Commenting On Blogs Using Google Reader

In this article I’ll explain my strategy for commenting on blogs and how I use google reader to be more effective with my blog commenting.

Why bother commenting on blogs?

Early on in my blogging life I read about blog commenting. The original stuff I read talked about visiting other people’s blogs and leaving comments. There were two benefits:

  1. You become a contributor to the conversation going on on another blog. It’s part of building a community and being social.
  2. You get a link back to your site. This link may or may not carry some link juice (depending on whether the blog is a follow or no-follow blog), and some people will click on your link and actually visit your site. When you’re just starting out, any traffic is good traffic!

As I read more about internet marketing and blogging I came to the realisation that some people were commenting on blogs in a manner a bit different to how I was doing it. They were using automated tools to find blogs that allowed comments, and then they flooded them with spammy comments or comments that didn’t add any value – ‘nice post, well done!’

Now, there’s nothing illegal about doing this – I don’t think you’re breaking any laws, but it’s not something that I’m comfortable with.

I’ve been slack in blog commenting over the past few months but I’m starting to do more of it. I’m getting back in the habit of making an effort to comment on articles that I’m reading.

One of the things I’ve always found difficult to do is to keep track of when blogs put up a new article. I used to bookmark a bunch of sites in Firefox and visit them, but I’d frequently miss new articles or visit days late.

I tried following people on Twitter, and whilst this is a good way to keep track of things, sometimes they’d get lost in the Twitter stream. Also, a lot of bloggers (myself included) will Tweet about older blog articles so it can be difficult to determine if a tweet is about a new article or an old one.

The best way I’ve found to make my blog commenting focussed, is to use RSS feeds into Google reader.

Blog Commenting – google Reader

Firefox RSS Google Image

Google reader is one of many Google applications that I use. It’s a web based tool that I use to display all the RSS feeds that I subscribe to.

Whenever I find a blog that I like, I click on the ‘Subscribe To This Page’ link in Firefox. It them asks if I want to use Google for the feed – this is the option I select. It’ll then open up that feed within Google Reader.

The best way to use Google Reader is to set up multiple folders and place your feeds within those folders. This makes it easier to find the feeds you want.

IGoogle Reader Commenting on Blogs folder‘ve got one folder set up with all my favourite guitar site RSS feeds going into it. I can easily find this folder in Reader, and click from feed to feed reading my guitar news.

When it comes to blog commenting, I’ve done something similar. If I find a site that I want to comment on on a regular basis, I place it into a folder within Reader called ‘Blogs To Comment On’.

This is easy to do. When you’ve got the feed displayed within reader, click on the ‘Feed Settings’ button on the top of the feed box. This will open up a list of options, one of which will be to add the feed to a pre-existing folder, or to a new folder. Call you folder whatever you want to call it, as long as it makes sense to you.

The good thing about Reader, is that you can easily see if there’s new content to look at. On the screenshot above, you can see that there’s 6 new articles in the ‘Blogs to Comment On’ folder.

If I click on this and open it, it’ll list all the blogs, line by line and I’ll be able to see at a glance which ones have new content. From there, it’s simple. Click on the articles I want to leave comments on, open them up on the actual blog’s website, read the article and comment.

Using Google Alerts in Google Reader

Here’s another quick bonus tip!RSS Feed Image

I have a number of Google alerts set up. Want to know if people mention me, my business, or a couple of specific keywords I’m targeting. So I’ve set up Google alerts for these terms.

Instead of getting emails from Google alerts, I’ve set it up so the RSS feeds go into Google Reader, into a folder called ‘Google Alerts’. I can quickly see if there’s anything new to look at, and it easy to mark it all as read.

Blog Commenting with Google Reader – Your Thoughts

So this is how I do my commenting on blogs using Google reader and RSS feeds to make the process simpler.

What do you think. Is there a specific method you use to help with commenting on blogs? Could the method I’ve outlined work for you?

Leave a comment below (ironic, considering it’s an article about commenting!) and let me know what you think.

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Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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14 Responses to Commenting On Blogs Using Google Reader
  1. Adrienne
    October 29, 2011 | 2:26 am

    Hi Allan,

    Great post and so right on. I discovered Google Reader and subscribing to RSS feeds a little over a year ago. I was always under the misconception that if they were asking me to subscribe to something then I was going to get on yet another list that I wouldn’t have time to read. Silly me, had I done a little more research this would have all made perfect sense.

    This is the best way to keep up with all the blogs you enjoy visiting the most and seeing when they have posted something new.

    As far as my commenting schedule goes, I reply to all comments left on my blog and I’ll start with visiting their blogs and leaving a comment on their posts first. Then I’ll check my reader to see if there are any new posts I want to read that particular day if I have time. If not, I have to save it for another day!

    Great tips, I have no doubt others will find it just as helpful.

    Adrienne recently posted..Attention All Baby Boomers…It Is Never Too LateMy Profile

  2. Chris
    November 5, 2011 | 1:32 pm

    Really useful tips Allan. I’ve been using this strategy myself and it works really great. I’ve setup the Google Reader widget to show up on my personalized Google page I can quickly see whenever new posts are published. It’s a great way to be one of the first people to leave a comment on any particular post.
    Chris recently posted..Domain SearchMy Profile

  3. sylmarsh
    December 6, 2011 | 1:24 pm

    Hi, Allan. Thanks for your tip about Google Reader. I’ve never looked into using it, but this article is very timely for me as I’ve just been learning about another technique for keeping track of blogs. I will give this a try because I like knowing at a glance how many new articles have been posted that just may need a comment from me!

    Thank you, Allan.
    sylmarsh recently posted..Contact UsMy Profile

  4. toys
    March 12, 2012 | 7:06 pm

    I’ve never looked into using it, but this article is very timely for me as I’ve just been learning about another technique for keeping track of blogs

  5. Juphet Mislang
    March 15, 2012 | 11:59 am

    So to be able to use google reader, you need to subscribe to RSS feeds? am I right? Oh well, blog commenting has always been part of SEO off page – the link building process, which has been proven to be effective to improve rankings and attract more traffic.
    Juphet Mislang recently posted..Off Page SEO How Important Is it?My Profile

    • Allan Ward
      March 15, 2012 | 8:34 pm

      Yes, Google reader is a way of bringing together RSS feeds into one central place where you can read them. It’s made my life a lot simpler!

  6. Sylvia Ryals
    April 11, 2012 | 10:51 am

    I subscribe to 4 blogs I read on Google Reader. There is no way I can figure out how to comment while I am on the Reader. To comment I need to find the blog on the internet. How can I make a comment when I’m reading on Google Reader?

    • Allan Ward
      April 11, 2012 | 11:32 am

      Thanks for the comment Sylvia.

      You’re right, there is no way to comment from within Reader – you still need to click on the individual post in Reader to open it on its website. Reader makes it easier to keep track of who has posted a new entry, but you can’t comment from within it.


  7. Doris
    April 20, 2012 | 11:06 pm

    As some of you may know, I recently launched a photography blog, Photostry. And one thing I discovered very quickly about the photo community is if you want comments, you better start giving comments first.
    Doris recently posted..Laptop disk recoveryMy Profile

  8. Saky
    June 22, 2012 | 12:15 am

    As far as my schedule of replying to comments goes, I respond to all the comments my visitors leave on my blog posts or email me personally. I feel that it helps a lot in building long lasting relationships and is good from the marketing point of view too!
    Saky recently posted..Instant Domain SearchMy Profile

    • Allan Ward
      June 22, 2012 | 12:53 pm

      Saky, that’s a good thing to do.

  9. Dave Lucas
    July 7, 2012 | 3:24 am

    Commenting, like anything else, is best done in moderation mode.
    Dave Lucas recently posted..Malware may knock thousands off Internet on Monday…My Profile

  10. Valerie McEvoy
    August 11, 2012 | 7:08 am

    Just signed up for YOUR feed. Love this information. I have been dabbling with Google Reader, but never realized it could be used for just this type of thing. Anything that makes online easier! Thanks for your gracious sharing of good information!
    Valerie McEvoy recently posted..Buying a Home in Oklahoma City? | Good Reasons to Buy a Home in OKCMy Profile

  11. Bishnu Dev
    November 25, 2014 | 12:48 pm

    Hey thanks for providing the information about Google reader. I have never used it before and was unknown. Thanks :)
    Bishnu Dev recently posted..Meta Description Blogger : An Absolute GuideMy Profile

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