Posted by: Mike Clough

Web 2.0 Forum & Blog Commenting

commenting(sm)This element of Web 2.0 Marketing is located in the third ring of the graphic below because although it is effective, it has a lower return on time invested. Nonetheless, it can be worth the time and effort if done correctly. So let’s take a look at how to use this element the most effectively.

The first step is to find public forums and blogs that are discussing the same topics as you have in your blog and website. You can use Google Blog Search to find blogs writing about things similar to what you are writing. You can find this search engine under the “more” link at Google’s main site.

To find forums where discussions on your topic are taking place, use Google’s main search using term “(YourTopic) Forum”. If you locate forums that require you to login to even see the posts, they will be of less value than those that allow you read the posting but require you to login in order to leave comments.

Marketing-Target300Once acceptable blogs and forums are identified, look for articles and/or discussions that are perfect for you to leave your comments. Remember that most blogs and some forums are moderated and the owner/manager will decide which comments will be approved. If your comments look like spam they will not be accepted.

You can have your comments prewritten and saved on a document so they can be copied and pasted. However, you should edit them once pasted in to personalize them and make it appear as though you typed them from scratch. You comments need to fall in line with the other comments. It is best if you can work your link into the comments. If not, use it as part of your signature.

This practice will increase traffic to your site in two ways. First, remember that you found this site with a search engine and it ranked high for the search term you used. Others will find this site as well when they search using the same search term that you used. As they read the comments they are likely to click on your link and go to your blog/website as well. That is if your comments are compelling enough. Second, each link to your blog/website improves your credibility with search engines and soon you will become one of the top ranked pages for that search term.

If you make a point leave three or four comments every day, it will not take long for you to build your credibility with blogs, forum and search engines, make friends on these blogs and forums that will subscribe to your RSS feeds (remember, they are interested in the same topic(s) as you are) and soon you will have a steady flow of visitors to your blog/website.

This is just one element of those shown on the graphic and by itself will not make a huge difference. However, as you add this to the other elements in the graphic it will make a big difference. So be sure and read the other articles in this series as shown below and select as many different techniques as you can to drive the most traffic to your blog/website as possible.

Those that enjoyed this article, also enjoyed:
Web 2.0 Online Marketing Series – Overview

The Elements of a Web 2.0 Website
Web 2.0 Blogging For Business
Web 2.0 SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Web 2.0 Email Marketing & Autoresponders
Web 2.0 Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Web 2.0 Online Press Releases & Articles
Web 2.0 Professional & Social Networking
Web 2.0 RSS Feeds and Widgets
Web 2.0 Video & Podcasting
Web 2.0 Wikis & Open Source Marketing
Web 2.0 Bookmarking & Reviewing Sites
Web 2.0 Affiliate Marketing Programs

If you would like to contact me, you can do so by emailing me at mike.clough@bestbizpractices.org or visiting my LinkedIn page.

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Responses

It is interesting to see this marketing approach formalized in this way. We are a marketing & advertising company and are conducting our first paid Forum & Blog marketing trial on behalf of a new client. I am interested to see how this venue works in comparison to two other more “traditional” online test channels we are also testing (PPC and e-mail blasting). Does anyone on this thread have any experience with this or tips to share?

Tresa, I have blogged about both of these topics:
Pay-Per-Click Advertising: http://bit.ly/28nY5A
Email Marketing & Autoresponders: http://bit.ly/3g0gQL

I hope these are helpful to you.

Mike

Very informative post! And in keeping with your advice I will pass along links to both my social media blog: http://geekgal-yvette.blogspot.com and my QA Management blog: http://yvettefrancino.wordpress.com.

I’ll also spread the word about your blog through Twitter and adding this blog to my Social Media blog roll and it looks like it had a lot of other very informative posts!

Thanks!
Yvette

I have been learning that leaving comments is really one of the most effective ways to create your online presence. It also fulfills the real intent of blogging, which is to create a conversation, not just present an idea. As someone recently mentioned, a blogger who turns off their comments is either arrogant or insecure. Or maybe both. But what they don’t get is the vast opportunity for the exchange of ideas and perspectives which is creating a global community that will serve us well in the future.

Leaving comments is a good way to drive some traffic but to leave a “copy and paste” message, even personalized, defeats an important benefit of Web 2.0 – collaboration. If we’re going to elevate our collective knowledge and creativity it’s important to deliver value to a discussion. In return we may not only generate traffic back to our websites we’ll have sparked new thinking.

Morry, I agree with your point completely.

However, not everyone has the time to write everything from scratch. When you consider the time invested in all of the other elements on my graphic above (many more important than this element), you either have to pay someone to do some of this or find some shortcuts. I know first hand that this is true.

I submit to you that it is better to copy, paste and customize than not do at all because you don’t have the time. If you have the time, I agree with your point totally.

Hi Mike. Thanks for another thoughtful article. I'm enjoying this series.

I've made a lot of connections (and generated some traffic) through participation on groups and forums. I do not agree with your "three to four comments a day" advice (and certainly not with the with pre-written message approach). This may work for Web 2.0 search precepts, but at least in the equine field, such a practice will not build credibility on the forums – it will get you labeled as a self-absorbed, out-of-touch or a spammer. There's a lot of cross-participation in these lists and you'll get called out if you leave a similar message on various forums, particularly if you're broadcasting three to four times a day. In my experience, you have to work with the culture of the group to gain any traction, and that requires participation. Of course, I also tend to target smaller groups (2000 and less), as I've found these to be better networking forums, so this may not apply to some of the very large sites.

Nanette

I agree with your point Nanette. In a small group credibility is everything. And becoming actively involved in discussions is always the best way.

However, if you are using many of the Web 2.0 elements, there just is not enough hours in the day and you need to find whatever shortcuts you can find. Yet, if what you are doing destroys your credibility, it can be more harmful than helpful. So I think each individual will have to decide What will work for them.

Thanks for commenting.

Just brushing up on the latest Web 2.0 design guidelines. Lots of white space, light colors and big images, call to actions etc. Updating my xhtml knowledge, seems like html is out for good. Webpages are passé it seems, what with all the mobile apps and social networking sites. Seems I’m always running to catch up.

In Web Design it is imperative to stay abreast of the latest styles and color palettes. So research, research, research. After that practice, practice, practice. The more you design, the easier it gets. Use good clean images. Images with dramatic angles and colors. Arrange your color distribution around it. Use gradients and bright colors wisely to draw attention to the main topics. Try to present the text in an interesting manner. 3D effects look glossy and rich use them for buttons and to highlight salient points. Use interesting animations wisely and brush up on your javascript skills. Javascript files should be as small and simple as possible. Using pages and pages of JavaScript causes conflicts, especially if there are Body onLoad() functions. Use Flash animations and slideshow to animate your websites.

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Hi, I’m a newbie, glad to be here. I register on this forum to wish that I can post a question and perhaps give answers if I can. Thanks!

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