How to Get Noticed with Smart Comments

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I used to comment on other blogs for the SEO benefit.  Then, blog owners decided to close the candy story by making their links – NOFOLLOW – erasing any “link juice” benefit.  Although there is a push to offer SEO-Friendly backlinks (via CommentLuv), Google is now giving less weight to comment links.

That’s all right because I’ve been clued into the real reason to comment on blogs – getting noticed and making connections with influencers in your niche.

No One Ignores Comments

I read every single comment. So does most bloggers.  If you leave a comment, it’s very, very likely that it will get read. With so many things competing for the top blogger’s time, a well written comment can cut through the clutter and get noticed.

But all comments are not created equal.  There’s the run-of-the mill 2-liners that populate most comment sections.  These comments contribute nothing to the conversation.  They are not bad just boring and easily forgotten.  Sometimes I leave this just to show my support.  But if you want to kick it up a notch then use Smart Comments.

Smart comments are well-crafted mini-posts that hijack eyeballs.  Blog authors live for these comments.  They appreciate the time you put into them.  They may even reward you by returning the favor, asking you to guest post, or giving you that coveted twitter shoutout.

Here are some simple tips to get you started with Smart Comments:

1. Write more

Most commenters leave brief one-line slaps on the back that melt into the background.   That means you can get noticed by just writing more.  Writing a well-thought out response to a post will catch the eye of the author and get extra attention.  But don’t write to just fill space.  Respect the post author’s time by have something important to contribute to the conversation.

2. Be Specific

General statements are useless for creating engagement and conversation.  Authors appreciate all comments but really enjoy the ones that highlight specific thoughts about the post.  If you liked the post, point out the statement that caught your eye and explain why.  If something ticked-you-off then quote the statement and make your case.

3. Ask a Question

Stand out by starting with a good question.  A great question is hard to pass-up and your likely to get a response.  Use this opportunity wisely.  This is a great way to help the blogger clarify a vague position or put a finer edge on a point.

4. Answer a Question

If you see a question that you can answer, go ahead and put your 2 cents in! Good bloggers will recognize your enthusiasm and appreciate your initiative.  Face it, although all comments are read, there isn’t always time to immediately answer them all.  Answering a question shows you want to be useful.  This is an effective way to get noticed.

One caveat. I am NOT advocating you leave spam comments. Far from it, don’t dare leave a comment on a post that you don’t sincerely value.  You will just burn bridges and annoy a lot of people including me.

Although commenting isn’t the SEO-juggernaut is used to be, it’s still a stellar way to get on your influencer’s radar screen.  How are you using comments?  Do you have any super-ninja commenting techniques that you can share? Don’t be afraid to leave a comment – you get a 2-liner pass for today :-)

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

27 thoughts on “How to Get Noticed with Smart Comments

  1. Mona Andrei

    Leaving comments isn’t only about getting noticed. For me it’s a valuable way to engage and connect with other bloggers. The most important point is to be sincere. PS. Really enjoyed your post/points!

  2. Robin Wilson

    Hello Ari! Ive read your blog often as well! (found via twitter) To answer your question, it struck a cord the day I read this post. Trying to build traffic to my own blog and whatnot. Im still not convinced leaving comments will send folks where I want them to go. Which is why Im still not commenting on alot of other blogs. A post has to hit an emotion for me to comment. (usually) This one hit something that day.

  3. Robin Wilson

    I rarely leave comments…..I read many many blogs. I also understand the value of being seen and heard. As well as the old SEO relationship between posting and my own stuff. I also admit that even tho I read many blogs, there are very few that are thought provoking enough to comment on.

    I do agree however that it is about being seen and heard. I suppose this is something I could work on.

  4. Pingback: The ABC's of Content Marketing | Joey Strawn

  5. Elliott Lemenager

    Another great way to find places that are rich in link juice where you can insert great comments is doing a little research on the backlinks of a content piece. This will show you who’s driving traffic to the post or twitter comments and who’s interested in it as well. I did a little post on how to set up a custom Google Search to identify backlinks for content that you might find interesting love to get your thoughts on it.

  6. Marjorie Clayman

    Good. =D

    No, this is great advice. Commenting has become, rapidly, as time consuming for me as blogging. In fact, sometimes I accidentally write a blog in the person’s comment box. Then I have to go back and decide if all of that really needs to be there.

    Like everything else in this space, commenting is about being genuine. Don’t go to a blog and comment on every post without reading. Make your comments come from the heart.

  7. Peter Abatan

    Another benefit of comments is that it enables me find very interesting bloggers out. Most of the blogs I follow have been found through reading their comments and then visiting their blogs. I found Annabel Candy’s blog and Stan’s blog through the comments they left on other blogs.

    Commenting is definately a way to get noticed.

  8. Peter Abatan

    Another benefit of comments is that it enables me find very interesting bloggers out. Most of the blogs I follow have been found through reading their comments and then visiting their blogs. I found Annabel Candy’s blog and Stan’s blog through the comments they left on other blogs.

    Commenting is definately a way to get noticed.

  9. Alex Dumitru

    You are absolutely right, Stanford. Comments represent a way of getting people knowing about you, but you need to provide some value in your comments and not just spam here and there.

  10. Tommy is my name

    Your thoughts on smart commenting are spot on. Every blogger is obsessed with the way that they think other people perceive them. Every time any one of us hits publish, we’re secretly checking out traffic and our email to see what comments are coming in, and if someone goes beyond the “Great post (hurr durr)” they tend to get your attention.

    Smart comments are also a great way to get invited to do a guest post for a blog, especially if you’re adding something to the conversation that may have been overlooked or simply didn’t work in the context of the post, but is an awesome offshoot of the conversation. It’s even better if the potential guest post idea works within the “story” of the blog.

    Another thing to remember with a smart comment is to not be a “smart ass” comment. Don’t disagree with the blogger. Some people do this so they can “stand out” to the blogger, but in the end, the only person that’s getting hurt is yourself. . Chances are likely that the blogger can blow you out of the water with their knowledge, and even if that’s not the case, and you are right, you just end up making a fool out of them.People don’t like to be told that they’re wrong. People really don’t like being told that they’re wrong in their own house. If you do disagree, bring it up for topic on your own blog, and respectfully disagree there, invite that blogger to participate in the conversation on your blog, and that way if you get their attention, it’s in a way that doesn’t make them look like an arse on their own turf. If you make a good point, they just might share with their crowd just to give a balanced perspective.

  11. Eddie Gear

    Comments are generally something that I leave on a website or blog only if I learn or benefit from. Value the work of the author, Yes, as you said ask questions or tell them they are not correct about something. Its always good to think that your comments add value to the article and also your website or blog as a brand.

  12. Anonymous

    I do often end with a “tell us about” or “What do you think” type of follow up. Some posts I’m better than others. So 1) I am probably too inconsistent and 2) Never thought of making comments as part of the goal of the post. It was always an afterthought (or rather, after-wish). Thanks!

  13. Stanford @ PushingSocial

    Great question.
    I wrote this post to help people who are actively trying to promote their blogs. Identifying key influencers and commenting on their blogs to gain their attention and support. So if you are not looking for attention then you can rest easy. :)

  14. Little Gods Author

    Thanks Stanford. I appreciate this post because I am one of those weird people who actually like and appreciate the ‘two-liner.’ (Both writing and receiving) I know how busy everyone is, and if someone takes the time to write even a quick “hey I really liked this” I get as much good karma juice (and sometimes more) out of that than when people write mini-posts.

    Asking and answering questions, and sharing resources though I think is awesome. I have this happen a lot on my Facebook page. Haven’t had it so much in comments. Interesting. I wonder if there is a way to promote more cross-conversation & connecting of commenters.That is something I would be interested in encouraging. Thanks for a great, as always, post.

  15. Greg

    One way I discover new blogs/sites to read isby clicking the links of commenters who made relevant and significant contributions to a discussion to a post. More often than not, I find value in those blogs and add them to my reader. In that regard, point #2 is critical. The comment has to make clear reference to something that was described in the post. In relation to Theresa’s question above, I see comments as feedback. If someone arrives at a different interpretation or conclusion, then there might be something in the content or presentation of the post that can be adjusted to make the text clearer in the future. Of course, that assumes that the commenter is on topic.

  16. Christy Smith

    I would add to the “Be Specific” point that if you think you can use some of the information in the post in a meaningful, actionable way then don’t be afraid to let the blogger know. I think it’s a great thing to get a comment, but it’s an even better feeling to know that you’ve put something out that someone else can take action on.

    I was fortunate to take an online university course back in 2007, and part of my grade was in posting comments to classmates (2 comments per week in addition to my own work). They couldn’t be “I agree!” type comments either. We had to do all of the things you mentioned above AND include at least one reference in support. That was tough, but it set me up well to have meaningful interactions today.

  17. Noreen

    Hi Stanford,
    I’m new at this; I write a blog for the sake of my local customers. I want the everyday small business owner to notice my style and “expertise.” I feel I don’t need to reach far and wide my blog. Connecting with the serious blogger/writer doesn’t seem necessary – but I may not be seeing the whole picture. Do you think it’s important to comment on blogs if one is not looking for the attention of other bloggers/writers?

  18. Theresa Bradley-Bant

    Hey Stanford… Your tweet got me over here :). Nice one! Nice post too. I agree. I love a comment that highlights a point I’ve made in my article, or one that sheds more illumination on what I’ve written. I also like reading posts on other blogger’s sites that do the same. That’s when it becomes a conversation. Social engagement.

    So, what do you do when a commenter completely misses your point? Do you thank them for their comment? Do you dig your heels in and really try to make your point? Do you scratch your head and wonder if your post was really that vague?

    I’d love to know what you think!

    Great post… I’ll tweet :)

  19. Megan Lust

    These tips are exactly what I needed to read. I won’t lie … I’ve been phobic of posting comments for years. Time to stop being so shy and follow these tips. Thanks Stanford. (Did this comment make the grade? LOL)

  20. Anonymous

    I say first off, you really need to read the post before commenting :P. I mean, do you want to be in the comment box, or not? If I don’t feel inspired I won’t comment that time, but it doesn’t mean I won’t return. Leaving a vanilla two-liner doesn’t benefit anyone, really.

    I agree that thought-provoking comments are amazing. There’s been times when readers comments educated me by adding additional/pertinent info that I had not thought of. I love being taken to task ;)

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