To me, blog commenting is a unique way to connect with people in the industry. Why? Because leaving a comment is a great conversation starter. Further on, you can follow the person you're interested in on Twitter/Facebook/G+, exchange emails and what not.
Blog commenting is also an effective link building technique. While most blog links are nofollow, they can be great direct traffic channels at the same time. If you leave interesting comments, people will be eager to learn more about you and may click on the link in your name/signature.
Unspoken blog commenting rules
Just like any human activity, blog commenting has its rules and conventions. It's better to get familiar with those before you start commenting, to avoid learning the hard way and to avoid gaining bad reputation.
Here is a blog post we did on commenting etiquette some time ago. To sum it up, when you comment on somebody's post, make it real-life conversation. You wouldn't want a stranger to approach you and say something meaningless or begin selling you merchandise, would you? So, blog commenting is very much like starting a conversation in real life. Just keep that in mind.
How to discover niche blogs
OK, let's say, you're burning with the desire to connect with all those awesome people out there, and to attract tons of visitors to your site with your witty, smash-hit comments.
But, before you do that, you should find blog posts to comment on. If you've been in the trade for some time, you probably know a few major news sites or blogs. But what if you haven't?
This is when SEO PowerSuite can help. SEO PowerSuite's utmost goal is to assist one with SEO, and it contains tools for SEO tasks such as keyword research, on-page SEO, backlinks analysis, SEO reporting, etc. However, the SEO toolkit can be used to discover great niche blogs and websites, too.
Let us focus on 2 particular SEO PowerSuite tools that help you locate popular niche blogs: LinkAssistant and SEO SpyGlass.
LinkAssistant is primarily a link building and a link management tool. It helps you discover link building opportunities, as well as manage links as you build them. But for now, let's use it for a slightly different purpose: to find relevant blogs in the niche.
Let's say I'm an upcoming musician who writes music, plays different instruments, does a little bit of singing and even gives music classes. How can I use blog commenting to give my humble startup some exposure?
Here is how one can do it with LinkAssistant. The SEO tool offers 6 different methods of looking for niche websites (click on the image to enlarge):
Let's say I choose "Find sites by keyword search".
Note: LinkAssistant offers a "Suggest keywords" option, which lets you expand the initial keyword list you provide. This way you can find more niche websites or a bigger variety of them.
Then we press "Next". Be default, LinkAssistant finds 30 sites in one round. If you'd like to increase that number, check the "Enable expert options" box at Step 1. For now, let's set LinkAssistant to locate 100 websites in a round.
Now, when the SEO tool has collected the data, we can use quick search to see which ones of the discovered websites are blogs. For that, you type in "blog" into the quick search box. We can see that the list has been narrowed down to 40 sites:
You can preview any website without leaving the SEO app in the built-in browser:
Let's click on the "Music News" tab. Bingo, there is a post we can comment on!
So, we leave a comment (without even exiting the program), and then we go ahead and check out the rest of the blogs.
SEO PowerSuite's backlink checker, SEO SpyGlass can help you find popular niche blogs as well. What it does basically is it finds backlinks pointing to a competitor's website. From there, you can locate the blogs your competitors have commented on. Here is how it’s done.
You start SEO SpyGlass and enter a competitor's ULR into the second box:
As you see, SEO SpyGlass has found 1109 backlinks pointing to the competitor's website:
In order to see which ones come from blogs, let's use the quick filter in SEO SpyGlass that says "Show Backlinks From Blogs & Forums Only". As you see, one is even told exact URLs of each blog post.
Let's click on a random ULR to leave a comment:
That's it, all set!
Tracking your comments with SEO PowerSuite
Well, what do you do after you write all those comments? For the most part, you'd have to wait for them to be approved by the site administrator (the better the website, the more likely it is to have monitored comments). This means you'll have to check on the comments you've placed some time later. How do you do that? Do you save the blogs you visited to an Excel spreadsheet? Well, there is a better way!
Here is when SEO PowerSuite can help you again. All you have to do is start a new project in SEO SpyGlass, but this time for your own website. Once you get a list of backlinks pointing to your site, use the same filter we've discussed (Show Backlinks From Blogs & Forums Only) to see which ones come from blogs.
SEO SpyGlass also lets you see newly placed backlinks (which are essentially comments), as opposed to the ones that were there last time you ran the check.
In addition, you can enter your Google Analytics details into SEO SpyGlass in order to keep track of visitors coming to your site via the comments you've made!
Staying in touch with fellow-bloggers
In order to take your blog commenting campaign to a new level, you can copy all the comments you've placed so far (that have been detected by SEO SpyGlass) and paste them into LinkAssistant for further management.
LinkAssistant has a built-in email client. It lets you exchange emails with all the people you established contact with when commenting on their blogs. This way, you can easily keep track of how your relationships progress.
Besides, with LinkAssistant, you can always check whether your comments are still in place or have been removed, and whether they've been made nofollow or restricted from indexing with a robots.txt file. For that, just press the "Verify" button and wait for LinkAssistant to run the check.
That's it! This is how SEO PowerSuite takes care of various aspects of your blog commenting campaign.
The SEO toolkit allows you to:
- Discover tons of niche-specific blogs and websites;
- Easily view them in the internal browser and leave comments without exiting the toolset;
- Quick-check on your comments to see which ones have been approved;
- Develop further relationships with fellow bloggers by keeping your commenting history and mail history in one program;
- See how many visitors came to your site via the blog comments you've left!
OK, isn't it convenient? Then why not try for yourself! Go grab the free version of SEO PowerSuite and let it pave your way to becoming a blog commenting super star!
Post image courtesy of Melissa M. Morris.
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