The Ultimate Guide to Effective Blog Commenting

by Alex on June 5, 2010

effective blog commenting tips

Commenting on other people’s blogs is indirectly responsible for me receiving over 2000 page views and directly accounts for more than 25% of my total traffic. It’s hard to ignore stats like that and as such I have documented the processes I follow and the strategies I use to grow my own blog traffic whilst making fantastic connections and building amazing relationships with my fellow webmasters. At the same time I have noted things that frustrate me when I am commenting on other blogs and outlined steps you should take to alleviate these potential issues on your own site.

The power of effective blog commenting is something that is often spoken about, and I believe this is because it is cost effective (well, ok it’s free but it does take time) and it is the only traffic generation method that builds trust and credibility, helps develop relationships, and fosters a sense of community at the same time.

Effective Blog Commenting Tips.


  • Read the post!read the blog post

I can’t believe I am including this but sometimes, although the comments are clearly NOT SPAM they have no relevance to the post itself! Once I had a reader reference something related to the post and a few comments later someone said how they liked reading about – and he referred to the reference not the post topic. LOL! E for Effort at least I suppose, but it highlights the importance of actually reading the post.  One really insightful comment has more power than 100 spammy ‘great post’ comments any day.

  • No one likes a smart arse or a brown nose

don't suck up to the bloggerBe yourself and offer your opinion but don’t be a dick about it. On the flip side, there is no need to suck up to the blogger with over the top comments about how you loved their post. Most of them see straight through this anyway and it just makes you look like a spineless goodie goodie when your comment is viewed amongst the many valuable ones. I see this ALL THE TIME on the problogger sites. Remember; if you don’t like the post then don’t comment!

  • Start swimming with the smaller Fishswim with smaller fish

Don’t get me wrong, following the highly influential blogs is fantastic as they continually pump out top notch content and are an amazing source of information, but if you want to build your own community and develop relationships in the blogosphere you need to start swimming with smaller fish. There is a no. of reasons for this including the sheer no. of comments and readers that the big fish have. How are you to stand out in this huge ocean? You are also a little fish so there’s no point trying to attract the attention of the Sharks. If however you engage with other smaller fish, not only do you stand out on their site and in the comments thread, but building your own school of smaller fish will put you in a much better position to be noticed by the sharks later on.

  • Treat your own comment thread like a forum

blog comment thread is a forumThe comments thread is not a one way street. You need to treat it like a forum and be constantly engaging with your readers and discussing points further. One of the best compliments I got was when a reader told me he had learnt more from my comment discussions than the post itself. Now that tells us something! This also has the advantage of helping to develop blog post ideas as questions are raised and the readers openly discuss their experience.

  • Don’t Keep your Regulars Waiting!

Seriously! Don’t you trust me yet? In settings, allow those who have commented before to be automatically approved. This not only saves you time but it adds to the feeling of community and helps coffee blog commentingfoster a sense of belonging with that reader. Besides this, I know when I am a regular contributor on a site and every new comment tells me it’s ‘awaiting moderation’ part of me gets a little annoyed and it takes away from that sense that I am contributing.

Think about it this way. When I go to my local coffee shop in the morning, they know my name and they know what coffee I drink and how I like it. This fosters a sense of belonging and even though I can get my coffee cheaper elsewhere, I go here for the service and because I am made to feel like more than just ‘another customer’.  Make sure you foster this same sense of belonging in your readers. If you have your comments set so you have to approve everything, fix that now! Not doing this is indirectly telling your loyal readers that you still don’t fully trust them.

  • But someone might leave negative comments!

negative comments are goodI’m sorry but if you are approving every comment yourself because you want to make sure everything said is a glowing reflection of your awesomeness then ….well, you suck! First of all, unless one of your regulars is schizophrenic, I highly doubt they are suddenly going to turn on you. In fact, approve negative comments in general, they only reflect negatively on the commenter and if anything they help cement your position of authority. On a side note, the comments your regular readers will make in support will bring a good laugh or at least a smile.

  • Reward your Commentatorsreward your blog commentators

While we’re on the subject of getting to know and trust our regulars, going one step further by rewarding them with an acknowledgement of their ongoing contribution is something I make sure I do, and recommend you do the same. The best way to do this is with the Top Commentators Widget Plug in (do a search in your plug in page) When you install it be sure to edit the settings so that it resets yearly or even never so that those who comment regularly are rewarded with that growing no. next to their (backlinked) name and gravatar. While I’m on this subject, if you currently have no follow set on your blog, rectify this immediately.

  • Always continue the conversation

always continue the conversationThis is not just about responding to the comment within your own post thread. As I mentioned earlier, you need to treat your comments thread like a forum and be constantly engaging with your readers and discussing points further, but continuing the conversation goes one step further than that, and it is this extra step that can mean the difference between a one off discussion and a successful longterm relationship.

When someone comments on my post these are the steps I follow to make sure I continue the conversation:

  • Respond to the comment, taking as much time as they took to leave it, ie: the more detailed and valuable the comment, the more detailed my reply.
  • Visit the blog of the commentator and read their about page and go through one or two of their latest posts.
  • Comment on their blog, making sure to reference something from their about page. (Stating facts that clearly show you have taken the time to get to know about them can do wonders for cementing this relationship and helping you stand out in the sea of readers and commentators.)
  • Retweet and Digg any posts that particularly appeal to you.  Everyone loves to share, this is the basis of blog commenting after all, so why stop with the comment? (Retweeting and sharing in general is another way of standing out in a sea of readers and commentators)
  • Subscribe to the comments thread

subscribe to the comments threadSubscribe to follow-ups so you can see the response from the site owner. Sometimes their response may require a further point to add or question to ask and if you come back to respond again it has a lasting impact on the site owner and solidifies the genuineness of the engagement in the first place. TIP: DO NOT subscribe to the comments thread on the Big Blogging sites unless you want to receive followup comments into your inbox for years to come!

  • Be ConsistentBlog commenting requires consistency

Thought you were getting to read about a traffic generation method that does not require consistent action? Sorry. Just like anything you do in life, consistency is the key and this is especially prudent when blog commenting. Effective Blog Commenting is about building relationships, not one night stands! Make sure you continue to develop and nurture this relationship through constant interaction and mutual respect.

  • Be Mutually Respectful

be mutually respectfulTalking about being consistent has reminded me of the importance of mutual respect. Don’t act like you are all that, it’s not endearing and doesn’t help your cause. In fact, it’s the super affiliates and big names in the industry who are the last to big note themselves. Take a leaf out of their book and stop with the attitude already.  If you are interacting with a blogger and you don’t feel there is mutual respect there, disengage.

That’s it really (he says 1300 words later!) Just remember to go out there, be yourself, have fun, don’t be afraid to ask for help, engage with others and then do it all again. A lot.

  • What are your thoughts on blog commenting in general in regards to long term Return on Investment?
  • Do you have any tips or strategies that you use to help with your Blog Commenting?
  • Was this post too long? (I can’t help it!)

{ 129 comments }

Adam Henige May 17, 2011 at 3:08 PM

This is a great guide, I know I’m a little late to the party, but it’s still a really valuable guide. We have an intern we just hired for an online PR role and this is now assigned reading for her and anyone else who takes that role in the future. I like when other bloggers do my training materials for me!

Lisa@Marketing Services May 17, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I would love to start a blog but I wouldn’t know where to start! I am currently learning about SEO, blog commenting and various other bits, and enjoyed reading this blog as these are tips I need atm! Thanks for sharing.

Shad Boots June 26, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Being new to the blogging scene, I can say that the prospect of entering into discussions is a bit overwhelming and I’ve been worried about how to approach it. But I think I should start considering it relationship-building, which I’m far more comfortable with.

Most of your advice speaks to the “Art of Conversation” (if that’s actually a product–I’m not marketing it here). Invest your own thoughts on a subject, engage the audience with a few questions, and keep them engaged by listening and responding. I think this could be applied universally to relationships.

At least, I think that’s that case, but I could be wrong.

Alex June 26, 2011 at 9:08 PM

“I think this could be applied universally to relationships. ”

You COULD be wrong – but in this case I think you are so on the money its not even funny. People have forgotten how to talk

seoKamrul July 30, 2011 at 4:41 AM

I like that 2000 page views part. I agree, this happens. I have got one of my clients this way.

George - How to Start An Online Business August 2, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Is that 2000 page views a month? I was testing out blog commenting by my VA in some big blogs but seldom get comments. Going to test out your strategies. =) Thanks!!

Alex August 3, 2011 at 9:54 PM

They definitely work George. Would love to hear your results…

Duy Nguyen August 4, 2011 at 1:04 AM

Holy crap, I opened one of your auto-email from my email account today and find the link to this post. This is exactly what I’m searching for. I’m practicing blog commenting, and actually I find this strategy to be the most funny way to go. Article syndication is good but it’s too boring :(

I agree with you, I don’t read the whole blog post on some blogs of my niches, but I always scan them very carefully. It’s embarrassing to brag about something that is unrelated to the post! And “thank you so much, keep up the wonderful work” is too clear to be flagged as spam!

And perhaps blog posting gives me a strong feeling. It’s the way I can connect with real people (great bloggers like you) :) The thing I don’t have with other link building methods.

Anyway, thank you so much, keep up the wonderful work LOL! (It’s a spam, told ya)

Duy.

AstroGremlin@superheros August 31, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Love your use of photos on this post. I just installed Comment Luv and am getting into commenting and inviting folks to get Do Follow links while my blog has low authority (may change the policy later, heh heh, but for now come and get it!

web design in devon September 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Blog Commenting is utmost method in SEO to build links.There is only need to get quality do follow blogs and place comments on them.But we should always post some useful c0ntent in our comment and never try to do spam on there.
Thanks a lot!

PRABHU October 16, 2011 at 8:03 AM

Blog commenting is one the technique in OFF page SEO,and getting backlinks you explained very clearly .Its really usefull for many new bloggers thanks a lot sir keep updating just now i bookmarked your site .

Alex October 16, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Thanks Prabhu, I appreciate the comment – glad you found the post useful :)

Chris Peters October 20, 2011 at 6:40 AM

I’m not sure what the ROI on comments is, but I would love to know. Does anyone have (Google Analytics or other research) data on this?
In my case the ROI is close to zero, because my blog is written in Dutch and my website is still in it’s test phase.

I don’t really have a strategy regarding blog comments. My advice: Don’t comment just because you want to comment, be honest and you’ll be fine.

Whenever you have a lot of useful information to share, please continiue to do so. I don’t think this post was too long.

Nick November 7, 2011 at 5:38 AM

Really good tips. I have been working on commenting on other people’s blogs lately. It is a decent amount of the traffic I’m getting right now as well.

Alex November 8, 2011 at 11:33 PM

And you’re doing a kick arse job too – there’s like 8 comments here – and they’re all valuable!

Nice to meet you Nick and welcome to my blog :)

Domain Promo Codes February 2, 2012 at 1:55 AM

Very detailed tips,came to this page from your PDF ebook teaching how to find edu gov backlinks. thanks for that also.but nowadays,it is very difficult to find auto approved edu gov backlinks. Thanks

Grace Sevilly@Sedation dentistry February 27, 2012 at 3:32 AM

Just to tell you the truth, the time when I see a negative comment being approved and engaged by the blog owner is the time when I start to think that the blog owner is not a fluff.

Gerald Martin@SEO Reseller March 6, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Those who are using blog commenting as a way of building links usually skip the blog reading step and just go ahead with making the easiest comment that they can deliver without even going through the content. Man, they really need to think of blog commenting as more of a communication tool than a link building method.

Jason@Chinese Verse Scrolls April 15, 2012 at 9:32 PM

I like your ideas to be mutually respectful and reward your commentators. Obviously spammers are selfish and only look out for themselves. They don’t care if they destroy a blog with stupid or off topic comments. However, as I have been commenting on blogs, I notice that many blog owners are equally self-serving. I have seen deceptive keywords to try to get more traffic so they will get more revenue. I have seen deceptive policies encouraging commenting and then refusing to approve good comments because they don’t want to give up link juice.

The sad part is, it doesn’t have to be this way. A blog owner and commentators can both benefit. It is a win/win because commentators give the blog owner free content and the blog owner gives the commentator a backlink. Why not help each other instead of focusing only on helping yourself?

Syeda Mehwish April 17, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Hi Alex,
Quality comments are always better than those comments which are filled with praises and if we don’t like writer’s point of view then it’s better to stop commenting or replying rather then try to force our opinion.

victoria alex April 24, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Some great points , love the no one likes a brown nose . Do you thinks its more important to comment on your niche or to comment on good quality blogs ? The reason i ask , is in my field there are very few quality blogs and most are spammed to bits .

Pete Goumas May 11, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Hi Alex,
The best way to do effective blog commenting is to be genuine and engaging with the other commentors. Your comments should add value in the blogpost and author welcome your comments.

Kyle Uchitel May 15, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Good points Alex, especially the one where you tell about someone leaving negative comments! I have an entertainment blog and most of the time I get very negative comments on my posts, I usually approve those comments, however, if the language is too offensive then I just delete those comments.

Twila June 20, 2012 at 10:29 AM

I think the worst problem with commenting on blogs is not reading the post. While I hope that I get more traffic to my website from my posts, I don’t want to go around posting random comments on blogs that I haven’t even read. As for the length of the post, I don’t mind reading long posts as long as it’s not all fluff. Your post gives good information so the length is not an issue.

M.-J. Taylor July 31, 2012 at 11:06 PM

You scribble with such style that you are copied and pasted and plagiarized. I found my way here when a new WPW forum scraped this article as his answer. Newbs don’t just fly into a forum and lay such a golden egg.

Alex July 31, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Haha Respect, thanks man – I appreciate the comment, and hey it’s like they say – “plagiarism is the greatest form of flattery”
Thanks MJ, have a great day.

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