6 Reasons You Should Comment on Other Blogs

by Ken Mueller on April 9, 2012 · 61 comments

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We spend a lot of time talking about blogging. How to blog, when to blog, what to blog about, and so on.

We focus on how to structure your blog, where you should host your blog, which plug-ins to use, and more.

We talk about how blogging is great for your SEO, helps build your reputation, and sets you up as an authority in your field.

But there’s one area of blogging and marketing that we tend to ignore: commenting. And I don’t necessarily mean the comments on our own blogs, thought that’s important. I’m talking about the importance of commenting on the blogs of others. This is something I had read about as part of building an audience for my own blog, but didn’t really take seriously for quite some time.

I’m here to tell you, that I’m living proof of the power of commenting. It has been incredibly important to my growth as a blogger, and to the growth of my business. Here are a few reasons why I believe that reading, and commenting on, other blogs, is crucial to your personal and professional growth:

1. You get to know other people – As you read other blogs, and then comment, consistently, you will get to know the author and others who are commenting. You will learn a lot about who they are and how they think. I’ve gotten to know some of my favorite authors better, not just by reading their books, but by also reading books that include their published letters. It gives you a greater look into the mind behind the books. Comments on the blog are much the same thing. By commenting on blogs, you’ll get to know other people and they’ll get to know you.

2. It builds community – Yes, that may seem rather trite and buzzwordish, but it’s true. By commenting on other blogs I have made new friends, both with the bloggers and the other commenters. I’ve become a member of a real online community.While I first connected with most of these folks on blogs, we have since connected on just about every other available social platform.  Our conversations don’t just exist in blog comments; we also chat on the phone, Skype, g-chat, Facebook, Twitter, and a lot of other platforms. We communicate with one another regularly and share ideas. We support each other’s work, and share one another’s content. That’s what a community is all about.

3. It’s a doorway to guest blogging – I write guest posts on quite a few blogs. In most instances, my introduction to those blogs and their authors was through commenting. We got to know each other, and in most cases have gained respect for one another, both professionally and personally. I’ve been asked to write on other blogs, and in turn have asked many of the members of my community to write posts for my blog. And guest posting can be an incredibly powerful thing.

4. It drives traffic to your blog – I’ve spent a lot of time digging deeply into my analytics, taking a look at the various sources of traffic for my blog. You see, it’s incredibly important to know how readers are finding you. And one thing I’ve noticed is that a good bit of my traffic comes from inbound links from other blog posts. When I dig even deeper, I discover that a good number of those inbound links are directly from my comments on those blogs. Plugins like Livefyre (which I love and use here on  my blog) and CommentLuv help you out by including a link to your most recent blog post when you comment elsewhere. People see the title, and if they like what they see, they click on it and visit your blog. This is one of the reasons why I’ve seen a very real increase in my web traffic.

comment 6 Reasons You Should Comment on Other Blogs

5. It increases engagement on your blog – As I look through the comments on my blog posts, I very often check out those who are commenting. I not only visit their blogs, but sometimes I’ll comment if I have something to say. I know that quite a few of the folks who visit and comment on my blog first discovered me in the comment section of other blogs.

6. You will grow – As a person, as a blogger, and as a business. As you read other blogs, you will learn new things. But it’s quite often in the comments where the real education takes place. Sure, not every comment is great, and some might even be silly, but you will learn. A lot.

As you start reading the blogs of others, and begin commenting on them, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Don’t comment just to comment – Only comment when you have something to say. There should be a reason for your comments. State your thoughts on the issue at hand. Ask questions for clarity. Feel free to disagree with the author. Just make sure your comments have a purpose and will add to the discussion.

Be consistent – Commenting on other blogs is something you need to do regularly. A comment here and a comment there won’t result in all of the things that I mentioned above. You should read and comment on other blogs often…perhaps daily.

Respond to comments – Don’t just comment, but respond. If you comment on a blog, and get a response, you should go back and consider responding. A discussion isn’t just one comment. It isn’t just one comment and one response. It is an ongoing dialogue

It doesn’t happen overnight – Give it time. All those things I mention above won’t happen quickly. It took me months, if not closer to a year, before I started to see the results. They happen slowly, and are part of a process. You’ll see some of those items develop sooner than others. It’s like farming: you need to cultivate it.

How often do you comment on other blogs? Have you seen the same benefits that I’ve seen, or any other benefits?

 

 6 Reasons You Should Comment on Other Blogs
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47 comments
SEOptime
SEOptime

 Yes! There is nothing else, you should not just say, nice post,etc. But you should really know, what he is saying and what you are replying. Because people might judge you from your Comments.


rachaelseda
rachaelseda

It really is a great way to connect with new people and learn from the views of others. It's hard sometimes when you're crunched for time and this is a good reminder of exactly why you should make the time. Thanks Ken!

bbathrooms
bbathrooms

Thanks for the tips!

 

I suppose the biggest problem is trying to find the time to do all this as well as all the other SEO work I have on my hands, but I do try to comment when I have the spare time.

 

BrianGeary
BrianGeary

Ken ...You hit the nail on the head with this one. Its so true. The best thing you can do as a blogger is to post on others blogs.

 

I tried to post on this yesterday through triberr but it looks like it didn't work :-(

Triberr name: AndPlus

 

-Brian

actionly
actionly

Thanks Ken for an inspiring post! Consistency is key....totally agree!

We would love to have you as our guest blogger on Actionly! 

Thanks, Sam Abraham - sam@actionly.com

rlauk
rlauk

Great article. Yes, people should take a moment and put in a comment for all the reasons you stated. It is nice to get feedback. 

Frank_Strong
Frank_Strong

Nice post, Ken, definitely an action often ignored.  Perhaps no surprise I have a strong feeling on this, @KenMueller and you (I think jokingly) insinuated it, I am curious what others think:  What do you an others think about firms or agencies commenting on behalf of clients?  

 

 To @ginidietrich 's point about the number of blogs growing.  That's a valid point, but you don't have to comment on every post.  I tend to just reserve comments for when I have a strong reaction to something, and while I have a handful of favorite blogs, I try to make time each day to discovering new sources (which is why social bookmarking and old fashioned Google searches are so useful).  Sometimes I add them to my reader, sometimes I don't.

KaiConGroup
KaiConGroup

Thanks Ken for this article. I also studied your blog structure post as well. This is a great series. Also learn something new from your blog.

InHISNameHR
InHISNameHR

Great read!  This part is so true.. "It doesn’t happen overnight – Give it time"  It can take months, but the great part is while you are doing this, you are developing a voice, a voice that will ebb and flow until you remain consistent in it.  

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Such an important mix of proper community building Ken, couldn't agree with you more and thanks for summarizing this important aspect of the blogging world. Even though I don't have my own blog to drive traffic back to, I enjoy supporting other blogs and commenting when I can to help their community and learn things myself. Sure have been grateful about all that I have learned through this exercise and if/when I do start my own blog, I hope that investing this time will also pay some dividends by having others read and support my posts. Never hurts to sow seeds through commenting that you can turn into a future community harvest.

GigspotterSam
GigspotterSam

Great advice as usual, coach!  While planning my own blog, I stayed busy reading/commenting on others'.  But since I began writing, I slacked on keeping up with blogs I had been following (not yours!).  Thanks for the reminder to stay engaged!

annelizhannan
annelizhannan

All of your points are well taken, I would just add that it is simple common courtesy. If you take the time to read a blog post then take the extra minute to show your appreciation for their work either in agreement or disagreement to the premise.  We are so harried today in the consumption and management of social media, we often forget to just say thank you to those that are helping to make it all easier. I understand I am using 'we' instead of 'I' but I am trusting there are others who share this same sentiment. My biggest problem continues to be in wrangling it all into a simple process of reading, writing, sharing and measuring so that I may give due service to those that deserve it. You and others in this commentary section continue to fall into that category and so I say, thank you.

LizJostes
LizJostes

I think I've been so burned out by commenting in the mom blogger realm that I really haven't commented on any SoMe blogs outside of yours.

 

So consider yourself lucky. :-)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

Yes, yes, yes to all of these. I think there is one thing that happens, though, that no one ever discusses. If you do this, your blog traffic will increase...and so will the expectations that you visit your commenter's blogs every day. This is easy to manage at first, but suddenly you have 20, 30, 50, or 100 blogs you're expected to visit every day. It's impossible to keep up and your ability to visit everyone's blogs every day will decline. Be OK with that. People will give you a hard time. Be OK with that, too. It's a good problem to have, but it's a problem none-the-less, and it will happen if anyone follows these six ideas.

Bryan Rutt
Bryan Rutt

Good stuff, Ken.  I'm guilty of "streakiness" when it comes to commenting on other blogs.  I'll go for several weeks where I follow your prescription of daily commenting, and I see exactly the results you describe, but then Life starts to get in the way and I "just don't have time," and my commenting ceases for awhile.  I need to be better about consistency.  But, let me be another voice in your chorus attesting to the truth in this post!  Thanks for the reminder to make time for such community-building.

chellelandia
chellelandia

Thanks for the link! I blog-hop a lot (which I fear is slowly developing into an addiction as it is distracting me from creating content on my blog instead) but I don't comment as often as I would want to. I'm new to WP but have so far met other bloggers, followed them and got a couple to follow me, through comments and likes. 

BestRoofer
BestRoofer

Another great post Ken.  Reading them makes me wish that I had more time to read and comment on more things.  You do a great job.  Can't wait until it warms up and we can meet on the porch!

GiseleNavarro
GiseleNavarro

I believe in all the benefits you've mentioned but lately I haven't been commenting much on other blogs nor writing on my own blog (yesterday I tried writing a post and ended up baking a cake, I'm hoping this is just a phase). But when I do leave comments, I usually see new visitors arriving to my blog and -what is better- I meet new interesting people!

SocialJamie
SocialJamie

I just recently started making more if an effort to comment on other blogs. I look forward to building consistency with my comments as time goes on. Thanks for the tip about Livefyre and CommentLuv. I will definitely be implementing one of those tools ASAP!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @actionly Thanks, Sam. I'll check out your site. Just need to make sure there's no conflict of interest. I haven't really tried out your product yet, but I'll check into it!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @Frank_Strong  @ginidietrich Well, it will come as no surprise to you that I do have strong feelings on that. I think the most genuine thing is for clients to do their own commenting. A press release is one thing, but a comment isn't something that should be filtered through that process. And in the long run, I think it takes more time to do it that way, if the agency reads the post, crafts a comment, runs it by the client for approval, and then posts the comment. 

 

On the other hand, I have very little problem with an agency alerting a client to a particular blog post, saying "Hey, you might find this interesting, and it might be good if you could comment on it."  But that's about as far as I would go. 

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @KaiConGroup Thanks! Great to hear it. I'm always happy to hear that people are learning from my posts here, because I sure learn a lot from other bloggers. 

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @InHISNameHR Thanks, and yes, you do develop your voice. We can learn certain things about people via their blog posts, but can learn a lot more from their comments!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @John_Trader1 Thanks, John, and I appreciate your support here as you share my content and comment. I know it really makes me feel good when discussions like this happen here in the comments on my blog. Any plans to get into blogging yourself?

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @GigspotterSam Thanks, Sam. I've been watching, and you do a great job of sharing and engaging, particularly on Facebook. Find the right local blogs that tie into your field, and you'll do well.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @annelizhannan Thanks, Anne. I really appreciate the sentiment. It is a common courtesy. Certainly we can't comment on every blog we read, but we need to be a bit more proactive about it. 

 

There are times where I can't think of a comment, or perhaps don't think I have anything to really add. In those moments, if I'm not going to comment, I try to do the next best thing and share that blog post on one or more platforms. I regularly share the content of others on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, and Pinterest. I know that as a blogger I appreciate the sharing in much the same way I appreciate comments. 

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @LizJostes I am sitting here right now, counting my lucky stars. I am blessed.

rdopping
rdopping

Now there's some solid advice. You're damned if you do, and damed if you don't. Gini, I am trying to build engagement on my blog and already spend a pant load of time on other sites. One thing I learned recently is to hone your visits to your niche. Have i learned that yet? Naaaaaaa......sleep is over-rated.

 

Ken, I love the "don't comment unless you have something to say".....right on. Did i make the grade.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @ginidietrich Well, I didn't mention you by name in this post, because I seem to do that way too much, but you have been a big part of this, and a great example. The comment section of your blog is an incredible place, and I've met so many great people over there.

 

And yes, I can see the burden it puts on you, but you do a great job. And thankfully you made the right choice to come and comment over here today, so I don't have to make fun of you. Oh...wait...I'll probably do that any way...

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @BryanRutt I think we all experience the same thing. We see the benefits when we do this, but then it's one of the first things we drop when we get busy. And I think that's understandable. We just need reminders once in awhile, which is why I wrote this. I often need to remind myself! But when I looked through my analytics and saw how comments were a good size source of traffic for me, I had to really think about it. 

 

Now get out there and comment! Oh, you just did! I just don't want to see you commenting at 1:05 this afternoon. At that time you will be busy with more important things!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @chellelandia It's wonderful when it works, isn't it? I've made so many great friends in the comment sections of other blogs. And I LOVE Wordpress. It would take a lot for me to choose another platform. I don't see it happening. 

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @BestRoofer Definitely, Joe. I would suggest starting slow. For you, local blogs would be good, as well as other blogs within your industry. Take your time and build, and try to find the time to read and comment on just one a day. 

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @GiseleNMendez Cakes are important, too! But at least you've seen the results. Sometimes we need to take a break. I know there are days when I don't seem to comment much,but I get back into it. We all have our moments. 

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @SocialJamie Great, Jamie! Take your time. You can even start by commenting on just one or two a day. Focus on some of the same blogs for awhile so they get to know you. I'll be curious to hear how it goes. And I just LOVE Livefyre. Not only is it a great product, but they have amazing customer service. 

giftbasketvillascom
giftbasketvillascom

 @KenMueller  @annelizhannan

 Ken, thank you for all the information and tips. I, too, am finding it difficult to keep up and I liked the comment to just focus on a couple. Thanks again, Brenda

 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

 @KenMueller LOL! You DO make fun of me any way. And it is a hard one because no one talks about it. I get guilt trips from people all the time..."Oh...nice of you to stop by." If only my job were commenting on blogs. THAT would be awesome!

LizJostes
LizJostes

 @KenMueller It would be dangerous to lie to me. I'd totally find you and kick your a**!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @ginidietrich maybe someday we can make that happen. In fact, how about you hire me to be a professional blog writer/commenter. Yeah. Let's do that!

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