Tag Archives: blog commenting

Ways To Get Quality Backlinks – Blah!

Time for another Mitchell rant, and this time it’s on the topic of “quality backlinks”.

Here’s the deal. I understand that many people are looking to find ways to get backlinks, which to me means getting something for nothing. Yeah, that’s not quite fair, but I say that because I keep seeing post after post with titles like “5 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks” and every single one of them says almost the same thing.

Sugar Chain
Windell Oskay via Compfight

You know, Google has messed up again because they tell people that the thing they look at in ranking websites and blogs is backlinks to other sites of quality. To this I say “blah”. What they’ve done is once again set people up in doing all sorts of stupid stuff, just so in two or three years they can come out with the Wolverine update and slam all of those sites for once again doing what they told them to do, saying “you idiots, we didn’t mean for you to do it that way.” And they’ll be laughing at you when it happens.

I say “you” instead of me because if you’re doing all this stuff to get backlinks and that’s your only goal, you deserve to be laughed at. And I say that while having one blog that I actually allow people to write guest posts for, which gives them a backlink to their site. But really, who’s benefiting more from that, them or me?

What are these genius recommendations I keep seeing, that you’re also seeing over and over? Here they are:

1. Write guest posts
2. Comment on other blogs
3. Write in forums
4. Post links on social networks
5. Ask others to trade links with you

Oh yeah, the sidebar 6th is to make sure you do all of this on both similarly themed websites and high ranking websites. And I saw one that talked about making sure you have quality content; didn’t I address that topic once before?

Are there problems with these recommendations? Well, some of them anyway. Guest posts are great for gaining some publicity but just how many guest posts can you write, or have someone else write for you, that’s actually going to do you any good? How many comments can you or will you actually make in a forum that’s going to help you? And don’t you hate when someone you know asks you to trade links with you and that they’ll make sure your link will be on a PR2, 3 or 4 ranked site?

The other two?

Blog commenting is more about joining the community of bloggers and having people learn who you are rather than creating backlinks, although it’s probably a benefit if you comment often and are on dofollow blogs. But if that’s all you’re looking for you’re kind of shallow.

Posting your links to social media sites is smart, but not necessarily for backlinks. Once again, the idea is getting your link out to others who might be interested in what you have to say and share and be willing to come back to your site to read your content, and they might even stick around to read other content or even buy something.

Just so we’re clear, I’m not saying that backlinks won’t do you any good. What I will say is that the ways everyone else is telling you to do it makes no sense. Who has that kind of time? And is your motivation legitimate?

Of course, some of you now want to pin me down on this question; what would I recommend in getting backlinks if I’m saying it’s not a bad thing to have them? My recommendation; write well, and write something compelling.

I’m not using the term “high quality content” because who can really define that? Instead, I’m saying to write something that others will look at, read, possibly comment, and then might be intrigued enough to want to link to you in their content. Wow, what a novel idea!

How do you do that? It’s a combination of 3 things:

1. Write things that are entertaining and challenging that makes people think and gets them to want to share your stuff without you asking them to

2. Try linking back to someone else’s blog post or article every once in awhile to show how it’s done. People not only like returning the compliment but commenting on what someone else had to say shows you read the post, were touched by the post, and that maybe your own stuff is worth looking at. You don’t always have to agree by the way; if you’re a consistent reader of this blog you’ll see that I’m always pulling a link from someone else’s blog and commenting on it.

3. Go get people to come to your blog by commenting on their blogs (good comments, not drive by’s) and by sharing your links on social media. This is a combined effort, but you have to be diligent with it. I’ve made this recommendation before and I’ll make it again. If you don’t have lots of time, find 5 blogs that you like and only concentrate on those 5 for awhile. But put your links out everywhere you can think of, that you like, at least once.

That’s it. Do that stuff, keep doing that stuff, and you’ll build up more juice for your blog or website than you can imagine. You’ll get quality people coming to your blog and the search engines won’t penalize you; who can ask for anything better than that?

Well, maybe one more thing. In this video myself and the rest of the Hot Blog Tips Hangout group talked about finding motivation in blogging, and we broached the subject of this post as well; enjoy:


 

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Commenting On Similarly Themed And Niched Blogs

A recommendation I see all the time by people who proclaim to teach you how to increase traffic to your blog and to get juice for your blog is through commenting; that part is actually correct. The second half of that recommendation is to only comment on blogs that talk about the same thing your blog talks about, with the expectation that people will see that who are already interested in your topic and they’ll pop over.

That sounds great in theory but I’m here to tell you that it’s kind of a fallacy in more ways than one. Yes, I’ve done an experiment and I’m here to give you some shocking results. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a research project, but at least I got paid for this one.

Let me explain. I was paid by someone to go out and visit blogs in a certain niche and then write comments under his name. This is a client for whom I’ve done work for 3 years and he’s a good guy, and of course I got paid well for it. Y’all know I’m not one of those types that will only write one line either. Since I knew his topic really well I knew that I could write comments that made sense and were on point with the niche, which is real estate.

The experiment was to write 50 comments on real estate related blogs. I could deviate as long as the topic was real estate in some fashion, which included legal and finance blogs. It took me 3 days to get this done, mainly because many sites weren’t really blogs, and some blogs didn’t accept comments. Some were only highlights of property as well; nothing to say there. I used the “blog” search feature of Google to find these blogs.

What happened? Out of 50 comments, my comment showed up 29 times; that’s it. Out of those 21 times the comment didn’t show up, 16 times no comments showed up at all, which either means no one else commented or the writer didn’t approve anyone’s comments.

Out of the 29 times that the comment I left showed up, it got a response only twice; yup, that’s it. On only 4 blogs total was there use of CommentLuv. And on one of the blogs that my comment got a comment, the guy asked a question, which I responded to and that guy responded to that comment as well.

So, what do we assume? Are these people typical bloggers, in that they don’t know what some of us consider as the rules of blogging in responding to comments? Do these people only write and not really monitor the blogs, and thus never approve any of the comments? Do these people not want someone from the same industry in their space, taking away from what they’re trying to do? Are they, in essence, blog sculpting, or just making sure their advertising is the only one, blog or not?

In the past I’ve been the lone voice that’s said commenting only on blogs whose niche or topic is the same as yours doesn’t always work. I tried in the past commenting only on leadership blogs using my business blog link and found that many of those blogs never approved my comments either, and some didn’t approve any comments. Isn’t that a strange thing to discover when it’s a business blog, and you’d think that those people would have been taught that engagement is what they’re shooting for if their blog says it’s accepting comments, unlike what Seth Godin does, which is to not accept comments at all? At least when I comment on SEO blogs and use that business blog’s account those people always respond; that’s an industry that knows better, right?

Of course, me being me, I have a secondary reason for writing this particular post. I know there are a lot of people who monitor their comments for more than just content. There are some folks who delete links from sites whose niche doesn’t correspond with their own. They do that to stay in keeping with what they believe the search engines like and don’t like. I’m not sure how true all that is, and it’s hard to discount that as working or not.

I have to say that it’s rare for me to delete links from legitimate comments, though I have done it. If there’s a link going back to something I totally disagree with I will remove the link and the “love” if you will. But most of those links come from spammers and thus it’s an easy call; that’s why it’s rare that someone who really cares writes a comment and represents something that might be sleazy or salacious or something that just irks me to no end, like “payday loans”. I don’t care where you’re coming from otherwise; if you have something to share and it’s not stupid, use your link, get your love, and hopefully you’ll come back. Who knows, we might work together in some fashion one day; that would be nice as well.

If you’ve been waiting to comment only on specific types of blogs, stop. If you feel like commenting, whether it’s highly ranked or in your niche, do it. Reciprocity works in many different ways, and you never know when you’ll meet a friend.
 

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When Blog Posts Make You Crack Down On Someone

You know, it’s rare for me to actually get my ire up and bust on someone else’s blog. I may disagree, but for me to actually get angry enough to have to comment and not be my normal, nice self is something entirely different. But I did that last night, and I’m not sorry I did it, especially since it was a guest post. And it’s possible that I was still feeling the effects from having gone through what I did yesterday afternoon, which I talked about on yesterday’s post.


by Tostado Photo via Flickr

I’m not going to say where I commented. What I am going to do is say what irked me to death.

It was a guest post by a guy talking about reasons why he won’t comment on someone’s blog post. Heck, I’ve read a lot of these; I’ve written some myself. Most of the time the reasons make a heck of a lot of sense; this time they were juvenile and immature. What were they?

1. No images or videos.

2. No CommentLuv.

3. Too long.

Period; that’s it. Now, I’ve had some people here say that they don’t like long posts; that’s too bad if you ask me. If a topic is worth it then read the long post. If you don’t care about the topic move on and go read something else. To me that’s the one that others have mentioned that I disagree with but I understand that not everyone speed reads, and some people can go on and on about literally nothing. But just to say your reason for not reading something is because it’s too long… that’s what comic books are for.

The first one, no images or videos… Really, you need an image to get you interested in reading a post? You need a video to entertain you? Are we back in the 30’s and 40’s when every movie that made any money needed to suddenly have a song and dance in the middle of it? Is this Bollywood?

Not everyone wants to take the time to add an image to their posts. I do it in this blog and my local blog, but for my other 3 blogs I only sometimes have an image. Every topic isn’t viable for images. Maybe videos, since YouTube seems to have videos for everything but come in, how often do I want to write a post on leadership or health care and then add some video that “might” pertain to what I’m talking about?

Sorry, but if the subject matter doesn’t seem to generate a need for an image, there won’t be one. If that’s what you need to get you reading, there’s a series of books for you written by a guy named Dr. Seuss. And they’re pretty fun I’ll admit, as I still have many of my books from when I was a child (I actually still go and pull out Go Dog Go from time to time).

By the way, I will add this, just to be fair. If you want some of your posts shared then it’s good to add an image to them, depending on where you want them shared. For instance, if someone wishes to share what you’ve written on Google Plus or Facebook, images work wonders. If you’re hoping they’re sharing them on LinkedIn or Twitter, then images are optional. The first two mediums are boosted by visuals, the last two not so much.

Finally, CommentLuv. If everything else is equal but the thing you don’t want to do is not comment because you’re not going to be able to get credit for your blog for writing a comment, that’s just weak. Yes, I’m a big time CommentLuv fan, one of the early adopters, but for me, if the comment system allows me to leave an unencumbered comment I’m there. I don’t need to have a link coming back to a specific post. I get a link back to my blog for the asking, and that’s good enough for me.

And I’ll even say that I have my own peccadillo’s on commenting, which y’all know. There are certain platforms I refuse to comment on, others I’ll rarely comment on, and I absolutely hate captcha’s. In those cases though, I’m not saying I’m avoiding those blogs because I don’t want to comment; I’m avoiding because I don’t want to have to jump through hoops to comment. Much different than saying I’m not commenting because I’m not getting the benefit I want.

In any case the blog post in question made me lose my mind; I actually wrote a different phrase here, then decided most people wouldn’t understand what it meant and I wasn’t ready to have that discussion. As I disclaimered (that’s a made up word), maybe I was still in a state when I saw that and wasn’t my nice, calm self in commenting, or maybe I felt justified because it was utterly stupid. I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that it made me comment, and in a way even if my comment wasn’t nice it’s possible that the objective of the writer was made because it got me to comment.

I don’t know; heck, is this post too long?
 

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My Irritation With WordPress.com And What I Recently Learned

Yeah, I know, there’s a bunch of you using WordPress.com as your platform for free blogging. Whereas I always preferred it over Blogger if someone had to have a free blog, now I’m not so sure anymore.


via Flickr

The comment system used to look exactly like the one we employ, for the most part, on WordPress software oriented blogs. The issue was that we had to subscribe to comments by responding to that immediate email we received after each and every post if we wanted to know that someone had gotten back to us. Since I’m not a subscribing kind of guy, especially not every single time, I wasn’t doing it.

Then within the last few months, WordPress.com changed up some things. One, they changed the look, which wasn’t so bad since it kept everything we were used to. But two, they also changed the ability to just leave a comment and go on with your life.

I just had it happen to me again; tried to leave a comment on a WordPress.com blog only to run into this:

Please log in to post your comment.

mitch@ttmitchellconsulting.com belongs to an account you are not currently logged into.

WordPress.com or Gravatar.com credentials work.

For the first time last week, I noticed the Gravatar connection and wondered about it. So I did some checking and realized that WordPress.com had purchased Gravatar back in 2008; nope, never knew that before. They had never connected the two services, and other than a press release there was no notification on the Gravatar site, so it wasn’t something commonly known to a lot of people, since I’d never seen anyone else write about it.

So I decided to try a different email address; nope, not happening. It seems that if I have a Gravatar account hooked up I’m not going to be able to leave any messages on any WordPress.com sites without signing in. Frankly, I know it’s a minor thing to a lot of people, but I’ve kind of stuck by this mantra since the beginning of blog commenting way back when and I’m not suddenly changing over now.

Just to verify this by the way, I finally left a comment with an email address that doesn’t have a Gravatar, and it accepted the comment just fine. I did get the standard email saying I had to subscribe to receive comments, but that’s okay because at least I got my comment through.

This is irritating, and I don’t know if WordPress.com users can change that setting, even if they know it’s happening. Overall, it looks like it’s another blog platform that I probably won’t be commenting on all that often, and that’s unfortunate. Why are these things so keen on restricting the ability to comment? Yeah, I know, worried about spam; bah!
 

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What Top Social Media Folks Use For Comment Systems

A few days ago I read a post by our friend Kristi Hines on a site called Income Diary titled 20 Most Influential People In Social Media. Like I did when I created my two lists of influential blacks in social media, she came up with a measurable criteria to use to compile her list.

an old design 02
Hector Parayuelos via Compfight

Kristi did a very nice job with her list. There’s even 2 black people on the list and a nice mixture of men and women. It turns out that everyone on the list is from the United States, but the numbers are the numbers. And she didn’t add some fairly obvious choices either, although in retrospect she probably should have added Darren Rowse to give it an international flavor in some fashion.

Me being me, however, I decided I had to do something different. I decided to check out the blogs of all the people on the list, and I was looking for something in particular. I was curious who had 3rd party blog commenting systems and who had the traditional WordPress system. Turns out only 3 people on the list have the traditional way that I personally like. The others had a mixture of Disqus, Livefyre, and some other options.

You might not believe this, but I didn’t find it all that surprising. It seems that the way people who get tons of comments handle things is to go to a third party system. It reduces the number of comments they might get in total, although if one is popular one will still get lots of responses, and it reduces the amount of spam as well. They can afford to do it; most of the rest of us can’t, and in my case, won’t.

I’ve sometimes referred to 3rd party systems as systems of the elite; kind of like the Republican Party (sorry; I had a moment lol). Those that are already there use it because it helps them keep things under control. Those that aren’t there but want to feel as if they’re there use it and wonder why they don’t have a lot of comments because they’re doing what the top dogs are doing.

Of course what’s interesting is that if Darren Rowse, whose blog is ranked the highest out of any of the people on Kristi’s list as far as Alexa goes, was on the list he’s one of the people who uses the same comment system most of us uses.

As Forrest Gump says, “that’s all I have to say about that.”
 

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