Is Commenting for Traffic a Waste of Your Time?

It is difficult to give a direct answer to this question.

commenting for traffic

A lot depends on how you go about leaving comments.

If done right, you may get a ton of traffic, but when done wrong, the comments may do your blog more harm than good.

Most of the readers who have stuck with my blog discovered me through a comment left on a related site. On the other hand, I see a lot of bloggers who do commenting wrong.

When commenting for traffic, taking the suggestions in this post into consideration can help you get results.

The Quest to be First – Is it Worth it?

A lot of bloggers rush to leave a comment on their favorite blogs as soon as a new post is published.

Does it make a difference?

Yes, it sure does!

This strategy works well for getting traffic from popular blogs. I have left comments that have brought me a few hundred visitors in their lifetime. While this might not seem like much for those with well trafficked blogs, it made a lot of difference for me at the time as a new blogger.

The prime benefit I got from this strategy is name-recognition. Everyone sees the name of the person who left the first comment, whereas a comment in number 45 position may just be lost in the stream.

While this may be a good thing for some, it is quite dangerous for others.

If your comment is good, the name recognition is obviously a good thing, but if you are in the habit of leaving one-liners in your haste to be first in the comment stream, people can tell and you risk being ignored, or worse, flagged as spam.

Many bloggers have fallen into the habit of scrambling for that first position, especially on the more popular blogs. This typically results in a comment that offers suggestions that are already treated in the post, giving the commenter away for not having read the article he is commenting on.

Worst, the comment comes out jumbled because the commenter did not have the luxury of reviewing his thoughts for errors in his hurry to be first.

Is being first worth it?

Not if you have to scramble for it.

I have never had to rush for first position – I don’t have the time to sit and watch my RSS feed and neither should you. My most successful comments were nowhere close to first position; tucked deep in the comment stream, the quality of thought I expressed still provides me with consistent traffic.

How is that?

Content is King – Even in Blog Comments

Without quality content, both on your blog and in the comments you leave on other blogs in your network, your effort is a waste.

Even if readers of a popular blog click on your link despite your spammy comment, how long do you suppose they will stay on your blog if your content is also mediocre?

Come to think of it, when you leave thoughtful comments, you are making someone’s blog a more interesting place to be in. How do you think that will make them feel towards you, especially if you leave such comments regularly?

They come to view you as a stakeholder in the success of their blogs, and before long they go out of their way to do you favors.

Those favors would most likely include comments on your posts, tweet and shares and general blessings on anything that has your name to it. Such goodwill can proof invaluable when you launch a product or seek partnerships in the future.

So before you hit the publish button on a comment, it is instructive to review the comment and ensure it adds something to the discussion and expands on the ideas in the post.

If you have nothing of value to add, then add nothing. If you must let the blogger know you were there, it is better to share the content on twitter or Facebook instead of making a fool of yourself.

Better be a silent reader than a spammy one.

Commenting Etiquette – Don’t Break This Rule

If you are leaving a comment on any post on Pro Blogger Tips (or any other blog for that matter), please resist the temptation of adding keywords to your name field.

Most top bloggers find it difficult to have respect for a commenter whose name is Miami Legal Advice.

While I might allow your comment to survive if it does add to the discussion, you lose something before me – your perceived value drops a notch or two. As a result, I may not respond to your comment since I like to address my commenters by name, nor would I step over to your blog for a look-see.

I have already implemented Comment Luv which rewards all commenters who add their blog address in the website field with a link to any of their last ten posts. Those links are keyword-rich, since most blog post titles contain the keyword the post is targeting.

Don’t be a hustler and grapple for a nofollow link when you have a dofollow link pointing to your latest post.

Your Turn

What is you opinion on this?

Has blog commenting worked better as a relationship building strategy than as a traffic strategy for you too?

Have a tip that has given you results?

Let’s hear it in the comments – who knows who your comment will attract?

About Yeremi Akpan

Yeremi Akpan is the founder of Pro Blogger Tips. Connect with him on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook. You can also hire him to provide content marketing services for your business.

Comments

  1. Your post makes a valid and very important point, Yeremi. We need to add tangible value in our interactions with others.

    There’s a saying I like, which underscores this need quite well. It goes (something) like this:

    “If you have nothing to say, don’t say it!”

    On a personal note, whenever I decide to post a comment, it’s often because I feel strongly about the subject (the issue of being first never drives me). As a result, I frequently find myself making lengthy submissions. Lol!

    Sometime ago, it occurred to me, that I could channel that “urge” to voice my perspective on a blog post’s topic, into writing similarly themed posts of my own in a way that ADDS fresh insights.

    It took me a while to get started, but I now use this strategy quite well.

    For instance, 4 days ago, I wrote a piece on preventing project scope creep, based on strategies I’ve developed over the years. I’m now pitching it as a guest post, to suitable blogs.

    I got the inspiration to write that post, after reading a Sitepoint.com article that covered certain aspects of that thorny issue.

    What I’m trying to say in essence, is that we can explore the possibility of using opinions we have/comments we make, as a platform for generating new/original “angles” to approach a subject from, in our writing.

    Now, if all that I’ve said above is anything to go by, there’s a good chance that in the near future, I may find myself saying a thing or two – from a unique perspective – about “commenting”. Who knows!

    Once again, great post as usual, Yeremi. Your “prose” is often carefully thought out, and typo-free. Keep up the good work.

    PS: I should add that I derive considerable pleasure from reading stuff written by guys from our side of the divide, like you, and Onibalusi of http://youngprepro.com (who I like to refer to, as our teenage blogging genius).

    You both have “depth”. That’s a powerful attribute that wins credibility in readers’ minds, and which you should never lose.

    By way of interest, I was especially pleased, recently, to read this Forbes.com article that featured Oni back in June:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/caroltice/2012/06/26/what-would-you-do-to-launch-your-startup-3-tales-of-desperation/
    You guys make me proud.

    Cheers :-)

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Tayo,

      Thanks so much for this useful comment. Your comment demonstrates the very context of my post – adding value to the discussion!

      I am like you.

      I have expanded on my thoughts in comments left on other sites into full-fleshed posts on my blog. This post is in fact a case in point. I wrote it after leaving a comment in a neighborhood blog that got a number of replies. That was a pointer to me that the topic was currently in the consciousness of many bloggers.

      P.S.Thanks for the kind words! :)

      I am also a big fan of Oni, and have followed his progress over the past year. It is inspiring to see how far one can go if you provide value and work hard at it.

      The Forbes article made me proud, too. Thanks for sharing.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Is Commenting for Traffic a Waste of Your Time?My Profile

  2. Deepak says:

    Yeremi You just said what i was thinking from few days back, When i started to comment on many blogs, I used lots of tricks to get the list of most active and most reliable blogs in mine niche. I use notepad and pasted a link of their home page and visited daily but it was worthless. Then i installed a plugins in mine browser which notifies the latest update in those blog which i will add and Indeed i came here with the help of its notification.

    Adding your point Commenting is the best way for new bloggers to get traffic but it needs to be done in proper ways with the help of all the tools which you get online. Thanks for this post.
    Deepak recently posted..How To Optimize WordPress BlogMy Profile

  3. Lisa says:

    Nice tips. When I first started commenting I didn’t use my name or photo, what a difference it does make.
    People want to see real people. I comment on blogs that I can either relate to, add to or compliment on. I have another niche that is more difficult and it takes a while to find one to comment on. Thanks for sharing.
    Lisa recently posted..Blog Giveaway to Celebrate a Year of Inspire To ThriveMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      My Pleasure, Lisa!

      It does make blogging much more fun when you engage with real people as opposed to dealing with “Discount WP Hosting”. We all have keywords we want to rank for – what would happen if we all try to use them instead of our names in comments?

      Thanks for the mention of Gravatar. Using you headshot there instead of your logo or some other personal joke even helps to further develop real-lationships. :)
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Is Commenting for Traffic a Waste of Your Time?My Profile

  4. Viola Tam says:

    Hi Yeremi,

    Excellent post! I havebeen able to get some new visitors to my site because of my comments made at other bloggers’ sites.

    I take an effort to be amongst the first to comment at high traffic and quality sites in my target group. It does help with exposure as mentioned by you. I believe that it is worth the effort.

    I could not agree more about “Content is King’! When someone’s comment is thoughtful and well crafted, I am attracted to them even when I am visiting other people’s blog. I am literally looking for their comments!

    Great sharing, Yeremi. I appreciate you :)

    Viola Tam
    Viola Tam recently posted..MLM Success Mindset – Insights Learned from Lisa Kitter CombsMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Viola,
      Thanks for your comment. I do appreciate the candidness here. As I said in my post, while being first can be fun, it s not a smart long term strategy.

      Leaving the first comment once in a while may not be noticed, but when you begin to get consistent, a smart blogger would notice and your opinion may not be as weighted as it should be. :)

      Focus on the content, and you will still get great results.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Is Commenting for Traffic a Waste of Your Time?My Profile

  5. Simmeon says:

    The main man Yeremi, tells it how it is…

    If people are racing for the first comment position, you’re doing it wrong. Being first is great, but what better is leaving a quality comment even if you number 42. Also focusing on the big boy blogs is fine but if you want to make a name for yourself its better to comment more frequently on small to medium sized ones. Most of the guru blogs have lots their luster and are not inhabited with bloggers mostly businesses trying to plug some offer.

    Oh my life! I also hate people dropping keywords in the name, if they do I just rename so you will never win. Also I hate, yes I said “HATE” people that try and include a link in a comment, that’s just greedy.

    I must say that if your comment leads to you creating a new friend online then the process is totally worth it, yes traffic is important and everything but the people behind the blog are more so.
    Simmeon recently posted..6 Ways To Encourage Feedback From Your Blog ReadersMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hey Simmeon, Great comment there and that just adds to the discussion!

      I have also noticed that traffic from smaller blogs tend to stay on unlike traffic from the bigger ones. I have thought hard about why that is so and it seems to me that the audience of big blogs are more set in their ways as to which blogs to listen to, while that of smaller blogs are flexible and eager to form a new relationship.

      What is your impression on this?
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Is Commenting for Traffic a Waste of Your Time?My Profile

  6. Hey Yeremi.

    Commenting for building relationship is great, but commenting sucks as a traffic source (of course, it can drive some traffic, but it isn’t worth the time as a traffic source).

    Let me give you a sample scenario: You go on and comment on a blog post (let’s just imagine that you aren’t the first commentator).

    How much traffic are you going to get from commenting? And how much of that traffic is new visitors? (In my opinion and observation from experience, commenting as a traffic source is best for attracting returning visitors – like the blogs of our visitor). Let’s imagine that you are a visitor of my blog (of course you are :D ). I come to your blog to take our relationship even further and to “remind” or to bring you back to my own site (In that case, you are a returning visitor).

    Now, there is one thing:

    You can get more traffic by commenting first (depends upon the blog too, because some blogs display newest comments first).

    You can also get more traffic by commenting on the top blogs, but I wouldn’t recommend you do that unless your audience is new bloggers (because the majority of bloggers who read the top blogs are new bloggers).

    Those are my thoughts ;)
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted..Facebook Interview Chat, Productivity Challenge and Podcasts!My Profile

  7. Samuel says:

    Commenting is not a waste of time. i remember when i built my first blog. All i embrace is Blackhat method with no good result. Not until i recover the effectiveness in reading,commenting and applying other people’s method(s). Commenting is Power:)
    Samuel recently posted..Top WordPress Plugins To Reach The Top!My Profile

  8. Shalu Sharma says:

    I too have realised the comments that is on the top are often jumbled up and no thought have been put into it. I personally think that the post must be read and a constructive comment should be made in the end. I am not sure if the 45th position is worth it or not but that does not bother me. If like a blog then I leave a comment be it first or last.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted..Visiting places in HyderabadMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Shalu,

      Well said!

      I have left comments on the 150th position, and in some rare threads (like on Pat’s Backlinking Methods that work), beyond the thousandth position. The number of comments already registered does not influence my decision to comment at all.

      My number one consideration when leaving a comment is the thought I have to express, which is more important than any direct instant gratification I may get from clicks. If clicks come, that is a by-product and believe me, they come!
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Is Commenting for Traffic a Waste of Your Time?My Profile

  9. Chadrack says:

    I can attest that you’re walking the talk here! Every point you raised is definitely from the heart. I’ve tried all and they have never failed me. In fact, there are most times when I will never make a comment on a blog if after reading it I discovered I cannot make a useful comment.

    Like you put it, name branding is really important when commenting. Many want to hide behind generic gravatar and names, but that is really a bad way to do it. If you want not only the blog owner but other readers, to follow your links and visit your blog you must make your comment something worth it.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Chadrack recently posted..Successful Entrepreneurship: Do You Really Need A Business Plan To Succeed In Business?My Profile

  10. I do blog commenting for my interest not for traffic or anything else….

  11. bloomtools says:

    thanks for this useful post. Blog commenting is really important to get traffic but content yes , its still the most important part of all. But the most important is making a useful comment, when anyone comes to a blog , the first check is for the comments given for the blog. they are important.

  12. Bhushan says:

    there are some good points that Yeremi makes for discuss and offer knowledge also.I don’t do this for making traffic but i found here some very very Knowledgeable and good for future uses but I also think that if you have good to show for others then you can make it for that. As you can see here that you have this wonderful post then it have traffic automatic, not need to do for it.
    Thanks.
    Bhushan recently posted..Inventory Management Software DelhiMy Profile

  13. David says:

    What I have observed about traffic from commenting.
    1. Be the first one to comment
    2. Write some thing controversial
    3. Use some special characters to attract readers.(if the admin doesn’t mind)
    David recently posted..Michael Lombardi PredictionsMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi David,
      Thanks so much for your comment.

      Being controversial can draw attention to your comment, but as in headlining, we must be careful not to be controversial just for the sake of it.

      If we have a reason to disagree with the ideas in a post, we can commend the writer and politely disagree. On the other hand, we should not consider disagreeing as a strategy. Developing the habit of always disagreeing can be risky as it trivializes someone’s hard work and can estrange us from the writer.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Building Blogging Relationships – Make Each Connection CountMy Profile

  14. Dafrosti says:

    No, it is not a total waste of time. Especially for newer bloggers like me.
    Dafrosti recently posted..WordPress 3.4 Now Live. Update Your Blogs!My Profile

  15. Kayode says:

    Yeremi, It is blogger or internet marketers like you who like to make money from unsuspecting and novice that would sell products or software that or encouraged adding your keyword to your name as the best way of optimizing for keywords.

    I had fell into that trap many times, where I use my name and keywords or even the keywords and I never see my comment approved.

    Even when they are approved, they are from low level blogs.

    I entirely agree that one should not add keyword to names when commenting. I have tried it and this has be working for me.

    I really find your post informative. Thumbs up Yeremi.
    Kayode recently posted..Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Review(Pre-order)My Profile

  16. Yeremi, I’m a brand new reader of your blog, and I’m pleased to have discovered you. The longer I blog and the more I read about blogging, the more convinced I am that silly little tricks (like rushing to be the first commenter or putting your keywords in your name) backfire in the long run.

    The most effective method seems to be writing quality content and treating people like you would like to be treated. When it comes to commenting, that means leaving comments that are valuable enough that they add to value rather than simply being self serving.

    Rebecca
    Rebecca Livermore recently posted..Is Blogging Really Worth It?My Profile

  17. Hi Yeremi,
    I completly agree with you, content is really the king. Without any relevant content nothing will workout properly.
    Thanks and Regard.

  18. blogvkp says:

    Great post. Just found you from basicblogtips. I wish I would have found this post before. But never late.
    And finally I agree with what you have shared in your article. Content is really king, and i too mean every where. Thanks for this post.
    blogvkp recently posted..Add Pinterest Button To WordPress Blog WebsiteMy Profile

  19. Kasper says:

    Hi Yeremi,
    Thanks for a great post with lots of useful information to a newbie blogger like me :) . I found that the comments I made did generate some traffic but not at whole lot. As time is a limited factor, what is your opinion on the number of blogs to comment on? Is it best to comment regularly on a few blogs or is it better to spread your comments to more blogs and not make that many comments on each?
    Kasper recently posted..How to write an ebookMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Kasper,
      It is hard to give figures on these things. In my experience, I have had results by targeting blogs where comments are replied. If a blogger does not have the time to reply to comments, chances are he will not have the time to visit your blog. Instead of looking at the numbers, focus on making quality comments that will stand you out as a voice of reason. When readers of a blog begin to recognize that your comments always carry weight, they will be trained to notice them.

  20. Kasper says:

    Hi Yeremi.
    I think had not thought of it that way :) , nice to learn form people with good experience – Thanks :) .

  21. Wayne Melton says:

    Hi Yeremi

    Guess I am never the first to comment on any article. Never really tried to be the first. I read lots of online articles and maybe add one comment a day. Commenting is a good link strategy for new blogs. It can drive readers. The problem is as you expressed you either look good or bad depending on your comment.

    If I leave a comment it is because the post moved me in some way and I want to express my opinion or gratitude to the author for his work.

    I started using commentluv also for the very reason you expressed.

    Thanks for the good work.
    Wayne Melton recently posted..Writing Topics that Attract Readers | How to BlogMy Profile

  22. Stephen says:

    Yeremi,

    I like your ideas on commenting. Taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment is a big key for getting comments to work for you. ……. Why would a sensible person take the time to pay attention to you If you don’t take the time to give to them? Great points well taken. ~Stephen
    Stephen recently posted..Promoting Your Blog ….. The Secrets to Leaving CommentsMy Profile

  23. I once again learned something new from your post; the importance of leaving a legitimate and well thought-out comment. I personally try to make my comments as clear and relevant to the topic of the post as possible. And I do this because my comments are the reflection of my writing and the content quality of my blog. I’m still relatively new to blogging and had no idea that people scramble to be the first to comment on blogs posts. I have posted on some blogs and noticed that the last comments goes to the top, while the older ones keep descending, but I guess that is not a common practice.
    Thank you again for another great post.
    Santos Guardiola recently posted..Demeaning Words that HurtsMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Santos,
      thanks for your insightful comment. As you admit, having a comment that takes the conversation to the next level is a promise of high quality posts on your own blog. Some bloggers make the mistake of hurrying to make a presence in the comment stream whether their thought have clarity or not.

      Yes, some persons scramble to be first. I have seen posts in popular blogs where the first five comments is “first” or “I’m first”.

      Once again, thanks for joining us. Will be stopping over at your blog soon.

  24. VKool says:

    Google job Yeremi, you just indicated the BIG mistake that most of new bloggers made when they first started. To me, commenting is a great way to share my view on an issue or a topic that I’m reading, and one of the most efficient way for buidling relationships with other bloggers. I never really care whether I get some traffic from the comment I made. I comment as I see something unique, something that benefits me as a blogger, and I would love to let the author know how much I appreciate his/her efforts writing the post. Thanks again for your great article.
    VKool recently posted..Learn Magic Tricks | How “Master Mentalism” Helps People Become Professional Magicians SuccessfullyMy Profile

  25. Great post Yeremi,

    I always treat comments and extend version of your main content. A comment should not only add value to the actual post but it should provide an opinion is what I believe. Just reinforcing what the author is saying will not add any kind of value to both the author and reader of the comment but when you actually add value to your users you have a higher chance of earning that traffic.

Have Your Say

*

CommentLuv badge