It’s all about participation! If you want to be successful on the internet, you’ve got participate and engage with online communities whether that be through your blog, their blog, twitter, facebook or any other social media. It’s not a matter of just throwing up a website and letting it sit.
One of the best ways to engage online is using the comments feature on a blog. It’s an ego boost for the blogger, that people are actually reading his/her posts and shows him/her that their posts are strong enough to stir up a conversation or debate. For years I reguarly read blogs, found articles really interesting, interesting enough to go back to the same article a few times but never commented!
Why didn’t I comment? I was a chicken shit, I was afraid I’d say something wrong and would be ridiculed. I was right and wrong. Sure there are some blogs that if you make a stupid comment, you’ll be flamed by either the blogger themselves or one of their followers but you have to remember this is usually due to the online persona they portray. These blogs are usually the “I’m always right and so superior because I know more than you” type of blogs but there are the “I’m a nice guy and I’m just here to help people learn” type of blogs which will happily engage with you even if you come out with Paris Hilton style comments.
Either way you’ve got to take the risk! The amount of knowledge and readers I would have lost out on if I hadn’t started engaging with other bloggers through their comments would have been massive. It’s a bit like being in the pub at the weekend. You might see a gorgeous girl at the bar but unless you go up to her and chat, you might not find out how gorgeous and interesting that girl really is. Sure you may get knocked back but its still better than the “What if” scenario.
The last things that comments are really helpful for is building backlinks and authority. We all should know what backlinks are so I’m going to focus on authority. This week Brian Clark from Copyblogger.com released an excellent free report on authority. In it he goes to show how we percieve authority as individuals but also how Google percieves authority. It is an excellent read and delves into the psychology behind our interaction in the real world and on the internet. I’ve listed 3 points he makes that I believe apply to comments as well :
Your content actually demonstrates your expertise, compared with a website or bio page that claims expertise.
- By providing inciteful comments on blogs it demonstrates your expertise
… people respond to and follow important people more than others. And Google ranks important pages and sites higher than others.
- This I like to think off more in terms of fraternisation. In the real world people with similar interests consort with people with the same interests, i.e. jocks hang around with jocks, geeks with geeks. It is the same on the internet, if you have an interest in affiliate marketing you will read a lot of affiliate marketing blogs, by commenting on multiple niche blogs other readers might percieve you as a like minded individual with important incites, important enough to follow your own blog.
What other people say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.
- You’ll find when commenting, people will often reply to your comments agreeing with you or affirming your statement again adding to your authority or percieved authority.
Recently two of my fellow bloggers Sean from Smemon.com and Enda from ILiveOnTheWeb.com have tried to prove the benefits of commenting by building a case study through their new online venture TopCommentator.com. The site is specifically designed as a central hub used to comment on other blogs and look at the benefits of promoting interaction with the readers of your blog. They’ll be showing their readers detailed stats on how our their website is growing and the value they’ve added to this site through commenting on other blogs. I for one will definitely be interested in seeing their stats in the future.
So for now please remember, commenting is good. And please leave a comment on this blog and any other blog you frequent!
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