This is a guest article by Marya. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.
When I started blogging, I made a terrible mistake. I annoyed a few bloggers –unintentionally I might add- but I am sure that I did.
Every time I liked a post and commented on it, I thought – oh, here is where I am going to get discovered. This is my chance.
So while I truly liked the post, I somehow made the response about ME.
I wrote in the comments to get attention. Ouch!
Only because …
I had listened to the advice every new blogger gets. Comment on other blogs to generate traffic to your blog. How many times have you heard this? Heck, I am also guilty of saying the same to people who care to listen – the gullible newbies.
That’s just plain wrong.
You might get some views by commenting on other blogs, but not many. And that is not why you should be commenting anyway. You comment because you honestly have something to say. You have liked something and you want to add to it. Or you might feel to the contrary and want to say your two cents worth.
Beleive me when I say this, it’s not about you, it’s about them.
Think of how much time you spend on commenting on a post. Think again of how many comments you read and click on to follow to their blogs. I am thinking – not many. You won’t want to spend hours commenting on posts hoping other readers will click through. You need to be spending that time on
- Writing amazing posts (I get sick of word ‘content’ sometimes)
- Replying to comments on your own blog
- Reading up on books, magazines and other blogs
- Making sure your blog looks the way you want it to, and most importantly
- Creating mutually beneficial relationships in the blogging world
Case in point: Me
I had no business being online. I was a marketer and a business writer for a leading University. I had given up on practising law to become a teacher/writer.
Then I had a genius thought – hang on – why don’t I move my writing to online? Become a webpreneur. I have the skill – I’ll start a blog. All I need is people to find me, that shouldn’t be too hard.
Except a teeny tiny problem – I don’t know anybody online. Just like real life, I stink at networking. So what do I do? I start following the advice that is most frequently doled out to newcomers.
“Start commenting on other blogs to drive traffic to yourself.”
This is the biggest piece of crap I have heard.
Assuming you are awesome at what you do but you are just starting out – stop with the goddamn commenting on hundred random blogs. The other 89 readers on a post are NOT checking you out. No matter how interesting your comment is – or how brilliant your blog is – they are just not that into you. Don’t take it personally.
The other readers just don’t have the time to read each and every comment. Sure, they might read a few but they won’t necessarily follow the link to check out the blogs. I know I don’t do it, how can I expect this from others.
The only person who does seem to care about what you think is the blogger themselves. And they will not like it either if your sole purpose to comment on their blog is to attract attention – to yourself.
The biggest favour you can do for yourself is to start making friends with other bloggers.
I am sure you follow a few blogs. Are there any blogs that you absolutely can’t live without? Well you need to develop some sort of relationship with these people – network with these bloggers, because frankly you like them right?
Also you want allies in the world of blogging. You need people on your side.
How can you create networking opportunities with these people. Well, they already exist so no need to reinvent the wheel.
Participate in their Blogs
Comment on their posts – for the right reasons. If you are not quite sure, go back up and read my case study again.
Extend offers of help. Point them to resources you think might help them out.
Link to their Posts
Only because its necessary that you do. And when the timing is right, they will link back to you.
After a while you might be ready to approach them to do a guest post. By now you have known them for a while, hopefully you know you a bit too and like you as well. It doesn’t have to be a purely business pitch, it can be mate writing to another one.
Connect on Social Media
You are not a social media enthusiast? No worries – do something that even your grandma can do.
Connect with them on twitter. Follow their feeds and slowly start to establish a relationship with them. Reply to their tweets, RT them and say thanks for being an inspiration. And mean it.
Share the posts you love on facebook. Interact with them so they know you exist and you care. That in turn will show that you matter.
Then when you approach people for guest posting, it truly is because you have enjoyed reading their blog so much that you want to contribute. And there is no harm in admitting (secretly – to yourself) that you could use their help promoting yourself.
You cannot do more than that, as it is not under your control. Worry about what you can change and play nice. In time you will start to see steady rise in traffic. And this time around, the best thing is that the people are coming to stay.
Now is the time to start that joy of dance – let us begin. 🙂
Remember your days a low grade new blogger? Is this the advice you came across most often? How much time did you spend on commenting and what initially worked for you to bring in serious traffic? Do share in the comments below.