Comment Box: Use It To Cultivate Relationships & Grow Your Blog

When we blog and when we post comments through a blog’s comment box, we open up ourselves to people in the internet and social media.

This means, more often than not, each of us look for ways to build some sort of connections and form stronger relationship with our target readers.

There are quite a lot of ways to build strong relationships online through blogging, writing a good and interesting content is one thing, and there are lots of ways to write posts that will leave your readers no other choice but use the comment box below your post.

But this post will focus on the blog comments section, a.k.a. “the comment box“, which is often misunderstood and believe it or not, a very underutilized approach.

comment box

There’s a huge disparity between getting readers in a large audience, and getting readers from a relatively lesser (still big) audience who are extremely passionate. The most effective way to connect with these readers is to take the long-term approach. However, unfortunately, not so many people do it. Most of the time, many writers/bloggers simply say “yeah, I will definitely do that… in the future” and then they forget about it or intentionally don’t do it.

Cultivating relationships with your readers starts with putting value to each and every one of them. This is where the importance of “comment box” comes to play.

By the end of this entry, you may say that most of the things I’ve said are pretty much common sense. But as we all know, common sense, especially in this new kind of communication platform, may not be so common at all, which needs to be thoroughly discussed.

Using Comment Box To Build Relationships With Your Target Readers

The Comments Section of your blog, also known as the comment box, and any other blog, is one of the best places in blogs to start and foster strong relationships with your audience and readers, and even receive suggestions, feedbacks and criticisms. If you get a lot of good comments through your comment box, say comprehensive, long and in-depth comments, well, that’s a good sign that you’re doing good with your blog and your message resonates to the message that you want to deliver in your post. When you get criticism and negative feedback, don’t feel bad, rather, welcome those things as constructive criticisms. These things will only make you a better writer. Plus, you can’t please everybody, and it’s not your duty to please everybody in every post you make. There will always be people out there who will contradict or don’t like or believe in what you say. That’s completely okay, as we all have our different views in particular subject matters and topics.

But before we get into you own comment box, let’s start with how you reach readers and other bloggers in your niche – by leaving comments in their comment box first.

Using Other Bloggers’ Comment Box to Build and Cultivate Relationships

Know That No One Knows About Your Blog

You can have the most beautifully-written content and most helpful things to offer in your niche, and still not get enough readers or not get any readers at all. The first thing you should be concerned about is exposure of your blog.

Your target audience and readers will not magically stumble upon your blog, see your posts, and leave comments in the comment box. Like most things in life, you have to earn it. To get people to read and leave comments in your blog with your comment box, you need to leave comments in their blogs first. This is where you “add value” to your target audience, which will they eventually do to you in return as well. It’s like an unwritten rule in blogging.

Give Fellow Bloggers in Your Niche A Helping Hand

1. Read Their Blog Before Using Their Comment Box

This may be too obvious, but a lot of bloggers out there, when they leave comments in a comment box, assume they can just say anything – a one liner such as: “awesome post“, “I love reading your stud” or “thanks for this post, truly helpful“. and leave the link of their website and blogsite. If you want to be able to leave a good comment, you should first take time to read the blog.

2. Leave a Thoughtful Comment

The next thing you need to do to get people to use the comment box under your blog posts is to leave a thoughtful comment. Focus on the idea that you want to give that person and his/her blog post “value” that he/she deserves.

3. Lend A Helping Hand, But Don’t Be A Know-It-All

Though its good to strike a nerve and get out of your shell in leaving comments. Over-doing it will make you sound a know-it-all, which can easily get weary and hinder their desire to communicate with you even further, as you would sound like you’re tying to pick a fight.

4. Send the Blogger Emails About Your Opinion In His or Her Post

You appreciate the author’s write up, but you think he or she missed out something that is quite important and worth mentioning, or you have a different perspective you thought will help the author understand the subject matter better. Rather than bragging in their comment box that you know better, you can send the author an email that says something like:

Hi, my name is (insert your name), a blogger as well. I saw your post and left a comment. It was a very interesting read, and I love some of the points you raised. However, I thought you may have missed one important point. I know an interesting article that might help.

This kind email will give the receiver a good impression of you, and if you come to think of it, the message shows you’re not asking for anything. If he or she is appreciative enough, he will thank you for your help, or even keep the ball rolling by presenting more things to you that you might want or need to know as well. From there, all things can happen, and is a surefire way to make engagement and establish relationship with other bloggers and readers within your niche.

5. Ask Questions

In blogging, you will have a lot of chances to help people understand and do specific things right. One good way to help them is to not just simply answer their questions, but more importantly to ask follow up question that they may be missing and help them sort things out. Also, when you ask follow up questions in your answer, you show people, not just the one you replied to, but more importantly, other readers in your blog, that you care about them and what to help them in every way you can.

6. Be Real

I can’t stress the importance of being honest and genuine when looking to build relationships with your audience/readers. You can’t just leave a comment that says:

Great post! Really helpful

or a short comment that says:

Good read, visit my blog (insert link here) too, and leave your comments!

If you want to lose reputation and look spammy, well, you can do those things, but if you want genuine readers and genuine comments, you should take time reading their blog posts as well and give them helpful comments, or even give some tips (assuming that you know and good at the topic presented in the post) and encourage them in their journey. People online can easily spot a spammy comment. Last thing you want is to be branded as spammer. If there’s already a long thread of comments, then read the comments and respond if you can accordingly. If you find it difficult to say anything, and you’re not confident that your comment will make sense and keep the ball of conversation rolling in the comment box, then you’re better off not engaging with them at all.

7. You Should Never Have Any Hidden Agenda

Last and definitely not the least, when leaving comment in other people’s blog never expect anything in return. Well, this doesn’t mean that you can’t hope for a good result, or some great opportunities to show up along the way. This simply means that, don’t reach out people just because you think you can get something significant from them in return. Let people know you really care about engagement and relationship cultivation by helping them in whatever you can in the comment box section. Let them know they can ask things from you. If you want them to return the favor, don’t ask it. Rather, give them the link/s to your blog/posts and where they can find you. They will come find you on their own.

8. Be Very Specific In Your Compliments

If you truly love the blog post, and you want to tell the author about it, then be very specific in your compliments. Point out the things that you love and how it impressed you, along with your opinion and additional thoughts. This shows that you really took the time to read his or her post. Also, It may not seem that much, but a little encouragement can go a long way in social media, so don’t hesitate to be encourage when you’re posting a comment through a comment box.

Eric Pangburn
Article written by Eric Pangburn (4 Posts)
Eric Pangburn is a freelance blogger and SEO copywriter. You can also find him blogging at SnitchIM.com on various topics covering blogging, adsense sites, and content marketing.
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12 Comments (Add one)

  1. Ivin Viljoen

    Hello Eric. I think comments are a great way to build your audience, but also your network. The more time you spend on another platform, the more visibility you will gain. Commenting and guest posting is the tag-team I like to use to launch a brand new blog.

    1. Eric Pangburn

      Hey Ivin,

      Yes you right about having a great start with a brand new blog to commet and guest blogging is very ideal. Another way to accomplish this while not spending so much time on other platforms, but can still give you that great visibility and build your audience is through press releases.

      Take Care,

      Eric

      1. Ivin Viljoen

        Thanks Eric. I’ve tried press releases before, but didn’t have a lot of success with them. I presume you have to use a premium service, have something REALLY newsworthy in the form of an angle and make sure your links are built in.

  2. Sherrilynne Starkie

    Very good advice,but some bloggers think that taking the time to leave comments is too time consuming. Some think that the real conversation takes place on Facebook or Twitter instead of on the blog. What’s your view on this?

    1. Eric Pangburn

      Hi Sherrilynne,

      This is a great question. My take on this matter is that it’s great to be able to connect through all different ways such as blog commenting, social media, and even forums.

      What I have found is that commenting on someone else blog is a great way to give back to the blogger. First your actually on their personal blog, your adding value to their space, and that expanding and giving their visitors more information to engage with.

      With all that stated I personally believe commenting has more benefits for all the above. By no means, I am trying to discredit social networking, but I see the real conversation being on a personal blog over social networking.

      Great question!

  3. Tiffaney Graham

    Great post Eric. As a new blogger, these are some tips that I will use. The problem that I find with so many online marketers is that so many people are playing the link game that they do not want to take the time to leave good commentary.

  4. Carlie Hamilton

    Great post!

    Ha, just kidding. I hate it when people do that – leave a comment that just says something like “great post”.

    I think the value of leaving comments on other people’s blogs is less about getting a link back and more about creating a relationship with the blogger. In the long term, having a great relationship with the other person will create more opportunities than a comment that will get buried in a week.

  5. Eric Pangburn

    You bring up a great point. I believe relationship is the backbone of any business. The best think about blog commenting is that is breaks the ice and is a soft introduction.

    Though this your able to slow start building that relationship with other bloggers. I could name tons of relationships that were slow evolved over time through different blog commenting.

    Thanks for sharing more than just “great post” :)

    Eric

  6. Kapil Jekishan

    Hi Eric,
    You have certainly raised a number of valid points here and it amazes me how often bloggers try to get away with ‘great post, really liked it’ in order to claim a link back to their site. I’ve noticed first hand that the more value you add with your comments, the more likely the blog owner will not only acknowledge you, but other commenters will be curious to understand a little more about you (potential to earn another visitor to your site).

    1. Eric Pangburn

      Kapil,

      You always want to add value, build on the information, and share your opinion. Being able to take the time and fully understand the information that you just read. Than you are able to actually provide a quality comment.

      The problem I continue to see is people are just trying to look for the easy way out of getting a quick and easy backlink. The more information you offer and share makes you look more like an expert and people are always interested in checking more information from an expert.

      Keep on commenting!

  7. Elvia W. Macias

    Though the last comment won’t be seen by everyone that reaches the end of the post, it will be seen by anyone interested in posting their own comment. Because of it’s location at the bottom of the comment thread, it usually sits just above the actual comment box, so it’s hard to miss if you’re set on commenting.

    1. Eric Pangburn

      Elvia,

      I will admit I don’t know if I have ever left a comment that was the very last one. This is interesting thought though.

      I can comment on being early if not the first to comment. If you comment on a very popular site and your able to be the first one to leave a comment and I promise you see the effects.

      I will admit I have even replied to the person that commented first to try to get my name up higher to the top. Let me be very clear that placement is only second to leaving stellar comment.