Latest posts by Ahmad Imran (see all)
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Sometimes I feel surprised.
By looking at his energy and the time he devotes to leaving meaningful comments on various blogs.
He is energetic and he aims to be everywhere – in the blogging scene.
His name is Ryan Biddulph and he is the founder of Blogging from Paradise.
He knows the power of networking and making relationships with fellow bloggers. I have no doubt by looking at his style that blog-commenting sits very high in his overall blog promotion strategy.
I am not big on blog-commenting but this topic is close to my heart and I feel that it is a genuine and underestimated brand building technique which every blogger should learn and implement.
I was keen to get in touch with him and ask him a few deep questions about why and how to write a good blog comment. He kindly agreed and shared his insights and commenting philosophies with me.
3 questions and 3 responses.
There is nothing complicated here. Ryan likes straight talk and so do I.
Have a read and let us know in comments how does it relate to your blog commenting tactics and are you going to make any changes in your commenting style after reading this article.
question 1 – why blog commenting?
My understanding is that “commenting on other blogs” sits very high in your blog promotion strategy.
If this is the case, why is it so important for you and what are the 3 long-term benefits you have achieved from it so far?
I love blog commenting Ahmad.
Here’s why; by simply sharing my thoughts in an effective, thorough fashion, I am able to drive blog traffic and build friendships with top bloggers in my niche.
How else can new or struggling bloggers make inroads with seasoned pros, all by sharing their opinion for free?
The first long term benefit is the quality and depth of friendships you establish with top level bloggers. I received a few tweets of my first 2 eBooks by a NY Times Best Selling Author I connected with a few years ago by commenting on his blog for months and popping up on his radar.
Amazing how easily blog commenting opens doors for you if you do it right, over many months, or even years.
That’s key; being persistent.
The second benefit of commenting is the near and long term traffic you drive through comments. Folks find me through in-depth comments I leave on top shelf blogs, whether they happened upon an oldie but goodie comment or a newer, fresh comment I published. Good technique for driving steady blog traffic.
The third benefit is brand awareness.
I show off my insight and yep, drop the Blogging From Paradise brand and blog name at times, through my blog comments. This is done skillfully though. I share a 3-4 paragraph, thorough, authentic comment then lead-in to saying, how I wrote and self-published 126 eBooks or a few courses. I need to make a graceful transition to be authentic.
But in addition to those 3 benefits I see a bonus that few bloggers dwell on.
Goodness, I never realized this sugary sweet blog commenting bonus until a few months ago. I advise folks to write 1000 words or daily more, just for practice. When offering this advice, I realized how many tens of thousands of words I wrote through my comments.
This is writing practice to the nth degree, and as an added perk, the practice is on a public stage, giving you confidence and clarity in your writing and also helping you dial in to the 3 prior benefits.
question 2 – the good blog comment recipe
From your experience of both inward and outward comments on blog posts, what are the 3 key ingredients of a good blog comment which make an impact?
No. 1 is depth on the blog commenting list, as far as what makes a good comment.
Write 3-5 paragraph, thoughtful, in-depth comments to make a serious impact.
I have danced between writing shorter comments and more in-depth pieces. Longer is more fun, more enjoyable and yep, makes a great impact on the readers of your blog. This seems challenging at first but for me, setting aside 5-7 minutes to write the comment establishes order in my mind, which allows the comment to flow.
I also figure that publishing an in-depth comment gives me more practice for future blog comments I create, so it is win-win again.
No. 2 is personalization.
Greeting a blogger with a “Hi Ryan” and signing off with your name sets a personal, authentic, pleasant tone for the comment.
This is disarming.
Most blog comments are impersonal, bland or sometimes downright rude. Addressing a blogger by name makes you stand out and also reminds you of the human being on the other side of the comment. Signing off reminds readers and your fellow blogger who you are, and also adds the personalized, human touch, which you need in the online realm.
No. 3 is agreement.
That which you disagree with shows weakness and a lack of clarity.
That which you agree with shows power and clarity.
You can disagree with a viewpoint in a polite way, but why explain the reasons for you liking vanilla ice cream, if I like chocolate? Are you trying to sell me on vanilla? I am a chocolate fan. I am clear on that. I am set, good, fine. But if you try to sell me on vanilla, you show your lack of clarity, your weakness, your lack of confidence in your viewpoint.
This is so easy to see when I compare 2 people who prefer 2 different types of ice cream. But it seems more difficult to see when you are heavily married or unclear on some other blogging topic.
Agree. Or if you disagree, find a point of agreement.
This is so tough for some folks to accept because of ego, but when you blog from love and clarity, versus blogging from fear and a lack of clarity, you agree and make a great impact with your blog comments.
question 3 – blog commenting and time management
For commenting on other blogs, or responding to comments on your blog post, it is a time consuming activity.
How do you manage and what advice would you give to busy bloggers out there to be efficient in commenting?
Due to blog comment volume on Blogging From Paradise and my ambitious guest posting and eBook promotion schedule, I respond to my blog comments with 1-2 lines.
As for outbound comments I just set a timer for 5 minutes or patiently glance at the clock and set a 5 minute time frame.
This blog commenting bit feels challenging sometimes because our minds like to race ahead and focus on the 1000 other things we need to do daily, blogging-wise and life-wise. As I write these words my 15 month old niece runs around downstairs, and I need to watch her soon when my wife hands the shift over to me.
Ditto for the heavy blogging workload I have today; Racing Thought Syndrome threatens to derail me.
But setting a timer or just watching the clock for a 5 minute to 10 minute stretch helps you create a beefy comment that you properly personalize to make the greatest impact.
It really is a decision, more than anything else, to craft something in-depth, to agree, and to patiently personalize all comments to do the blog commenting thing right.
Beyond looking at the clock, commit fully to simply recalling why you are commenting. You have a precious medium through which you can share your thoughts – for free – with virtually no barriers to entry, save the spam folder.
Have fun, make friends and enjoy the blog commenting ride.
By simply sharing your thoughts in an intelligent manner you can make friends, drive traffic and build a successful blog, all through this fun, easy accessible channel.
how often and how well do you comment?
What an insight into the world of blog commenting. From someone who has been there and who has done it.
Can I highlight an interesting finding from Ryan’s responses here?
The two most commonly used arguments in the defence of blog commenting are 1) you get a link (or links) back to your blog for SEO benefit and 2) Law of Reciprocity kicks in and the host blogger reciprocates by leaving a comment on your blog.
Ryan didn’t mention any of these points.
Yes they are related to the points he mentioned but they were not the real reasons that he stressed on.
Suggested reading – if you want to drill deeper into strategic blog commenting – The Ultimate Guide to Writing Comments That Opens Doors with Popular Bloggers – This is Kevin Duncan’s guest contribution on Smartblogger.
I have already started commenting more strategically now.
Ryan’s advice is super-useful to those serious bloggers who want to build steady traffic through commenting, learning the skill of writing by practising and most importantly, building deeper relationships with audience and fellow bloggers.
As an ambitious blogger, perhaps it is the time for you to review your commenting strategy.
Do you comment on other blogs enough and well?
Do you think that this is an avenue which you should utilise to market and promote your blog and brand further?