1. Branch out!
This is a common mistake many bloggers make: We find a handful of blogs we like, visit often…and then stay there. This isn’t bad at all – it’s a GREAT way to get involved in the blogging community – but it becomes limiting when you’ve exhausted your “traffic pool.” Don’t forget there’s a whole huge world of internet out there!
Next time you’re visiting one of the blogs you always visit, make a point of seeking out some interesting links that might lead you to another pool of interested readers.
2. Comment on blogs that are in your niche.
It might go without saying, but if you want to draw readers to your blog, be sure to comment on other blogs similar to yours. Hang out where your potential readers hang out.
For example, if your blog is about marketing, commenting on blogs about softball, sports cars and snow cones is not likely to convert into many readers for you. It’s a silly example, but you get the point.
3. Be helpful.
“Great post!” is a nice comment (I always like hearing it!), but not very effective when it comes to driving traffic to your blog. Try leaving useful information instead. Something like, “I really like your idea. Sometimes I also try using bigger needles because it gives a more textured effect.” (Can you tell I know nothing about marketing? 🙂 ) Offer good advice and be friendly.
Not only are helpful comments appreciated by the blog owner (i.e. more community!), but they also help to establish your credibility and are much more likely to be noticed by others. The more comments you leave that are helpful, the more people are likely to remember who you are and want to check out your blog.
4. Don’t be spammy.
It should be said that while commenting on other blogs can be an effective way of gaining readers, gaining readers should not be the only reason you comment on other blogs. Don’t be a nuisance by commenting only to plug your own site or toot your own horn. Get genuinely involved in the conversation.
There are various opinions about whether or not it’s OK to leave a link to your own site in your comment. On a few occasions in the past I have included a link to my own site in my comment when there seemed to be a really good reason to do so.
However, the longer I’m online, the more I lean away from this practice. Leaving a sincere and helpful comment and trusting others will click over to your site (via your name which is linked to your site as long as you don’t forget to include your URL when you sign in) is a win-win-win situation for the blog owner, their readers and you.
5. Be patient.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, making money as a blogger is hard work. It’s time-consuming and requires a lot of sticktoitiveness.
Don’t expect to comment on a few blogs and then get a flood of traffic. It doesn’t work that way. It takes time, lots of time in most cases.
My recommendation is to carve out a few minutes each day specifically dedicated to commenting on blogs. Set a timer (“I’ll spend 10 minutes commenting”) or pick a number (“I’m going to leave 3 comments today”) and go for it. If you do it regularly, you are likely to see some people come your way eventually. I talk more about that in my post 2 Tips for Commenting on Limited Time.
6. Monitor how it’s working.
Put a note on your calendar to reevaluate your commenting strategy after 3 or 6 months. Is it working? Have you noticed an increase in traffic? Is there a particular blog from which you get a lot of new visitors? Are there blogs that don’t seem to send any traffic your way? (These questions can be answered by looking at your stats.)
Make adjustments to your plan – try commenting on some new blogs, drop some non-producing ones or increase (or decrease) the time you spend commenting depending on how valuable it is.
7. How to find other blogs on which to comment.
You might be thinking, “Well, this is good, I’d like to comment on other blogs, but I’m not sure where to find any!” This is completely understandable — it’s hard know where to go when there are a gazillion blogs online. Here are some ways to find new blogs:
Search. It’s simple, but sometimes overlooked. Looking for other marketing blogs? Google “marketing,” “marketing blogs,” “how to market” or other marketing-related keywords.
Use social media. It’s easy to find others online with sites like Pinterest.
Copy others. Take note of what the bloggers you already follow are doing, who they follow and where they spend their time. If you follow them long enough, you’re likely to hear them refer to other places they are involved online. Many also display buttons, badges or blogrolls of blogs they like in their sidebars. And click on “Following” in any of their social media profiles to get a list of people they follow.
Forums. Forums are also great places to find other like-minded bloggers. Again, simply search “marketing forum,” “marketing community,” “marketing group” etc.
Hashtags. If you’re on Twitter, you probably are familiar with hashtags. They are the words or phrases indicated by a pound sign (#) that semi-organizes a particular conversation into one stream. You can search for hashtags at a place like hashtags.org, but I prefer to find them by noting which hashtags the people I follow use.
What about you? What is your best build-your-blog-through-commenting tip?
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