Rethinking Blog Comments: Much More Than Just A Quick Way to Get Web Traffic

A comment left on a popular blog may be viewed by a few hundred people in one day. Multiply that by the lifespan of the blog and you’ll see that a simple comment may say a lot about you. Every blog comment is usually permanent. It’s not just a hyperlink but a long-term representation of your brand.
Too many webmasters view blog commenting as only a traffic or link building strategy. This rigid marketing emphasis has led to certain modes of behavior. For example, one might make the effort to comment exclusively on blogs with nofollow turned off, while using keyword names in order to increase the search engine ranking for one’s website.
Alternatively, you may also try to be the first to comment on popular blogs and/or include links to your website in a bid to gain some extra traffic from the additional visibility. There’s nothing wrong with this if you truly add to the discussion or include a relevant link. But not many do.
I’m not here to talk about improving the quality of comments. Nor am I going to lecture you about comment etiquette because I don’t want to regulate the way you interact with any website (other than Dosh Dosh).
What I’m trying to change is the way you think about comments. They are ways for you to get some quick traffic. They may help (in some small way) with your search rankings, but is there anything more to marketing via blog comments? And my answer is of course, yes.

Take this Perspective: View Blog Comments As a Networking Tool

Image Credit: A Mini Adventure…
I’ll get right to the point. See blog comments as a way to network with the author, so that you’ll be able to obtain a particular benefit in the future. Think long-term: not just incoming traffic today but exposure down the road. Don’t just focus on getting an immediate return (visitors via your link drop) but use comments to develop relationships of ongoing value.
Bloggers are not difficult people to understand. Almost all of them read all the comments they receive. They moderate them. Comments affect how they feel or think. Many see comments as an indicator of interest in their content. They like people to discuss what they wrote.
An article on a blog provides you with the perfect way to connect with the writer. You have the context right before your eyes. There’s no need to search for conversation fodder. Are you going to scan the entire article, write a very brief comment and quickly drop a link to your site because you just want maximum, immediate visibility? Is that all you want?
Building a relationship with the other blogger allows you to leverage his or her brand in the future because he or she will be more inclined towards your propositions. Comments are a way to converse with a prospective collaborator or friend and they are especially beneficial when you’re trying to interact with an influencer.
Influencers have to wade through a lot of noise everyday because many people clamor for their attention or help. But that doesn’t mean they don’t pick up signals. Consistent and value-added interaction with an influencer via blog comments will allow you to reap benefits you will not get from comments made entirely in favor of immediate self-interest.

How Comments Fail When You Think Only of Short-Term Benefits

Short Term Comments
Image Credit: A Mini Adventure…
A popular affiliate marketer recently left a comment on DoshDosh. It was initially caught in the spam filter and when I retrieved it, I did a quick google search for the comment in quotes. What did I find? The same exact comment was posted word-for-word on several other blogs, even when each article was about completely different topics.
This wasn’t a nobody but an established marketer. And this wasn’t the first time he left generic comments on my site. I don’t have anything against him as a person because I don’t know him personally but this sort of behavior just turns me off. It doesn’t appeal to me at all. And he probably just lost someone who could really get him some attention/traffic.
This is an extreme example, one bordering on spam but I feel it is indicative of what happens what you only view comments as a means to access instant benefits.
When you think in the short-term, you’re usually overlooking the value of relationships. And if you want to be successful in any industry or field, it helps to make friends with people who can help to get you there. Commenting is an extraordinary easy way to not only get visitors to your site, but develop mutually beneficial relationships along the way.
This is not about flattering an influencer or lying to curry favor. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drop comment links. This is all about having a different mindset, about rethinking how commenting can benefit you in the long run, over and over again.
I feel that adopting a networking-oriented perspective when commenting will actually improve your comment quality, not to mention that people will more easily recognize that you’re reaching out or trying to connect on a more personal level. Bloggers are usually good at sniffing out people who are just out for a link or some quick traffic.
Think long-term, think relationships and think about getting repeat benefits.


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