November 8, 2012

5 Compelling Reasons to Comment on Blogs

published this at 1:00 pm

Rosemary O’Neill

Blog commenting is the broccoli of the social media world, an important part of a balanced diet.

In contrast, it’s so easy to pop out a Retweet, hit the “like” button, or re-pin an infographic—those are the Krispy Kreme donuts. A quick rush and then you’re hungry again.

The ROI of Blog Commenting

The other day, I asked someone who was considering a major purchase from my company how they found us. What he said blew my mind. He found me through a blog comment I made on Jeremiah Owyang’s blog THREE YEARS AGO. I happened to be the first commenter on the post, and because of the post’s content, it had surfaced in a Google search by my new friend. (Yes, that’s the sound of angels singing.)

If you can craft a blog comment that contributes to the conversation, adds helpful information, or draws others in, then you’ve done something useful with your social media time investment. If all you have to say is, “great post!” then don’t bother.

Be brief, be witty, be on topic (or all three) and you will attract the attention of the blog writer as well as your fellow readers. Then it’s not only broccoli, it’s doing P90X while eating broccoli.

Start eating your broccoli today.

5 Compelling Reasons to Comment on Blogs

  1. Puts your hat in the ring – Every time you make a helpful comment, you have “shown the flag” for your personal brand. Some commenting systems even allow you to carry points or likes on your comment content, so they become a “body of work.”
  2. Follow you back – I frequently check out other commenters on blogs I frequent. I’ll check out their personal sites, recent posts, and their company pages. Even if the blog uses the “no-follow” for your link, you can still have people follow you home.
  3. Gives back to the blog writer – Commenting and extending the conversation is a small way to give back to the author of the post. Getting validation that someone is reading and that the post resonated with them is something even “famous” bloggers crave.
  4. Exercises your writing muscle – Blog comments can be a disciplined way of distilling your thoughts and practicing expression. If you’re not ready to write an entire blog post of your own, try routinely commenting for a while. It’s great exercise!
  5. Networking with other commenters – There are plenty of blogs where the discussion in the comments is even more stimulating than the blog content itself. Check out Social Media Examiner’s excellent commenter banter, or the established community within SpinSucks comments. If you show up frequently, you can become part of the community too.

So, have you had your broccoli yet today?

Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee

Thank you, Rosemary!

You’re irresistible!

ME “Liz” Strauss

Buy the Insider’s Guide to Online Conversation.

Filed under Blog Basics, Marketing /Sales / Social Media, Successful Blog | 14 Comments »

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14 Comments to “5 Compelling Reasons to Comment on Blogs”

  1. November 8th, 2012 at 1:43 pm
    nicola elam said

    Hey Liz,

    Great post. I agree it is good practice to comment on others’ efforts. We need to share the love and motivate new bloggers.
    I am a WordPress novice but I got some lovely initial feedback. I felt very nervous entering the world stage.
    I’m also starting to become more active on LinkedIn, it is all about raising profile, so start talking, is my motto :)

  2. November 8th, 2012 at 5:50 pm
    Trisha said

    No one has commented on this yet?

    But I apologize, I can’t think of anything useful to say – but I can’t resist commenting to a post about commenting!

    I used to go to blogs more often and leave comments, I guess I should start doing that more often again.

  3. November 9th, 2012 at 7:00 am
    DJ Kenny Jay said

    It’s funny that you say this because I believe it’s the holy grail that I’ve been working towards in terms of social media and online building of community . @Trisha…you’ve done a great job helping to point out the fact that the irony of the post was that until it was found by like minds… Noone commented. Blogs are to be read by like minded individuals. My blog is read by like minded people who have started their business and need to hear stories of real success in the traditional brick and mortar small business world. I Great to

  4. November 9th, 2012 at 9:11 am
    Rosemary ONeill said

    LOL I was wondering when someone would do it! Thanks for stopping by Trisha, and have a great weekend.

  5. November 9th, 2012 at 10:18 am
    Beth M. Wood said

    Liz… such a smart post. I saw the title of the blog, which was compelling in and of itself, but more than that, it made me think… and I realized that the most views to our agency blog *always* come from my commenting on other blogs. It’s something I’ve mentioned in the past, but never thought to write a blog about. And I agree, sometimes the comment conversations are just as compelling, if not more so, than the post itself. I continue to struggle with getting comments on my blog (any thoughts/advice on this?) but I do believe that we have to follow the old adage of “do unto others” – the more you comment, the more likely others are to comment on your blog. And one last thought: Commenting keeps us in the loop with the discussions going on around us. I think it’s easy to get stuck in the conversations within our own twitterverse or followers. It’s helpful to spend a bit of time searching out new people/companies/brands to follow, and reading not only their posts, but the posts of those they follow. It widens our community, helps us reach new thought leaders, provides content ideas and gives us a voice in places we otherwise might not be heard. Great post!

  6. November 9th, 2012 at 11:26 am
    Bernadette Coleman said

    Very refreshing to hear someone talk about the benefits of blog posting instead of calling it spam…Though we have to weed through tons of spam to get to the posts and comments that matter, it’s worth it. Good job and Thanks again.

  7. November 9th, 2012 at 7:43 pm
    Rosemary O'Neill said

    Nicola don’t be nervous! We are all here to support each other, right? Thanks for adding your voices to the conversation DJ, Beth and Bernadette!

  8. November 9th, 2012 at 10:24 pm
    Trisha said

    Does Liz have to approve the comments herself? I sent her an email and got back an automated message that said she was sick, so maybe she just wasn’t able to approve any comments until recently. And actually nicola left a comment before me, but since it wasn’t approved, it appeared no one had left any.

    So, Liz, are you feeling any better yet? Hope everything is ok!

  9. November 10th, 2012 at 11:17 am
    Jeff Michaels said

    Thanks for the reminders and for stringing them together so succinctly. I appreciate you!

  10. November 10th, 2012 at 3:01 pm
    Lucille Ossai said

    Hello Liz,

    Spot on!

    This is an issue that I constantly mull over as a blog owner myself. It is sometimes disheartening to see, (via blog statistics), that many people from different countries regularly read my posts on communications etc. but hardly comment. For example, an article I wrote on employee retention and five reasons why people leave companies, received 500+ views but only five people commented. However, I endeavour to reply to each comment made. I always wondered how people could take time out of their busy schedules to read the posts then not drop a line or two about their thoughts, negative or positive. If I find an article interesting, that’s exactly what I do. It is simply good manners.

    Having said all that, I guess I should target blogs with interests similar to mine and post comments as often as I can. What goes around…

    Another way to get comments and hopefully direct traffic to your blog is to post your blog link to your different LinkedIn groups or start engaging discussions in them. I have found the ‘Harvard Business Review Group’ on LinkedIn a veritable source of information, insights and networking.

    Thanks for the tips!

  11. November 10th, 2012 at 5:19 pm
    Michelle Pond said

    I like No. 4 because it involves improving your own skill, shows a step that an individual may take into the world of blogging and indicates that this venture will take some time.
    Thanks for the good advice.

  12. November 11th, 2012 at 6:14 pm
    Rosemary ONeill said

    Lucille, I totally love the HBR blog too, it’s a great resource. And good idea about cross pollinating with LinkedIn as well.

    Michelle, I’m glad number 4 resonated with you!

  13. November 11th, 2012 at 10:00 pm
    Linda said

    Thanks for the reminder to leave comments. I try to on a regular basis, but fail at times, when I have to rush away. And who doesn’t love to hear from readers? It’s like getting a card in the mail.

  14. November 14th, 2012 at 1:47 am
    Maria said

    Thank you for an enlightening blog post! I have not thought of commenting in the way you describe it.
    As a nube in blogging myself this article is very helpful.
    I just thought if I don’t have a constructive comment to leave it would be better to not leave any just as you said? Sometimes it is actually the media you are using that keeps me from making comments other then “Great post!”. Writing on my phone like I’m doing now actually takes forever but since I’m on the train and have plenty of time I am writing this comment.

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