Of the many ways to get more traffic to your blog, commenting on other blogs, if done right, can be one of your best strategies. If you find blogs that share some of the same types of readers you’d like to attract, getting known on those blogs will help you promote your own.
You make an interesting observation, or add value with helpful advice, or have a unique take on the blogger’s topic and—bam—other readers will check out your blog and learn more about this fascinating person (that would be you, of course).
Except when it’s not.
Why do so many smart, creative people freeze up when it’s time to make a blog comment? We’ve all been there, staring at that big old comment box full of white space. It’s there, mocking you,
“Okay smarty pants. You think you have something intelligent to say? Bring it on.”
We’ve heard the advice before. Add value to the conversation. Say something original. Be a thought leader.
Man, I don’t know about you, but that’s just too much pressure for me.
Have you ever left a comment on a blog that was lost in the crowd? Didn’t gain the blogger’s attention? Was not recognized by other readers?
And, like that proverbial tree falling in the forest, was it still a comment if no one heard it?
Commenting is an art. It takes time and some thought to leave a good one. So, in a reverse psychology sort of way, here are the 10 things you should probably stop doing if you want your comment to stand out from all the rest.
Keep in mind that all of these don’t bother me, but they do annoy a good number of readers and bloggers.
10 reasons no one notices your blog comment
1. You only care about getting that coveted ‘first comment’ position.
Although heatmap tracking has shown that the earlier you comment, the more chance others will visit your blog, being first just to be first—and having nothing worthwhile to say—will hurt you more than help you.
Remember: The blogger is watching and her readers are watching, so be careful.
2. You waited too long to comment.
On the other hand, if it is a popular blog, and you are comment #109, you will not be seen and read by very many people. Because few readers have the patience to wade through that many comments.
When you choose blogs with huge readerships, in order to make your voice heard, try to get in there shortly after the post publishes.
3. Your comment is short and adds no value.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to say, “nice” or “I like point #7.” But if your goal is to get noticed and attract new readers for your own blog, take a few minutes to formulate a response that shows you have thought about the post. That means that the comment is usually (but not always) longer than one line.
4. Your comment is too long.
No one will read a mini-novel length comment. They just won’t. Think about one or two parts of the post and focus your comment on that.
And if you do write a long one, be sure to break it up with white space and, possibly, bullets for your points. (See #10 below.)
5. You didn’t read the post.
Surprising, yes, but this happens regularly. If you just read the first one or two paragraphs, you won’t really know what the blogger was saying and your comment will show that.
Always read the whole post before you leave your comment.
6. You strayed off topic.
This one is common. The blogger’s topic is how to close a sale and you start talking about the different types of swimming pool insulations. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point.
Respect the blogger (and readers) and stay on topic. Save your completely unrelated thoughts for a post of your own. Because one of the pet peeves of bloggers is watching a commenter hijack their post and take it in a completely different direction.
7. You leave a ‘vanilla’ comment.
Bring something unique to the table. Often this is as simple as supporting the blogger’s point with an example from your personal experience. A kind of, “Yes, this has happened to me. This is what took place and this is what I learned from it.” Or, “I had a completely different experience with this…”
And don’t be afraid to let a little passion shine through. It sparks emotions and encourages a lively discussion.
8. You never take an opposing viewpoint.
Consider disagreeing with a point or two if it makes sense and adds to the conversation. But don’t just do it to be contrary because we can see through that.
And, of course, be respectful and remember that you are a guest in the blogger’s house.
9. Your comment is all about you.
You are not there to sell your blog and your business, so be careful with the self-promotion. Most bloggers don’t mind a link if you have relevant content that adds to the conversation and is on topic. But leaving 3-4 links to your sites is annoying, and could get you banned.
10. You don’t format your comment for readability.
As in your own blog posts, remember that readers of comments are skimmers and scanners. Be concise and to the point and try bullets and lots of white space to make your comment easy on the eyes.
What do you think?
As a reader, have you struggled with any of these?
If you have a blog, do you get comments that fall into any of these areas?
This is a revised post of an article that originally appeared on For Bloggers, By Bloggers.