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why blog comments

Why Do You Comment On Blogs?

There has been quite a commenting revolution happening on blogs lately.
Everyone is promoting it as the best way to quickly grow you blog, but a lot of them are going about it the wrong way. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reason people leave comments on blogs and try and find the ones that will be the most beneficial.
Why People Leave Comments
For Back Links
This has become extremely popular of late with the introduction of the ‘do-follow revolution’ where bloggers started removing the ‘no-follow’ tags from their comments, allowing the search engines to share the link juice of that page with the commentators.
The only problem is that this has cause a dramatic increase in blog comment spam, and not all of it is automated bot spam. A lot of bloggers see a do-follow blog and leave simple, ‘nothing’ comments that do not add any value to the blog posts and are really just there to get a link back to the blog – I see this as another version of spam.
For Traffic
Before the ‘do-follow revolution’ started, the majority of bloggers were not commenting for backlinks. Instead the figured that if they could even get a small percentage of the the traffic that the bigger blogs they were commenting on received, they could maybe pick up an extra subscriber or two to their blog.
This is where the fascination with being the first commentator on a new blog post started – because every commentator after that would first see this first comment (and hopefully click through to your blog).
For Branding
With the amount of blogs currently online, it is getting harder and harder to be seen or heard. This is why a lot of bloggers actually just use commenting for branding their blogs and getting their logo and name in front of as many people as possible.They do this by having their logo as their display picture, and include the blog’s name in their name.
There is not a problem with doing this, but some bloggers do prefer it if your profile picture is actually a picture of you, and if you are going to use your blog’s name, at least include yours as well. (Tom | Build That List – for example) This way people know who they are talking to.
For Networking
In a recent guest post I talked about what makes a good network. Networking, if done correctly will not only increase your visitors and exposure, but it will increase you. The power of a network is the ability to learn off each other and network with each other – and a lot of bloggers use comments as a way to try and start these networking relationships (and to foster them).
To Add Value
I left this one to last as I believe it is not only the most important, but also the most forgotten.
The whole concept of leaving a comment was created so that we could leave our thoughts on the post.As I mentioned earlier, there is starting to be a lot more spammers that are actually just regular bloggers. They are not spammers because they have dodgy links in their comments, instead they are spammers because they do not add to the discussion of the post.
If you comment is not related, contact the blogger through their contact page. To write about something unrelated to the the post is most likely just a selfish grab for attention.
While none of the first four reasons are necessarily wrong, unless they add value, I would rethink my strategy.
While you will most likely get quite a few comments though, that add absolutely no value at all, I would dare say that you would get limited traffic (even if you get the first comment), you will be doing your brand harm, and you will have little chance of building a strong network with your fellow bloggers.
So why do you comment?

There has been quite a commenting revolution happening on blogs lately.

Everyone is promoting it as the best way to quickly grow you blog, but a lot of them are going about it the wrong way. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reason people leave comments on blogs and try and find the ones that will be the most beneficial.

Why People Leave Comments

1- For Back Links

This has become extremely popular of late with the introduction of the ‘do-follow revolution’ where bloggers started removing the ‘no-follow’ tags from their comments, allowing the search engines to share the link juice of that page with the commentators.

The only problem is that this has cause a dramatic increase in blog comment spam, and not all of it is automated bot spam. A lot of bloggers see a do-follow blog and leave simple, ‘nothing’ comments that do not add any value to the blog posts and are really just there to get a link back to the blog – I see this as another version of spam.

2- For Traffic

Before the ‘do-follow revolution’ started, the majority of bloggers were not commenting for backlinks. Instead the figured that if they could even get a small percentage of the the traffic that the bigger blogs they were commenting on received, they could maybe pick up an extra subscriber or two to their blog.

This is where the fascination with being the first commentator on a new blog post started – because every commentator after that would first see this first comment (and hopefully click through to your blog).

3- For Branding

With the amount of blogs currently online, it is getting harder and harder to be seen or heard. This is why a lot of bloggers actually just use commenting for branding their blogs and getting their logo and name in front of as many people as possible.They do this by having their logo as their display picture, and include the blog’s name in their name.

There is not a problem with doing this, but some bloggers do prefer it if your profile picture is actually a picture of you, and if you are going to use your blog’s name, at least include yours as well. (Tom | Build That List – for example) This way people know who they are talking to.

4- For Networking

In a recent guest post I talked about what makes a good network. Networking, if done correctly will not only increase your visitors and exposure, but it will increase you. The power of a network is the ability to learn off each other and network with each other – and a lot of bloggers use comments as a way to try and start these networking relationships (and to foster them).

5- To Add Value

I left this one to last as I believe it is not only the most important, but also the most forgotten.

The whole concept of leaving a comment was created so that we could leave our thoughts on the post.As I mentioned earlier, there is starting to be a lot more spammers that are actually just regular bloggers. They are not spammers because they have dodgy links in their comments, instead they are spammers because they do not add to the discussion of the post.

If you comment is not related, contact the blogger through their contact page. To write about something unrelated to the the post is most likely just a selfish grab for attention.

While none of the first four reasons are necessarily wrong, unless they add value, I would rethink my strategy.

While you will most likely get quite a few comments though, that add absolutely no value at all, I would dare say that you would get limited traffic (even if you get the first comment), you will be doing your brand harm, and you will have little chance of building a strong network with your fellow bloggers.

So why do you comment?

Tom is an Australian blogger that is currently researching and trialing the opportunity created by outsourcing jobs overseas. If you are interested in learning more about what he has learnt, you can download his latest free ebook GEO Arbitrage, which explains it all in an easy to read format.

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{ 35 comments… add one }

  • Kent October 10, 2012, 11:05 pm

    You will need to do something more in order to build network. For me, blog is not suitable for networking because you don’t have any tool to track, to store your networks. My way of doing networking is invite them to Linkedin so that I can track my network and continue building relationship.

  • Ashley K. Edwards March 3, 2011, 8:37 am

    For me, it’s all about value. I only comment on posts that I find are worth my input. If there are any other benefits that result from my comment (i.e., traffic) then that’s fantastic, but I find the dialogue and potential relationship-building far more beneficial.
    Ashley K. Edwards recently posted..Blissdom ’11- A Blogger’s ExperienceMy Profile

  • Martha Giffen November 4, 2010, 1:40 pm

    I’m going to be honest. I leave comments for all of the reasons you mentioned and then some!! I happen to like reading blogs, as it gives me inspiration for my own writing. And, who doesn’t like backlinks? It’s a win/win as far as I can tell. BTW, good post!
    Martha Giffen recently posted..Celebrating Blog FollowersMy Profile

  • Robert Bravery November 4, 2010, 5:50 am

    Yes Great post. All the above points are very valid, but I think the primary, top, first point should be to add value. All the others then become an added bonus.

    The reason we have so much comment spam, at least in my case, is because so many people have the first four points as high priority, then if you are lucky their comment might add value.

    I just tweeted a question ‘Does a comment like “Nice Blog” add any value or is it just comment spam. My thought, is its comment spam. The author is looking for free back links, free traffic, free what ever, but is not prepared to give anything in return.

    My primary reason for commenting is to add value
    Robert Bravery recently posted..Most Of The Web Traffic Tips Are Completely Useless – I Can Prove ItMy Profile

  • CJ June 17, 2010, 2:34 pm

    Great post man!
    It sucks how lately a lot of blogs have been using the nofollow tags though! I guess it was bound to happen, haha, my blog is now officially doFollow though. Great post though!

    CJ

    CJ’s last blog ..Pay Per Click Kind of Sucks Or Kind of Rocks… What Do You Think?

  • serdar March 6, 2010, 11:45 am

    i comment to get a link :)

  • Lee March 4, 2010, 3:33 pm

    Great post, Tom, I really enjoy reading your stuff, and glad to find you guest posting over here.

    Here are my two big reasons why I dig your writing:
    1) You know what you’re talking about. You’ve built a huge blog following in a very short time; and
    2) You keep it real. You’re not pretending to be something you’re not – just an ordinary guy dealing with triumphs and frustrations of branding a blog.

    As for the content of this post, I totally agree with most of your points. I’m a little sketchy on the “branding” concept, because I do use my website name to get the word out – but I’ve never done the “Use a keyword you want to rank for” as the name. Nothing is more irritating than 300 comments like:

    By: Buy Discount Manure Now
    Subject: Good post.

    It seems as though a new wave of non-bot commentors has hit the scene, and it makes it super difficult to weed out legitimate comments from spam. But I suppose it was bound to happen. It’s the cat & mouse game: Spammers exploit a loophole/trick, Bloggers and Search Engines close the hole, Spammers find another one.

  • Robyn March 4, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Nice post Tom,

    I totally agree with you. There are many bloggers out there who just don’t know the standards of blogging and just bombard other sites with the sole purpose of promoting their own. This is why we need more blogs that focus on standards of the communities and how to operate as a blogger effectively. That’s why I love these informative blogs. Because just about 3 months ago I knew very little about blogging, now I have my own.

    Since commenting is now the popular thing to do, I’m wondering what will be next.
    .-= Robyn@Sam’s Web Guide – Web Tutorials & Tech News´s last blog ..Alexa Traffic Rankings Inaccurate – Room for Improvement =-.

  • Dennis Edell March 2, 2010, 4:02 pm

    Adding value and gaining traffic go hand in hand my man. Leave a crap comment and expect no one of meaning to click through on your link.

    It’s definitely not the best source for quality backlinks (even do follow) but high traffic and every bit counts. :)
    .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..DEDC Updates – What the (Near) Future Holds for You and I! =-.

  • Latief March 1, 2010, 10:44 pm

    Leaving Comments always fun for me as you know I have an article here about benefits from leaving comment while blogwalking. According to alexa, my main backlinks are from commenting :)
    Thanks for sharing this awesome article with us Tom.
    .-= Latief@AnotherBlogger´s last blog ..Why We Need To Create Similar Contents? =-.

  • Jack Cola February 28, 2010, 9:16 pm

    Very good list you have there Tom!
    Another points I would like to add is To Express Your Views. A blog may talk about a particular topic, it may have happened to you, or you have some different thoughts about it, and you just want to express those views.

    I also like to comment on blogs because it makes you feel as you are part of a community. That is what blogging is all about. If you try and compete with other blogs in your niche, you just won’t go any where. But if you help each other out, promote each others articles every now and again, you will do well in the blogger world.

  • Anish K.S February 28, 2010, 11:51 am

    Frankly , for Clicks and its my invitation to visit my blog :).
    .-= Anish K.S´s last blog ..Paypal Resuming local bank withdrawals to India =-.

  • Get Rich From The Internet February 27, 2010, 4:07 pm

    What I like the most in your list here for this post is where you talk about giving value. It is a rare thing to see online these days within bloggers. You see, most bloggers want to get massive backlink, get high page rank, and get a lot of traffic to their blog without actually putting in some effort and give value to the blogging community.

    I think if you want to build a honest, loyal followers online while maintaining a mutual reputation within the bloggers community, one needs to give high value in return. If anyone trying to gain massive traffic and backlink is not already thinking about giving value first in order to earn the blogging pundit, then he/she should forget about building a loyal readership online. That’s my opinion Tom. God bless…
    .-= Get Rich From The Internet´s last blog ..5 Keys To Targeted Internet Marketing =-.

  • chandan February 27, 2010, 12:24 am

    All are the main point that why people comment on blogs. Also I like to keep in touch to each bloggers by commenting and of course gaining knowledge by reading each blog.
    .-= chandan@work at home jobs´s last blog ..Dofollow link building resource =-.

  • Udegbunam Chukwudi February 26, 2010, 2:32 pm

    I personally comment for backlinks and to add value. Unfortunately in my quest to help people out on certain blogs were the authors don’t really respond to comments, I’ve met a brick wall. It’s as though my helpful comments get ignored by the blog admin or gets caught by Akismet and is deleted without any read through whatsoever. I won’t say no names of blogs like that :(

  • Trevor Bandura February 26, 2010, 12:43 pm

    I comment for reasons 1 and 5, but always try to add value to the post I am commenting on. The added backlink is just a great way to get the benefit of adding to the blog your are following.

    I like getting discussions started about topics that I love reading about. Isn’t that the whole point of all this anyways?

  • Rinaldi February 26, 2010, 1:05 am

    everything you mentioned is true and I tried to increase the quantity of it to my blog better.
    .-= Rinaldi @ blogicthink´s last blog ..Genesis Theme Framework and Child Theme Explanation by StudioPress =-.

  • MinnieRunner February 26, 2010, 12:45 am

    Well, I comment because of #2. I am hopeful that the owner of the blog would return the favor by commenting on my post too.

    But I believe I am also adding value to each and every comment that I leave. Because we all know that it is annoying if it is obvious that the person that left the comment doesn’t even read your post right?

  • Hesham February 25, 2010, 3:35 pm

    I love this post, although I think the point number 5 should be number one! I love comments when it ads a value to the original post topic as I like the idea of creating content from comments!

    I usually comment for networking!

  • Satria February 25, 2010, 2:08 pm

    At first I started a blog commenting because I want to build links. Now I am getting to like blogs Commenting, I get a lot of knowledge and happy to participate to share what I like and I read with others.
    .-= Satria @Best Wordpress Themes´s last blog ..Genesis Theme Framework and Child Theme Explanation by StudioPress =-.

  • Keith February 25, 2010, 12:49 pm

    I just posted about why I am removing do-follow from my comments (still in the top commentor widget) on my site a few minutes ago. The video I posted by Matt Cutts enlightened me on a few things.

    I look at commenting mainly to add my opinion, ask questions, answer questions, and to advertise my site.
    .-= Keith@ Blog Tips´s last blog ..Removing DoFollow From This Site =-.

    • Tom February 25, 2010, 2:54 pm

      I haven’t seen your post yet Kieth! I’ll have to head over and check it out. I was an interesting post on Blogussion saying that do-follow had no effect on your link juice, so I’m interested in what you have to say.
      .-= Tom@Build That List´s last blog ..17 Wordpress Plugins That Will Improve Your Blog =-.

    • Hesham February 25, 2010, 3:36 pm

      You have a point on your post, anyways.. this is why I set a high number of comments before removing the nofollow link!

  • element321 February 25, 2010, 12:01 pm

    I comment because I like to. But of course for all of your listed reasons, I also comment.
    On days comment I see a large raise in my incoming traffic. On days I do not, I can a large drop in traffic. I try and comment as much I can everyday even if only 3 or 4 comments a day.
    .-= element321 @ evolutionary designs´s last blog ..I Have Had It With Comment Spam! =-.

    • Tom February 25, 2010, 2:58 pm

      I have experienced the same thing. When you are not active you blog traffic does drop. I am heading away for a couple of days, so it gives me a good chance to test this theory.
      .-= Tom@Build That List´s last blog ..17 Wordpress Plugins That Will Improve Your Blog =-.

  • Dana February 25, 2010, 9:42 am

    Even tough i may have all of the motivate which you lists in this post — i think the best motivation is for sake of the comment it self. You comment because there are something to tell trough comment. That’s all.
    .-= Dana @ Blogging Update´s last blog ..6 Benefits of Guest Blogging =-.

  • Kiesha February 25, 2010, 8:54 am

    I really try not to leave a comment unless I can either add value or at least discuss the points I agree with. I think it is the authenticity of my comments that have contributed to both of my blog’s traffic. I’m kind of slow, so I didn’t discover this immediately – I just noticed that one day I had record traffic – and because I’m the nerd that I am, I had to know how that happened. So I checked my analytics and more than half of that traffic was from sites I had posted comments on at the beginning of that week. But it wasn’t just the traffic, it was the networking possibilities that you mentioned that I’ve benefited from the most. It’s really intriguing how many new bloggers you meet just by commenting.
    .-= Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter´s last blog ..How to ensure your blog is never found =-.

    • Tom February 25, 2010, 3:01 pm

      Great addition Kiesha! Comments that add some value are good, but QUALITY comments that you actually think about and really aim to add as much value to as possible – it’s those that draw the crowds to your blog!
      .-= Tom@Build That List´s last blog ..17 Wordpress Plugins That Will Improve Your Blog =-.

  • Paul Roekle February 25, 2010, 6:55 am

    Personally, I comment to connect with other bloggers and help get my name out there – or “branding.” A lot of people do spam comments, luckily it is easy for us to go in and delete those comments. If you know a person is comment spamming then simply do not allow their comments to be made! That’s my opinion at least.
    .-= Paul Roekle @Internet Marketing Blog´s last blog ..The Myth Behind Affiliate Marketing And Why Your Doing It Wrong =-.

    • Tom February 25, 2010, 3:10 pm

      That’s great Paul! I have been trying to do a lot of comment branding – and it is really starting to pay off.

      I am pretty strict with my comments, I hate it when people do not add value or lie because they think it will get their comment accepted. Recently someone included a link in their post to an article that WAS related (and I was ready to accept the comment), until I found out what while he said ‘check out this article I have found’ it came from the same domain as his email? He didn’t find it, he wrote it.

      If he had said that he wrote it, I would have accepted it, but the fact that he tried to deceive me made me hit ‘delete’!
      .-= Tom@Build That List´s last blog ..17 Wordpress Plugins That Will Improve Your Blog =-.

  • TheInfoPreneur February 25, 2010, 5:34 am

    Tom excellent post and thanks for the link, all very valid points commenting is the number 1 reason why my site is where it is now
    .-= TheInfoPreneur´s last blog ..TheInfoPreneur.net’s Achievements =-.

    • Tom February 25, 2010, 6:40 am

      Thanks! I would have to agree. It has been the same for me.
      .-= Tom@Build That List´s last blog ..17 Wordpress Plugins That Will Improve Your Blog =-.

      • Dennis Edell March 2, 2010, 3:58 pm

        Me too, starting with DSWM.
        .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..DEDC Updates – What the (Near) Future Holds for You and I! =-.

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