What is the value of blog commenting in today’s modern search climate? The abundance of blog commenting spammers and the widespread use of the no-follow tag on blog commenting links may distract many from seeing the inherent benefits in high-quality, on-niche blog commenting. Yes, it is possible to utilize blog commenting as a link building strategy, and many still do in order to gain some low hanging fruit back links, however the real value in blog commenting is the ability to provide consistent traffic and to help your company/client build their brand. In this post, we are going to examine a variety of techniques that will help you develop an effective blog commenting strategy for brand building.
How can commenting on blogs impact your brand awareness? The beauty of blog commenting is that you are able to add your perspective and experience to the topics of your choice. Most blogs allow commenters to add a picture and link to their website. This simple association automatically connects your words with your brand’s website. This provides you with an opportunity to speak on-behalf of the brand in a casual, non-intrusive environment. Users that read the comments on a blog generally have some sort of reaction to the post and so they are looking for additional reactions from their peers or from the blog’s community. So, as a commenter you know you are speaking to a pre-qualified audience. Take this opportunity to engage with the content in a way that positions your brand as a thought-leader or industry expert. If users find your content relevant and insightful it is likely they will click-through to your website (through the link you provided). At this moment the user has now associated your brand with your commentary.
Once you have begun blog commenting it is only through consistency that you are able to begin brand building. A one-off or occasional comment is going to provide negligible brand awareness, but a robust and consistent blog commenting strategy on relevant blogs can provide some air cover for your brand. Make sure and select 5-10 blogs that you are going to comment on and make a point of commenting on 1-2 posts per week on each blog. This will ensure that your name, brand and messaging will be in front of the various blog communities on a regular basis.
Increased traffic to your website is simply a bi-product of a blog commenting branding strategy. Readers commonly visit the URLs provided by users whose comments they strongly agree with or disagree with. The commenter’s website helps the reader validate the opinion provided by the commenter. So, as a regular commenter you benefit from the readers’ curiosity with increased traffic to your site. The more your comment, the more traffic that will come.
Now that you have a growing audience of curious readers it is incredibly important that your brand’s website portrays the image you desire and provides the content that users are looking for. The content on your website will vary by niche, but it should be extremely relevant to the category of blogs that you are commenting on. Also, if you are hoping that this new audience engages with your site in a particular way make sure that your site is structured to foster engagement or to funnel visitors where you want them to go.
Find the Right Blogs
This is the most important step in this entire process. If you are not commenting on the right blogs, then your efforts will lead to no monetary or personal gain.
1.) The Right Niche
The value of building a brand comes from building that brand within the proper niche that will buy your services or engage with your content. If you are a dentist and are trying to build a reputation within your field, then make sure you are commenting on dental and medical health blogs. Some industries may lend themselves to a broader pool of potential blogs than others. For example, a nutritionist would be able to find the right audience within almost any healthcare circle, since nutrition is so core to human health, but a road bike shop owner should stay within the road bike community to see the right kind of success.
2.) Popular Blogs
If there is no one reading the blog you are commenting on, then no one will be reading your comments either. Use content curation services such as Alltop.com or Technorati.com to help you research blogs in your category and find those with high-readership and consistent social engagement. Or even, simply Google “category + inurl:blog” to see what some of the top results are.
Once you have compiled a list of potential blogs make sure and perform some analysis to find the 5-10 top blogs in the category for you to begin commenting on. You want to find blogs that…
- Have current readers commenting on every post
- Receive consistent social engagement for their posts
- Post regularly
- Allow a link back with each comment
Blogs that meet this criteria will allow you to get your comments in front of other users in your niche that are actively engaged and will have first-time viewers that are more likely to read through blog comments.
What to Say
After finding the right blogs it is time to start sharing your opinion! Make sure to provide commentary that is beneficial to the conversation surrounding the post and that provides analysis and/or a personal experience. This is your opportunity to grab the attention of the other readers and to show them that your opinion should be valued and that you are someone who they should be listening to.
DO NOT simply comment “Thank you for the post!” or some generic line that adds no value to the conversation that is being held.
View the comments as your pulpit and arena to be heard from. This is where you can construct the lens that your brand will be viewed from. Is your brand funny? Is it ROI focused? Is it technologically progressive? Is it an information resource?
The words that you use in comments combined with the messaging on your website will determine how your brand is viewed in the chosen category.
Last but not least is the use of Author Profiles on blogs that have them. Most well established blogs that encourage blog commenting have a user registration platform that generates profiles for each of their commenters. Make sure and fill out as much information as possible in your author profile. Include information such as…
- Full Name
- Company Website
- Personal Blog
- Social Networks
Some blogs even push users to the Author Profiles before the author’s website. Therefore, you want to make sure that your Author Profile is an extension of the brand image that you are attempting to portray. Make sure that the language and images utilized within the Author Profile matches with your website and the tone of voice you use while commenting.
By following the tips suggested above individuals can leverage blog commenting to grow the brand awareness of themselves and/or their company and they can drive consistent, on-niche traffic to the web properties associated with the brand. Blog commenting can be a surprisingly powerful tool for making sure that your brand is placed in front of those within your industry.
Good luck! Please feel free to share your experience or thoughts on brand building through commenting in the conversation on this blog.