In order to make a good impression, you must have something to say. This is as true in the world of the Internet as it is in the physical world.
Saying your piece is not difficult to do in Internet forums, discussion boards and blogs. Best of all, you can drive traffic to your own blog and increase your readership by doing so.
Not every comment you post, however, will make the right impression or even be read in the first place. In order to avoid wasting your time and the opportunities available to you, you should comment in the most effective way. Here are seven ways to do so.
1. Choose the Sites or Blogs You Comment On Carefully
Choosing the blogs or sites you comment on with care is important. Many or most actively-maintained blogs welcome comments, because they show that the blog is being read and is popular. Nevertheless, you should choose blogs to comment on that are closely related to the subject of your own blog. Purposeful commenting, or the kind of commenting that adds value to the discussion, will increased the amount of buzz you generate for your own blog.
If you have the urge to comment on a site that is not relevant to your own, that’s fine, but do so on your own time, not the time you have set aside for promotional activities.
2. Comment on the Top Blogs
Although you may like to help out low traffic blogs, if you are interested in increasing your own site traffic, you should comment only on such blogs if they are maintained by friends. The simple fact is that the top blogs are read by far more people, so far more people will actually see your comments and possibly be motivated to visit your own site.
3. Find The Top Blogs To Comment On
You can find the top blogs in your niche by simply typing the phrase “top blogs” followed by the word or phrase that best describes your niche. For example, if you write about the iPhone, you could search for the words “top blogs” iPhone or “top iPhone blogs” (without quotes). This should bring up lists of some of the most popular blogs in that niche.
Check each blog to make sure it allows comments and a link to your own site before subscribing to it, Technorati is a good source to find top nice blogs.
4. Have Something To Say
Do your best to post insightful comments. Comments that simply say “I agree” or “awesome post” look an awful lot like spam. Such comments could apply to most any post and so do not show that you actually read it. Remember that you not only want to be noticed but respected for your opinions as well. This is what will drive traffic to your own blog.
This does not mean that your comment has to be lengthy or long-winded. A concise comment, if it is insightful, will accomplish the same purpose as a long one and will take less time to write as well.
5. Don’t Be Offensive
Some blogs may allow you to leave strongly-worded comments, but leaving offensive comments may not be your best method of blog promotion.
Some commenters may try to be controversial or adversarial in an effort to generate interest in their own blogs, but this method could be transparent and could backfire in keeping your comments from being approved in the first place. Better to always be calm, rational and respectful at all times.
6. Be the First to Comment
The first comments on the blog will always get the most readers. The further down your comment appears on the list, the less likely it will be read.
How can you ensure that your comment appears at or near the top? Most blogs have an RSS feed that will keep you alerted when new posts appear. If you subscribe to this feed and check it frequently, you can often be alerted to new posts mere minutes after they first appear.
How you subscribe to a feed depends on the browser you use. In Apple’s Safari, for example, you merely click on the RSS badge in the address bar. When you bookmark this badge you will have the option not only to add it to Safari but to your list of RSS feeds in Apple Mail.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Reply To Another Commenter’s Reply
The replies other commenters make are read too, so if you are an early, but not the very first commentor on the blog post, you can reply to someone else’s comment if you can add further information. Replies to replies are also usually read, especially if they appear high up on the list.
Comment intelligently and you will boost your reputation and credentials as well as your own blog traffic. This is especially helpful for startups who have a great product but need to get exposure in their marketplace.