Income Diary

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How to Get Bloggers to Reply to Your Comments

By:     Topics: Blogging

It was a warm Colorado evening on May 28th, 2009 when, for the first time, I left a comment on IncomeDiary.com.

18 minutes later, Michael replied. Over the next two years, I left more comments, asked to interview him, was invited to D.C. to meet him, and today I’m writing for him.

Since then, I’ve made a game out of leaving comments on big sites with 100+ comments per post. My aim is always the same, to get the blogger to reply. Because if they do, I know that they at least know that I exist. At that point I can send an email and expect them to recognize my name.

With a fresh perspective as the blog post author, here are 10 tips on getting bloggers to reply to your comments.

Leave an Insightful Comment

The point of the comment section is to create a forum under the blog post. It’s like an extension of the original topic, a place where readers can go to get more opinions.

To effectively contribute to the original topic, you need to leave an insightful comment.

  • Offer a new opinion.
    Adding your opinion does two things. (1) It shows that you read and thought about the concepts in the post. (2) It adds value to post.
  • Add another tip.
    If the post is a tutorial and you have a bonus tip, offer up your advice in the comments. Who knows, you might even enlighten the blogger. They’ll remember that.
  • Answer the question they ask at the end of the post.
    Lots of bloggers ask questions at the end of the post to stir up discussion. But very few people actually answer that question. There’s a reason they asked it.

The most important thing you can do when commenting is leave a comment worth reading.

Nicholas Tart Comment
I left that comment on Online Business Success in 2010 with a question that was spurred by the topic of the post.

Address the Blogger by Name

The best way to get somebody’s attention is to use their name.

I drop the name of the blogger in one of two ways:

Hey Rhonda, thanks for…

- or -

Thanks for the tip, Rhonda…

Addressing the blogger by name also shows that you recognize who wrote the post, which, for people who write for other sites, is nice.

Ask an Interesting Question

Simply dropping a question within your comment dramatically increases the likelihood of the blogger responding.

  • Questions make it easy.
    It’s a lot easier to reply to a question than a normal comment.
  • Responses add value.
    In the same way that the blogger wants valuable comments, they don’t want to clutter up the comment area with pointless replies. So, sometimes they only respond to questions.
  • Answered questions look good.
    If a blog post has a lot of answered questions in the comments area, the blogger will look good.

Asking a question is like adding a call to action to your comment.

Nicholas Tart Question
Michael replied to that comment on Yaro Starak’s Interview because it was simple to answer.

Ask About Something They Sell

Want to boost your reply rate to nearly 100%? Ask the blogger about their product or service.

  1. It shows that you took some time to research their products.
    Perhaps the best way to thank a blogger for their free information is to take the time to find out if their paid products are right for you.
  2. Their reply might make them money.
    If you hint that you might be a new customer, you have priority.
  3. It brings attention to your comment and their product.
    When I read a post on a big blog, I almost always scroll through the comments to find the comments that the author responded to. In turn, the author’s reply actually gets me to read about their product.

When they do the Q&A at the end of webinars, the host always gives preference to the questions about the product they’re selling.

Follow Their Advice

One of the best compliments you can give a blogger is to actually implement something they recommend.

Bloggers recognize that the more you implement their advice, the more you’ll benefit from their blog, and the more likely you’ll be to purchase something from them.

So, get in the habit of implementing the things you read about. It’ll help you two-fold.

Disagree with Their Advice

When I go through the comments, the “thanks for the tips” and “that’s great advice” comments start to get redundant. I appreciate them and they make this gig rewarding. It’s just that I don’t have a chance to learn from you unless you challenge my ideas.

I know a lot of bloggers feel this way.

What we really want is someone who politely challenges our advice, someone who adds value to the discussion by giving an opposing viewpoint.

The other nice thing about leaving your disputes in the comments is that it gives the blogger an opportunity to address it. Most of the time when someone disagrees with something, they leave. I respect the person who is bold enough to stand up for their thoughts, especially if they have a solid argument.

It reminds me of a Bill Gates quote:

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Reply to Somebody Else’s Comment

When somebody leaves a comment, it’s almost always a new comment, instead of a reply to an existing one.

When you reply to somebody’s comment, it:

  • Stands out.
    From a design standpoint, replies stick out because they’re threaded.
  • Builds multiple relationships.
    Instead of just addressing the blogger, you’re also acknowledging another reader. Plus, bloggers like when they’re readers start to get to know one another. It makes the blog sticky.

Start replying to people’s comments more often than simply adding a new one.

Nicholas Tart Reply
On How I Made $5,000 in the First Month I replied to Arron’s comment because I felt strongly about Michael’s position. This was more than a year-and-a-half before Michael asked me to write for Income Diary.

Reply to the Blogger’s Reply

Take that tip to the next level by replying to the author’s reply.

This comment will most certainly get read. And since the blogger is already engaged in the conversation, they’re more likely to reply.

Use Your Full Name and Get a Gravatar

These are two small tips packed into one.

When you use your full name, I’m more likely to remember that you commented before, which makes me think, “This person is a regular, I’m going to reply.”

If you don’t have an image next to your comments, go to Gravatar.com, set up an account, and upload an photo.

Then use the same email every time you comment on a WordPress site and the image will show up.

As the blogger, Gravatars and full names help me remember you.

Jamie Northrup Comment
For instance, the first Income Diary commenter that I think of is Jamie Northrup. He’s done a good job of leaving insightful comments on nearly every post I’ve written. Plus, he always uses his full name and he has a memorable Gravatar.

Leave a Comment Every Time

I commented on Income Diary 32 times before I started writing for it.

The more you comment, the more likely the blogger is to remember you. The more likely they are to remember you, the more willing they’ll be to help.

Here’s the first comment I ever left on Income Diary:

Nicholas Tart First Comment
From there, I left 9 more comments before I sent Michael an email. He responded to my email, I interviewed him, met him twice, and now we chat on a regular basis.

The Final Word

If you want to be successful online, one of the first things you need to do is start building relationships with other people in your niche. And the best way to start building relationships with those people is to start commenting on their blogs.

Tweets get lost. Facebook messages are intrusive. Emails are annoying. Bloggers will always love comments.

Photo by: Stuck in Customs

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