It's no secret that I love blog commenting. Blogs represent everything that is great about Internet technology; they are easy to set up, easy to maintain, attract a more active audience than traditional "static" websites - blogs are also fantastic for SEO. Blog commenting is great for affiliate marketers and webmasters who are looking for a bit of extra link juice and traffic. It's easy, fun, and doesn't take very long to master. Today I'm going to give you the SEO blog commenting 101 so that you can benefit as much as possible from this exciting link building strategy.
Now before we begin with the lesson, I'd like to take the time to tell you how NOT to blog comment for SEO purposes. Many affiliate marketers seem to get quite confused about blog commenting best practices, but it really is important that you get this right!
SEO blog commenting is not:
- Using automated blog commenting software
- Purposely avoiding "no-follow" blogs
- Commenting on unrelated blogs because they are do-follow
- Using cookie-cutter comments that do not add any value (I'll talk more about this in a moment)
- Spamming blogs with annoying comments in order to gain links
These blog commenting mistakes are going to deliver poor results, and are a waste of time. Of course it's entirely possible to purchase software that will leave auto-generated comments on thousands of blogs. It's not even that expensive to do. However, with anti-spam plugins becoming increasingly effective, and bloggers becoming more aware on the issue of commenting spamming, this "black hat" blog commenting is on its way out.
For example, here at the Affilorama blog we receive plenty of spammy comments. Now a quick browse of the comments section will alert you to the fact that we don't allow users to post URLs in their comment details (unlike Wordpress blogs) However, every morning when myself and the other Affilorama staff check the pending blog comments, there are always entries from people with rather strange names, such as "cheap backlinks service" or "Xrumer blast package". These comments are always marked as spam, because we know right off the bat that these have been left by comment spamming software that looks for blogs and automatically adds a set keyword as the "Name", and then tries to link that up to the spammer's URL of choice.
In fact, spammy comments are even easier to identify when you look at the main comment text. It is either something generic and positive, like "thanks for the post, I truly thank you", or something generic and interrogative, like "but are you sure this is true?". It makes sense that newer bloggers could be drawn in to thinking these spam comments are genuine - but once you have a bit of blogging experience it becomes easy to identify the spam.
With that out of the way, here's how to do SEO blog commenting, in 5 easy steps:
- Always read the blog post first. If you don't read the blog post you're going to comment on, don't even bother to try and comment. The whole point of the comments section of a blog is to elicit meaningful discussion and debate. In fact, try to think of it as a digital debating chamber! By reading the blog post you will actually be able to leave a comment that adds value and get an insight into the topic at hand. Any experienced blogger (and it's these kind of blogs you want to be commenting on) will have a sixth sense for identifying comments where the submitter hasn't even bothered to read their hard work. Neglect this step and you will find yourself floundering in the spam bin.
- No generic comments, ever. So you've taken the time to actually read the blog post - when it comes to commenting you must resist the temptation to leave some meaningless comment like "thanks for the interesting read". Make sure your comment is closely related to the topic of the blog post, and that it is never some generic statement or question.
- Avoid keyword dropping. The biggest culprits here are people who try to stuff their keywords into the blog comment name field on Wordpress blogs. Names like "Joe Bloggs@ Blackhat SEO Services" automatically raises the suspicion of any spam-savvy blogger. Save keyword-based links for blogs that actually allow HTML in the comment body.
- Don't fret over no-follow/do-follow. Many affiliate marketers will completely avoid commenting on high-value blogs if the comment section is no-follow. Instead, they turn to do-follow blogs, full of spammy comments from every link hunter on the Internet. What do you think will deliver more link juice; a do-follow comment from a blog post diluted by hundreds of spammers, or a no-follow comment from a quality blog with active spam management? Hint: the no-follow comment will be far more useful for SEO purposes. In case you haven't seen it, check out my blog post on do-follow vs no-follow links here.
- Comment on relevant blogs. It really pays to be as relevant as possible when choosing blogs on which to comment. For example, if your website is about golf equipment then first look for other golf equipment blogs. Next, move on to general golfing blogs (for example golf swing or golf news blogs) By moving out in concentric rings of relevancy you will always find enough potential blogs, in all but the smallest of niches.
The real SEO blog commenting secret
When it comes to blog commenting for backlinks and traffic, there is one strategy that is almost universally ignored. However, if you can master what I'm about to tell you then you stand to generate powerful backlinks, big traffic, and more sales/leads.
You want to comment consistently on high-quality blogs with insight, advice, and relevant questions. Really become a part of the community, and attempt to build a relationship with the blog owner. After a while, contact the blog owner and ask if you can write a guest post for them - point back to all of the great discussions you've started or participated in on their site. This strategy has a high initial time investment, but the rewards far outweigh the effort you need to put in. By building a strong stable of comments and a healthy relationship with a blogger, you have powerful ammo in your arsenal for guest posting opportunities.
Guest posting will provide you with some of the most potent backlinks possible, and just a few posts on highly-ranking blogs can generate more links and traffic than thousands of article directory submissions or directory listings.
Remember - when it comes to SEO and affiliate marketing, always think outside the box!
I'd love to hear your experiences with SEO blog commenting. Also, if you have any questions or need help I'll do my best to respond. Just leave a comment below!