Whilst comment marketing can be very time consuming, it can also be very, very effective.
In what way?
Well first of all, let’s look at what comment marketing is.
For starters, it usually refers to blog commenting and/or forum commenting. But there is commenting and commenting. Not all comments are alike. In fact, not all comments will get through the moderation process. However, if you do it correctly, your comment will most certainly be accepted for publishing and, in many cases, it will from then on be published without having to be moderated.
So what is the right way?
Comment Marketing Simplified
Comment marketing is not about commenting on other blogs or forums at lightning speed in order to win another link. It is all about sharing ideas, questions, solutions and tips in an informative manner that encourages readers to check out your own blog and/or a post that you have discussed.
If a blog comment is generic, such as “Inspiring post”, there’s a good chance it won’t get through the moderation process in the first place. If it does, it is very unlikely that such a comment will every inspire anyone to click on your link.
Make a Substantial Contribution with Your Comments
The bottom line is: HAVE YOU MADE A CONTRIBUTION?
When starting a comment marketing campaign, there are a number of points to keep in mind.
First of all, you want to record your activities in an easy but useful way.
Secondly, you want to track the outcome of your commenting.
Thirdly, it is a good idea to record knowledge that you are gathering when you read posts and forum threads. These notes can provide background knowledge for your next post as well as be a catalyst for new ideas.
Traffic Generation Using Blog Commenting
Before Starting Your Blog Commenting
It is a good idea to get your list of possible blogs ready before you embark on your commenting campaign. I also use a spreadsheet to help me organise all of the collected data.
- Make a list of blogs that are relevant to your niche AND get a decent amount of traffic.
- Check that the blogs are active.
How recent is the last post that was published?
How many people are leaving comments on previous posts?
I look to see that people are leaving worthwhile comments and that there are at least 10 comments on older posts. If the majority of posts have less than 4 comments, then this will either be a very new blog or one that is not attracting much traffic or one that people are not finding any value in.
- You can search for relevant blogs using your keyword:
“Keyword” + blog
“Keyword” + “Leave a comment”
- You can also search for particular categories of blogs via the Drop My Link Tool as described here
- You can also find related blogs via blog directories.
I have used Technorati for example but there are many others.
- You can check the traffic stats of each blog via Alexa.
- You can either register for the RSS feed from each blog or you can collect all blogs in one place using a tool like Feedage.
- Check that the blogs are active.
- It is a good idea to use a dedicated gmail account so that follow-up comments can be sent to one email address. Credit for this idea goes to Denise O’Berry.
That way your current inbox won’t be bombarded by lots of lots of subsequent comments but they will all be in one place for easy scanning.
- Your comments will appear more credible if your avatar (preferably a photo) appears alongside them.
The good thing is that you don’t need to upload a photo to every blog.
Gravatar takes care of all of this for you once you have registered and uploaded your preferred image on their site.
- Create a spreadsheet to store the blog data.
- Store data about the blogs you have decided to follow, along the lines of the screenshot below.
- Use 1 column to record the Alexa traffic that this blog is getting.
- Give 1 column in your spreadsheet the title “Traffic”
Once you start regularly commenting on your list of blogs, make a note alongside the names of those blogs that are sending you traffic.
I then add to my campaign by making sure I comment on these blogs as soon as there is a new post. (More of this shortly)
If you find that you are not getting any traffic from one of your listed blogs, you can then replace it with another possibility.
- Name 1 column “Other Leads”.
You can use this column to record any direct contact or guest posting invitations that come in as a result of your comments.
Increase Internet Traffic with Forum Commenting
There are some very interesting case studies that document how successfully bloggers have been able to use forum commenting as a means of traffic generation.
Matthew Woodward, is a brilliant example, for one.
Before Starting Your Forum Commenting
I like the dialog aspect of forum commenting. Here is the procedure that I follow:
- Find at least 4 forums that are in your niche and that already get a lot of traffic.
Again you can use Alexa.com to check these stats.
- Record these in the 2nd sheet of your spreadsheet.
- Create your account (takes only a few minutes and is very easy to do).
- Edit your profile and include your photo or avatar.
- Set up your signature. If the forum allows,provide a link to your site as well as a link to a recent article on your site or a page that you really want visitors to see
Getting Targeted Visitors to Your Blog
Now that you have set up your spreadsheet and recorded a starting list of blogs and forums, you are ready to go.
- Check your RSS reader to see if new posts have just been published on any of the blogs on your list.
- If you are not using an RSS reader, check the blogs in your spreadsheet for publication of new posts
- You can also search for blog posts that discuss a topic you are currently researching. Once you have decided on some keywords that you want to target, you can use these to find related blog posts.
- Start commenting.
- Take time to read each post and leave a worthwhile comment.
- Record new ideas that the post teaches you.
- Record questions that people have. These can give you ideas for future posts you publish.
- Record the post URL, the date you left the comment, its status (waiting moderation or published).
- Interest readers enough with your comment that they will want to click through to your site.
- Most posts link out to other valuable resources.
Keep a list of those that can extend your knowledge on the topic you are currently researching.
You can keep this list in your spreadsheet as well.
- Start looking for relevant threads, in your list of forums, to comment on. It’s a good idea to target current threads.
- Make a note of any traffic that a blog or a forum in your list is sending you.
- Track your overall traffic stats.
At the end of the month, revisit your list of blogs and forums, Revise the list according to whether or not they are proving to be traffic sources.
Time Needed for Comment Marketing
So, how much time is needed for this task?
This varies considerably but you can’t devote your whole day to it and nor would you want to.
I wrote about a very interesting case study in which a blogger, Silviu Constantinescu, recorded his traffic growth after commenting on CommentLuv blogs. In his case, he had a goal of 5 comments per day and this still had a significant impact on his targeted traffic numbers. His traffic increased 8 times after the first month
Matthew Woodward, on the other hand, made about 30 forum comments a day in the first month of his No Backlinking experiment. He of course recorded a sizable increase in his traffic by the end of that month. However, I’m not suggesting that you aim to set such an ambitious goal. You might be working and/or have other tasks that you need to do in your busy day. Plus, if you aim too high, you run into the danger of burnout and, what’s worse, stopping your campaign altogether.
You also want to allow enough time to record insights and ideas as you go, all of which constitute research for post and tutorials that you might be writing for your own blog.
Track Your Traffic Stats
Make sure you keep a record of the changes that have occurred. Record:
- Number of comments made on blogs
- Number of comments made on forums
- Total number of visitors from each
- Other interactions that have occurred as a results
- The increase in shares from social media
- Any tweets and re-tweets you might have received as a result.
And best of all, please share your results. I love case studies and would love to see a case study that you write up and the increase in traffic that you have enjoyed.
Blog Commenting Resources
Teaser image courtesy of Master isolated images, FreeDigitalPhotos.net