Commenting on high-profile websites is a great tactic for driving traffic to your own site. This article idea comes from me getting 230+ unique visitors from one comment in less than a week in the early days of my blog. This was a quiet an impressive number for me to get from a simple comment.
Commenting is such a simple tactic, anyone can do it and it can be very effective in driving clicks, building a connection with other content creators and getting more comments on your own articles too. I used commenting extensively in the early days of my blog and was very happy with the results.
Here’s a look at how you can use blog commenting in order to grow your own traffic and build relationships with other bloggers.
Comments are not about SEO, they are about visitors
Links in comments should not be seen as a way of building links to improve your search engine rankings. Search engines have devalued the importance and authority of links from comment sections many years ago so they do no longer have much (if any) SEO value. This was done because of many dubious link builders automating this activity and spam commenting across the web.
You are very familiar with this if you run a WordPress blog as they all get many spam comments every day from people try to sell all kinds of products. Luckily enough the spam plugins such as Akismet are great at what they do so the spam comments gets removed and dealt with automatically.
This fact does not make links from comment areas useless for a new site though. Links from comment sections of other sites should be seen as a traffic builder and a relationship builder. It is an opportunity to get traffic from sources other than the search engines. Getting search engine rankings are a long term project so in first few weeks and months of your new site you will most probably not be getting a lot of search engine traffic. You will probably not be getting any at all.
So while you build your content archives and gain an audience, you can write useful comments on related sites to generate some initial traffic and awareness around your site. In early days of my site the comments were the tactic where most of my visitors came from.
5 steps to growing traffic through commenting
Here is a 5-step plan to follow in order to drive traffic to your own site through comments:
- Find sites related to your content. Search Google or explore Twitter and other social media. Subscribe to the relevant sites, follow them in social media and explore their content. To drive traffic you must comment on a high-profile site that normally has lots of visitors. Keep this in mind when selecting sites to comment on.
- Comment early. Most comment areas list their comments from first to last. You must comment on the post soon after it has been published. If you do that you will expose your comment to thousands of people who are going to read the post. The earlier you are, the more people will see your comment.
- Brand your comments and make yourself easily recognizable with a globally recognized comment avatar from Gravatar. Don’t use a keyword rich description in the name field. Use your own name instead. Make sure to include the URL of your site within the URL field in order to have a clickable link pointing back to your site.
- Don’t just comment for the sake of it. Only write a comment if you like the post and if you have something relevant and interesting to say. Write a quality comment that creates value and grabs the attention of readers. Add something substantial to your comment. Add your thoughts about the post, provide additional information from your personal experience or from a post you have on your own site. Some comment platforms allow people to vote up and down on comments and this will contribute to your comment being votes up and being listed higher up the page.
- Stay connected to these sites. Get involved in discussions multiple times over the next few days, don’t just post one comment and never return. This will get the attention of the content creator and will help you build a connection and a relationship.
3 commenting habits to avoid
Proper commenting etiquette is all about respect. When you on someone’s site, you are on their “property.” Just as you would treat someone’s home or business with respect in real life, you should treat someone’s site with respect in the virtual world when you leave a comment. Avoid these commenting habits:
- Not reading the entire post before commenting. It is only common courtesy to read the entire post before leaving a comment. This is especially important in controversial articles because the author may actually give indication later on in the post that either shows sarcasm or evidence of satire, which can be entirely missed if the reader does not bother reading beyond the first sentence or two. If you leave a comment without reading the entire post, it is usually obvious.
- Not reading the post at all before commenting. This offense is even worse than only reading the first sentence or two before leaving a comment. The comments box is meant for readers who have something to say about the material presented. If you did not read the post at all, then the comments box is not meant for you. Commenter who cannot even bother to skim through the post should avoid commenting on that post in general. It is likely that their comments will only make it blatantly clear that they are spammers.
- Shamelessly promoting your site in the comments. Promoting your site is essential, but you do so by simply commenting on other sites and letting readers click on your URL on their own, not by flooding other people’s sites with “COME VISIT ME” please spam.
These steps will set you on the way to getting some initial traffic and will get you and your site introduced to some of the more popular bloggers in your field. Now imagine if you do this consistently, and on several high-profile sites at the same time. It could bring serious amount of traffic to your site.
I highly recommend it in the early days or your blog while you’re building and growing an audience.