Comment your way to the top

I have been chatting to various people about various marketing strategies over the past few weeks, as well as trying out Entrecard. My findings have been very interesting. The debate has largely been about whether different methods bring in visitors, and if those visitors are “valuable”.

Trying to get your head around marketing strategy can be really confusing. I find the easiest thing to do is consider yourself to be the “visitor”.

Do you consider yourself to be valuable? Personally I do think my visit is valuable. I don’t necessarily click on the adverts on someone’s blog, but I will read the posts, the comments, and I generally leave a comment along the way, providing I found the article interesting and have something useful to say.

Commenting as a strategy

Of course, when you leave a comment it also links back to your site. Some sites use no-follow and some do not, so in search engine terms the link may or may not be useful. For the purposes of this article we are talking about “useful” in human terms, not the world according to Google.

Looking at people blogs it is quite clear some people are using commenting as a marketing strategy. The same people crop up blog after blog, seemingly on a quest to get that “first!” comment below a post, as if that will magically get extra clicks to their site.

On a personal level I don’t think I have ever clicked these. I quite often scan down the comments and where I see someone making well informed (or just generally witty) comments I do click through to their site. In terms of a marketing strategy I am not so sure, but every little helps, SO LONG AS YOUR COMMENTS ARE USEFUL.

The danger with all these sort of things is the minority spoil it for the rest of us. If you get a few of these “spammers” (for want of a better word) trying to compete for the “first!” comment then it does dilute the quality a bit. Fortunately this blog has not been affected (so far) by this, although I know a few that have.

I must admit I do make an effort to comment wherever I go. I think it is polite. If someone hands you a book they have written and then you hand it back, it is polite to comment on what you think of it, especially if they have not charged you for the privilege of reading it. Blogs are the same. If someone has taken the time to write an article I want to let them know what I think of it.

Go forth and comment!

Some people seem afraid of commenting on blog posts. Please do not be afraid, as someone who spends quite a bit of time writing articles I can definitely say that all comments are welcome (providing they are constructive). If there are aspects that I write about that you think are poor, could be done better etc, I want to know! I aim to improve my articles as time goes on, and the comments I receive (good and bad) help me to do this. If it is determining what I could improve on, or just find out what topics people like to read more of, comments are what make it worthwhile.

4 replies
  1. Rarst
    Rarst says:

    I have formed an impression that lots of bloggers are kinda afraid of bad comments. It’s natural to aspire for good discussion… But if you get “great post dude” at times – well, it’s still slightly better than silent bounce away. 🙂

    That fear is partly responsible for ultra-complex anti-spam plugins that like to grief normal users almost as much as spammers. Is mistakengly killing good comments adequate price for not letting few bad ones slip by? I think not.

    About strategy aspect – after staring my own blog I do comment more. But main priority is creating relationships with fellow bloggers, not getting backlink at any cost (comment backlinks are close to worthless anyway unless you strike reeeeaaaaly good and eye-catching comment).

  2. Jim
    Jim says:

    Hi Rarst,

    Thanks for the comment, it’s always good to hear other peoples opinion on the topics you write about. I think you have hit the nail on the head about forming relationships, that is very much what it is all about, and it’s great to see some of the same names popping up from time to time, commenting on the posts.

  3. Lyndi
    Lyndi says:

    “Go forth and comment!” – I love the heading.

    I have to agree with Rarst, the purpose of commenting should be to build relationships with other bloggers. The back links are just a little something that come as a bonus. Blogging can make one feel quite lonely at times, comments are our way of just trying to get to know one another. Comments, in my opinion, is what keeps blogging alive. It is definitely the one thing that keeps blogging interesting.

  4. Jim
    Jim says:

    Hi Lyndi, thanks for the compliment regarding the heading.

    Very good point about the purpose of commenting and it’s real value, I agree with you both on that.

    One thing to consider is it was Rarst’s comments on your blog that made me interested in taking a look at his site. When someone comments a lot (good quality comments, I mean) it does make people interested in seeing where they come from.

    Thanks again!


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