Blog Commenting in 2016 for Traffic, SEO, and Relationships [Experiment]

Blog-Comments-ExperimentSo I was bored and unhappy with my traffic so I got an idea for a new experiment.

My last YouTube SEO experiment was well received, so I think you’ll like this one also. 🙂

You can scroll down to the TL;DR intro section if you don’t want to read the full intro.

The Idea:

I want to increase my blog traffic, and I want to see if I can do so by commenting on other people’s blogs.

Here’s the plan:

I will spend 30 minutes to an hour every day for a week reading posts and commenting on a list of blogs related to my niche. (You can find the list of blogs I’ll comment on later in the post.)

I’ll actually read the post and take some time to create a long, thoughtful comment.

None of that “nice post!” BS.

The basic idea is this:

  1. People see my thoughtful comment.
  2. They click on my name.
  3. They end up on my website.

Simple, no?

The goal of this experiment isn’t just traffic however.

The biggest goal is establishing a relationship with the author of each of the blogs.

If you own a blog  you know how great it feels when someone leaves a thoughtful comment on your post.

And if you don’t own a blog, I’m sure you can imagine how amazing it is.

TL;DR
I’ll spend 30 minutes every day for 2 weeks reading other people’s posts and commenting on them in order to:
1. Get more traffic
2. Diversify my backlink profile
3. Build relationships with the authors of the blogs

Finding Blogs to Comment On

I already have a pretty extensive list of online money making and marketing blogs that I follow, but I need more to make sure that there are at least a couple of new posts per day I can comment on.

I don’t want to clog up this post, but if you’re interested you can click here to see a list of all of the blogs that I was following during this experiment.

For those of you who are skimming and miss the above sentence: click here to see which blogs I was following during this experiment!

How did I keep track of the new posts on these blogs?

I added all of the ones that had an RSS feed to Feedly, and the rest I just put into a favorites folder and checked it manually every day.

The list has 22 blogs, but as you can see I included people who are making thousands online and people who are just starting out because I want to build a relationship with them. 🙂

Plus I think it’s awesome that they’re just starting on their journey, and any support that they can get is great. (So go check out their blogs if you have time!)

There were more blogs that I could’ve included, but I decided to avoid blogs that use Disqus as a way to comment which got rid of some of the big players in the field.

The Results

I made a total of 24 comments on 14 blogs.

This took me about 3 hours.

That might look like a lot, but I actually read the posts, thought about them, and left comments that were meaningful and fairly long.

I wasn’t able to do this for 30 minutes per day, but I think I need to follow more blogs to do that.

So, what was the outcome?

  • I had 40 more sessions and nearly doubled my number of new visitors to the site.
  • I contacted Matt after commenting on his blog and got featured on his income report roundup leading to the huge bump in visitors on the 29th.
  • I had more comments on my last posts because the bloggers who I interacted with decided it’d be fun to interact with me. Win-win!

Here’s the referral traffic chart:

Referral Traffic Comment Experiment

As you can see, the blog comments didn’t directly improve my traffic by a ton.

However, being featured on Matt’s blog is great for publicity, SEO, and traffic purposes and it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t do this experiment.

The Verdict
I want to do more experimenting with this, but I got:

  • More traffic- A majority of this was indirect, but I still got a small bump in visits directly from the comments.
  • SEO benefits- Diversified my backlink profile with multiple links from different sites, and I’ll also get a strong backlink monthly from Matt’s income report roundup.
  • Relationships!- This deserves an exclamation point. Getting a comment isn’t as big of a deal for bigger blogs, but for smaller blogs like mine it’s an awesome feeling and I’m sure others feel the same.

I’m considering doing a longer 3 month experiment and sharing the results on the blog.

What do you think?

I like the idea, and I think there could be an interesting result that I can’t predict, but it’s also a lot of work. 🙂

Comment below and tell me what you think I should do!

11 replies
  1. Jax
    Jax says:

    I am conducting this experiment myself. So far, I am seeing results. I will be interested in what your experience is. Thanks for providing the list of blogs you are using. I find that I am reading a ton of posts, but don’t feel like I can make thoughtful comments on many of them.

    Reply
    • Ilya P.
      Ilya P. says:

      Hey Jax,

      I had the same issue, but I forced myself to come up with something interesting. It’s not like you didn’t have any thoughts while reading, it’s just hard to articulate them! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Andrew Rocco
    Andrew Rocco says:

    Hey Ilya,
    Thank you so much for featuring some of the blogs that are just starting out and for asking others to do the same. The most frustrating part of just starting out, and what I suspect deters a lot of people from continuing to blog at first, is that it’s so hard to get people to come to your site, read your posts, and leave thoughtful comments. Networking and relationship building is key, I’m learning.
    Andrew

    Reply
    • Ilya P.
      Ilya P. says:

      Hey Andrew,
      Yeah, it’s tough when you’re just starting out… It’s hard to write and write and write without getting any feedback or visitors.

      I hope you keep blogging and reach success! 🙂

      Reply
  3. N
    N says:

    “There were more blogs that I could’ve included, but I decided to avoid blogs that use Disqus as a way to comment which got rid of some of the big players in the field.”

    Why?

    Reply
    • Ilya P.
      Ilya P. says:

      They have banned my account before because I’ve commented “too many times” in a short period of time so I decided not to risk it. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Tauqir Hussain
    Tauqir Hussain says:

    Wow Ilya, It is wonderful to see traffic coming from blog commenting on authoritative blogs and websites. As these big websites receive a lot of traffic, they tend to pass few visitors to your blog.

    I admire your technique. Instead of commenting on every blog or website out there, find fifty or hundred sites with good authority and receive rich traffic.

    Thanks for Sharing!

    Reply
  5. Nadya
    Nadya says:

    I agree with you, Ilya. Commenting via thoughtful comments is an awesome way to connect to people and increase the visibility of the blog. I will definitely check out your list – I myself need more awesome blogs to connect to 🙂

    Also, I will happily follow your experiment to see what highs you can reach with commenting 🙂 I loooooove reading other ppl’s experiments – it is a fresh knowledge that comes for pretty much free 🙂
    So yes, I think you should go ahead and do it! (if you do feel dedicated enough 🙂

    BTW, instead of checking manually for new posts, you can use IFTTT – and the new posts will automatically appear in your Inbox (if you set up an email notification, of course). Pretty convenient.

    Reply
    • Ilya P.
      Ilya P. says:

      Commenting on a blog post about commenting. Noice! 😉

      Agreed about experiments. It might be a bit of a problem for me honestly because I often spend too much time reading experiments and case studies instead of doing anything.

      I used Feedly for most of the blogs, but some of them didn’t have feeds so I just either ignored them or added them to a favorites folder and opened everything there once a day. 🙂

      Reply

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