The Importance of Commenting on Other Blogs

Feb 2, 2009   //   by Eric Brantner   //   blogging, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  24 Comments

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photo credit: krossbow

Comments. They’re the lifeblood of blogging. Without this ability to interact with the author and other readers, blogs wouldn’t be blogs at all. They’d just be standard, boring, static articles.

When the subject of blog commenting typically comes up in SEO conversations, it’s usually related to link building. And while commenting can be a part of your link building strategy, the benefits of commenting extend far beyond link building.

Here are a few of the true benefits of leaving comments on other blogs.

  • Getting Your Name Out There- The first step to building your reputation online is to get your name out there. It’s not enough just to stay on your little website or blog. You have to visit new blogs in your niche, leaving insightful comments that add to the conversation. In other words, don’t leave comments like “Good post. Come check out my blog!” Take time to digest the post to think of a fresh perspective to add in the comments. Try to write comments that demand someone replies to them.
  • Building Relationships – Social media is all about building relationships. That’s why you shouldn’t just leave a comment and leave. Always check back to see if anyone has responded to your comment. Interacting with the author and other readers is the key to building strong online relationships. These are relationships that you’ll be able to leverage down the line to get guest posting opportunities and to attract readers to your blog.
  • Gaining Authority- If you make a habit of making insightful comments that add value to the conversation, you’ll start to build authority over time. No matter how big the blogosphere might be, if you focus on blogs within your niche, people will start to recognize your name and take your comments seriously. It really is a small world. Remember, every comment you leave affects the way people see your brand. Always put your best foot forward by making each comment great.
  • Learning from Others- Blog commenting isn’t just about getting your ideas out there; it’s about learning from others as well. I can’t tell you how much interacting with others online has helped improve my marketing education. You don’t know it all. Take the time to truly listen to what others are saying, and you’re sure to learn something new. Never stop learning. The moment you do is the moment you’ll become irrelevant.
  • Generating Ideas for Your Blog- Often times, ideas come up in the comments section that need to be fleshed out fully. In short, you might be able to turn one of your blog comments into a full post for your own blog. I don’t have to tell you how difficult it can be to come up with fresh ideas for blog posts. Hanging around in the comments section could be the perfect cure for a case of writer’s block.

Now that you understand the importance of commenting on other blogs, I’m going to leave you with a list of what NOT to do when leaving comments. Avoiding these mistakes will make you a commenter that earns respect.

What NOT To Do When Commenting

  • Don’t leave brief comments that add nothing to the conversation
  • Don’t be overly self-promotional…it’s not always about you
  • Don’t immediately discount other people’s opinions
  • Don’t forget to follow up on your comments
  • Don’t be controversial for no good reason
  • Don’t forget to proofread. Typos and poor grammar make you look less than intelligent
  • Don’t talk about something you don’t know about

Do you have any opinions or insights regarding comments? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Eric Brantner

Eric Brantner is a copywriter who is obsessed with getting conversions. His services are used by small and mid-sized businesses from a range of industries.

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Comment Policy

  • Pheak Tol says:

    Everything you've mentioned here is a huge factor in getting your presence known. I can't agree with you more on building the reputation and relationship when you comment on other blogs.

    Leaving insightful comments is a plus, creating converstions and discussions regarding the post can help you build more relationships within the blogging community.

    You've pretty much hit the bullseye with this IMO.

    Proofreading could be difficult for those that has english as a second language, i know from my personal past experiences when i was younger i had issues with grammar and spelling, but the more you put into it the better you get. but for those that are older it could be difficult so I'm pretty much lenient (spelling??) when it comes to grammar error.. unless its too much and wayyyy over the top then no haha.

    good post overall!

    • Eric says:

      Agreed on the proofreading thing. There is always the exception for those who speak English as a second language. But you can typically tell the difference between if it's just due to a language barrier or if the person is just an idiot.

  • Ann Smarty says:

    One of the great advantages of commenting is that it encourages you to actually read (not scan) the post. I mean when you know you are there to leave a comment, you will read the article thoroughly and stop to think about it (otherwise, you could just scan and leave).

  • Gerald Weber says:

    I have one to add to Ann's point above. Commenting will actually make you smarter since you are actually taking the time to read the post entirely so you can leave a meaningful comment.

  • Dennis Edell says:

    As I’m sure you’re well aware, I fully agree with it all. ;)

  • Tracy says:

    I agree completely. I would like to add that I think it's important to play it forward by commenting on newer blogs that might not get as many comments to help them get the ball rolling.

    I remember how much it meant to me when I was just starting to get comments and I will say that those people that did take the time back then are still very special to me and will always be first in line.

    <abbr>Tracy’s last blog post..Baconnaise – A Review and a Contest!</abbr>

  • Rick Wolff says:

    I have to admit, I’m still learning about blogs, and I am still stuck in the misconception (I’m told it’s a misconception) that the comments are less authoritative than the post itself. Often, I finish the actual post of a blog, see that my browser’s scroll bar is still way at the top of the page, and bail. After all, I’ve got hundreds of other items in my RSS reader, and I have to move forward, not dillydally at the bottom of the page reading what the peanut gallery has to say.
    Also, I tried following back to get feedback on comments, but the few times I have, my comment was ignored. Besides, it’s so hard to find a way to remind myself to go back as time passes. Not sure if it’s even worth the effort, since there’s always something new to read, and I don’t want to die in this chair.
    I’ll see if I can get back to this post, though I can’t promise anything.

    • Gerald Weber says:

      Rick,

      One thing you can do is subscribe to comment via email. That way when there is a new comment like this one you will be notified via email and that way you don’t have to remember in your head to come back and check.

      If you find your comments are not being replied to then you might not be visiting a high quality blog or a blog that is being taken seriously by it’s owner.

      At the end of the day it’s all about being social and building relationships with others in the blogosphere.

      BTW thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment on my blog. ;-)

    • Jennifer Roland says:

      There are so many things to be learned from the comments. When I am moved to comment on a blog, I check the box so I can follow the comments by email. I can read or ignore as my schedule permits, but the conversation is there.

      Maybe it’s just the girl in me wanting to build communication and collaboration, but we can all learn from each other’s experiences and ideas, not just from the blogger.

  • Great list. I’d add one more “not” to do when commenting. Do NOT forget to read (or at least scan) the comments posted ahead of yours.

    It’s frustrating to read the same point made over and over in different comment boxes. (Of course, when there are hundreds of comments reading them all gets more difficult, but for posts with a dozen or two comments, it’s very doable.)

    Another good reason to read others’ comments is to find people whose thoughts/ideas you find interesting. Reading comments is how I’ve found a number of the people I now follow on Twitter. (Helps to see what they think when they’re not limited to just 140 characters!)

    • Gerald Weber says:

      Marianne,

      I agree with you. It’s a really good idea to scan the comments unless there are hundreds of comments. A lot of greats insights can often times be found in the comments section.

  • Cyrus says:

    Ya! Those rules must be set for all commentators (me included as well), have been following it since I started blogging recently.

    By the way, when you leave your URL on the comment, try to link it to a related post instead of to the domain name only.

  • Gerald Weber says:

    Cyrus,

    Good tip on leaving a related post URL. I see your comment Luv is about commenting. Nice! :-)

  • Hi,

    I just wanted to say Thanks for the great post. I am fairly new to all of this as well and learning the P's and Q's makes life a lot easier!

    I am learning all the time!

    Have a great day!

    <abbr>Julie Guthrie’s last blog post..Taking the Facebook Plunge</abbr>

  • Mark Hendy says:

    Hello

    Just to expand on the point of checking back on comments you’ve left, it’s worth joining a site like backtype.com which will aggregate your comments from around the web into one place and let you subscribe via rss or email. It makes following up on your comments a lot easier.

    Mark Hendy’s last blog post..Backup Driver?

  • Steve Haase says:

    Thanks for the nudge, Gerald! I find that commenting is when the rubber meets the road, and I find out how much I actually know and where I actually stand, rather than just consuming information and moving on.

    It's also a cool way to build connections and community online, as there can be a real sense of camaraderie when someone resonates with your ideas (interestingly, both in support and in challenge). That's definitely my experience when someone comments on my blog.

    Cool, too, how Twitter interacts with all this, as that's where I learned about your blog! Fascinating stuff.

    <abbr>Steve Haase’s last blog post..What Is Evolutionary Marketing, and Why Does It Matter?</abbr>

  • Good po…, uh, I mean…Haha.

    So many people forget that Blogs are Social Media too! They tend to only think of the Social Networks. The first rule of Social Media is Be Social. Commenting builds the community of your target audience, which could be potential clientele. They'll look further into the person posting a comment and it might make them add them to their RSS.

    Thanks, and Good Po… Dam.

    <abbr>Will Paccione’s last blog post..Website Build Checklist</abbr>

  • Hendrik Jacob says:

    Found my way here via the wefollow.com directory where Gerald Weber is ranked #1 in SEO category. So this article was my first read on sem-group.net and it sounds reasonable. Looking forwarding to read more articles here (+ follow @the_gman :) )

    thanks for this,
    Hendrik (@jhmint)

  • Alysson says:

    I couldn't agree more, Gerald. When I joined the ranks of the search marketing community nothing provided greater exposure or more potential to build relationships with other search marketers than commenting on other respected industry blogs.

    Leaving useful and constructive comments is a fantastic way to build a rapport and increase your own credibility with other blog owners and their visitors.
    .-= Alysson´s last blog ..Canonical URL Issues and Link Equity =-.

  • Tom Duong says:

    I completely agree with all the points. Another benefit I would like to add is try to be the first or second person to comment as this will give the commenter even more exposure. Since your comments will likely be at the top, most readers will come across those comments first.

    Cheers!

    Tom
    .-= Tom Duong´s last blog ..Twitter 101 – What is Twitter? =-.

  • Chrissy says:

    I find commenting on peoples blogs to be one of my best sources of SEO. I recently was looking at my google stats on one of my sites and was amazed at how many incoming links I had accrued just by wandering the web and commenting when I find something interesting or that I agree or disagree with. I agree with you about the comment spam! So annoying! The one that keeps landing on my page recently.. is "Nice blog, Thanks!" and then a link to some dubious location. WordPress thankfully weeds pretty much 99% of those out for you. I added myself to your blog log and connected as a friend using my yourwebchick name.. kinda like SearchEngineGuy! :)
    .-= Chrissy´s last blog ..DMOZ Directory Demystified – how to get listed =-.

  • Jay Philips says:

    Great tips, especially on what NOT to do. Another thing to add on the what not to do is comment with just a link to your site/product especially when it's not relevant to the topic.
    .-= Jay Philips´s last blog ..50+ Sites to Help You Search for Tweets, Trends and More =-.

  • Luke says:

    It is always very refreshing when someone posts a comment that adds to the conversation. It definitely is one of the best ways to develop reputation.
    .-= Luke´s last blog ..AdWords Campaign Management Package =-.