Last year, we wrote a massive post on blog commenting. In that post, we talked about blog commenting – why it was a valid SEO strategy, how it could help your business rank, etc.

But a lot of things have changed in a year. And now, those same blog commenting strategies don’t work nearly as well. So it’s time for an update. 

In today’s article, we’ll be answering a few questions:

  • Does blog comments still help with SEO?
  • Will blog commenting get your site penalized?
  • What’s the best blog commenting strategy?

First, the New SEO Lens

Remember, New SEO is all about value. Value, interaction, community building… the whole nine yards. Whenever we look at an SEO strategy, we put our “New SEO Goggles” on. This allows us to see whether or not a particular strategy will be helpful or harmful in the long term.

So with blog commenting, let’s take a look at how it’s usually used. Blog comments are a great way to get a quick link, right? Well, they are, but is that harming or helping your website?

We’ve talked about this before – blog comment links have been significantly devalued. It’s very difficult to significantly increase your rankings with just blog comments. 

Are blog comments worthless, then? Can we end the article here? No, actually – blog comments can still be incredibly effective for building your business, your community, and yes, your rankings.

How does it work?

Well, when most people think about blog comments, they think of easy backlinks. By doing this, they’re viewing blog commenting through an “Old SEO” lens. They miss the best part of blog commenting: interaction in an already established community.

Yes, blog comment links are worthless.

However, people still read blog comments. This is where you have a chance to shine. A well-thought-out and valuable comment will catch readers' eyes. It’ll also catch the eyes of the person who published the post in the first place.

Because let’s face it, we all love it when someone leaves a comment. And as you begin to grow your community, you start to value high-quality commenters. These are the people who help grow your community. They dramatically increase the value offered by your posts by creating conversations after the post.

Excuse Me, Can I Borrow your Audience?

If you’ve just launched an internet business, or you’ve had a business up and running but haven’t gained any real traction yet, it can be frustrating. 

It’s a catch-22: if you don’t have any readers or credibility, it’s hard to attract readers and opportunities that can offer you credibility.

Blog commenting allows you to bypass this catch-22. How? By borrowing an established blogger’s audience, that’s how! If you add valuable comments consistently to a specific blog, people will take note. Especially since most blog comments give you the option to have a “profile picture.” As you post, people will begin to associate your profile picture with value.

Sounds like a great place to get new customers, right? Well, it is. But it’s more than that. It’s a great way to build a relationship with someone who has influence. If you’re consistently adding value to a blog, the person who runs the blog will notice. And if they can tell you’re an expert, they may link to you in a blog post. Or they may give you the opportunity to publish a guest post.

Suddenly, you have something a whole lot better than a cheap backlink: a relationship with someone who has influence in your market.

New SEO is the big picture. It’s about thinking past the dismal “short-term benefits” of a quick backlink. New SEO takes more time, yes. But by providing value, by connecting with influencers in your market, you are building an incredible foundation for your business.

A foundation that will weather future Google updates.

Blogging with no comments is a lonely world. You spend time crafting a beautiful post, push “submit,” and… nothing.

It’s something we all have to go through – a blogger/online business owner trial by fire. Can you push through the emptiness and reach the highly coveted pinnacles of success? 

As long as you’re consistently posting high-quality content only you can create, you’ll (eventually) begin to build up a following. Now, this can be an adrenaline rush at first. Seeing that 25 people visited your page (and they aren’t your friends or family) is a fantastic feeling. 

But that rush soon fades as you realize they’re not interacting with your posts. They’re not leaving comments. They’re not liking you on Facebook, they’re not sharing your content.

And all that is very important – not just for an ego boost, but for the future of your business. 

1) Why blog comments are important

2) How you can get more of them

Why Blog Comments are Important

I’m going to cut straight to the point: social proof. It’s all about first impressions. Let’s face it – there are very few people who want to be the first fan of anything. No one wants to be the one who likes something when no one else likes it.

Of course, after something blows up, everyone wants to be someone who “knew about it before it was big.”

In the meantime, though, it’s an uphill battle getting someone to check out what you’ve written, or what you’re offering.

If you have hundreds of comments, on the other hand, people will feel naturally inclined to leave more. They’ll want to join in on the discussion. 

But comments aren’t only about social proof. No, they also contribute to a little something called unique and fresh content. Now, if you’ve been reading our articles, you know all about how fresh, unique content helps you in the eyes of Google.

So when you’re only getting 25 visitors a day on your site, the idea is to make the most out of those visitors – get as many people commenting as humanly possible.

How do you do that? Well, pay attention to this next section!

How to Get More Blog Comments

There are a few trusty ways you can get the most out of each and every one of your visitors.

Make commenting a piece of cake – Too often, it’s hard to leave comments. You have to log in. You have to sign up for the mailing list. You have to do something before you can leave a comment. Sure, this cuts down on spam, but there are much more efficient ways to deal with comment spam. And, especially in the beginning, when someone comments, it will almost always be a real person.

With options like Facebook comments, Disqus, and even built-in WordPress comments, there’s really no excuse for making comments difficult to post.

Engage your audience – One of the most effective ways to get more comments is to, well, ask for them! This can be as simple as saying, “be sure to leave a comment if you liked this post”, to “first ten people to leave a comment are entered into a drawing for $100.”

Play around with it. Give your readers a reason to comment. 

Incentivize Comments – Now, this can be a bit harder to pull off, but if you can, you’ll never have a shortage of comments. If you go to the Huffington Post, one thing you’ll quickly see is that all comments look different. There are awards, points, fans, followers, you name it! Every user’s comment is different.

This makes commenting almost into a game – people love to comment when they get rewarded for it. Even if the reward is nothing more than a special color whenever they post.

Post your own Comments – A great way to further the discussion is to get down in the trenches yourself. Especially in the beginning, reply to every single comment. This will show your users that you care about them and value their feedback. Also, people like knowing they’re interacting with a human being.

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