Every link you create to your site will bring you some traffic. It may be a very small amount, but over time it will add up. Also, every link – assuming it’s coming from a legitimate source – is going to boost your ratings in google just a little bit.
Relationship are also important. They help you get guest posts, links and mentions from other bloggers. If you can go to conferences or local meetups and meet other bloggers, great. Do it.
However, here is a strategy that you can implement today to build relationships and links. Simply comment on other blogs. Not spammy junk comments, take the time to read and thoughtfully comment on other blogs. The blog owners will really appreciate it because it help build their reputation. If you work it a bit, you can also leverage it to build a relationship with other authors. There are some tricks to doing it right.
Select your blogs carefully
It won’t do you any good just to start commenting everywhere. Its going to take you quite a bit of time, so you need to select your blogs carefully.
Start by finding the top few blogs in your niche. Create a spreadsheet to hold your links and other information about the blog. Now start reading articles – you can jump straight down to the comments on each one. Make sure the blog allows comments – many don’t. Also, make sure that the blog provides an author link which includes a link back to their site. If the site is using a separate commenting service, like Disqus, its not idea for this because it won’t give you a direct link. Also, when you review the site, its best if its topic is similar or related to yours.
If the blog meets all the criteria, put a link to it in your spreadsheet. Also, go look the site up on Alexa, and in the second column, put its Alexa rank. The higher (lower numerically) its Alexa rank the better. Ideally, you want sites that have a rank under 1,000,000, but higher numbers will still have some value for the inbound link they will give you.
Setup a gravitar account
Some sites may not give you a link back if you don’t have a Gravitar account so set one up. Take the time to create a bio for yourself which includes a link back to your site. Also, try to get a half decent picture.
Now that you have a list of sites. Start reviewing their posts for a title / topic that interests you. Then take the time to read it and make a thoughtful reply. It needs to be something more than “Great job!! I look forward to reading more posts from you in the future.” That will get deleted as spam. Its ok to challenge what the wrote, expand on it, or describe your own experiences. You must include enough detail that it clearly is written about their article.
Interact with the blog owner if you can
If the blog owner comments on your comment use it as an opportunity to build a relationship. All the guys a the top know each other and that’s because they climbed together. The relationships you create will help you with motivation and inspiration. You can comment back, but you could also use it as an opportunity to send them an email or reach out to them through their contact form and suggest a skype call.
How much to comment
Generally, just one or two comments on a site is enough. Google gives you more credit for links from different domains that for links from the same domain. It may be worthwhile to build more links if a site has high traffic because readers may click through on your comment. That’s highly unlikely on a small site, but a reasonable chance on a site that gets thousands of visitors a day. Keep in mind that its easier to get the attention of a small site owner that a bigger site. So try to connect with the ones that are growing while you can. Keeping track of Alexa ranks over time may help with this so you can see who’s traffic is growing.
There’s my commenting strategy. Start creating backlinks and developing relationships by commenting on good articles and blogs in your niche. Maybe its a bit obvious, but often we forget to do the most obvious things.
Let me know what you think. Does this work for you or do you have a different approach?