Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?

Time Spent Commenting on Blogs
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Recently, on the “Bloggers Helping Bloggers” group on LinkedIn, a member started the discussion “Do You Reciprocate Comments? Why Not?” It turned out to be one of the most active discussions that we have had and it certainly elicited a lot of comments. I was impressed by how passionate some bloggers are about reciprocating every comment. From a strategic point of view, is there value to commenting on a blog simply because the blogger left a comment for you?

Commenting On Blogs – the 3 Stages We Go Through

When I stepped back and thought about how my strategy for commenting has progressed since I first started blogging, I realized that I can identify three different “stages” in what I believe is a cycle of sorts:

Stage #1: Building Awareness

As a new blogger, I was struggling to draw attention to my blog. It can almost be painful waiting for those first few comments.  I remember desperately wanting comments – any comments. Even spam looked a little more reasonable back then. If someone left a comment for me, I made sure that I went to their blog and left a comment for them.

My objectives in my early stages of blogging were to:

  • Drive traffic to my website. My target reader then was everyone. (I was using the “throw the spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” approach.)
  • Get other people to spread the word by talking about my posts and sharing them on social media websites.

My initial tactics:

  • Install the CommentLuv WordPress plugin to entice new readers to my blog by rewarding them with “do-follow” links when they left a comment on my blog.
  • Reply to all comments to foster discussions and create an environment that encourages sharing.

Stage #2: Building Your Online Presence

In stage two, through Google Analytics, it became clear to me that the best use of my time was to concentrate on commenting on blogs mainly in my niche. That’s where my potential readers are.

As I started gaining traffic, my objectives changed to:

  • Drive targeted traffic to my blog. I had been getting website visitors who were looking for a “do-follow” link to their blog rather than visitors who were truly interested in my content.
  • Build top of mind awareness in my niche.

My tactics evolved to:

  • Comment on blogs that my target clients read. (If their readers found my comments valuable, they visited my blog and many became regular readers. This tactic works exceptionally well when I leave comments on CommentLuv sites that link to one of my posts that relates directly to the content of the post that I’m commenting on.)
  • Build relationships with bloggers who are already established in my niche by commenting on their blogs and sharing their articles on multiple social media sites. (Check out my  Stalking the Popular Kids post for more on this strategy.)

Stage # 3:  Focusing on Strategies that Work

When I first started driving traffic to my blog, I spent a lot of time commenting on other blogs but when I looked at my analytics, I was getting very little traffic from most of those blogs. While commenting on blogs helps my community building efforts, it’s time for me to look into other alternatives such as guest blogging to increase my exposure even more. (Check out Danny Iny’s interview on Kristin Hines’  blog to see why this strategy may help drive more traffic than commenting.)

Objectives based on results:

  • Spend my time on strategies that work for me.
  • Track what I’m doing and be open to new ideas.

Tactics based on strategy:

  • Pay attention to where my current clients have found me and spend more of my time there.
  • Pay attention to current trends and changes while being open to establishing a presence on social media sites such as Google+ while at the same time not staying with the status quo simply because it’s comfortable.

What is the best use of your time? If you’re a food blogger and someone leaves a comment for you with a link to their blog about archery, does it make sense to hop over there, read their post and leave a comment?  What do you think? Do you reciprocate all comments? Do you see yourself in any of the “stages” that I believe my blog has gone through? As always, your thoughts and ideas are welcome.

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Author: Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

191 thoughts on “Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?”

  1. I like to acknowledge comments, either by replying on my post or emailing the commentator directly (if they’ve published and email address on their profile).
    I do then go and read their blog, and if I find it interesting then I comment, but generally only if it’s something I’d comment on anyway.

    1. Claudia,
      That’s interesting that you sometimes reply directly to the commentator rather than on your post. I have replied directly on occasion (when it’s of a personal nature) but I’ve always also replied something publicly. If a comment here goes unanswered, it’s because I somehow missed it.

      What I don’t do is reply to every comment on guest posts. As long as the author has replied, I don’t always chime in. Do you have any thoughts on that? I wonder if I should attempt to reply to all of them too.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Need More Eyes on Your Website? Comment on Blogs.My Profile

  2. Hi Sherryl,

    Not too long ago I felt just like you at the beginning. Almost want to accept any bitty comment that looked less of a spam than the other few.

    Thankfully, I started to network and get involved with other blogs and my blog commenting when to the roof. Now all my 3 blogs are alive and well 🙂

    I absolutely reply every comment large or small. Maybe only if you are a mammoth blog can you afford not to, but if you’re not, you really should.

    Same thing with visiting bloggers who visit you. You might not be able to visit every one all the time, but guess what? If you can, you should. Some blogger have lost me that way 🙂 I don’t want to make the same mistake.

    On the other hand, just look at someone like Adrienne, or Carol, for example. These two will never lose me 🙂 They are so faithful, I really love them for that. In the end they might gain from it (from me) As a matter of fact, maybe not this second, but I am sure they will.

    That was a great read, thank, Sherryl 🙂
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How To Turn A Browser Into A Reader – Part TwoMy Profile

    1. Hi Sylviane,
      I make every effort to reply to every comment except for comments on guest posts. If the author of the post replies, I don’t always chime in. Do you have guest posts on your blog? What are your thoughts about replying to those comments?

      I do try to visit as many blogs as I can but because of time, it’s physically impossible for me to keep up with. In addition to the conversations here, I’m also active on a couple of LinkedIn groups and now there’s groups on FB that I’m involved in too.

      I’ve been connected with Adrienne for quite a while now and we pop over to each others blog when we can. We share for each other a lot too. I hadn’t met Carol before she commented here but that’s one of the great things about having conversations in the comment section! I’m now following you, Carol and a few other bloggers in hopes of getting to know all of you better. 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

  3. What a great post Sherryl and after reading that I now know that I certainly need to analyze my visitors a bit more to get an understanding of where the “buyers” or subscribers are really coming from.
    I guess I try to focus more on driving targeted traffic through my articles and their syndication, but I did have a set of a few blogs with do follow links in my Google reader, and I have to say that this did work for driving traffic. It’s just very time consuming.

    I enjoyed reading this,

    1. It can be very time consuming Nicky. I’m at the point now where I have a core group of bloggers who I count as being in my “inner circle”. I also am part of several other “circles” for different reasons. Some are bloggers who just “click” with me and others stand out in their specialty areas. (These are great connections because they consistently provide me with quality content to share.) I bet you’ll notice that you recognize some of the bloggers who comment on the blogs that are driving traffic to your site. Those are great candidates to connect with, as you build your community. (If you get a chance, you might enjoy a post that I wrote a while ago about “stalking the popular kids”. I’ve linked to it below.)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

  4. What a great posting, just what I need! I’m a beginner blogger and definitely in phase 1. Some of the comments on here are great too – I’ve learnt a few new things (don’t know much about pinging or CommentLuv) – will check these out. I’ve been reading lots of blogs and taking note of how bloggers ask questions to generate discussion, and experimenting myself. I find that the more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know!
    Will be checking out some of the links on here – thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for letting me know that you found my post valuable and that you’re enjoying the comments. I’m grateful to my blog readers that many of them are very active and they generously share their thoughts, opinions and ideas with us.

      Asking questions is a great way to foster discussions. I try to always end my blog articles with a question that (hopefully) will promote conversation. Of course, I encourage everyone to add their own thoughts too. We all have our own areas of expertise. I learn from reading the comments too. (I’ve linked to my post about pinging and I have a few articles on my blog about including CommentLuv in your overall blogging strategy.)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Ping Your Website Blog and When Not ToMy Profile

        1. Hi Michelle,
          I always forget who has a self-hosted blog and who doesn’t. One of the biggest reasons for self hosting is to have your own domain name. That helps to brand yourself. (You could create an email account with your domain name and use your domain name in all your online and offline marketing.) You would be driving traffic to your website rather than You also can make your blog more robust by being able to install some awesome plugins.
          Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

  5. In the beginning Sherryl when I first started getting comments on my blog I let everyone know that I would visit their blog and leave a comment as well. For the most part, those who visited my blog were someone in the same niche.

    Eventually I started getting people who were only after link juice so I implemented some commenting rules. I now will not approve comments if they are only there for the link juice or they are linking to a site other than their blog. I’m here for the relationships and I can’t leave a comment on a product site.

    I kind of like the different niches who visit my blog. Trust me, someone in that niche is going to want to learn what I share so you’d be surprised at the number of people I get suddenly asking me questions. I love helping people.

    I think everyone should at least take the time to visit the blogs that leave comments on yours out of respect for the time they took coming to yours.

    I love this topic and glad it started such a conversation.


    P.S. I asked to join that group several weeks ago Sherryl but still have not been approved through the parent group so I finally just gave up. Oh well, thought it would be fun connecting with some new faces.
    Adrienne recently posted..Some Really Cool StuffMy Profile

    1. Adrienne,
      We would love to have you in that group! You’re the third person that I know of who has run into this issue. The problem is that the Bloggers Helping Bloggers group is a subgroup of the Blog Zone. I don’t know why LinkedIn has it set up this way. I have sent several emails to Mike Clough (the creator of both groups) and he isn’t responding. (That is not like Mike and I’m beginning to worry about him.) Thanks for letting me know. I’ll try to pre-approve you and send you a personal invitation but I don’t know if that will work.

      Thanks for sharing your commenting strategy with us too. Like you, I’m in this for the relationships but I honestly do not physically have enough time to visit every blog for all the comments that are left here. (Maybe I spend too much time commenting!)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Marketer vs Marketing: What Difference Does a Keyword Make?My Profile

      1. Hey Sherryl,

        I know that on one of the groups you had approved me but Mike never did and it’s almost been a month now. I also joined a couple more that happen to fall into a subgroup of the Blog Zone too. I was told this isn’t normal so I hope he’s okay. Thanks Sherryl, I really appreciate that and would love to be a part of a blogging group. You know I love blogging.

        I know what you mean, it can start to become quite overwhelming. But I do enjoy supporting others so I do my very best.

        Thanks Sherryl!
        Adrienne recently posted..Some Really Cool StuffMy Profile

  6. I completely relate. Sometimes any comment is a good comment, as long as there isn’t a big zero on the page! I have the same approach – respond to every comment, however big or small. I think that’s really important unless you’re Mashable or something. Blogging is about community and you can’t build one unless you’re there and participating.

    I find that it’s helpful to visit the sites of my commenters and comment there, subscribe to their blogs, and just get involved and show appreciation. I’ve built up quite a reading list that way, and people tend to reciprocate so that’s always a plus!
    Carol Lynn recently posted..Sabotaging Success Part 1: How ‘Fear Of Failure’ Will Wreck Your Business And Crush Your Dreams (Unless You Take Action Now)My Profile

  7. I think the best approach is to stay true to yourself. If you would normally read a post and leave a comment, than by all means you should do it. But if reciprocating a comment on your blog is your only reason, then I wouldn’t go for it…

    1. I agree with you Alison. Reciprocating simply because someone left a comment for you doesn’t make sense to me. There needs to be a reason. The reason could be as simple as the fact that you want to show appreciation and that you have hopes of building a relationship with that person. The thing is that the comment needs to be well thought out. If someone comments and it’s generic enough to be confused with spam, that’s not a good reflection on them.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Need More Eyes on Your Website? Comment on Blogs.My Profile

  8. To be honest, I didn’t think about having a commenting strategy. Your post helped me to really structure in my head the approach I need to take, though. Thanks!

    1. I also don’t have a strategy; just that if the content is interesting to me and strikes up some thoughts, I comment! 🙂

      1. Shona, You may have a strategy and just not be thinking of it in the same way that I do. The fact that you’re commenting at all is good. You’re building awareness. If you’re engaging with other bloggers, you’re building your community and like Debi, you have a Gravatar. So, you seem to be on a good track. I’m glad both of you took the time to join this conversation.
        Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile

  9. Love it, Sherryl, really great post, I think you phased it right. I remember everyone was asking me how I got my blog and name out so fast and I kept saying “did you see how many comments I make all over the place” 🙂 I think the first phase may even be the most important one!
    Brankica recently posted..[Video] How to Add Pinterest to Facebook PageMy Profile

    1. Hi Brankica, I once wrote a post that had “Be Seen Out There” in the title and that’s what both of us have done. Not only were/are you popping up and commenting all over the place, you add value. You’re one of the bloggers who I trust (often without needing to read it). I’m sure there are lots of people here on this blog who recognize you. So, phase #1 could very well be the most important. (Of course, once we’ve built awareness we still have to pop all over the place and continue to be “seen”.) Thanks for popping over here. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 Simple Steps to Building Your Brand OnlineMy Profile

  10. When I leave comments on blogs, it’s mostly in my niche, but I am a huge advocate of going outside my niche too. Does that always net me more traffic, yes and no, but I try and not look at it in that way.

    For myself, when a reader leaves a comment, I always respond and I will check out their blog to see who they are. If the topic is outside of my niche, it doesn’t mean they don’t get a reciprocal comment, but If their topics aren’t anything that interests me, I might not always comment. I will check back every now and then to see if there is something of interest and then comment.

    We all want to know that people share the love back, but I do agree with you that it has to make sense too. Maybe my reasoning is from remembering what it was like being invisible and finding a topic that I liked and left a comment. People like to be acknowledged so I make sure that the comment I leave adds value, or I don’t leave one at all. I don’t want to comment for the sake of doing it, then you come off fake.
    Sonia recently posted..Why Bloggers Have Sh-tty Friends & What To DoMy Profile

    1. Sonia, you hit on exactly what I was going to say…I really only feel good adding comments that feel genuine, that feel like they add to a conversation or if I particularly enjoyed a piece. I’ve been working through a lot of my feelings around “social media strategy” lately…in that the strategy part can feel to yucky and not genuine enough to me, BUT I also know that I need to have some kind of “strategy” as it’s all part of marketing and community building. I’ll always check out a commenter’s site, but tend to only leave comments when I really have something to add – this could be in my own niche or not – if that archery blog is cool, I might chip in anyway 😉 Kind of a non-strategy strategy for the time being, we’ll see how it goes!

  11. Hi Sherryl, great stuff and you know I can talk about CommentLuv, blog commenting and guest posting all day long. LOL!!

    When I first started blogging I spent most of my time reading and commenting on other blogs. It was a vital part of my growth. Not only was I learning so much from all the good content I was reading I was also picking up two critical skills – learning how to listen and learning how to ask questions.

    That also started me on the path of connecting with the “authority” bloggers who were generous enough to respond to all those crazy questions and in turn, engage with me on social networks. I think they felt sorry for me, but either way in the end it worked out great. LOL.
    Ileane recently posted..How To Curate Content and Build Authority With Scoop.itMy Profile

    1. Hi Ileane,
      Thanks for making the time to join us here. You and I have followed similar paths and I remember your being one of the first bloggers who I started following and reaching out to. I too tried to connect to “authority” bloggers. I think you probably remember one of my earlier posts about “Stalking the Popular Kids”. When I posted that, some readers questioned my use of the word “stalking” but anyone who has tried to get on the “radar screen” of a popular blogger can relate. You almost have to be relentless. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

  12. Hi Sherryl, Wow, you really nailed the phases of commenting on blogs. Seriously. I remember rooting for spam messages to be legitimate in the early days of my blog (a/k/a last year).

    My revelation about commenting came when someone commented on my blog and linked (via CommentLuv) to a blog about how to hire the best trucking delivery service for your products. I visited the blog and tried to comment, with comic results.

    In my defense, I learned from my foibles. I now only visit blog posts that interest me. First, because I don’t have time to visit blogs that have nothing to do with my interests. Second, because I don’t want to seem like an idiot when I comment on a blog post. Unless, of course, it can’t be helped.
    Carolyn | The Wonder of Tech recently posted..How To Subscribe And Read RSS FeedsMy Profile

    1. Carolyn, You made me smile when you wrote “Unless, of course, it can’t be helped.” – I think we’re alike in many ways. One of my blogger friends, Catarina Alexon writes on a topic that is very interesting to me but it really challenges me when I try to comment. Every once in a while, I go out on a limb when I leave comments for her. International politics is somewhat out of my realm and I sometimes wonder if someone is going to challenge one of the comments that I leave for her. 🙂 (Catarina is always gracious.) Thanks so much for letting me know that your experiences commenting are similar to mine.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Ping Your Website Blog and When Not ToMy Profile

  13. Thanks for sharing your valuable blogging experience here. Commenting is the best way to drive traffic and CommentLuv makes it fairly easy. My analytic reveals that I do get traffic from the comments I made on other blogs. When I make comments adding my social account, it brings more followers too.

  14. Hey Sherryl

    I just do blog commenting for getting mixed nofollow and dofollow link back and ping it to Social media sites it’s I think best for getting more powerful link back.

  15. Hi Sheryl,

    Great post.

    I believe it all depends on what you’re looking for and whether it’s short term or long term. I haven’t seen direct effects of traffic coming from comments, well, only a few new visitors a day. But I’ve creating some strong relationships because of the comments, and in the end that’s a lot more important than traffic. So, I’m always thinking long term (many years a head), and creating strong relationships through blog commenting works great for me 🙂

    1. Hi Jens, I agree with you that the value is in relationship building. I am getting direct traffic from a few blogs that I comment on. I think that is tied to relationships too. I tend to see some of the same people who comment here commenting on those blogs. So, I believe it comes down to being part of that “community”.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..The Rise of the Cyber Cold WarMy Profile

  16. Hi Sai,
    That’s a very targeted strategy which could potentially drive traffic to your blog. It depends on your goals. I certainly try to drive traffic to my blog but more importantly (to me) is to engage with people who value my content. I’m trying to build a community where we can all help each other.

    I prefer leaving comments on CommentLuv sites (because I get a backlink) but I leave comments on all sorts of blogs regardless of their ranking. Lots of times, I make an effort to comment on blogs with very few comments. (They could very likely have a page rank of zero.) Those are usually the people who could use the most help building awareness of their blogs. To me, that’s an important step to building an online community. (I’ll ping their page after I’ve left my comment.)

    I think we’d all be interested in hearing more about your strategy. Have you always targeted high page rank blogs to comment on?
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..Create an Online Presence – Be Seen Out ThereMy Profile

  17. great way you`ve explained and described the three stages of your blog commenting, it`s spot on in my opinion,personally i think its good manners to reply to a readers question, if they can be bothered to leave a comment then the least you can do is reply to it, it shows good manners and is professional

  18. I’m so glad you shared this 🙂 I just had a woman who is a little down and I directed her to some of the resources I had then I found your post :P) I shared it with her as well. It’s funny you mention Danny Iny I’m guest posting on his blog in Mid May and excited and also on Laura Roeder at the end of the month. But for me It’s not just about me so I added some tabs for my readers to share their giveaways to help them with the traffic I’ll receive as well. I”m really blessed I will be featured in the Mother’s Day edition of our Las Vegas Paper. What I tell people is just to not be discouraged. I have one post that has over 90 comments and some that have none 🙂 Either way I keep helping and blogging and it changes daily to me that’s the most exciting part of blogging each day is different. Sherryl thanks again for this 🙂 So timely Oh and I have comment luv but it’s malfunctioning ( could be operator error so thanks for the reminder)

  19. Sherryl,
    Thanks for the clear blog about commenting and the steps you have taken to spread the word about your blog. I’m new to the Blog Zone and the LinkedIn blogging group; it’s been a good experience not just to read the different topics, but to also better define what attracts me to other blogs.

    I don’t always comment on blogs. First, I follow the adage my parents taught me: If I don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything. So if a particular blog doesn’t read well to me, I wouldn’t tell the writer unless they specifically asked for help with it. Although I may read blogs about subjects out of my realm (cooking, kids, knitting) I most likely won’t comment because I wouldn’t have anything to add.

    I will comment when I have gotten something out of the topic or simply enjoyed the way the person wrote.

    The exchanges in this group have been extremely helpful and encouraging.

    1. Hi Rose,
      Your commenting strategy sounds very reasonable to me. I used to belong to BNI (Business Networking International) and the mantra that I heard (over and over again in our chapter) was that everything we do is either a relationship builder or a relationship destroyer. I think leaving random comments (like “nice blog”) that sound impersonal can be confused with spam. That certainly does not bode well for someone trying to make a good impression.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the LinkedIn group. It’s a great environment for building mutually beneficial relationships. Thanks so much for joining us.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

  20. If somebody posts a comment where they ask you a question, do you usually answer their question here on your blog or will you go to their blog and post the answer as a comment? People don’t seem to know what to do when this happens – I’m no exception! It would be interesting to hear your opinion.

    1. Hi Gabrielle,
      If the question is asked here, I answer it here. My thinking is if a reader has a question, the answer may help someone else too. That way, everyone gets to read the answer and they’re welcome to join in the conversation if they have something to add. Sometimes, the question may be something that another reader could answer better than I can. Questions are great for starting discussions.

      I also have the “ReplyMe” plugin installed on my blog. That plugin automatically sends an email (to the author of the comment) with both the reply and their original comment. That way, the person knows that I’ve answered and they only need to click on a link to come right back to the discussion.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Need More Eyes on Your Website? Comment on Blogs.My Profile

  21. Comments are also a great part of blogs. So for me, it is important that you reciprocate comments because people took the time to share their thoughts for your post, so why not do the same for them right?

    1. Hi John,
      I make every effort to reply to every comment that is left on my blog. As far as reciprocating by going to their blog and leaving a comment for them, I simply do not have the time. I believe that a better use of my time is to engage in conversation here. (Of course, I do visit many blogs from the readers here but that’s because I have found them to be great blogs and I would visit most of them even if they didn’t comment here.}
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?My Profile

  22. Great article Sherryl that I, as you know, can relate to. Actually get visitors from your site:-) So commenting here makes sense.

    Agree with you Jackie about “not even visit all the comment luv links to check out the posts either…” If I have time I do, if not….Commenting on blogs in the same area as yours makes sense. Like Jeannette I’ve noticed, too, that when I’ve extended the courtesy of commenting on sites of new bloggers who have joined our group, they rarely reciprocate.
    Catarina Alexon recently posted..How inspiring leaders workMy Profile

    1. Thanks Catarina. I get some traffic from your site too. I think the reason that we both can drive traffic from each others sites is that we try to add value in our comments. (Honestly, your niche is so far apart from mine that I really have to put my thinking cap on to contribute on your site.) People start to recognize us and if we use CommentLuv wisely (by linking to one of our posts that somehow relates to the content), someone is liable to follow to our blogs.

      There are so many members in our LinkedIn bloggers group, it would be extremely time consuming to attempt commenting on everyone’s blog. It’s far better to keep supporting our core group and if a new member joins us, they’re certainly welcome. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..As a Sole Proprietor or Entrepreneur Where Do You Turn for Support?My Profile

    1. That’s great that you have a core group of bloggers that you support. One of the ways that I have found new people to connect with is to visit the blogs of people who frequently comment on the blogs that you follow. Chances are that they will recognize you from seeing you on the blog that you have in common. (To help with that “recognition”, I’d go to and set up a free globally recognized avatar if I were you.) Thanks for taking the time to join us here in the comment sectioin.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

  23. I love how well you describe each step.
    Commenting on other peoples blog will effectively get the word out about you depending on your attitude and spelling, politeness, and whatnot. Paying attention to where customers found your site is also really good advice.
    Thanks Sherryl! 🙂

  24. Hi Sherryl:
    I don’t respond to all my blog comments, but I do to the ones that leave a meaningful comment that shows they have really read and digested the post.

    I agree with you. It’s a bit of a waste of time to reciprocate comments with blogs that are totally unrelated to one’s expertise or field of interest. But the odd time, we do find gems that are far flung from where we are but still interesting and worthwhile. That’s why, for the most part, I really do enjoy the BHB LI grp.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..blogging your way to smilesMy Profile

    1. Hi Doreen,
      I do find myself reading (and commenting on) blogs that are outside of my normal realm. For example, I’m a faithful reader of Keyuri Joshi’s “On the Ball Parenting Blog”. Keyuri blogs to parents of young children and my own children are adults. I’m faithful to Keyuri because I respect what she’s doing, she writes high quality articles and (most importantly), we made a personal connection online. I also visit a handful of author sites (like yours) because the content is a refreshing change of pace for me. As you say, we do find gems. I look at the time that I spend pursuing those blogs to be a part of my personal time and I mentally discount that time spent as being time spent on my business. That’s entertainment and pleasure to me.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

  25. Hi Sherryl,
    You beautifully described the three stages of your blog commenting and when I was reading your post it looked that currently I am going through these stages and I found myself in stage 2, by the time when we actually awared of what we are doing then we correct our mistakes and learn from them
    Pete Goumas recently posted..Advantages of Android Spy AppMy Profile

    1. Hi Pete,
      I think we have to go through stage 1 before we have enough traffic to generate any sort of statistics to look at. Otherwise, we’re blindly guessing at what’s working and what isn’t. The trap to avoid falling into is assuming that some strategy that is working for some highly prominent (and presumably successful) blogger will automatically perform magic for us too.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

  26. First, kudos to Kay for inspiring all of these posts with her LinkedIn discussion! Since you (Sherryl) read my post about comments inspired by that lively debate, I won’t repeat myself. You’re analysis of the stages of commenting is excellent – don’t be surprised if I use this in my social media class in the fall (with proper attribution of course)!

    When I first commented on that discussion I was very surprised at some of the comments especially the question of how do we “make” people reciprocate comments. Frankly, as soon as you try to make me do something, I won’t do it 🙂 The only time I appreciate brief comments that don’t spark discussions are on giveaway posts; otherwise, I’m looking for discussion and debate. “Great post” or “I agree” really doesn’t spark any further response so I don’t see why I should record that reaction.

    This will probably be a “chicken or egg” question (which is funny for me since I’m vegan and don’t want either), and all of the debate, posting, and responding prompted by it is just is what blogging is for. Makes us think about what we’re doing, see things for the viewpoint of others, and then write about it!

    1. I’m honored that you might use my analysis in your social media class. Feel free to. That was a great discussion that Kay started. Reading through those posts, you could see the different phases of blogging that some of the bloggers are in. That’s what made me look back at my own path and the “stages” sort of jumped out at me.

      You and I are definitely on the same page when it comes to commenting. I was surprised by some of the comments too but I honestly don’t remember the one about “making” people reciprocate. I can just imagine some of the comments they might get. 🙂 (Be careful of what you wish for.)

      Thanks for joining the discussion. (I can’t help but wonder if Kay will join us too. Your “chicken or egg”/vegan comment made me laugh and Kay always has a way of making me giggle.)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Changes to Your Website Blog and Social Media StrategyMy Profile

  27. Thanks so much Sherryl for this wonderful post. I’m spending too much time in stage 1 so it was fantastic to look at different strategies without feeling I was in a business seminar! You also stimulated some great discussion which is helpful in itself. It’s good to know that I’m not the only person learning the ropes and that there are very tangible ways to build up traffic to my site. Your support has been invaluable. Thankyou.
    A.K.Andrew recently posted..Authors -An Infinite Writer’s ResourceMy Profile

  28. I can relate to your article in SOOO many ways. It was as if you were reading my mind. I am in stage 2. I am very aware of where my traffic is coming from but still need to move it up in shear numbers. The biggest challenge, as you so eloquently pointed out, is where to spend my time to effectively to push that needle.

    I have just started dabbling in the world of guest blogging. Because of my background I can write on about any subject with authority. So far, all my guest blog articles have been a resounding success for the other blogger with some up tick in traffic to my site.

    But it still leaves me with where is the best use of my time. I am now in the process of figuring all that out. When I have a good idea as to what that is (LOL), I will give you a shout out.

    In the mean time, I very much enjoy you discussions and efforts on LinkedIn.

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment (and for letting me know that you appreciate my participation on the LinkedIn group). I’m happy to hear that you can relate to my article. It’s always a relief to know that you’re not alone and that many of us are either going through (or have gone through) a similar experience.

      You sound like you’re ahead of me on the guest blogging. (Like everyone else, I struggle finding the best use of my time too.) What I need to do is learn how to write shorter posts (and/or shorter replies). 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 Simple Steps to Building Your Brand OnlineMy Profile

  29. More than sixteen hundred blogs appeared on internet every day, but many few can survive at the end of the year. For a serious blogger who wants to be there for coming years, it is more than essential to visit other blogs and leave a comment that add value to the blog. This will not only help him getting some useful backlinks but can also introduce a blogger into blogging community. Thanks for sharing this article with us!!

    1. Thanks for sharing your insight with us Micah. I think what you said about “community” is key. Rather than running around commenting on blogs, a better strategy is to build relationships with a core group of bloggers who are either in your niche or in a complimentary niche. It’s the same as in the brick and mortar world where businesses that can work together (like florists and event planners) can help each other with referrals and potentially collaborative marketing efforts.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

  30. I need to be more diligent with the pace/frequency my blogging before I really try to increase it’s exposure. Having said that, maybe engaging more with the comments I have received would have been a good way to start. Haven’t paid enough attention to simply replying to comments.

    1. I don’t think it’s ever too early to start creating your online presence. The more you’re seen and heard, the quicker people will start to recognize you. That goes a long way for building trust. It takes much longer to get “found” online than people expect. There are just so many websites and blogs online that it can be difficult to stand out.

      Are you on LinkedIn and Twitter? I would think that as a realtor, both of those would be good places to start. Engaging with people who leave comments is a great way to connect with readers too.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

  31. Hi Sherryl.
    I’m actually just recording a video about blog commenting for my new small business website tutorials. I came over to yours to show what to look for in a good blog. Potential for traffic, potential for page rank etc. Here I am and your latest post is about blog commenting.
    I guess this would be a good opportunity to ask if you mind me using your blog as an example (now I’m in the middle of recording). I am using you as an example of a great blogger, of course.
    A great article as usual Sherryl and it seems kind of fitting to put a link below my video now. Hope you’re OK with that. Let me know if not.
    Steve recently posted..Introducing Small Business Website ClubMy Profile

      1. Yes it was good timing Sherryl.
        I have just been reading through the comments on this post in my email. As well as a good post you have some really thoughtful comment too. I’m definately going to urge my users to come and read it.
        At the moment, I only have a small number of test members but I will keep you posted when the course/club goes live.

  32. Excellent article Sherryl! I will practice what you preach and leave a comment. lol I take advantage of the majority of your methods, but struggle with consistency – it can be time consuming but you have to do it.

    Shared with my humble #design social networks. Also, checking out the Comment Luv WordPress plugin, thanks for sharing, it looks promising and I hope it helps to generate comment traffic for my own blog.

    Warmest, Ron
    Ron Bercume recently posted..Delete your Instagram Account Now!My Profile

    1. Thanks Ron! I’m glad you joined us here. It is time consuming to leave meaningful comments but it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers. The amount of support that I get from my online friends is amazing. The thing that I missed the most about going from the corporate world to being self-employed was feeling isolated and not having access to input from people who were “experts” in fields outside of my own. Thanks to many of the relationships that I’ve developed, I now know several people who I can reach out to for advice, brainstorming and even one or two who I can “vent” to. 🙂

      If you decide to install CommentLuv and have any questions about it, let me know. There’s a wonderful community that you can post to and lots of tutorials written on it too.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..As a Sole Proprietor or Entrepreneur Where Do You Turn for Support?My Profile

    2. Hey Sherryl,

      I wanted to follow on my last comment. Unfortunately, Comment Luv doesn’t not seem to play nicely with my commenting system – I am using Automatic’s Intense Debate and working on integration with WordBooker as well for comment integration with my companies Facebook Page.

      I may be able to get it all to work together, but have to get into some code as time allows for.

      The other thing I can believe I forgot to mention, in regard to your article and my last comment is guest blog posting that I just recently put in place.

      This is how I am using this strategy:

      If you might be interested, I would be honored network with you specifically.

      Let me know, warmest.


      1. Hi Ron, I’ve heard from other bloggers that CommentLuv and Intense Debate don’t work together. That’s too bad. I am definitely hoping to find time to guest blog soon. I’ll check out your link. Thanks!

  33. Sherryl,

    If I only commented on blogs that I thought would be potential clients, I would probably just give up blogging. Only a few of my clients have come through blogging, and even those are more labors of love for a bit of money than the actual bread and butter clients who sustain my business. I’ve either met my main clients in person first or they saw a website I did that they liked and asked for more information (or a combination of those two).

    On the other hand, blogging adds great value to those who are already my clients. I can explain how blogging may be beneficial to a client (or any social media platform or a certain WordPress plugin) because either 1) I’ve tried it out on my blog 2) I’ve read about it on someone else’s blog or 3) I’ve written about it on a blog post.

    As I don’t get that many comments on my biz blog, I usually can reciprocate. So if I have anything of value to say on a post, I do. And sometimes I stare at a post and just leave it because I can’t really relate. But I most of all appreciate a blog like yours, where you write on topics that are relevant to my own business.
    Leora Wenger recently posted..Payment Processing: How To Save Money as a Small BusinessMy Profile

    1. Hi Leora,
      I think your blog is a wonderful resource and I often share your posts. To me, your blog as an “authority” site where it showcases your talents while providing valuable information. I understand how it adds value to your clients.

      I try to comment on a variety of blogs and sometimes if I’m getting to know someone or I’ve developed a personal connection with someone (like from a group that I’m a member of), I will make an effort to comment on a blog that’s outside of my normal interests. I certainly can relate to staring at a post and feeling “speechless” and then leaving.

      Thanks for letting me know that you find my topics relevant to your business. That is the perspective that I like to bring to the table. I think sharing personal experiences and life skills helps to differentiate an article from other blogs. (At least that’s what I strive for.)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Marketer vs Marketing: What Difference Does a Keyword Make?My Profile

  34. Great post, Sherryl! I’ve recently begun thinking of how to start getting comments on my company’s blog and this post definitely gave me some insight on how to go about it.

    One thing that I’ve learned is that your comment should add value or a new insight to the blog post. Include a tip that the author may have left out, which will add to the conversation and give your comment some depth.

    As a guest blogger on your site, I loved all of the feedback I received on my post and loved responding to the comments.

    Happy Friday!

    1. Hi Meghan,
      I know you’ll do a great job engaging your readers in your comment section. You added a lot when you replied to your guest post “The Rise of the Cyber Cold War” (link below 🙂 ).

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ll be publishing your 2nd guest post on White Hat SEO Tips for E-Commerce Websites soon.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..The Rise of the Cyber Cold WarMy Profile

      1. Thanks, Sherryl! I look forward to seeing the new guest post and what people have to say!

  35. I first used the method of getting back links, but later understand that commenting really gets lot more than that. 🙂 these days i never give some rough comments and always like to give some meaningful comments .. like this one 🙂 Totally a great article you have written here that makes me to think and consider adding few more “to be followed” lines while commenting.



    1. Hi Robin,
      The comment section is a great place to meet other bloggers too. I’ve witnessed quite a few discussions going on in the comment sections here and I know if you follow some of the CommentLuv links, you’ll recognize quite a few of us who visit each others’ blogs. As I mentioned in a previous reply, sometimes I do get traffic from a blog that I comment on but that’s always a pleasant surprise. I’ve been fortunate to build relationships with several bloggers who are in complimentary niches (such as marketing, graphic design and copy writing). They add value here by sharing their skills and insight and I hop over to their blogs and share my perspective. It’s a great group here and I’m glad that you joined us.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile

  36. Great post – And yes , the four stages you’ve mentioned is a milestone every blogger hopes to achieve well. I also do agree with the method you’ve used in the “Tactics based on strategy” at the end of your post.

    Thanks for sharing the viable information , will be sure to make a return visit to see whats new.

    1. Hi Anton,
      It’s great to meet you here. I just read your post about what makes a good social media strategy (and I left a comment for you). It’s good to meet other bloggers who are on the “same page” as me. When I read the part about measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns, I was sitting here nodding my head in agreement. My last post was on the same topic. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Changes to Your Website Blog and Social Media StrategyMy Profile

  37. I don’t think blog commenting has to be about building awareness. Commenting on a blog means that you have to think over what has been written and to come up with your own ideas on it. As such, just by commenting you will often end up thinking some of your own ideas that can then be used on your own blog. Just passively reading can mean that you don’t question the information in as much detail.

    1. Great point Richard! I find a lot of inspiration by reading comments and I’ve found solutions and ideas that have been great fits for me too. Sometimes, I may not be looking for a new plugin but if someone raves about one in a comment (especially if it’s from a blogger who I know and trust), I very often check them out. I don’t have a big budget for affiliate products but I have found a couple of great plugins (that were being launched at introductory prices) in the comment section of a blog that I visit regularly. Thanks for joining the conversation!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

  38. FOr commenting on Blogs you need to have an online presence. Otherwise there are so many tools and applications that can very well dump your well written comments to Spam folders. The blog owners dont have so much time to take a look at the comments in the Spam. SO the best way is slowly build a relationship with the blog owners and then move on!

    1. That’s a great point Grant and one that crossed my mind while I was writing this. (At one point, this article had hit the 1,000+ words mark and I had to edit out a lot.) One thing that always makes me shake my head is when someone comments on blogs yet they haven’t create a globally recognized avatar on I understand if someone just doesn’t know how to create one but it’s free and easy. When I scan my spam folder, a Gravatar is a good clue that the person is real. (I am getting tired of seeing the same cute baby pic over and over again with several different IP addresses though.)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

  39. Hi Sherryl,

    One of the things that struck a cord is when you mentioned “Pay attention to where my current clients have found me and spend more of my time there”. It is so simple and obvious and yet we overlook this in search making it more complex than it needs to be. This relates not only to commenting but many other tactics as well.

    Thanks for sharing your stages and tips and as always they are extremely helpful.
    Susan Oakes recently posted..Why Content Can’t Be KingMy Profile

    1. Hi Susan,
      Some things are more difficult to track and measure than others, like how we were first introduced to someone but it’s critical information. The statistics may show that I don’t get much traffic from a specific social media site but if I know that some of my clients met me there, that’s a better indicator of where I should be spending my time than a statistic.

      Thanks for your feedback. At one point while I was writing this, I was looking for a way to link back to your blog. Your constant reminder to “simplify” certainly ties into any strategy we may have.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Create an Online Presence – Be Seen Out ThereMy Profile

  40. I comment on a blog if it interests me, but I don’t comment on everything I read. Some sites that I frequent are not exactly related to my niche or topic, but I just happen to enjoy them and will sometimes leave a comment. I don’t reciprocate as often as I probably could, but many of them I am just not familiar enough with the subject matter to do so. Blog commenting can be kind of time-consuming, and I usually don’t see that much traffic as a result of doing so.
    Ray recently posted..Concerned About Privacy, Spying, and Tracking?My Profile

    1. Hi Ray,
      I think the real benefit in commenting is adding value to the conversation and building a relationship with the blogger. When I find a site (that I comment on) is driving traffic, it’s always a pleasant surprise but it’s totally unexpected. When that does happen, it’s because I’ve struck a chord with that blogger’s readers. My comment (or my CommentLuv link) interested their readers enough to come over here and see what else I have to say. That’s a bonus to me (as well as a gentle nudge to comment there more often).
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..As a Sole Proprietor or Entrepreneur Where Do You Turn for Support?My Profile

  41. Sherryl – thanks for writing about this important topic. Commenting on the blogs that will drive traffic to your own site is definitely a sensible strategy. In our Bloggers group, I have my regulars where I leave comments. Except for a couple, they are at least broadly in the communications business, which is my space. I do not return comments of everyone who comments on my site (except for my regulars). Some are totally out of my space and I would have nothing of value to write about their posts, nor do I want to spend my time doing it. I’ve noticed, too, that when I’ve extended the courtesy of commenting on sites of new bloggers who have joined our group, they rarely reciprocate.

    Maybe you or I should write a post about our Twitter strategy. I receive several invitations a day and I feel obliged to check them out, which takes a lot of time. That’s because I don’t want a potential client to look at my followers and find inappropriate people. I regularly block individuals who follow me when their sites are pornographic or otherwise objectionable, or if I see they are tweeting dozens of times a day. I don’t want my stream to be cluttered with nonsensical tweets. How doyou handle Twitter?
    Jeannette Paladino blogging, branding recently posted..LinkedIn Launches Targeted Updates and Follower StatisticsMy Profile

    1. Jeannette,
      It’s interesting that you brought up Twitter strategies. When I first started blogging, Twitter played a major role in driving traffic to my blog but the percentage of my referral traffic directly from Twitter has dropped dramatically. So, I’m trying an experiment with Twitter. On March 29th, I made a major change to my strategy. I haven’t checked my analytics yet but I’ve made quite a few observations already. I plan on sharing the results in a future article. (This could potentially be a series of articles. If you’re interested in contributing, let’s talk and we’ll see what we can come up with. Another of my 2012 goals is more collaboration.)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Marketer vs Marketing: What Difference Does a Keyword Make?My Profile

  42. What a great post and discussion, Sherryl! I’ve been in the first strategy quite a bit and wishing to move on. I’ve wondered about some of the comments I’ve received, too. I guess if it’s a real person there’s no harm, even if it’s obvious the comment is from someone who is not going to be a regular. Your post gives me a way to think about how to refine the time I spend. This will be especially important as I refine my site and move ahead with some plans. (I’ll write you separately on getting started with this…)

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

    1. Hi Judy,
      What I try to do is engage with everyone who leaves a comment for me. I may not have the time to ever visit someone’s blog and I may never share a post for them but I do value the time that people take to join the conversation here. Even if I don’t reciprocate a comment, I hope everyone finds value here whether it be in my post, my reply or any one of the wonderful comments that are contributed here. Hopefully, other readers may be enticed by the link someone leaves and they may end up a reader even if I don’t. (I don’t mean you personally Judy. You’re a great writer and I visit your blog when I’m looking for a change in pace. 🙂 )
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found OnlineMy Profile

    1. Tuan,
      I’m assuming you were using the free version of CommentLuv. Did you have GASP (GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin) installed at the same time? Before I upgraded to CommentLuv Premium, GASP was doing a very good job of handling spam and it is now bundled into the premium version of CommentLuv. You do not have to use CommentLuv to use GASP.There’s still a free version of both GASP and CommentLuv available.

      FYI: CommentLuv Premium is really powerful and there are a lot of options that you can tweak to control what comments go into moderation. There are options like how long someone has to be on your post before they can leave a comment and other ways to curtail spam. You can also remove individual CommentLuv links and “do-follow” tags. (This is a personal plug but I do have an affiliate link to CLP in the sidebar if anyone is interested in the premium version of Comment Luv. 🙂 )
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

  43. That was a great discussion.
    One thing for sure is people blog without understanding the full nature of blogging. The fact is that just because you build the blog, you get business. Business comes because we get out there and build the relationships. Relationships require time.
    And when you are blogging about topics that people may be uninterested in or in an area that is noisy and cluttered with people who have been there for a long time or who promote better than you, then you need to comment, reciprocate, research and do all sorts of different things to build the relationships.

    1. Exactly Roberta! I think the bloggers that are successful have realized that they need to treat their blog as a tool to use to promote their business. Of course, some bloggers truly blog for fun or as a hobby but we’ve all read success stories about someone who started blogging for fun and ended up with a business on their hands. These people have formed relationships and they created a brand while they were having their fun (or pursuing their hobby).

      (It’s great to see you here. I’m swamped today but I really want to hop over to your blog soon and find out what you have to say about eating an “Elephant”. 🙂 )
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Need More Eyes on Your Website? Comment on Blogs.My Profile

  44. I can see why this created a lot of discussion Sherryl.

    I don’t reciprocate every single comment that I get. I don’t even visit all the comment luv links to check out the posts either….yep I’m lazy… I know, but you could spend your whole week chasing down comments if you did things like that. You have to weigh the value of your time.

    As a general rule I only comment on posts that hit a nerve for me, or where I think I could add something to the discussion. The result of this is that I’m probably spending my time inefficiently as I am not being particularly strategic. These are blogs from peers and personal interests, and they may not speak to my audience. So any traffic coming back probably isn’t the greatest match for my market. Which is confirmed by my analytics.

    I do plan on doing some guest posts this year so it will be interesting to see what results come from that.

    You’ve definately provided me some food for thought here on the way I look at commenting, and I think it’s time to make some adjustments.

    1. I don’t think it’s lazy to reciprocate every comment or follow every CommentLuv link either Jackie. You and I approach blogging in very similar ways. Unless time is not an issue, it just doesn’t make business sense to me. To quote you: “You have to weigh the value of your time. ”

      I read a lot of blogs from my peers too. It’s mainly to educate myself in an attempt to “keep up with the web”. 🙂 It’s interesting that you’re planning on writing guest posts this year too. We’ll have to keep each other informed of any interesting opportunities. As always, thank for coming by and adding to the conversation.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More TrafficMy Profile

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