“Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.” Seth Godin
image credit: Robert S. Donovan
I was asked recently about commenting on blogs.
A few of the things discussed concerned:
1| The effectiveness of getting traffic by commenting on other blogs
2| Adding links to blog comments
3| How to actually comment on blogs
I like reading and commenting on blogs and I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts on the topic.
Here are a few other posts I’ve written about blog commenting:
For this post, I’d like to focus on how you can use the power of blog commenting to create pull marketing for your own blog or Website.
Pull vs. Push Marketing and Blog Commenting
Maki at Dosh Dosh sums it up the best with the post Push Marketing V.S. Pull Marketing: Using Both Strategies to Promote Your Site:
In push marketing, you ‘push’ your content or product towards the audience which may or may not be aware of it.
Conversely, in a pull-marketing scenario, the customer ‘pulls’ your content or product towards themselves, because they are interested in learning more about it.
Blog commenting should be a part of your goal to make connections on the Web and subsequently market your own Website or blog.
The initial thought most Website owners have when they consider leaving a comment on another blog is that it’s an opportunity to create a link back to their own site. They’re also hoping to gain attention for their site by leaving a quality comment.
While getting a link to your site is one of the benefits of leaving a comment on a blog, it shouldn’t be your main focus.
Here are the differences…
Push Blog Commenting
image credit: flattop341
I’m sure you’ve seen it (and I for one am guilty of it).
If you read blogs or message boards you’re bound to come across a blog comment that goes something like this:
Dayne Shuda said at 5:05pm:
Hi, I just wanted to say what a nice Website you have here. I think you’d really like my Website, Hunting Business Marketing. I write about hunting business marketing and I think you and your site would benefit from all of the wonderful content available. I hope to see you over there and I’ll look for your comments. Take care, Dayne.
Now, this comment has all of the best intentions. I really do think my content will help out the readers and the writers of this [insert hunting blog here].
But it might be obvious to you now that I only have one person in mind when I’m writing this comment whether I realize it or not…Me.
That’s right, I’m only thinking about what this blog comment can provide for me and my Website. I’m writing this comment strictly with the goal of getting the site readers and editors to come visit my Website by clicking on my name or on the link I included in the comment.
This type of comment is often viewed as spam by not only site editors, but by readers of the site as well. People can sniff out your intentions from a mile away on the Web. They’re used to seeing this type of marketing offline and they don’t have the time for it online. There are too many other sites to visit.
The Web is saturated with push marketing and while it probably works to some extent (otherwise people wouldn’t do it), the quality of the traffic you want is not found by pushing your content onto your potential audience.
There is a much better alternative.
Pull Blog Commenting
I feel fortunate that you always leave great pull marketing comments on the posts here at Hunting Business Marketing.
You and other commenters on the posts here leave your insight, feelings, and thoughts regarding the topic addressed in the article and that’s what adds the most value to the discussion and the connection both with me and with other readers.
The best examples of blog pull marketing blog comments are those that have nothing to do with the author of the blog comment. Yet in a weird way when you write blog comments that say nothing about you or your Website, it actually says something about you.
What I mean is that when you give your subjective thoughts and insight and add value to the discussion of the blog you’re visiting you’re letting the readers and the site editors know that you’re the kind of person who cares about adding value with no strings attached.
This is powerful and you have to be truly sincere to be able to comment on blogs in this way.
Let’s take a look at some of the amazing comments left on this blog.
Examples of Great Blog Comments
Commenter: Albert A. Rasch
Overall I do agree with you.
Where I draw the line is failure to attribute the work to the originator. And I am willing to be a little flexible on that point. If you’re trying to make a buck off the work then you damn well better give credit where it is due.
I am fine with folks copying my work. Just put my link to it and we are cool. As long as your website is relatively morally acceptable, I see little issue with copying with attribution.
The problem that arose over at TROC was a multi-tiered issue of ethics, morals, and ill-gotten profits. Far from the issue and value of shared content.
The real value of TROC isn’t the content, but my ability to create that content.
Now the content has value for others, otherwise they wouldn’t visit as often as they do! There are values that I am willing to give away for free, educational, comic, inspirational, emotional, and probably others. When someone tries to use that those values to profit from my ability to create it, then there is a definite problem.
You are very perceptive to look at the music industry as an example of the disconnect between the artist/musicians, producers, marketers, hanger-ons, and leeches that have sucked that industries vigor right out of it. We are at the cusp of a paradigm shift in the music industry.
“When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.” That sums it up very nicely. But again the issue for an Albert, Rick,or Zach, isn’t the money. We don’t make any money from our blogs! But by golly neither should anyone else. I put three to six hours a day in my blog… (Mostly because I type with two fingers and a thumb. Shhhh!) and I’ll be damned if some low life is going to steal my content for his lame dating service, (Which is predominantly stolen content too.), without me hunting him down until he wishes that Al Gore had never invented the Internet!
I have admit that I thought this particular blog post would get some comments because it was about a topic that affects so many passionate bloggers. I was hoping for some good thought and discussion. Albert delivered that and much more with this comment.
Not only is this post a great example of a blog comment that contributes more to the discussion (pull marketing), but Albert writes it in his own voice, which only adds to the overall effect of the pull marketing benefits of blog comment.
Commenter: T. Michael Riddle
You know Dayne,
Your site and content are addicting, I just can’t seem to go a day without visiting and learning something new here!
The title of this one really brought home some very good and quite familiar points for me.
While playing in various bands over the past 30 years and now my hunting business as well, here below was probably one of, if not the, hardest obstacles for me to over come.
First would be the name itself! Will it reflect what we do and what we are about? then how do we come up with a respective logo which will brand us effectively? etc. etc.
This process would sometimes take weeks of think tanking and brainstorming.
Then, just when you finally settle upon something which you believe does everything that you think it should, now comes the real work of checking that your Name and Logo do not infringe upon someone else’s established Trademark!
Then after that, finding a graphic artist who can convey what image that you have in “your” head to the brand that will eventually establish your product into the mind of the buying public.
The one thing which I have learned over the years is to trust the people whom you have hired out to help you do this.
They are the professionals, so let them do their job without hindrance.
You would not attempt to tell your brain surgeon how to operate upon your head, so do not tell your marketing firm how to market your business.
A couple of examples would be: When I would write songs, our producers would ask for about 30-50 songs so that they could choose 10-12 good ones to take into the studio for recording.
While in the studio those final songs would sometimes get chopped up quite a bit, rearranged etc etc. to the point that they were barely recognizable (to me the artist) from what they started out as in the beginning.
While just starting out as a young writer and with just barely 10 songs under my belt, I would view those 10 songs as my “babies” and anything that anyone wanted to do to them was particularly abhorrent to me.
“don’t molest my songs! I would be saying in my head”
After the first 100 songs or so you begin to lose that overly protective attitude, and then you start to look at the “business” of music rather a little differently than when you first started out.
That is when the real art of collaboration begins to take form and the result will sometimes be where legendary albums are created.
That same way of thinking is what got me through the Re-Branding of my hunting business.
When our marketing firm suggested that we change our logo to something a little less redneck, and something with more family appeal.
I immediately knew what to do and that was to let the pros do their job without my interference. And the result of allowing them to reshape our image placed the company exactly where, and to what I wanted it to be in the first place.
It just happened to be out of my realm of expertise in respect to graphic arts, and appealing to a broader market with a logo style that would do just what it was intended for.
It must be remembered that a single person cannot do it all by themselves because any successful company owner, be it a band or a hunting business will tell you, that it was through collaborative efforts that they got to where they are today.
I think that our old website is still up if you search down for it and you can there, view my old self designed brand compared to the new one which comes up first on the search.
This was a post that Sarah from On Life and Design and I spent some time on. We really wanted to touch the essence and importance of a hunting business logo.
I was glad that the post was good enough to warrant a comment from one of the best commenters on this site.
T. Michael has contributed a lot of quality, pull marketing comments on this site.
Not only does T. Michael add to the conversation, he brings his unique voice and musical background perspective. It’s a great way to bring more depth and meaning to the discussion.
Commenter: Tom Sorenson
Well done – my musical tastes veer more towards alternative and classic country – but I can see and appreciate the points made just the same!
It seems we all hear about the stories of the guy/gal that just shot onto the scene and had amazing success right off without having to really work too hard to get it. That’s probably the story of .5% of success stories – most success stories begin and end with a ton of sweat toil and sleepless nights! Thanks for the reminder.
Tom is another great commenter as well as a great site editor and writer.
I always appreciate his insight when he takes the time out of his busy day (he has a newborn now) to comment on the blog.
I remember writing this post and wondering if it would hit home with anybody. It felt good when Tom commented that he got the marketing message that hard work and perseverance usually pay off and that it takes time to become successful.
This is another example of how your blog comments show that you’re taking the time to understand the meaning of blog posts. Readers and site editors respond to this and they’ll often click on your name to find out more about you. It’s a win-win situation.
I’d like to finish by saying that there are some wonderful commenters on Hunting Business Marketing. You are the best readers a site editor could ask for and I thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and build on the topics discussed.
To touch on each of the questions mentioned earlier:
1| Commenting on blogs is an effective way to get traffic for your site
2| Adding a link or two in your comments is ok, but consider pull marketing when leaving links
3| When leaving comments on blogs always try to add value to the post
When it comes to commenting on blogs it really is as simple as thinking about adding value to the readers of the site you’re visiting and commenting on.
As a site owner yourself this is what you hope for from the people who leave comments on your posts so it’s logical to think others expect the same.
If you’re leaving quality blog comments on hunting blogs across the Web you’ll gain a solid reputation as a person willing to provide quality content on others’ sites.
People will take notice and click on your signature and find your Website. They’re pulling you and your content to them rather than you pushing yourself at them.
Some bloggers might even highlight your exceptional comments in a blog post (wink, wink).
So that’s my take on blog commenting.
Do you have anything to add?
I hope you do. (wink)
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Update: I came across this post after I published this article and it related so much that I had to add it:
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