Everybody wants more traffic right? Especially targeted traffic full of people that will read your blog, enjoy your content, and possibly even end up working with you.
That’s why we do this whole content marketing thing, right?
I was meeting up with a few blogging friends a couple weeks ago and I shared this new strategy I was using to get the most out of commenting on other blogs in my niche.
I told them that I recently had one comment I left on a popular blog bring over 150 page views to my blog and about 10 new subscribers.
Not a huge leap, but definitely worth the 10 minutes of effort it took to read the post and write a 50-100 word thoughtful response.
Most people comment on blogs to share their unique insight while adding to the conversation. It’s a great way to network and establish yourself as an authority on your topic while hopefully enticing some people to come back and check out your website.
The problem? When you’re commenting on popular blogs, your message tends to quickly get lost in the crowd. You will still get some traffic if you aren’t one of the first people to join the conversation but you could be missing out big time.
Here are a few tips to be one of the first commenters and stand out in a crowded conversation:
1) Create Your Gravatar
If you haven’t already, head over to Gravatar.com and setup your free profile image associated with the email address you use for commenting. This way when you comment on blogs that use the WordPress native commenting system, you will have a nice customized photo of yourself showing up next to your name.
Make sure you’re smiling and the photo is high quality enough that it won’t appear blurry or distorted. This photo is the first thing people will see when them come across your comment. Not to mention, your beautiful face will now link back to your website too.
2) Set Blog Alerts
There are quite a few ways to do this with apps like Feedly or other RSS readers but I prefer to take this a step further with IFTTT.
The first thing you want to do is create an account and then click the blue button that says “Create a Recipe.”
Now click the word “this” in blue and type in “feed.” You are going to choose the orange feed icon.
Next choose the option that says “New Feed Item.” For the “Feed URL” you are going to need to find the rss feed URL of a blog that you want to start commenting on. You will be notified every time a new post is published so you can comment right away.
You can typically find a rss feed URL by adding “/rss” to the main blog URL.
For example, my main blog page is http://galenmooney.wpengine.com so my feed URL is http://galenmooney.wpengine.com/rss
It should look something like this… don’t worry this is normal :)
Once you have created the trigger, you’ll need to select “that” so we can decide how you are going to be notified.
When selecting an “Action Channel” you want to think about the best way to get a hold of you quickly. If you only check your email once a day that may not be your first choice but if you check every hour than that could be a good option for you.
For the purpose of this example, I want to be notified by text message because I know I will see it right away.
Choose “SMS” for text messaging (or the android version depending on your phone) and then continue to choose “send me an SMS.”
Now click “Create Action” and then “Create Recipe” to finish the whole process. Quick, easy, and totally free!
You’ll get a text message the next time a new post is published and you can be one of the first people to read the post and write a thoughtful response in the comments.
Most people visiting this post will come from social media or maybe a promotional email that was sent but guess what? Because you are notified first, you’ll get there ahead of the masses because you will likely be alerted before any promotions have been sent out.
3) An Amazing Offer
Traffic is great, but if it’s not turning into email subscribers you are unlikely to see any long-term positive results from blog commenting. People are going to come to your site, read what you have to say, get distracted and leave without giving you a way to stay in touch.
Build your email list by creating an irresistible offer where readers get a special “gift” in exchange for signing up to your list. Think about giving away something for free that aligns with your paid services.
For example, if you are a health coach, giving away a few free recipes will help build trust with your audience and show them you know your stuff.
4) Linking Back
This should be an obvious one, but always leave your URL in the specific comment form field (not the space where the comment text goes) and as a bonus idea, try creating a landing page on your website specifically for comment traffic.
Instead of sending people directly to your homepage, you can send them to a separate page that talks a little about your brand and highlights your amazing offer (from step 3) with a signup form.
Without all the distractions on you main site (your navigation links, sidebar, blog posts, etc.) you will typically see a higher conversion rate (or a higher % of people who sign up for your list).
Test out different page layouts and copy until you’re confident that you are attracting the right people.
5) Finding Your Audience
Just because you’re always the first commenter on one blog doesn’t mean that you will see great results. Try commenting on different blogs in your industry or even related industries and see what works best for you.
Make sure your comments are always helpful and never sleazy or salesy. Remember, this is a first impression so don’t ruin it by writing something forced or inauthentic. If you don’t have anything productive to say, it’s better not to say anything at all…
Let me know in the comments here if you like this strategy. If you’ve already tried this or something similar, how has it worked for you?