Web 2.0 is about one big thing: Interaction. You have to give to the system to benefit from it. Long gone are the days when you could just sit back and wait for people to find your website. But if your numbers are dwindling, here is one truly simple FREE trick you can try to draw in more traffic to your website.
Take 15 minutes every week to comment on blogs.
Did you ever wonder how people find the time to comment on blogs? You might assume that they do it because they don’t have enough to keep them busy throughout the day. There are some people in that boat for sure—especially on entertainment blogs! Some are doing it because they’re passionate about the topic; that’s very common. But many others are doing it to drive traffic back to their own websites.
If you or someone on your staff (preferably both!) aren’t interacting on behalf of your company on industry blogs, you’re missing out. More importantly, comment on blogs geared toward your target audience. A few examples:
- If you target a specific area of the country, look for blogs for residents and/or businesses geared toward a particular area. That could be a town, county, state, or geographic region.
- If you are targeting families with young children, seek out blogs where mothers and fathers collaborate on products and parenting techniques.
- If your company’s goals are eco-friendly living or business practices, find blogs where the main topics center around environmentally conscious practices (or people who are complaining about the lack of them!).
How to Get Started
First, spend a little time figuring out which markets / regions you want to target. Let’s say you want to search for blogs and blog posts that talk about eco-friendly lifestyles.
Put a List Together
If you are targeting a relatively small region, you may just want to start with a simple Google search, something like “eco-friendly blog torrington, ct” or “green blog torrington, ct.” Then widen the targeted area to something like “green blog ct” if you cannot find anything.
Otherwise, go to technorati.com and find some blogs to post to. For my eco-friendly lifestyles search, I’m going to go to Lifestyle > Green and see what’s cooking.
I scroll through the recent blog posts and find one that looks promising: With Blow-Out March Heat Wave, Meteorologist Masters Says: “This Is Not the Atmosphere I Grew Up With” on a blog called Climate Progress. I would read the article, scan through what others are saying (don’t want to repeat what someone else has already written!), and add my name, website address, and comment.
Then if it seems like this might be a blog I’ll want to comment on weekly, I’ll add it to a list or bookmark it. I follow about 20 blogs like this that are not super-popular, but popular enough to have loyal followers and people interacting with one another.
It Helps SEO Too!
When you comment on a website that has lots of traffic, you can generally provide a link back to your website. Don’t log in as your Facebook or Twitter profile; always enter your name, website address, email address (always private), and message. Otherwise, you won’t get that backlink.
But once your comment goes live, so does the backlink, and suddenly your website has a backlink from a website that gets thousands of visitors per month. Then up goes your website’s page rank!
As long as the blog’s owner has allowed the URL to be tracked by search engines (adding an attribute called “dofollow” to your link), then adding a comment there is worthwhile for SEO purposes as well as traffic increases.
There is a movement going on to ensure that blog owners always have “dofollow” attributes on commenters’ links. Some popular browsers have handy plugins where you can see if the blog is a good one to comment on based on the nofollow (bad) or dofollow (good) attribute.
- For Chrome, you can install this plugin: http://bit.ly/GKL1NN
- For Firefox, this one works great: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/856
The 15-Minute Process
Every week, take 15 minutes, visit 5-10 blogs from your list, and drop a comment on articles that pique your interest.
Make sure your comments aren’t just “Great blog!” or “I totally agree!” If someone reads your comment and clicks your name – which you hyperlinked to your website by entering your URL in the comment form – you’ve got them for a few minutes. You’ll have a higher chance of getting clicks if your comment is interesting. In fact, some popular blogs won’t publish those brief, non-descriptive comments because they want people to interact.
That’s all you have to, but you have to do it every week.
If you have a few extra minutes in your week, take a look around Technorati and see if there are any other blog posts that you could add to your list and/or comment on. This is a great way to use time while you’re traveling or waiting for a meeting to start, since you can do it from a mobile device too!
Be sure to check the dates on the blog post you’re thinking of commenting on. It’s always a good idea to comment on blog posts that are recent, within the past couple weeks, unless it seems like a topic people have been commenting on over a long period of time.
Does This Really Work?
I’ve dropped comments on blogs for a while now, and I still see referrals from blog posts I commented on years ago. The more relevant, insightful comments you have out there, the better you’ll get at interacting and the higher probability you’ll have of drawing people back to your website.
If you’re not comfortable with interacting on a Web 2.0 level, this is a simple way to help you get more familiar with the process, which will only get you closer to your intended market.
Remember: This is about interaction, so if someone replies to your comment, be sure to comment back and keep the conversation going. You never know what might come from it!
You can start now: Leave ME an insightful comment about this blog post!