment here in Problogger. Hers is an awesome blog with great information.

    I have been following this style of leaving good comments on different blogs and it is of real help.

    One they give you extra visitors and second most of the visitors go on to subscribe to your feeds which is truly an added treat!

  39. Thanx, Darren!
    I was taught early on how to do things right. even though I am not where I want to be,yet,numbers wise, If I keep reading informative blogs like yours, things just will happen!
    I leave about 3-4 comments a day on other blogs, but will start focusing on getting that number to 10.
    keep on Keeping on.
    Joel Libava

  40. I think I found Caroline’s blog through one of her comments here. She was able to convert me to a subscriber, so I’d have to say that commenting does work.

    Another think I have noticed is Caroline is often the first to comment on one of Darren’s posts. I’m sure this is because she’s as quick as lighting, but the early bird does get the worm.

  41. I get a lot of visitors via my commenting as well. I don’t comment for visitors though. I truly enjoy reading out around here and being able to contribute to a conversation while reading something you really enjoy is wonderful. I have virtually quit reading things that I can’t contribute to the conversation. Yes, newspapers don’t bother coming to my house.

  42. LOL! I hope Caroline publishes an article at the end of November, showing how much traffic this post (and Yaro’s) have affected her traffic and subscriber levels!

    Feedburner glitches notwithstanding, I bet it’ll be impressive.

    (I’m subscribing to her blog, so because of this. Does that count as observer error in this experiment?)

  43. I think she has the right strategy down. If you comment on blogs that have substantial traffic, you will reap the rewards.

  44. my blog is only 3 weeks old, but I’ve seen similar results (on a much smaller scale), so I do believe this works, esp over time.

  45. I guess it is all about community building. An insightful comment adds to the value of the original post and encourages more comments. The quid pro quo is that readers may continue the conversation on either the commentators’ blog or the host blog. It makes sense and like most good ideas seems simple after thinking it through. Cheers, Steve

  46. It is indeed true that commenting on blogs is a one of the powerful ways of getting traffic on one’s blog. It will certainly help to build traffic. It certainly does in my case.

  47. Congrats Caroline! I have seen and read several of your comments and as Dareen says they are quality on topic comments.

    As usual Darren you have produced another very useful post, now I am off to view my current visitors and use this tip as Caroline did to increase my visitors and RSS subscribers. Thanks again.

  48. When I first started blogging two years ago, I also became engaged with many local blogs as we were all building what would become a spontaneous local community of independent blogs. I left comments frequently as part of a greater dialogue. But a turn of bad health over the summer left me focused on just writing. I had to go on hiatus from reading and it still feels quite strange to not be an active part of the greater community. It was never a matter of driving traffic. But it’s absolutely true … I still get visitors from comments I left MONTHS ago on some of these blogs. The effect is not only cumulative over the short-term, but also over the long-term. I agree you have to go into it with a genuine interest and not just for the sake of driving traffic. You gain respectability that way. Plus, it adds value to one’s blogging life.

  49. Darren, you’re spot on once again. I think I will apply the virtual assistanct concept that Tim Ferriss preaches. Imagine if I hired a VA to work through the night on my behalf leaving comments and driving traffic to my sites. Come to think of it, I will hire several VAs…and scale even faster.

  50. Darren, the problem with measuring in terms of visitors and/or visits is that “drive through traffic” from comments, StumbleUpon, etc. don’t really give you a feel for how “valuable” that traffic is/was.

    I’d be curious to see the ratio of increase in visitors compared to the increase in feed subscriber count: how many of those visitors decided to subscribe to your feed? That’s an interesting metric: it’s a way to indirectly measure people’s “vote” for whether they think your content is interesting enough to want to see more of it in their aggregator.

    For those who are trying to monetize on their traffic, it’s also useful to compare increase in visitors to increase in ad clicks and/or CTR. Again, drive-through visitors may not yield much benefit here.

    Then again, what do I know–my blog only sees ~300 visitors a day. Heh.

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…