Is Commenting On Blogs Part of Your Marketing Plan? Are Your Doing It Wrong?

Buried under the weight of my inbox and trying to filter the spam from the real stuff I needed to get to today, I ran across a comment on Bloggers For Hire:

I was reading around some of the posts here and I found interesting things that you guys talk about, I just made a blog about quitting smoking resources and ideas that you might want to check out. If someone is interested in this topic just go to; [no I'm not going to give them the unearned link] and let me know what you think.
Thanks in advance.

On its face, this looks like perhaps a proper comment for a blog.  In fact, Andy Beard discussed this earlier about companies, using Bloggers For Hire as an example, that might be offering “paid comments” and whether those might be ethical.  I think that is worth a read if nothing more than to check out the comments that were left and the many opinions that surfaced.

Let’s take the above example and break it down.  The first sentence supposedly lets me know that the commenter has taken the time to read my blog and it’s entries.  It is decent copy that engages and compliments which might get through my bullsh*t detector, but of course I’m a paid professional and it promptly failed.

Next it indicates that he “made a blog”.  This sounds like something that my 2 year old did in his pull-up diaper.  It’s also a perfect example of what Stephanie says is a bad error.  In the statement he talks about smoking.  The comment just lost its relevance.  I have no idea why this person would be talking about smoking on a blog about hiring bloggers. 

Then comes the elevator marketing pitch.  Come to my site, tell me what you think and thank you in advance.  This is a waste of time and space because obviously we have already determined that your comment is nothing more than spam in a dress.  You can dress up the comment, but of course, it’s still just spam.

I am a big proponent of commenting on blogs if you are a company looking to get into the social aspects of blogs, podcasts and other social media tools.  If you are going to comment, please don’t clutter the inboxes of companies and other bloggers with this type of marketing plan.  Make your comment add something to the post and to the overall experience of other readers.  If you are taking time trying to lure readers with the above type of comment, you are wasting everyone’s time including your own.

Comments

  1. Andy Beard says:

    I think the only time I ever drop a link in a comment is when I would be forced to copy a 3000 article to make a point, or I am linking to someone else’s content.

    I get a fair amount of junk comments that it is obvious people are just commenting to get a link. They get zapped very fast.

  2. Commenting on blogs to promote one’s own is delicate. It’s one of the best ways to make yourself known as a blogger, but it’s also one of the best ways to lose any credit you might have had if you go around doing it clumsily.

    I usually tell people the following: read other blogs, particularly blogs which have something to do with what you’re writing about. If you read anything that you find thought-provoking and have something interesting to add, then leave a comment.

    But leave a comment because you have something to say/share, not “just to leave a comment”. It’s also really important to understand that leaving a comment will bring people to discover your site only if they think that what you said was smart, relevant, interesting.

    Leaving a vacuous or off-topic is worse than not commenting at all.

  3. Salubri says:

    I comment wherever I find content that interests me. I very rarely link from my comment… I figure if what I say is interesting and insightful enough people will want to read more and will follow the link to my blog (most comment forms have a place to enter your URI). Occasionally (if there’s a specific post I have written that I think is appropriate) I will directly link to the post. As I blog mainly for my own amusement and not professionally I think this makes navigating to something topical easier for the reader of the original post I am commenting on. For professional blogs there should _always_ be some sort of semantic connection between the post you are commenting on and what you link to; if your corporate blog is mainly unrelated to the post – it might also be necessary to link to a specific post but really I would feel that’s an uncommon situation. My rule of thumb when approving comments on my blog is to immediately discard any comments from people I don’t recognise if the content is not relevant. After that I _may_ visit a link in the comment body if the comment grabbed my interest. If the target site is also interesting the comment is approved.

  4. Ted Slater says:

    Great points, Jim. I’ve seen the same kind of comment spam on BOUNDLESS.ORG

    ;-)

  5. Ted Slater says:

    Actually, not on Boundless, but on our blog, Boundless Line.

    :-)

  6. JM says:

    I have to say that commenting is an a yes/no attempt to market my own blog. It’s a yes in the fact that my blog link is on more sites but no in the fact that I rarely directly link it in the content of the comment.

    If I link within the content, it’s because I believe my post is relevant to the main topic in either a supportive or contrasting way.

  7. Des Walsh says:

    From a number of ‘comments’ which include words from a blog post title but prove on closer examination to be nonsense, I’m guessing there is some kind of robot being used to generate spam. There are recurring phrases in these weird items.

    On linking back, given that we have the opportunity on most or all comment forms I’ve seen to provide a site hyperlink to our name, the times when we use a link in the body of the comment should be rare – as Andy says, when there is a long article worth referring to or a link to someone else’s content. What puts my teeth on edge (apart from the links to non-blog sites) is the game of gratuitously adding a link to the commenter’s site at the end of the comment. I have taken to using WP’s facility for editing comments, so as to block that little caper but leave the comment otherwise intact.

  8. coupon food says:

    Well, yesterday morning I logged into my wordpress admin dashboard and saw that I, too, had been attacked by a spam ping- bot. The website: a fake hair cair blog. Wait: a hair care blog!? Yes, they linked to my Recommended Listening post of last week. What does hair care have to do with classical music? Well, the title of the song I was reccommending in the post was The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. That might explain that bit.

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