Blog commenting has become a popular way to build links and reputation in the blogging world. It is easy to see why. Commenting is quick, easy and – if done correctly – effective. With plugins like CommentLuv which enable bloggers to link their posts and websites to their comments on other people’s blogs, commenting as a link-building tool holds even greater promise. Follow these simple guidelines to use commenting wisely and effectively.

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The Ethics of Blog Commenting – The Do's and Don'ts

Do comment on articles whose topics you are knowledgeable about.

What you have to say is always more interesting when you know what you’re talking about, than when you don’t. Avoid dropping in in conversations that you are clueless about unless it is something you want to learn more on. There is nothing wrong with asking questions, but there is no need to flaunt your ignorance at every turn either. If you want to build a reputation as an authority on your topic, then stick to it.

Don’t use keywords in your name.

Using your target keywords as your name in a comment is like spamming. When you post a comment to another blogger’s article, you do so as yourself, not as your website. You do not have to use your real name – there are many reasons to justify the use of an alias – but you should try to avoid using your keywords. It may sound like a good SEO strategy, but it won’t win you any friends in the blogging community. Some tools even automatically label such comments as spam and filter them out.

Do add to the discussion.

Comments that add more information or insight add the most value to a post discussion. Share your knowledge and experiences about the topic, pass on a link or suggest a topic for a new, related article.

Don’t make brief, empty comments.

Comments like “Great post” or “I couldn’t agree more” or “Nice work” are the worst comments to make. It would be better to say nothing at all. Try to add something substantial in every comment you make. At the very least, make the author feel you really did read the article.

Don’t be afraid to disagree with the author.

It is tiresome to read only applause all the time. Don’t aim for needless flattery. If you are convinced you are right, don’t be afraid to show a different perspective. You don’t have to be rude about it. You can respectfully disagree. At the same time, you can soften the blow by complimenting other points in the article that you do agree with.

Do read the article… in full if you can.

I know. When you are on a “commenting roll” it is tiresome to have to read through every post. Especially when the writer barely knows how to put words together, doesn’t use headings or lists and rambles aimlessly. But you could embarrass yourself if you comment without reading the whole thing. What if you ask a question that was already addressed in the post? Read the article. If you can’t bear to, don’t type in the box.

Do promote your blog with restraint.

Plugins like CommentLuv allow you to link back to your recent posts, Twitter account, etc. Try to promote articles that are relevant to the ones you comment on. This will increase the odds of other people coming over to your site and commenting on them in turn.

Conclusion

Blog commenting isn’t simply dropping a line of compliment in hundreds of blogs. This would be nothing more than spamming. Real blog commenting adds value to a discussion, spreads your (hopefully good) reputation and allows you to share relevant content from your own site. Use it wisely.

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