How to Explode Your Traffic and Branding with Blog Commenting

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Blog commenting is something that many of us do, but would you consider it a strong point of your online marketing and branding? There are many different ways that blog commenting can work for building traffic to your site and building your brand in the process, but too many comments are looking for a quick link and using short cut methods that end up hurting their brand rather than helping it.

I run a decent amount of large blogs, which means I get to manage a lot of blog comments. This isn’t something I enjoy doing, as I get to deal with a lot of spam and waste time weeding out the good ones from the bad… however it has taught me a lot along the way. On one of my larger sites,, I created a set of blog commenting guidelines for my readers to follow. These rules are made up of the following:

  • All comments must have a “real name” associated with the comment
  • Your avatar picture should be of a real person and not blank/placeholder
  • Comments need to provide value and not be a simple “nice post” message.

By setting guidelines you can expect better quality from the people who are already commenting on your site, while also potentially eliminating the ones that are wasting your time and doing drive-by spam comments as well.


The Benefits of Blog Commenting

When it comes to commenting on other blogs, there are many reasons why you should be doing this. Getting backlinks to your site, gaining exposure through your name and gravatar image, and also providing quality content are just three of the major benefits.

As beneficial as blog commenting might be, it is rare that you will find many top bloggers commenting on smaller blog posts. This usually isn’t because they don’t care, but instead of other obligations that take up most of their time.

One way that I have been able to relate with bloggers of all sizes is to make sure I take the time to comment on any blogs that mention my name or sites, in addition to responding to any interview requests that come my way as well. Yes, this does take up a lot of time, but it’s something I’ve always said that I would appreciate and act on.

This is especially appreciated by any new bloggers who are on the up and coming. It’s a thrill to see a big name commenting on your new baby, and it will be remembered for a long time coming.

Important note: I would definitely look at blog commenting from more of a “branding” concept versus trying to get new links and traffic to your sites. But if you are going to be focusing on blog commenting for traffic and links, be sure to follow those same guidelines I mentioned above and also provide unique, thoughtful comments that people will find value in. This will increase the chances of readers noticing  your comment and possibly clicking over to your site.

How to Find Great Blogs to Comment On

The next part of the process to exploding your traffic and branding through blog commenting is finding the right blogs to comment on. Obviously you are going to want to comment on blogs that are in your same niche, since this is the type of traffic you are going to want to bring back to your site.

The Technorati 100 is a great place to start and you can search through their site for blogs over a wide range of topics. I also recommend you take a look at my company’s list Brand 150, which is  made up of over 500 different blogs and uses a unique algorithm that ranks sites based on their social following and various site rankings.

No matter what reason you are leaving comments on blogs for, make sure you end up improving your online reputation versus destroying it.

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Zac Johnson
Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 18 years of experience and currently blogs at and
Zac Johnson
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  • Great article as I truly believe blog interaction will drive more traffic and greater brand recognition.

    • It’s so exciting knowing that traffic can be so influential when owning a website. And I have to agree with you; Blog interaction is extremely important for a successful marketing strategy.

  • I’m sick of those people who use targeted keywords as their name when they’re commenting on blogs just to have easy link back to their site! I wish all blog owner has a rule just like yours to prevent those people spamming the web.

    • Hey! Jeric,
      It’s funny seeing you here. I agree with you. It’s so important to prevent those people from spamming the web and the owner might need to have rules.

      • Oh hi Vincent! So glad to see you here. :))
        I subscribed on this blog to get updated about SEO news and tips, so you can always see me here.

    • Quite annoying indeed! I just basically delete any comments that don’t have a real profile pic or name… they just ruin the user experience and almost never provide value.

  • I definitely agree that all blogs should require the use of a real name. Although it is an easy way to pick

  • Hi Zac, It’s good to read about the importance of blog commenting in the social media age. Though I feel guest blogging is getting more popular these days than blog commenting.

    But, its still one of the old & widely used trick to establish your authority in blogosphere and network with other expert bloggers in your niche. Still, one of the metrics for a well-written blog entry is the number of comments received on it.

    More than just building backlinks this way, publications like Huffington Post and Gawker have built a cult community by engaging their readers in their comments section. The whole idea of what made comments and later social media so much more popular is – a network of real people having real conversations.

  • Blog Commenting is the best way and Genuine way generate the Traffic for our Blog.! But make sure to leave comments that are of value and not just a random “good post” sort of comment.I too get some traffic by commenting is others blogs and also able to meet new bloggers. I also know that commenting will help us in building back links too.Thanks For Sharing and Writing

  • Nice sharing Zac 🙂 I even believe that if social is important, then why blog commenting is not! even Matt Cutts released a video on a week of last month i.e on November 2013, where he stated that “Blog commenting is fine, but use your real name”
    As Jeric said in the previous comment that “people who use targeted keywords as their name when they’re commenting on blogs just to have easy link back to their site” I must agree in this sentence, that comments must be mark as spam.

  • Agreed blog commenting is a great way of getting known in the blogging world if you do it properly.

    When you get a lot of people commenting on your post with a “Nice post” it just makes me want to turn comments off. You have to add a bit extra to the article with your comments.

    For this reason I’ve always decided to moderate the comments on my blog, some people believe that you shouldn’t moderate your visitors comments before they go live. But I think it’s vital to ensure only quality comments are attached to the post. Where do you stand on moderating comments?

    • Some blog commenting services like LiveFyre allow you you to while list blog comments, which makes it easier for future blog moderation.

  • The motive behind a blog comment shouldn’t be a backlink but to add value to the discussion. If SEO’s could understand this concept and use backlinks to build relationships and reputation, then the web would be so much more a better place. Thanks Zac for reiterating this 🙂

  • As a long time blogger, I love getting comments. That’s why I leave them. It’s a “community thing” to do, like wearing your team’s jersey or waving hello to your neighbour.

    • Blog commenting is also contagious. The more people that comment, the more comments you are likely to get from other people. By having the owner of a blog leave comments and reply to their own blog comments, that’s a great business model for everyone!

  • You have made a good point of using blog commenting to drive traffic to blog, but it does not work for every niche,
    many blogs these days are using disqus commenting system, which means no click would get a reader to your site.

  • Well said Zac,

    It sure is contagious, I am currently not running a blog. Back in 2007 after putting in alot of work into commenting at other blogs that were of some quality. I was able to not only bring back more traffic to my site, but at the same time establish a good standing among the other peers.

    Well written post either way!

  • When I first started blogging I always thought the commenting thing was just a way for people to get people to come thier site! But when I started to develop my own site I realized that people were right! Its a great way to build community ,interact with other bloggers in your field,and get advice you didn’t know you needed. The trick is to identify your audience and your peers so that your commenting on the right sites.

    • I’ve always appreciated the blog commenters on my sites. One of the cool things was being able to see the face and name of people who are actually reading what you write. It means a lot to bloggers to see this type of activity on their sites.

  • James Halloran

    Commenting definitely works! It may take a while for people to notice you, but it eventually does give you the extra exposure you need to build a following. But you make a good point — if you’re just leaving a comment for the sake of a backlink, people will pick that up. And that’s not good for your reputation if you come off that way.

    • Definitely. Just take a look at this post for example… we are now at 20 comments. Most posts on SEJ will send up with around 2-5… we are way past the average. Also over 400 social shares as well. Blog commenting is positive for blog content, engagement, social media and branding!

  • Alan Bleiweiss

    Excellent article. Hopefully people will read this and pay attention to the details – like where you discuss that you need to think of it as brand building.

    It’s exactly one of the core ways I got going in the industry and over time became identified as someone worth connecting with. Definitely a foundational component to my personal brand building.

    And to this day I continue to comment where I can when I do offer real value.

  • This is a really good post, and something to truly think about. As SEOs, we are constantly trying to figure out how to get good traffic and backlinks to ours and our client’s sites. Blog commenting is one of the ways to do this that some of us just haven’t given thought to before.

    I am going to start.

  • Intent is pretty important when it comes to this and I’m glad you mentioned that it’s better to go into it with the purpose of brand awareness more than anything else.

  • It’s unfortunate that with all the spamming we’re seeing many blogs (me included with one of mine) being force to set comments to moderate. I would hate to know what a full time blogger goes through trying to maintain all the spam.

    Although I think it’s very important to comment on topics that really do interest you, I would say to not just comment for the sake of commenting. If you have to spend more than 15 seconds to think of a comment to leave, then move on. Don’t fabricate just for the sake of leaving a link. Deep down inside you should be at peace knowing that you’re commenting because you had a connection with the topic.

  • Since it is all about social interaction based on value creation. Building relationship online in a proper manner is what this post and comments have brought to the fore. Its is quite educative.

  • Hi, Zac! I totally agree with you that blog commenting is a great way to drive traffic to your blog. Also, it gives you a chance to interact with other bloggers and gain from the conversation.
    My 2 cents:
    1) Make sure your comments are meaningful and are adding value to the post. Commenting on a post just to gain traffic and link juice is not going to work if you’re not contributing anything to the discussion.
    2) Once you’ve added a comment on an article, share your comment on social networks. In this way not only the post but also your comment will attract more eyeballs.
    3) Check your comment before publishing them for any grammatical errors, and try to keep the tone conversational.

  • Nice post… Haha just busting your chops!

    I was just at a great session today at NMX with Dino Dogan and Robert Scoble and this is what I took from that session and this article.

    Blog commenting could be a way to drive traffic and get links, something were all desperate for.

    Is that really what you want to be remembered for?

    You could comment on every blog with a shoe little blurb but what is that really saying about your brand? It makes you look like drive through content instead of prime rib.

    Instead of thinking in terms of quantity of posts and quantity of clicks through to your site, think in terms of quality of clicks through to your site. If you are commenting with great content most likely you put out great content.


  • Aswathy

    Exactly, Blog commenting is the best way to increase traffic on your blog. And this article done a good job.