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:
- You become a contributor to the conversation going on on another blog. It’s part of building a community and being social.
- 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
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.
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
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.