Are you typing away in a dark corner of the internet? How about hoping to be discovered by influencers and people in your target audience who will instantly fall in love with what you write?
Let’s face it: this is a strategy that many, many bloggers follow without a single sign off success.
As a matter of fact, it’s how i started off myself.
It’s quite lonely when you put a lot of effort in writing posts, you finally enter publish, you check your analytics and it’s flat like the Dutch landscape i am surrounded by.
At an even deeper level, maybe i was even afraid of being discovered:
- I wondered what people would think of me.
- I was afraid to use my real name. Hiding is much safer.
- I was scared that my posts weren’t good enough.
- I thought people would eat me alive for the rubbish im posting.
- I did not consider myself to be ‘a blogger’.
If you have similar thoughts about blogging for yourself, you’ll have to learn to deal to crush through this conditioning you’ve built up first, like i did. Like i know many blogger did, before they saw some success.
Now get this: to become a good blogger and to get better at writing, you’ll have to write. You’ll have to write a whole damn lot, to be more specific!
But there is another aspect of blogging, that is often overlooked. Its hidden in plain sight, and this might be the problem for some people.
So what is this
“hidden” overlooked aspect of blogging that can improve your writing and get you more readers at the same time?
The Art Of Networking Through
Value Added Blog Comments
When i first realized the power of blog commenting, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Once i saw it, there was no going back. Here it was, hidden in plain sight….
I saw bloggers commenting on each others blogs. They connected with each other and left valuable comments. They shared each others posts. It looked like they we’re having a lot of fun, too. I wanted in on the party.
I read Ryan’s book How to Build an Online Empire Through Blog Commenting. Then i kicked my commenting into high-gear. Things fully started to click with me when i came across Adrienne Smith and i first commented on her blog.
Here’s my comment:
And this is Adrienne’s response!
At this point, i was blown away. Adrienne is a véry warm person, and i felt so grateful for her comment that i felt the need to reply back.
She replied even more in-depth on this, and we have since exchanged a lot of words in a short time. We’ve been chatting through email, she commented on my blog, shared my article on twitter, and even engaged with people who retweeted my article!
So thanks a lot Adrienne, for showing me what it REALLY takes to make powerful connections online. To have a friend, be a friend 🙂 Go visit her blog. And if you love what she writes, why not leave a comment?
I Never Won A Single Contest In My Life,
But Then I Started Blog Commenting
Neville from KopywritingKourse is one of my favorite bloggers when it comes to writing great copy.
So i regularly visit his blog, and i usually find myself soaking up a ton of value and laughing my ass off because Neville happens to teach in a super funny and as he calls it “cheesy” style.
Here’s an image from his awesome post about Tone of Voice in copywriting that made me chuckle. This is how a lot of companies write their website copy:
Neville has multiple products on copywriting, including a really cool physical product. It’s called The NevBox. It’s a box with copywriting lessons, a cheat sheet and a swipe file starter.
And guess what…I won one!
How? I’m so glad that you asked. I won it through value added blog commenting.
Neville had a guest (Alicia) on his site with an awesome case study how she tripled Yelp’s conversion rate.
Her results we’re fantastic. Can you imagine how your business would change if you would do the same amount of work, but get 3 times the amount of responses? Your business would explode! 🙂
However, i did have some feedback on her e-mails.
Note: Keep in mind that i would have left this comment anyway. I didn’t comment just so i could win something. I felt that i had the opportunity to give some valuable suggestions.
As an introvert, it would have been easy to keep these thoughts to myself, but then i’d never have known if my feedback would be appreciated. So instead i just get them out of my head quickly 🙂
The point of this is to show that leaving high value, in depth comments are appreciated by blog owners. The big wins however, are in building a long term relationship. Give freely to receive freely.
But you don’t have to stop there. There’s more you can do.
In some cases, blog owners are really busy.
However, they do get a lot of engagement.
You can help them out, though.
Helping Bloggers By Reaching Out to Other Commenters With Questions You Got Answers To
There are a couple of rules to this tactic, but do this the right way and bloggers will only love you more for this.
First of all, it’s not really a tactic. All your efforts should come from a place of genuinely helping the other person. Got nothing valuable to say? Then it’s probably better to say nothing at all.
Essentially, it’s never about you. It’s always about serving other people. This is a mindset you’ll need to adapt to succeed with blog commenting and succeeding online in general.
In the particular case below, a commenter on Neville’s article said he has send 400(!) business emails without zero response.
He owns a cyber security company and had tried a lot of things to even targeting every business specifically and creating a personalized video for them. But the point is: if people don’t see the value of your service, they won’t buy.
Neville didn’t respond yet, so i felt i could give a contribution:
Eventually Neville jumped in and gave his own awesome advice, but he did notice and appreciate my comment. I did not take over his blog and respond to every single comment, i just provided some value because i felt like i could give a small contribution.
Bloggers generally love it when commenters start talking to each other. This is a very clear sign that you have built up a community, or, should I say, a successful blog.
Because what’s a blog without engagement? What if nobody learns from you? Right, then they’re just letters on a digital space stored for eternity. Useless as space junk.
So bloggers love comments. It adds value to their posts. It’s a sign of life. Engagement attracts more engagement. People love to be part of something. Just keep in mind that you’re actually contributing.
Parasite commenters just try to mindlessly suck as much link juice as possible from every blog they visit. Bloggers do NOT like that. Think you’ll build connections that way? Nah ah..Gotta give, to get!
However, you don’t always have to leave long comments like the one above. In some cases, bloggers are not commenting back to each person.
I know Jeff Goins is a busy guy, and this particular post (fantastic article, btw) already had over 350 responses. I did want to leave a comment, so i chose to go with a short but witty response.
Thankfully Jeff liked it, and was kind enough to take the time to comment back. I’m still working on making my voice shine through. I’m actually doing it right now. By sitting down, and translating my thoughts to
ink words for you 🙂
If You Want To Stand Out,
Don’t Stand On The Sideline!
If you look at the statistics, its impossible to ignore the power of commenting. Here’s a quote from AJ Kohn about blog commenting. He brings up the Pareto Principle:
To understand why blog commenting is so powerful you first need to grasp the concept of participation inequality.
In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.
So it makes a lot of sense, that if you contribute and create – you’ll automatically stand out.
So what does that also tell you about blog commenting?
If you want engagement, you’ll need to engage with that 10%.
Some Actionable Tips
- Find a community of blogs you can regularly visit.
- Make a list of bloggers you want to make connections with.
- Actually read their posts (ya might learn something!)
- Write valuable comments.
- pro tip: keep an Evernote or other external file open to write your comment while reading. I find this also makes for a more intense reading experience, and your comment will make a lot of sense 😉
- Connect through social media, email / other channels
- Give freely, don’t expect anything.
- Stick with it for a while, results do not show immediately.
- Relax. Why so serious? Making connections is fun!
On some blogs the comment section can get very interesting, lively, and full of engagement. But make no mistake about it. They worked hard to create a community of loyal readers, and they continue nurturing the relationship on an ongoing basis.
“Thanks for the great post” is not going to cut it. Do you know how many of those Jeff Goins ignores everyday? What i do know is that he has heart and reads them all. Because if you show good intentions – he usually responds:
Both commenters we’re genuinely thanking Jeff for the value he provided. He didn’t take this for granted and replied back to both, even though Malinda couldn’t join one of his classes at the moment. Note that he even reassured her that the blog lessons will remain free 🙂
Remember To Build And Maintain A Strong House
Let’s not forget that a blog commenting strategy is a lot more effective if you have a good blog set up. This is your house.
Think about it this way, this is a place where you make people feel welcome. Where new connections can start. And needless to say, it should be a great place to further develop your relationships with bloggers in your niche.
I have a confession to make: my blog used to
suck be kind of a pain when it comes to commenting. I just recently switched from Disqus to CommentLuv Premium.
Why? I love seeing this system on others peoples website, and i don’t like that i have to log in just to comment. Oh yeah, i forgot to tell you about that one time where i couldn’t even log in on my own Disqus account to respond to comments on my own blog. That was fun 😉
A lot of popular blogs do use the Disqus system, and for them it might work. But if you are starting to build an audience, you might want to consider keeping the barrier for commenting extremely low.
Want To Score Extra Points? Go The
Extra Mile and Be Attentive
Come closer. I want to share a secret with you….
No, i mean really close. This is serious stuff!
Alright, alright i’ll drop the bomb.
Here it comes. Are you ready?
Influencers are human too!
Yep, that’s it. I am sorry to tell you that there is no secret sauce. But you know what? People do not use this to their advantage enough. It’s funny really.
Do you consciously interest yourself in other people?
Because if you do, you’re definitely going to win big when it comes to blog commenting.
I had noticed Don Purdom’s blog UnveiltheWeb for a while through Adrienne Smith, and i had read some of his articles without leaving a comment.
His article on how a web designer can make a profound difference for your business sounded interesting.
A couple of hours before i read his article, i received a notification from Periscope that Don broadcasted his first session.
I couldn’t join in on the fun at the time, but made a mental note to mention it in the comment if i had something to say about his article.
I hadn’t read a fascinating article on web design in a long time, but this was definitely one of those articles that you’d refer someone to when they are looking for a good web designer.
Doing something like Periscope is always exciting because you have no idea how your audience is going to respond to your message or if anyone is even going to show up..really. So i felt making the comment a nice touch to create a hunan touch.
Hopefully i made a positive first impression on you, Don 🙂 Judging from the reply, i did.
I’ve read quite some books and i am fascinated by books on copywriting, neuro marketing and psychology. There are a lot of tricks you can use to influence the behavior of people.
But when it comes to this blogging business, you better work on building good old fashioned, meaningful relationships with people in your niche. Go the extra mile. Check out their Twitter, Facebook or about page to see if you can find something out about them. Do not EVER complain in comments. Only bring positive energy to other peoples sites. Put a smile on their face 🙂 We don’t want some of that nasty, sticky energy to come back to haunt your site, right?
Talking about putting a smile on their face…here’s an example:
This comment was from a guest post on Blogging Wizard. I noticed Adam, the owner of the blog replied also – but his comment just said “Jasper”. I had the feeling something was up here, and i thought it’d be a nice opportunity for me to connect with Adam on a personal level, as well.
So, i just asked:
Adam replied back within 15 minutes and even said i could drop him an email if i have any questions about guest blogging. Ain’t that amazing?
Plant a couple of seeds every single day. Don’t expect anything, but trust in your efforts. Stick with it. You can evaluate later. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that we will not know what the future will bring us.
But if we move from a place of excitement because we know the possibilities are endless, then we create massive action. This is a cycle called potential + belief + action = results.
Do you belief in the potential of blog commenting?
I will definitely continue on my journey, and i hope you will join me.
Please leave a comment below if you liked reading this article, and let’s get this party started!