You know that you should be blogging for your own website, because your blog can be a great place for fresh, relevant and useful content (as long as you do it well). And it’s the perfect place to do a bit of newsjacking so you can use a current trend or hot news topic to boost your SEO and get more click-throughs. But are you putting enough effort into the comments you leave on other people’s blogs or forums?
The comments you leave on a popular blog can lead to new relationships, quality backlinks and a sterling reputation for you as an industry expert who cares enough to help others. But your comment has to be more than just a one-line “Great job!” type of comment with a link to your site.
Follow these 5 tips to write forum messages and blog comments that earn you clickthroughs from real people – and the kind of backlinks you need for your SEO strategy.
1. Be respectful. Nobody likes a troll. So if you’re going to disagree with the blogger or the person who started the forum thread, do so respectfully: Agree with some part of their message, and then state what you disagree with and offer your own advice. Follow that with a link to a page on your website where readers can find more info.
2. Be relevant. Keep your comment focused tightly on the topic at hand without veering off into other topics or stirring up controversy. Don’t use the topic to link to some of your own content that’s slightly related to the original question but doesn’t answer it – that just frustrates the reader.
3. Proof your comment or forum reply before hitting “Submit.” A strong grasp of English grammar and spelling has a remarkable impact on how seriously your message is taken. So watch your spelling, write in complete sentences, use your best grammar and avoid the use of texting shorthand.
4. Be a teacher or mentor. No doubt you’ve had some help getting where you are in your career, so pay it forward! Look for other forum participants or blog commenters who genuinely need the kind of help and advice you can provide. Answer them thoughtfully and (of course) provide a link to more information on your website.
5. Follow up. Check back on your blog comment or the forum thread you participated in and see if anyone said your advice or content was useful to them. Let them know you were happy to help – and see if they have a website that’s relevant to your industry. If so, request a backlink to your site and let them know you’re always happy to answer their questions.
Bonus tip: Mine your interactions for topics for your own blog posts. As you see the kind of topics people are asking about, make the most of your own “volunteerism” by writing blog posts about those topics. This is good for SEO because your blog content will answer the questions you know real people are asking – and searching for.
Blog comment sections, forum threads and even informational websites like Quora.com are all great places to get your website more attention and backlinks with just a little effort. Plus, you’ll build your reputation as an industry expert who likes to help others. That’s a winning proposition in many ways!