If you read any of the update posts from the second case study – the Community Marketing Challenge – you probably already know that I’m a big fan of blog commenting as a way to build your initial readership quickly. So today, I want to go a little more in depth on this topic to show you why I love it so much and how you can implement this technique effectively into your own affiliate marketing business.
First things first, for those of you who are new to the industry, blog commenting means visiting related blogs in your niche and leaving comments on posts with a link back to your site. The idea is that leaving helpful, insightful comments on someone else’s work will encourage readers to come back to your site through the link to your site. At the same time, you’re building backlinks to your website from relevant websites that will help your off-page SEO.
Now, a couple of cautions right off the bat. Blog commenting isn’t a “quick and easy” way to get visitors to your websites. Although there are programs you can use that will auto-submit blog comments for you, it’s best to do them yourself, by hand, from an ethical standpoint. But doing them yourself involves searching out related, authority blogs, reading and digesting the content, writing and leaving the comment, and then following up to be sure it was approved (if you’re commenting on a moderated blog).
Yes, you can speed some of this up – maybe you only look for blogs that auto-approve comments, or maybe you identify a set of blogs that you always comment on so that you’re not spending time searching for new places to post. But at the end of the day, it’s still one of the most time-consuming, labor-intensive promotional methods out there.
So why bother? Well, in my opinion, blog commenting is one of the best ways to get your site in front of actual eyeballs for as little financial investment as possible. Think about it – if your primary traffic generation strategy is to build up backlinks in order to get your site ranked high in the SERPs, there’s likely going to be a delay until you can get your site to the top spot. If you rely on this strategy exclusively, it could be a long time until visitors actually start showing up on your site.
When you post a comment on a popular blog, people will see the link to your site right away. And if you leave a good comment, you’ve created even more of an incentive for these readers to click away and come to your site. In a single day, you can grab the same number of readers that you could pull in after several weeks of working on improving your rankings.
Two other great things about blog commenting – it’s completely free to do and it results in the backlinks that will help your site get noticed in the long term.
Personally, when I’m first starting out with a website, I’m wary of pouring a ton of money into it until I know that it’s going to convert. I don’t want to buy backlinks (or pay a VA to create them for me) or invest in traffic generating tools until I’m sure I’m going to be able to get that money back out of the site. So I love that blog commenting is a free way to start building an audience before I invest financially in the site.
And finally, I love blog commenting because it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Not only are you gaining early visitors from your comments, you’re also building the backlinks we discussed earlier that’ll help you to improve your SERP rankings and generate even more traffic in the long run. It’s a win-win 🙂
So, if you want to take advantage of this strategy, follow the general process I described above:
* Find relevant blogs. You can use tools like Alexa.com to be sure you’re targeting authority sites in your niche that receive good traffic every day to get the most out of your comments.
* Read their content. I find it’s easiest to add the commenting sites to my RSS reader so that I can be one of the first to comment whenever they post new material.
* Leave comments. If you only take one piece of advice from this article, please let it be the importance of leaving valuable comments. Take the time to think through the author’s content and leave a comment that expands on the topic in some way. It doesn’t have to be long, but at least make it clear that you’ve read the post and thought about it. Your comments will be more likely to get approved, and the other people reading the site will see you as more of an authority figure (making you more likely to get clicks through to your site).
* Follow up to be sure the comment was approved (if you want). If you leave good comments, chances are they’ll get approved, so you might not want to spend time worrying about this. However, it can be nice to know which blogs will approve your comments in order to focus your efforts on the sites where you’re most likely to be approved. For this reason, it might be worth following up on the first comment you leave on any site to if/when you’ve been approved.
That’s really it. The beauty of blog commenting is that you can just go out and do it. You don’t need to do a ton of research or buy special tools – chances are you already know of at least one website in your niche where you can leave comments. So go do it, and then come back and let me know how it’s going for you 🙂
PS – Have you had a chance to check out the new Common Sense Marketing Youtube channel? Go there now and be sure to subscribe so that you get updates as soon as new videos are posted!