How to Comment on Blogs (and Drive Traffic Back to Your Author Website)

Everywhere you turn, you’re hearing about the power and influence of bloggers. They’ve taken over the Internet, and many rival traditional media as venues for authors trying to get their books in front of readers. Though guest blogging lets you take advantage of this trend, there is also another great way to get in front of bloggers (and their readers). How? By posting insightful comments.

First, let’s address why commenting on posts is a great way to build you up as an author-expert and drive traffic back to your website:

  1. The blogger reads every comment. If you repeatedly show your support and provide targeted and insightful responses, the blogger will turn to you (instead of the Internet) the next time they need a guest post or an expert to interview.
  2. Blog followers read the comments. Popular blogs can have comment sections that go on for days. If other followers see you as a resource, they will seek you out.
  3. Other media professionals follow blogs too. If they like your comments, they may also book you as an expert for interviews and guest articles.

You would think that commenting would be easy, but so many people do comments all wrong. The comment section is not an opportunity to advertise. Promoting your website or book in the comments section (when not asked to) makes you as tactful as the drunk girl trying to steal the groom from the bride at their wedding. To help you avoid a similarly public and lasting fiasco, here are some tips on how to comment successfully and appropriately:

  1. Provide value and substance: Take the post a step further by suggesting another point of view, an additional resource, or in some way contributing valuable insight to the conversation created by the post.
  2. Start with praise: Remember, you’re on someone else’s turf. Start by saying that you liked the post. Point to a specific line or phrase you liked (this shows you really read it). It only takes a little to grease the wheels. Then you can add your insightful response.
  3. Keep promo out: Most comment feeds let you insert a hyperlink in your name that leads back to your website or blog. If your response is helpful and insightful, people will click on that link to learn more about you. Putting a website in your post makes you look self-serving, which no one finds attractive.
  4. Focus on blogs on your topic: If you are trying to build yourself up as an author-expert in business, commenting on gardening won’t help build your platform. As in all your marketing efforts, stay focused.
  5. Be a serial commenter: Pick a few blogs to follow and comment on them consistently (only when you have value to add, of course). This will help you build a rapport with the blogger and his or her audience. Avoid one-shot commenting on a large number of posts. Also, focusing on just a few blogs is more manageable time-wise.

The blogosphere is a powerful and supportive community. If you consistently contribute to and support the success of other bloggers, they will take notice and find ways to return the favor. As always, remember to pay it forward and engage the readers who share insightful comments on your blog.

Shennandoah Diaz is the Business Development Assistant at Greenleaf Book Group, a publisher and distributor supporting independent authors and small presses. Diaz develops educational materials for authors in addition to managing Greenleaf’s social media, writing case studies and white papers on the publishing industry, and coordinating Austin Publishing University.