Are you Commenting on Blogs for the Completely Wrong Reason?

Go back in time and think about when you started your blog.

You only had a few readers: your friends, your family and people you begged to subscribe. You were desperate to get some eye balls for your content. You were obsessed with it.

Every single day you woke up, you logged in excitedly, with bated breath. Always hoping to see more visits to your blog, more shares, more readers. And it never happened.

Traffic trickled in, at an infuriatingly slow pace. Then people told you to go over to other blogs and start leaving meaningful comments. They assured you that it is great traffic building strategy.

You were told that when you comment on somebody’s blog, people will check your comment and follow your link to the blog. Slowly, you will build a thriving traffic to your site.

I am afraid that you were given incorrect advice, my friend. You have been duped!

You have been commenting on the blogs, but you have been doing it for the totally wrong reason. You do not comment on blogs to drive traffic. So why do you do it then? Glad you asked.

Most People Don’t Read Other Comments

Ok, let’s approach this from other readers’ point of view. They arrive on the site to read a post and in most cases they are done. They will share or they won’t, and they are gone.

About 1-2% of those people will take a few minutes to leave a comment. And if they see other comments, what do you think will happen. Do think they will think with glee ..oooh comments and read them all, or they might read one or two and go on their merry way. I am thinking latter.

Actually, what would you do? Do you read lots of comments? How many do you click on to check their blogs? I am guessing not too many.

In this age where people are scrambling to make the most of their time, they just don’t check out others people’s blogs in the comments section. They don’t even bother clicking on a guest poster’s byline so you can imagine how ridiculous it is to expect them to do so in the comments, of all places.

If even you do get some traffic, it is not worth the time spend leaving comments. There are much better options such as guest posting, interviewing other bloggers on your site or linking to their work and asking them to share.

Comment to Get Blogger’s Attention

When you comment on a post with the intention of driving traffic, you make it about yourself. You try to impress other readers and hope that will become curious at your sheer brilliance and check you out.

You are approaching this from a totally wrong place. Stop trying to make it about you. You need to comment to get the attention of bloggers and build a relationship with them.

Jon Morrow, the Associate Copyeditor of Copyblogger says that most bloggers read every single comment they receive, even if they don’t respond to it (and many times comments like ‘great post’ or ‘Awesome’ hardly need anything to be said). Don’t assume that the popular bloggers are not paying attention, they are.

The trick is to leave comments consistently so they begin to recognize you as a loyal and enthusiastic reader. A valuable member of their tribe.

Now think if you asked them for a small favour, like tweet a post that is beneficial for their audience of course, what would they say? Because they remember you, and hopefully like you already, you are more likely to get a yes. What if you wanted to ask them a few questions to include in your post, you are much more likely to get a response.

Comment to Pave the Way to a Guest Post Opportunity

I said this before, but it is worth saying it again. Commenting is a GREAT strategy if you genuinely like the blog and also intend to guest post on it in the future.

When you leave a thoughtful comment and add to the discussion, the blogger appreciates it wholeheartedly (hint, hint!). They remember you and often invite you to write a guest post expanding on their point in discussion.

If nothing, they remember you as a valued reader. You are going to open your email when you make your pitch. They are more likely to accept your post idea, even if it’s not perfect. And you know, how valuable that is.

People have built successful programs around teaching how to guest post successfully. Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging Course and Danny Iny’s Write Like Freddy are the two that I personally recommend.

So yes, leaving comments for the sake of traffic generation is a lousy strategy. However, doing so for the purpose of making friends with the bloggers you truly respect and admire is simply brilliant.

Go ahead, leave as many comments as you like. But think about this for a second: Who are you posting for? For other readers (to drive traffic) or for the blogger themselves (to build connections)?

Happy commenting!

Have you taken my 3-minute Client Attraction Quiz? Check it out now, it’s awesome! :)

Don't forget to grab my free report: 9 Mistakes New Business Owners Make That Keep Them Broke

35 Responses to Are you Commenting on Blogs for the Completely Wrong Reason?
  1. Hi, Marya, I read you since a long time, and I like very much all what you write. Some days ago I read your e-book with the 9 rules of blogging, and I found it very interesting and useful.
    I’ve built very strong and important relationships with big bloggers in my niche through commenting just the way you explained here.
    So, today I want to comment in your blog not because I want to guest post (I write in Spanish, so forgive my accent), but as you said, “just for the purpose of making friends with the bloggers I truly respect and admire”
    Receive a big hug from Mexico!
    PrissG. recently posted..Lo que toda mamá (y toda sociedad) debería saber acerca de la crianza en brazos

    • marya

      Hi PrissG (Not sure if that’s your name). Thanks for your lovely comment. It made my day! :) Really!
      *Hugs back*
      Marya

  2. Zack McKee

    I couldn’t agree more. I would also add that a big reason we need to leave comments on other blogs is to help that fellow blogger out. They want the same thing we want…more activity on their site. I absolutely love the quote “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar.
    Zack McKee recently posted..4 Ways To Preserve Relationships During/After Arguments

    • marya

      Hey Zack. You are spot on with your comment. That should be the goal of every single guest post – to help that blogger’s audience. Most guest posts are rejected because they fail miserably on that front.

      And thanks for sharing the quote. It is one of my all time favs. :)

      Cheers,
      Marya

  3. I find commenting is a form of networking with my peers, learning a bit more about my craft each day.
    Not just another resource, but a source of inspiration.

    • marya

      You said it. Networking! That’s what it is. Thanks for dropping by, Richard.
      Marya

  4. Oh great. Thanks a bunch, Marya!

    There was I quite happily commenting away thinking everyone is like me. I’m in that seeming miniscule minority that does read every comment on the blog. And to further demonstrate my absolute stupidity, I go searching out the author of the comment that struck a chord with me. Now I know I’m odd. Now I know I’m getting it all wrong.

    So why do I leave a comment?

    Well – like you said – it isn’t for the traffic. The only people who’ve visited my site that I know about, are the bloggers whose sites I left comments on.

    But it’s not to get the attention of the blogger on whose site I have commented, either. Though I now know that happens from time to time. And maybe I should be doing more of it kowingly. Maybe then more will come and check me out (hint hint).

    The truth is, though, I do it to get greater knowledge. Sometimes I genuinely don’t understand a point being made or an issue being raised. At other times I do it to practice my craft – writing. Comment writing is a super way of learning how to write clearly, concisely and coherently in a short space of time. Or am I wrong in that too?

    And maybe the main reason I comment is to help me find my ‘voice’. I use it as dress-rehearsal for longer pieces of prose, which hopefully have acquired something from the experience of trying to match the ‘spoken’ word of the author of the blog. I’m not very good at that, but I’m getting there.

    I can’t remember who said it – or even that I’m quoting it correctly – but I read somewhere that at the beginning we copy and in time we perfect. I copy many people and in time I intend to perfect a voice for myself that is based on the best of all who I have studied.

    I’m not there yet, but I will be soon…. I hope!

    With kind regards,
    L
    Linda recently posted..A Day-time Delight Could Be A Night-time Nightmare If You’re Not Prepared

    • marya

      Hey Linda,

      I really enjoyed reading your comment. I ‘get’ your reasons for leaving comments, I truly do. I was merely suggesting for you to reconsider IF you have been advised in favour of leaving comments to drive taffic. Glad to see this is not an issue for you. I especially love your reason of commenting to develop your voice – I used to do the same. I am all for it . Carry on … :)

      Thanks for sharing.
      Marya

  5. I must be very unique… Sometimes, well, most of the time, I head over to the comments section first before reading a blog. (Really, I do.)

    I find it as sort of a gauge to see if the post elicited reactions. And I really like clicking on links by commenters.. LOL… It’s a great way to discover new blogs to devour.

    Although I do agree that we shouldn’t just comment to get traffic. more importantly, we can use it as a way to build relationships with other bloggers.

    This was a very interesting read, Marya. It made me feel special ;)
    Glori Surban recently posted..Keeping Up with the Web – How to Keep Blogging Even when Life Gets in the Way

    • marya

      Great point. You can find other bloggers to connect with, and if you routinely leave comments, you might bump into the same crowd a number of times. You start spotting familiar faces.
      Thanks for sharing. Glad I was able to make you smile!
      Marya

  6. Loved the title. It drew me in as I am a commenter. I now feel better that I am not commenting for the wrong reason.
    Other commenter’s have also pointed out other reasons I comment. Perhaps this type of post causes one to read other comments as you want to know the reason they comment.
    I comment to connect and support the blogs that I subscribe to, not only to connect to the blogger but to network with my tribe.
    My comments are also a stepping stone to one day guest posting on other blogs. I was not thinking so much that I was familiarizing myself with the blogger, but more along the lines that Linda pointed out. Commenting is a great way to find my voice expressing myself outside my own comfort zone on topics I did not come up with, a bit like a writing prompt.
    Priska recently posted..Blogging Boomers are Blooming.

    • marya

      Hi Priska. glad to hear it. You are doing it for absolutelly the right reasons, then. Cheers for sharing.
      Marya

  7. When I comment, I am speaking to the writer of the article. I would do that, if he or she just gave a speech and then bumped into me at a cocktail event.
    Under this circumstances, it’s not me talking to the people around the speaker. It’s me and the speaker. We are conversing. Whether he/she replies or not is besides the point. If she/he listens, it’s a win-win.

    I believe this is the point of leaving comments on blogs. Don’t you think?
    Christiano recently posted..PayPal Expands Offline Presence With MoneyGram Partnership

    • marya

      Very well said, Christiano. No arguments from my side. :)
      Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment, too. ;)
      Marya

  8. I am starved for comments at my blog, although my blog is not a true blog; HEALTH COACH is an ongoing research project, and my posts are demanding and long about a subject that most people would prefer to have a quick fix pill. So continuing on by breaking rules and molds, I leave comments as a genuine response to something that matters to me.

    I like to give encouraging and positive feedback, even in real life!

    • marya

      Hi Valerie,

      I know what you mean. You can’t help but leave comments that would provide benefit to others. That is fantastic. Npt doing it for traffic, but to genuinely help other people.

      Hey, getting comments can be a bit of hit or miss type thing. It is totally random. I tend to ask my audience a question after every post, and sometimes I hardly get 5 somments. Today, when I didn’t really expect much, people are responding. Go figure …

      It might be harder to elicit responses when the subject matter is high register. You are definitely right about that. All the best.
      Marya

  9. This article made me to comment Marya, I am not making comments on blogs, I just drop by and read the articles and the comments. I actually do free lance blogs before just to express my ideas, but later on when I am blog hopping every commenter I follow, I got new ideas, but I can’t make my own blog post as interesting as what I just read. I started again a new blog hoping I can start all over again, but I am asking for help to other blogger if you can share tips with me on how to do it better. Thanks

  10. Good post Marya. I have been reading and writing blogs for a few years. Could not agree more about the comments. The very nature of what happens out here is social interaction. There are a few blogs that I comment on regularly. Those tend to be the ones with great writing, helpul and insightful content and writers who reply to the comments.

    Commenting may get you a guest post, but more importantly it gets you a relationship. There are millions of blogs out there. You are much more likely to get noticed by noticing and commenting on someone else’s. Also bring some value to the conversation with your comment.

    Pay it forward. The comments rae not about you.
    Martina recently posted..Influence for good

    • marya

      Pay it forward – I love that. Thanks for dropping bt Martina.
      Marya

  11. M A Jan

    I simply use the opportunity to tell you that I like your points. As simple as that. Sometimes maybe I’d like to add a few of my own.

  12. I’m not certain what I am supposed to say. A few months back I read an article about shutting down the comments area totally on a blog. Since most of the comments I was getting were spam anyway, I did. Since I deal with all aspects of health insurance and not just with Obamacare, I am waiting until after the election next month to see if I should reopen the comments area on my blog. I have a form in my side-bar for people who want to ask questions about insurance in private but I have found the public nature of comments unsuitable for me.

    • marya

      Tim, curious to know if you moderate your comments? Have you got Akismet spam protection? That should solve your problem. You are right though, in some cases comments might not work. Ultimately, it’s up to you. Thanks for sharing.
      Marya

  13. Hi,

    I never comment without a purpose. I do it only if I am convinced about the message in the article I read. I comment when I strongly feel about a subject or a relevant post. I always enjoy myself doing this.
    Sanjib Kumar Saha recently posted..The Latest Hair Trends for the Last Quarter of 2012

    • marya

      That’s the way to go. Thanks!

  14. Comments are the lifeblood of conversations. Every comment is an implicit link to a real person and a potential relationship. If you think in those terms, then you will see a lot of value in engagement.

    We (Engagio) conducted a survey recently on the state of the commentsphere and found that Commenting were more important than sharing and liking.

  15. Hi Marya!

    I commented on an article you wrote on another blog – they didn’t allow it because I always comment to expose nonsense for what it is – nonsense! No offense against you, it’s just that blogging is supposed to be about chronicling, lifestreaming… it wasn’t designed to be something that would become a great money-making PR-building SEO-ranking chore dominated by whoever has the latest “plug-in”… there are REAL bloggers who have become celebrities by just writing stuff down on a daily basis WITHOUT all the “tricks” employed by the “guru” bloggers,

    Having typed that, you do have a lot of wonderful articles on your blog here – I would suggest staying away from guest-blogging and continue to establish yourself as a standalone blogger who doesn’t need to be propped up by anybody else!

    Just my 2 centsworth!

    blog On!
    Dave Lucas recently posted..RIP Hurricane Sandy

    • marya

      Hey Dave, I must admit that I am curious.Hmm. Which one of my guest posts got that reaction? If you are still bothered, shoot me an email and I promise I won’t judge. ;)
      And thanks for your kind words.
      Marya

  16. Hi Marya,

    I found you through Kikolani and firstly, allow me to commend you on your spelling and grammar, because it seems lately those skills are highly underrated, but secondly, it is quite refreshing to read (interesting) content injected with a human voice and a sense of humor. It shocks me how underutilized both are.

    But regarding this post, Not only is is so utterly relevant to what I have been thinking lately, but also, it reminds me that thanks to email subscriptions and my Google Reader, I often just comment in my head, instead of on a blog that I really enjoy, or to someone that I really appreciate reading. Sometimes I forget there is a human being behind the words, I need to work on that.

    You also touched on the very important issue of being genuine, and how very important that is. If you’re commenting just to comment, the author is going to know, and you will likely end up reading blogs that you likely don’t care so much about. I would far rather read posts from those I enjoy the writing of, and actually establish an honest rapport with them that comes from a place of honesty, opposed to just dropping some random crap here and there to get attention.

    Great post, thank you for writing it.
    Christy recently posted..11 Amazing WordPress Themes For Photographers

  17. Hi Marya,
    I don’t comment a lot and only if I have something to add. I do, however, read all the other comments. I’m learning and studying and I see blogs such as yours as another learning tool.

    I read all the comments. The interaction found on a blog is not only entertaining but educational. I don’t have much of a list yet because I’m not interesting yet. I look up your readers through their comments and learn so much.

    So, thank you Marya and thanks to your list for taking time to leave their comments. They really help, regardless of why they left them. I take what I need and leave the rest.:)

  18. Pat

    I’m considering getting into the blogging business as a way of earning “extra” money. Can’t quit the day job but seriously need more income and I love to write. Your article has been helpful in giving me an peek at what goes on. I’d like to try it and I could use a friend on the “inside”! Would you care to be that friend?

  19. I really need to start a blog as well. I would love to earn some extra cash. Thanks for all the insights you’ve posted on here!
    Richard recently posted..Hello world!

  20. Okay, now I have a whole different perspective. I am now asking myself whether I am commenting to attract traffic to my site OR am I trying to build relationships? Hmmm…I think maybe both. It makes perfect sense, though, that probably most other readers on a blog don’t ever scroll through the comments and say “OH, what a thought-provoking comment, I MUST read that person’s blog now.” Reality check! Thanks. Now if only I could figure out how to get more people to comment on my blog!
    Stephenie@livingbrilliant recently posted..Feel the love

    • marya

      Hey Stephenie. It can take a while to start getting comments on your content. And the fact that people have moved to social media and taken the dicussion over to platforms such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter is not helping.
      Other than the fact that you have to leave some things unsaid, and actively encourage people to comment, you can’t do much, unfortunately. It just takes time to build a community.
      Thanks for commenting! :)