Along with blogging itself, commenting is a powerful tool of networking and branding. A popular blog represents the huge niche community you might want to be a part of. The reasons behind blog commenting are:
1/ leaving comments on other people’s popular blogs is a good method to network;
2/ regular commenting is a smart branding tool;
4/ this technique helps in building the faithful readership by generating highly targeted traffic;
3/ when done well, comments can generate traffic to your website;
Now before I go into details, let me summarize the points I came to when analyzing the topic. To make your comment stand out, try to:
My case study was inspired by an article posted on one of my favorite blogs problogger.net listing the most effective tips of blog commenting. So I decided to test these strategies in practice. For this I chose a post on one of the most popular celebrity blogs justjared.com generating between 100 to 2000 comments daily (yeah, this sounds like magic to me too).
The post is about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt visiting Beowulf premiere, and at the moment when I started my research, the article had 455 comments (which made 16 pages). I chose this very niche and article due to:
* the huge number of comments to analyze (this makes the task to get noticed with your comment even more challenging);
* two opposing parties: the fans and the haters of the celebrity couple (this gave me the opportunity to look into all commenting strategies).
While evaluating the reaction to a comment, I took into consideration only the direct responses (i.e. quoting and addressing a poster). I also paid attention to the quoting rate (assuming that the number of times the comment was quoted equals the number of times the link to your website is repeated).
This post generated 12 direct responses throughout the article. Five of them contained the quote, so if Lady G had included the link to her comment, it would have been repeated five times.
Surely, it is important to get in with your comment early (at least on the first page). Another useful contribution which seemed to appeal to the community:
generated only 3 direct responses.
This question posted on the first page generated 5 responses (2 of them quoting the original poster).
A hot highly relevant question (like asking about Jennifer Anniston when talking about Pitt and Jolie) can prove to be really effective even when being posted on the 14th page:
The above comment generated 4 immediate responses (2 of them quoting the original poster and the links shared by him)… Imagine this, even I followed the link to check if that really was Anniston 🙂
– was followed by the heated discussion (5 direct replies) with no quoting though.
A funny observation here: being critical to yourself can even be more effective – quite a number of both direct and indirect responses followed the comment where the poster was comparing herself to the celebrity:
This might be due to the niche specificity though. Because of the huge number of active haters, they are mostly ignored, but short unreasoned cases of disagreeing did manage to provoke some kind of reaction.
– also generated 1 direct response.
drew only one comment but right in the middle of the thread (on the 5th page).
Thus my observations brought me to a few important conclusions:
1/ To make your words stand out from the crowd you should be an expert in your niche and know your audience to tell which comments will appeal to them.
2/ To become the part of your topical community, you should be a part of your audience (reading the popular blogs and forums within your niche might help a lot).
3/ Commenting should be done thoughtfully: follow the conversation, add answers and be creative.