One of the best traffic sources is to comment on someone else's blog, when that blog is on a relevant, related topic. It may sound counter-intuitive to raise up our competition but oddly enough it makes us look more authoritative when we do.
There are several advantages to being strategic when commenting on blogs, news posts and in forums, so much so that this is now a formal kind of marketing - Comment Marketing.
Here's what it involves:
The Goal Of Comment Marketing:
When done correctly, commenting will introduce you to people already looking for the information you are an expert in already. When you comment wisely, adding to the conversation in progress, you plant the seed that someone can trust you. You also begin to build your like-ability quotient. This is always the ultimate goal with social networking - to build "know, like and trust" connections in your desired marketplace.
What Comment Marketing Is Not:
SEO gurus used to advise us all to comment on leaders' blogs in order to build backlinks. The Google Penquin Update has ended the effectiveness of that tactic. Content Marketing is not about building profiles in as many different places as you can; it is only about adding value to a conversation. This encourages people to see you as an expert. A comment that simply says, "cute post" or "love your theme" does nothing for you and is usually deleted by the blog owner.
3 Quick Comment Marketing Tips:
It is okay, and often a good idea, to disagree with the main point of the post. So long as you can back up your point of view and do it politely. It gets a good discussion going and helps both you and the owner of the blog, especially if the chat goes on for a while and stays polite!
Use the same name and photo everywhere. Your "gravatar" then becomes recognizable and your followers will automatically scroll to your comment to see what you've said. Consistency is key with social networking, so that you can stand out in the noisy, crowded social sandbox.
Only plant a URL in the comment section if a) it really is helpful and extends the content's value and b) you can do so in such a way as to allow the blog owner to delete it. For example... add your comment, and then add a phrase like "note to editor, if this would be useful to your readers" or "I'm not sure if this is appropriate to place here, yet I believe your readers would gain value from this link".
Raising Up Your Competition:
As you can see, comment marketing involves quite a bit of strategy: you will want to pick leaders in your niche and comment on their posts all while following the rules above. You may see those "leaders" as your competition and not want to promote them for fear that they take away your traffic. Oddly enough, the reverse is true. When you authentically (i.e. genuinely) and publicly admire someone else in your field, it shows how much of an expert you are that you recognize their unique abilities and then - and here's the key - shows that you are secure enough in your own authority that you can stand back and admire others with confidence.