Writing an article is a personal thing. Sometimes, coming to the end of a piece can leave the author feeling like their blood, sweat and tears have been poured into the thing (writers are dramatic, don’t ‘cha know). Some authors labor for hours over a 500 word piece while others stream 1500 well crafted words out in less than a half hour. Ah, the art of writing – she is fickle.
Now you, the author, are wearing your fingers down to the bone on cold, hard keyboards. You’ve cracked or broken nails that weren’t up to the strain of continual pounding. You put your heart and soul into every word… and then you published.
That’s it, right? You published, and that was the important part. You don’t care whether people provide feedback or not. You don’t care if people comment, share or otherwise engage with you through your content. Riiiight… let’s not fool ourselves; we crave feedback and engagement.
When I was new to blogging, I’d see posts with a huge number of comments and grumble. Here we were, pumping all this great content out with tons of helpful information, and the only ones who said “boo” were spammers. How unfair!
It was a great learning experience. I realized that the blogs I read probably had writers looking at things the same way I was. I started leaving comments on articles that made an impression, whether my comment was affirmation or disagreement. It wasn’t until I started engaging that others began to reach back…
Is Commenting On Other Blogs Important?
I believe it is, and my professional experience has backed that up on numerous occasions. Here are seven reasons why it is:
1. Commenting is your opportunity to be heard – Whether you’re an author or just someone who likes reading blog posts, leaving a comment will give you the opportunity to be heard. Whether you agree or disagree on the point of view, offering your own thoughts on a particular subject will allow you the opportunity to express yourself.
2. Commenting directs traffic to your own site – When you leave a comment, especially one that offers additional, thoughtful insight, it increases the possibility that readers of the article may seek to visit your site as well. It’s a great way to establish thought leadership in different topics and subject matter. Of course, I’ve heard some say, “I never follow commenters to their sites,” but then again, I’ve heard many mind-blowing things like that. With that said, let me put it this way: you can’t build traffic in a vacuum. Enough said.
3. Commenting will allow you to receive feedback– The best way for you to get feedback is through written comments left by your readers. You, our readers, are our most valuable resources. Your feedback has:
- helped us provide increasingly stronger content,
- helped us provide you with more topics you want to read about, and
- pinpointed areas we need to fill in with more information.
In fact, we wouldn’t be where we are now if it weren’t for your thoughtful comments, critiques, questions and sharing (thank you!). We make it a practice to visit the site of everyone who comments on our blog (as much as possible), and have found some great posts and sites through our readers.
Keep that in mind the next time you leave a comment on another blog. Keep offering comments that help or inspire the authors. Take the time to develop a rapport, and you’ll find that time returned to you in spades!
4. Commenting will help you develop your own brand – When you make a comment (as mentioned in point 1) you’re able to express your own point of view. You also demonstrate your knowledge and thought leadership. By being an active commenter, you increase your online presence. Have you ever tried Googling your name? If so, what shows up on your search is a direct reflection of your online interactions.
5. Commenting will help you create your next blog post – One good way to get ideas for blog posts is by reading the blog comments, not just the blog posts. You will be surprised with the number of questions posted via the comments section. You will also get the chance to check out what people are interested in (and therefore gain ideas for future blog posts).
6. Commenting will help develop relationships with other bloggers – Community building is important if you want to succeed as a blogger or writer (see point 3). If you open yourself to communicating with other bloggers in your niche or interest, you will be surprised with the relationships you can foster and the support you will gain.
7. Commenting is a form of appreciation for a well written article – Bloggers put a lot of effort into what they write. They work very hard to achieve the most entertaining and/or informative story, and that often takes hours of research and care in choosing the best words. By leaving a thoughtful comment, you help inspire the blogger to keep on providing good content. Commenting is a great way to show your appreciation for all the hard work they put in creating their blogs.
Extra Tip: Make sure you may sharing your posts easy. Have all your share buttons easy to spot on the page and use.
For website owners, it’s good practice to make commenting easy for your readers. It is also good practice to reply to comments made on your posts. Look at it as your opportunity to engage with your readers. Growth can only be assured when you develop relationships and promote loyalty. If spam comments are a concern for you, there are a variety of plugins available designed to isolate and remove inappropriate comments.
There you go; seven reasons to comment on blog posts. Did I miss anything? Let me know by leaving a comment. What are you waiting for start building your community NOW!
Great post!! Commenting is something I really need to do more and a post like this one helps me understand the importance of doing so.
Thank you for encouraging me to comment more and I will surely leave my thoughts more often, from now on.
Blog commenting is among the best and efficient method to generate more traffic and obtain visibility. That is how you can attract more and many more visitors and customers to your website.
This post is brilliant! However I’m not getting nearly enough comments on my posts. In fact, I only get an average of one comment for every two comments I post elsewhere. Is this normal…?
I agree Thomas, especially when you first get into blogging…just be patient, and get out there. You ultimately must build a community. Once you’ve established yourself as a trustworthy writer, they do come.
I think it depends on the niche you are writing. In some cases you won’t see comments at all until and unless you are tech crunch.
Hi Gabriella, I have always used blog commenting to drive traffic to my site. A well written and informative blog comment encourages other readers to follow your link back to your site to get get more information. I’d say about 90% of my current traffic is generated using blog commenting. It is often overlooked as a traffic source since most links are no dofollow from blogs these days. You don’t get “link juice” but one can certainly get a fair amount of traffic this way! Thank you!
Hello Richard, thanks for dropping by. 🙂
The blog commenting and attractive with others in social conversations you can built relations, develop your ideas and bring other to your blog post. For those who love commenting. And getting more ideas about that particular product. Getting new idea .I have had commenter’s on my blog that have helped me laugh and write better.
I rarely have enough time in the day to comment on as many blogs as I would like but there is no doubt that it helps. I am amazed by the traffic I get from commenting on other people’s blogs.
Nicely put. I especially like #6 . It is nice to be part of a community and each blog is an opportunity to voice one’s opinion in that community. Also not everyone can talk about everything. Creating a post may not be easy, but commenting on one so that your voice can be heard is much easier. Since blogging is about expressing your opinions, commenting is a great idea. Different opinions only add to a discussion.
Exactly! We are all going to have a varying degree of opinions. Some of us may agree that continuing the conversation is the way to build the community while others will think it’s another way of spamming a site. That’s why it’s very important to take the time to read comments. Sure, it’s time consuming but it does give us a different perspective of who our readers are and, what they want to read. Thanks for your input Suchismita 🙂
The site style is wonderful, the articles is really great. This website has got only some really useful info on it! Also it has excellent and very informative.
I think you make a great point when you say “you can’t build traffic in a vacuum. Enough said.” I firmly believe that blog commenting and interaction is key to the growth of any blog/website.
Thanks Shaun 🙂
I agree that it’s important to reach out and comment on blog posts; it’s a great way to add to the conversation, offer your own angle and contributes to the value a blogger brings to their communities,. I recently presented “An Overview of the Social Media Landscape, Platforms and Tools” and explained the importance of having a blog website, preferring WordPress because if the ease of use, installation of plugins to make your site social, shareable, to use commenting features, and SEO for WordPress. When I presented my day to day social media calendar, I shared that I try to comment on 5 blog posts a day (I’m a voracious reader and love to share insight and help others). So your blog post will be shared with the group I presented to, as a validation of what I shared but also to read your insight and framework that they can apply today. Thank you – your post felt like it was speaking directly to me! Keep up the great work!
Blog commenting is an important aspect of internet marketing. It helps you to learn and get exposed to unique things. As mentioned above many advantages are associated with blog commenting.
Commenting whether personal or business builds thought leadership. It helps others understand who you are and what you are, therefore, drawing them to follow you on your blog. Commenting on a business blog enables them to improve in areas of customer satisfaction, product improvements, product design, troubleshooting, etc.
Exactly Ian, when companies and individuals position their blog comments for optimal results the return is more than just building a community. It builds value, authority, leadership,and most of all value to the conversation. In conclusion regardless of how B2B or B2C want to create their campaign, brand, authority, etc the connection is always going to be people. Thanks for pitching in 🙂
When I dabbled in blogging as a hobby, I found the absolute best way to get the attention of any blogger was to leave a comment. Even the superstar bloggers took the time to comment (at least some of the time), and that always left me feeling super-cool. So, even though I am by no means a blogging superstar I still remember how great that feedback feels and try to share the love!
I’ll admit the super star syndrome has yet to creep up around here. That’s why comments like yours add a smile to my face, thank you Katie 🙂
I totally agree. It’s sad that spammers really ruined the quality of blog commenting for so long Search engines devalued the links from comments for a long time because of how easy they where to spam. It seems that search engines have gotten smarter and may be considering good comments and devaluing or penalizing bad comments.
I think we’re starting to see blog commenting as a recommended strategy again but this time around it’s being recommended for the referral traffic more so than the links.
Hey Chris, thanks for saying so… I wrote about this very topic over a year ago “8 Tips for Blogging Old School; Building a Community of Links” Basically my attitude hasn’t changed much on the topic. Building a community is about people, I don’t even take spam into the equation when building and creating a campaign strategy. You see for me the conversation, retweets, shares etc. are all involved in that process, but ultimately you’re looking for people, real people not numbers. Numbers are great for search engines, conversation is great for people.
I totally agree. It’s important as an SEO consultant to always remember it’s about people not just machines.
This is an excellent post Gabriella. I am trying to read as many articles and blog posts as possible as I am ready to start blogging again. Looking forward to hearing from you on more social outlets.
Romona, welcome back is in order right? 😉 I hope you’ll come back and share your progress and update us on your new post.
Hi Gabriella. I will definitely try to remember to do that.
Too many bloggers take commenting and comments on their own blog for granted. It becomes a job or chore for them in order to get back links. I feel sorry for them.
To me, like you stated, commenting is for building relationships. I have had commenters on my blog that have helped me laugh and write better. I thank them all the time for their input.
Commenting builds communities online. And it is so simple to do.
Allie, thanks for stopping by and saying so. Responding to comments is HUGE in my books, it gives a blog life… 😉 But one has to actively participate in making sure you don’t loose sight of your goals.
Commenting is the spark to start a conversation which is many cases provides even more value than the original post! It takes time to build a community but by commenting and engaging with others in social conversations you can built relationships, develop your ideas and bring other to your blog post. For those who love commenting – you should check Engagio (www.engag.io) – it is built as a social conversation network!
Hey Abdallah, thanks for the tip. I’ve actually joined Engagio a while back. I just haven’t had time to kick the tires. Thanks for reminding me 🙂
No problem. I just re-activated your account so that you can start getting the daily email containing the top conversations. You can of course change your settings for the email at any time of your choosing. It is also cool to read that you grew up in Beirut – my mom is from Beirut and I visit on a regular basis.
I admire the point about building relationships with the readers and other bloggers th most.It can bring in lot to one who engages well with other readers.If one can engage well then there are much chances to build your own reader value.
That was a great article! I’ve been blogging for just a month and feel really daunted by the blogs of those who have hundreds of followers (as of this morning I had 32, and one of those is me). I especially liked #5 above. As a “pre-published” writer I feel funny giving writing tips, so for now my posts are either about writing contests of the things that inspire my own writing (and asking others to comment about who/what inspires them). Thanks!
This is so true! I think community is really important for the blogging world. It’s a really big place out there, so why shouldn’t you try to meet and interact with fellow writers? If you really do just want to write in a vacuum, then you can easily just scribble into a notebook you keep under your pillow.
#5 is so true too. I’ve come up with lots of ideas while writing comments on other blogs! Once again, it’s hard to come up with new ideas when you’re just focused on what goes on inside your head.
Excellent point, Drew. We bloggers sometimes tend to live inside our heads all too often, and we are often surprised to realize there’s other opinions and ideas out there! LOL! Interaction pulls us out of our small brain-world, giving us a chance to broaden our thoughts and our blog posts.
I’ve just started a blog, and I think the thing I find most difficult is the lack of comments – it’s the third blog I’ve started, the first two given up due to what I saw as a lack of interest. Commenting really does validate what you are doing. And hey, bloggers don’t get paid so this is our only form of compensation for our work!
Now I just need to practice a ‘Do unto others…’ approach to commenting.
I can identify with you, Nathanael! It often seems like the only “readers” of my blog are the spammers. This post was a good reminder that I should also be providing comments (“Do unto others…”).
This is terrific. Sometimes blogging feels like shouting into the Grand Canyon. Once in awhile it feels like receiving applause after a performance. Comments and ‘likes’ keep me going!
Exactly, Jen! Bloggers love knowing their readers are really “there”, and they aren’t just speaking to themselves. I’ve made incredible contacts with bloggers via commenting that would never have happened otherwise.
#4 is Very important especially if you’re commenting on a topic that talks to your expertise. It’s an opportunity to present your point of view or provide additional information thereby positioning yourself as a credible source of information.
Spot on, Robelen! This is a perfect way to enhance your personal brand, and if you are representing your company, then both your personal brand and your corporate brand gets a chance to make an impression.
Great tips and a great reminder of the value in commenting and contributing to the thoughts and insights so widely available.
I often ponder about commenting on blogs that would, in a traditional sense, be direct competitors. I read quite a few but have commented rarely as I haven’t wanted to be seen as encroaching or poaching.
Thanks for a great post and food for thought.
Sally | Fast Tracking Manager Productivity
I think it really depends upon the industry or niche that you’re in, Sally. In the SEO and online marketing space, for example, direct competitors are often close allies as well, so commenting on those industry blogs would probably be ok (especially if you aren’t blatantly trying to undermine your competitor). But other industries are very cutthroat and would likely see your comments as unwelcome. In any niche, tread lightly with your competitors until you get a better feel for how they will react.
I agree. My intention would be to add to the conversation. 🙂
I am a big fan of #6. It seems in our subworld of marketing, most people are more interested now in promoting, either themselves, their company or a client.
As that has happened, many of the community benefits of blogging and social media seem to be waning as the pendulum swings to promotion. My question would be: do most corporate bloggers actually value creating relationships with other bloggers in their market?
Nice list, thanks for sharing!
Hey, Eric – great question. We work with several corporate clients that don’t agree with some of our reasons. Personally, I think it’s because they may still not understand the “value” in building a community. It’s difficult to measure the ROI of promoting others. I think unless it’s part of their approach and included in their campaign, they won’t see anything more than just the number of Likes they receive.
Educating clients to see the appropriate metric as one of comments rather than Likes can help give them some insight as to what a community truly is, or how they can create relationships with other bloggers in their market. At the end of the day, I can get tons of Likes and Shares, but unless we can get interactions, engagement and discussions, those Likes and Shares are worthless and any hope for a community will die a slow death.
I’m always looking for helpful tips like this! Thanks. 🙂