It’s no secret that you can generate traffic by commenting on other people’s blogs. But the question is are you actually using this tactic?
Chances are you aren’t.
To show you the benefit of leaving comments on other blogs, I decided to run a test in which I left 249 comments on other people’s blogs in the month of October.
Those 249 comments resulted in 3,973 visitors and 6 consulting leads. And although I don’t do much consulting, I was able to turn one of those leads into a $25,000 corporate speaking gig.
Now before you go off and leave hundreds of comments, I want you to know a few things I learned from my experiment:
A few basic stats
The majority of the comments on the web are spam comments. Akismet, a tool that helps stop spam comments, sees over 7.5 million spam comments every hour.
The other major group of comments is basic comments, when the commenter is just saying “thanks” or “awesome blog post.”
I put in a custom URL in the “URL field” so I could track the number of clicks and leads I was generating, and my experiment confirmed that leaving either of those types of comments won’t help you.
Out of the 249 comments I left, the first 25 were basic. I only wrote a phrase or a sentence such as this one:
They didn’t add any value to the conversation, and they only generated 82 visitors. In essence, I was generating 3.2 visitors per comment.
The remaining 224 comments drove 3,891 visitors. These comments were 4 to 17 sentences long. They added value to the conversation and took only 1 to 2 minutes to craft.
These comments were generating 17.4 visitors per comment.
So, if you are going to leave comments, make sure you read the blog post first, and take your time to craft a thoughtful comment.
Don’t expect your rankings to skyrocket
Even though I ran this test during the month of October, I’ve actually been commenting on other marketing blogs for years. When you comment on these blogs, they ‘nofollow’ the link going to your website.
These blogs are telling search engines such as Google to not count that link when ranking your website.
I’ve seen this to be true. When you comment on other people’s blogs, you won’t see a ranking increase. Or at least it’s been my experience with all of my blogs.
So when commenting, don’t do it for higher rankings. Instead, do it for traffic, branding, and conversions.
Be careful which blogs you comment on
If you are trying to gain traffic and business like me, don’t just comment on any blog.
When I commented on marketing-related articles on popular blogs such as Huffington Post, it didn’t do much. It drove visitors but no conversions.
These popular blogs write about every topic out there, and their visitors aren’t nearly as interested in any particular topic as the readers of niche blogs are.
In addition to avoiding commenting on generic mainstream blogs, you should also avoid commenting on competitor blogs as a common courtesy. Sure, there may be rare instances where it may be all right to comment on competing blogs, but in general, you should avoid them.
So, what blogs should you comment on?
Not all blogs produce the same results
As I mentioned earlier, out of the 249 comments I left, 25 were basic… so that leaves 224 comments. Here’s where the 224 comments were left:
As you can see, I left 52 comments on mainstream blogs such as Huffington Post, 100 on industry blogs, and 72 on guest posts that I wrote and published around the web.
From a traffic perspective, each of those channels drove anywhere from 6 to 59 visitors per comment. What I noticed is that if I wrote a comment within the first hour of the post being published and my comment was higher on the page, it drove more traffic.
From a conversion standpoint, all of the leads came from commenting on guest posts that I wrote.
So, it is worth commenting at all?
Every month, I guest-post on sites such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Hubspot, Forbes, Inc Magazine, and a handful of other blogs. So, I decided to check how many leads came from my guest posts that I wasn’t commenting on, which is the majority of them.
Shockingly, it was zero! That’s right, when I write a guest post and I don’t respond to comments, it typically generates no leads. Sure, I generated traffic and maybe even some backlinks, but no leads.
But when I commented on my guest posts, I generated 7 leads. That’s a huge difference, considering that one of the leads resulted in $25,000 in revenue.
From a branding perspective, commenting is worth it. I’ve had two people mention to me that they have seen my name pop up more often on industry-related blogs. Plus, your comments will help you generate traffic, brand your business, and mark you as an expert within your industry.
If you happen to write guest posts, make sure you respond to comments as it generates leads and loyalty.
Whether you guest-post or not, you should consider commenting on blogs within your industry. You don’t have to do it at the volume I did, but doing it even on a smaller scale can help you with branding.
I know I will continue commenting. And when possible, I will comment more on the guest posts I publish as the preliminary results look good.
So, are you going to start commenting on other people’s blogs now?
P.S. Check out this blog post if you want to learn how generating comments on your blog affects search traffic.