How to Comment on Blogs to Boost Your Own Business

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Across the board comments on blog posts are down. I’ve written about this before and why I don’t think this is a negative thing, but today I wanted to share a few thoughts on blog commenting etiquette and highlight some ways you can do it to help your own business.

There are still benefits of leaving comments on blogs. I personally believe that social media (especially Facebook) comments are of much more value, but if you are wanting to get on a blogger’s radar then commenting on their actual posts is a great way to do this. If you are posting informed and interesting comments you may also gain new followers for your own site because people can click through to find out more about you.

This must be done with caution though. If you are only leaving comments to try and boost your own traffic or help your website’s SEO, then it is usually pretty obvious and can really hurt your brand and reputation.

Here are a few things you must never do when leaving blog comments:

Spam

It kinda goes without saying right? Never ever ever leave blog comments for the sole purpose of attempting to drive traffic back to your own site. Most bloggers won’t approve them and if they’re stuffed with keywords or links they’ll get caught in their spam filters anyway. Don’t waste your time.

Post links to your own site

Unless a link is relevant to the discussion, don’t post it in the body of the comment! It looks super spammy. Instead put your URL in the field above the comment. Most people know how comments work and that if they want to see more from you they just click your name to go to your site.

It is usually pretty obvious if someone is only leaving a comment to try and get links back to their own site. Even if the comment is relevant to this discussion, it’s really irritating. A lot of bloggers will simply delete these comments (or edit them to take out the links) anyway. A big tell tale sign of someone doing this is when they also post under the name of their business rather than their real name.

Write anonymous hate

Again, this should really go without saying but if you’re posting anonymously (or using a fake name and email address) to write hateful or mean things those comments aren’t going to get approved! Disagreeing with something, in a polite way, is fine but don’t try and get into some kind of flame war for the sake of it. Always be constructive and respectful in your feedback. Remember, all comments can be tracked back to your own unique IP address (even if they are anonymous). Does what you’re saying reflect well on you and your business?

Post one or two word responses

If you haven’t got anything worthwhile to add then you probably shouldn’t bother! Yes, writing “good job!” or “cool!” might show the blogger that you enjoyed the article, but if that’s all you ever write it can start to be quite counter-productive. If you want to show your appreciation for a post but haven’t really got anything to add, why not tweet a link to the article instead (and @ the blogger in it so they can see)?

Reply to all your comments

Yes, this is in the ‘don’t’ pile! If you’re the post author you should definitely make the effort to reply to your comments, especially if someone asks you a question, but don’t feel like you have to reply to every single one. If you do it can look a little desperate and, honestly, not every single statement needs it’s own “Thanks so much!” response.

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Let’s hope none of you have been making any of these big etiquette mistakes. If so, don’t worry, here are a few things you can start doing in your comments to make up for it!

Ask questions

Asking questions shows that you not only enjoyed the article but you want to get into a discussion about it afterwards. Questions build community because somebody (usually the blogger) will respond to it which can start a conversation.

Add to the story

If you know something about the post subject that hasn’t been included then by all means share it in a comment. You could even link to other articles you’ve enjoyed on the same topic as long as it’s relevant of course (don’t just link to your own site!)

Sign up for Gravatar.com

Gravatar is a site that creates ‘globally recognised avatars’. If you’ve seen people commenting and they have a photo next to their name and you’ve been wondering how they do that, well this is how! Having a photo of yourself is great because people will recognise you a lot easier from a photo and it makes it feel a lot more like the comment has come from a real person.

Be an early commenter

The earlier your comment is in a thread the more likely it is to get read. Make the effort to go first and start the conversation!

Comment regularly

There are a few people that comment super regularly on my blog. I not only love them for it but I also always remember their names (and faces if they’re using Gravatar!) I’m much more likely to go and check out someone’s own site if I see them consistently popping up in my comments feed.

Share via your social media

If you enjoy a post enough to leave a comment, why not share it on your own social media accounts too? It will show the blogger that you loved the post so much you’re willing to go above and beyond by sharing it with others. They’ll super appreciate it and may even reciprocate sometime.

So there we have it, some of my thoughts on what you should and shouldn’t do when commenting on blogs. Have any of you had success with these ideas, or have I missed something that’s worked really well for you?

Supporting Cast

41 comments

  1. Brilliant, I just finished reading, “Crush It”, by Gary Vaynerchuk. It speaks a lot to this topic. This article is spot on and brought things even further for me. Great job!

  2. Nichola Morton

    I read lots and lots of blogs, and in particular yours. I never comment for fear of being thought of trying to ‘pump up’ my own business in any way. I think reading an random internet blog post years ago, on ‘not doing this kind of thing’ put me off for life! Haha. I hadn’t actually made any new resolutions, but I think this is a good one to make…. I will comment more! :)

  3. Post author

    Nichola Morton – commenting can be a great way to make connections with other bloggers and promote yourself without being spammy – dont be scared, comment away!

  4. Kat I have two local businesses that send out a tweet, every week, for more than a year, with my handle in it, I presume to get my attention. I receive a notification email every week that so and so mentioned me in a tweet. These same people frequently “like” my Facebook posts or write one word comments. Should I just disregard what feels unwelcome or address it in anyway? These are business that I am not interested in being connected to, working with, following etc… and seeing their names pop up on a weekly basis is certainly not helping them in the way they might be hoping.

  5. Post author

    Hey I Do Weddings. I’d change my twitter settings so I didn’t get an email notification every time someone mentioned me for starters! I get a lot of these kind of tweets too. I ignore them! Sounds harsh maybe but they’re really spammy and quite frankly, annoying. If someone wants to get your attention, they should be making the effort to send you nice, personalised messages, not spamming you!

  6. Thanks Kat! I don’t utilize twitter generally so had kept the notifications so I’d be aware of any activity or direct spamming… but these vendors are just listing people’s names so it seems somewhat harmless, just a bother.

  7. Great advice, as usual, Kat. I do comment sometimes, when an article strikes a chord, but only if I feel I have something semi-worthwhile to contribute.

    But here is something I always wonder – when I read an article I almost always read all of the comments as well – it’s interesting to see people’s thoughts. But doing so you can tell by some comments that most people do not bother to read other’s comments…..

    *sits back and waits* :-)

  8. This is great to read, sometimes it is best to say nothing at all instead of two word responses. I always love reading the comments on your post. You’ve built up a really informative bunch of followers.

  9. Thanks for this Kat. I’ve definitely noticed less commenting going on, which seems to have polarised those that still do leave a comment as either spam/just for the sake of it or the genuine happy to be received comments.

  10. I don’t comment much on blogs for fear of coming across as ‘spammy’, but will follow this great advise and see how it goes. I have also just singed up for Gravitas so thanks for that as I did wonder how it was done.

  11. Arghhh on my old Blog I’d always feel guilty if I didn’t reply to every comment. Now you’re saying I looked desperate, I wasn’t honest! I struggle with this across the board though. When people comment on my instagrams I try and say thanks to everyone. Christ I need to toughen up!

  12. Post author

    Nina Tame – Its just my opinion but I dont think you need to say ‘thank you’ to everyone that says ‘this is awesome’ or whatever!

  13. I had someone comment in my blog twice earlier this year to leave me the link to a forum discussion about how apparently I was up my own backside for suggesting craft people should help each other. Strangely I didn’t approve it, I did kinda wonder what he was thinking?!

  14. My New Years Resolution is to boost my social media efforts. Thanks Kat for another brilliant article! I never tend to comment on blogs but from now will take the extra few seconds to post when I think I should :)

  15. This is a really great post, Kat, and is just what I needed to read. Up until recently I was guilty of commenting on almost every comment on my own blog. You hit the nail on the head – yes, it looks totally desperate. But it’s like I needed someone else to point it out.

    Also, people who comment for the sake of leaving their link at the end – wtf. There’s one person in my thread who literally leaves one word comments, plus linkage and not to mention their name links to their site anyways. Fuuuuuu.

    xx A

  16. Hi Kat, if a commenter chooses to use their brand name (like I have), is that always a bad idea? I think personal names would be okay for solopreneurs and general readers, but I am not sure if it would work for all businesses. Happy New Year, btw.

  17. Post author

    Hey Showerella, its just my personal opinion but I like seeing the person’s actually name. whenever I comment on a blog I do so as “Kat – Rock n Roll Bride” That way, people can see I’m a real person and get to know me and my name, but it also gets the brand name out there.

  18. Another great post, Kat. I have noticed that the facility to comment via Facebook seems to encourage people to post comments, though I am not sure of the value when they only appear on the blog site :s

  19. This is an excellent post Kat, I do think that you should only comment if you have something to say. “Great post” is a pet peeve, thats something you’d say on twitter! My new years blogging resolution is to comment more

  20. A group of local photographers (including myself) were just talking about this! I’m terrible at commenting on a post (although I love sharing), and I’m going to be more proactive about it with articles/posts I love! Thanks for the encouragement! All the best, Happy New Year!

  21. Whenever I get five mins free,I treat myself to not only reading something that appeals to me,but the comments that go with it-these then often lead me to further things that grab my attention. It’s becoming one of my favourite pastimes as I love to increase my knowledge on things. Am pleased to say Kat,I visit and read regularly,maybe I will start to give a bit back more.

  22. I removed my comments option on my blog after the Blogcademy, because I was A, worried not having any comments looked bad whilst the option was there and B, because I felt it looked a bit messy on the layout I had at the time.

    Since I have settled in to my new design layout there’s no reason not to have the option any more and I am wondering whether to turn them back on. Also in addition to that, now that the whole facebook reach debacle is going on, I wonder if it might start to build more of my own community. I always enjoy reading your comments you get on your green room posts in particular, do you think it’s worth turning them back on now? and any suggestions on how to encourage commenting on the post rather than social media?

    Thanks
    Fishee xx

  23. LOVED this post. I read so many blog posts but I rarely ever comment as I usually share blog posts I like on twitter. I am definitely going to start commenting more! xo

  24. Commenting regularly is often overlooked, you should look to be involved in a thread several times responding to any replies to make the best impression. Take the time to revisit articles and related posts (whether your the author or visitor to the site.)

  25. Hello, I have never commented on a post before but will do in future! I have just discovered your blog and have been inspired by what I have read so far…must. do. some. work….I could get distracted by this for hours :-)
    Lola

  26. Hello, I have never commented on a post before but will do in future! I have just discovered your blog and have been inspired by what I have read so far…must. do. some. work….I could get distracted by this for hours :-)
    Lola

  27. I read this whilst squinting, thinking I must be doing it wrong…. just to find that I’m (mostly) doing it right! Must get on more blogs though this year – it’s so inspiring as well as business boosting :)

  28. This was so helpful! The gravatar tip was so so good! Just like Heline I too wondered how people go those. Your site is amazing and this is one of my fav write-ups. SO SO good!

    xox

    Denisse

  29. I’m the last one to comment which I guess goes against the rules but really I just wanted to thank you for the Gravatar tip. Like many others I had no idea how to do it before I read this post!

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