When Do You Stop Commenting on Other Blogs?

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answersThis post is part of the weekly Q&A section. Just use the contact form if you want to submit a question.

Mike asks:

Do you still comment on other blogs or do you mostly focus on maintaining the community around your blog?

Interesting question.

First of all let me clarify that I will answer the question as if it was referring to using blog comments as a promotional technique. Obviously there is also a social factor there (i.e. blogs are conversations, and people like to interact with other people), but I will not take it into consideration here.

The short answer would be no. I don’t comment on other blogs as I used to back in the day (which is around two years ago). These days I don’t have a lot time available to work on the blogs, so my main focus is on the content.

I still write a comment once in a while, but those are mostly on blog posts that mentioned me directly, or that raised a very interesting question where I want to share my opinion.

So why and when did I stop commenting on other blogs as a promotional technique?

I would say that you make that switch when the opportunity cost of leaving blog comments becomes too high. Opportunity cost is term used in economics to describe “the value of the next best alternative foregone as the result of making a decision” (quote from Wikipedia).

Let me use a simple example with numbers to illustrate that point.

Suppose you have a guy that started a new blog. At that point in time he has zero readers. He also has two hours to work on his blog every day. Writing content for the blog is a priority, so one hour is going to be spent on that. With the second hour, however, he can choose how to spend it. One of the possible uses for that second hour is to write blog comments. If we assume that each blog comment will take two minutes, he will be able to write 30 comments per day.

Let’s also assume that each blog comment will bring five visitors on the first day, three on the second day, one on the third day and nothing after that. So each blog comment, on average, will bring nine visitors. One hour of blog comment promotion, therefore, should bring 270 visitors after three days.

Since the blog is brand new, 270 visitors for one hour of work is a good rate. Should the blogger use that one hour to just write another post, there is a possibility that he would get zero visitors and no one knows the blog yet.

Once the blog starts growing, however, the picture changes. Once the blog has 500 RSS subscribers, for example, using that extra hour to write another post could bring 300 visitors to the blog, which is already more efficient than spending one hour writing blog comments.

It is therefore a matter having of limited time and evaluating what actions will yield the biggest results.

That is at least my opinion. What about you, do you still actively comment on other blogs? Do you think you will ever stop? If you already stopped, why was that?

Update: The fact that you need to post comments that will add value to the discussion is a given. In no where I am preaching that you should just spam comments around to promote your own blog.



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57 Responses to “When Do You Stop Commenting on Other Blogs?”

  • Darren

    Well I can say that if I had a lot of subscribers and traffic I would be spending less time commenting. I’m pretty much trying everything until I find something that works. Great blog entry by the way..

  • Eryaman hali yikama

    Good information and good way your blog post. Good luck blogger man.

  • Blake @ Props Blog Reviews

    I was digging through your archives and found this gem. I’ve actually asked this question more than once because I think it is very relevant for most new bloggers.

    In your example, you said each comment takes 2 min and gets 2-7 visitors from them each… Have things changed since this post was written? Even my “best” comments rarely send me more than 4-5 visitors (especially if I’m not first or second to comment).

    I totally get the concept of opportunity cost, but measuring the value of the back links from dofollow blogs is kind of hard. Would you put any weight on that now that you might not have in the past? In other words, do you only consider the visitor directly sent, or do you also think there is SEO value?

  • Paula from Affiliate Blog Online

    I like how you have analyzed this – it all comes down to a cost-benefit type of arrangement.

    I very rarely see big name bloggers leaving comments on other blogs. If they do, it is generally on another high profile blog.

    I like leaving comments. It’s a great way of first of all seeing what is out that and secondly it is a great networking tool.

  • kadmiel

    you have to maybe start a comment or two from somewhere and this includes blogs that are in your nich or not in your niche. but after awhile then yes getting those comments to come out is sometimes not as useful as most traffice to your blog will prob be better off at hub pages or search engine traffice

  • medyum

    I started a blog myself and frankly speaking I comment on the others blog only for special occasions: Christmas, Easter to send best wishes to someone who makes blog. This comment is something that I don’t do:] – the comment without occasion.

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  • Cheryl Bryan

    I wasn’t sure where to submit my comment, but figured this was an appropriate topic. I’ve been following your Daily Blog Tips for several months now and have finally recently launched my blog.

    I wanted to thank you for all the great instruction you post and to let you know I acknowledged your help (with a link) in my post today. I’m still not sure how back links work, so I thought I’d let you know this way. Thanks to you and others like you, though, I’m learning! And having lots of fun doing it. Thanks again.

  • Capt Vlad Nikolskiy

    Hi!
    What do you think regarding SEO tips:
    – to comment articles in thematically related (relative) blogs with aim to establish relations and mutual links?
    Thanks in advance for reply.

    BRGDS
    Vlad

  • Ajith Edassery

    There’s nothing wrong in stopping commenting if it is used as a promotional strategy. However, any blogger in order to be alive in the blogosphere should have some networking online (as well as offline) and commenting on relevant posts of bloggers of one’s type and stature is not at all a bad idea.

    Probably the ratios will come down eventually – i.e. if you used to read 50 posts and comment on 10, probably that will come down to 1 after a while.

  • Tom – Home Business Marketing Tips

    Commenting on blogs related to your own is an excellent way to build incoming links.However, commenting just for the sake of getting links is not the way to go.You must post a good and relevant comment or it will not be approved anyway.A good comment will also invite people to visit your blog to see what else you have to say.

    So, I will continue to do blog commenting in the future as well.

  • KFS

    When do i stop commenting on other blogs?
    Hmm…
    The time that I stop commenting on other blogs is the time that the first thing is no contact between me and the other blog-owners. The second thing, it may bring my blog traffic down,because as we know commenting can bring more traffic to our website/blog.

    In concluding, i think that a blogger should not stop commenting on other blogs.

    Please correct me if i’m wrong!

    Thanks for the nice question!

  • Taylor at Household Management 101

    That is funny you should mention this topic. I have been in the middle of a site redesign for the last week or so, and because of that have neither written new content nor commented on others blogs. I have really noticed a difference in my traffic, so I am taking the time today to post comments on topics in my niche to get back into the conversation. The answer to your question, for me, is that commenting is still a good time investment for me, which I can see from not doing it for a week.

  • Gfans

    I will still comment on other blogs, so we will keep in touch.
    BTW,your blog is cool,I will feed it.:)

  • Green

    Niche I agree on the two minutes.

    It’s pretty rare that I follow a link in the comments anyway unless I recognize the person making the comments or find what they say valuable. I think for me I stopped posting as much when sites changed hands and went from the small owner blogs to end up under the umbrella of some publishing firms.

  • dhairaz

    The idea is simple. If you don’t post the comment to others you can’t share the knowledge whether the idea is good or bad.

  • Niche

    The thing that hit me between the eyes in your post is the 2 minutes per comment.

    You must have some reading skills that are superhuman.

    I suppose people who comment just for the link would read the headline and then type out their comment.

    Some of us are actually genuinely interested in what the blog master of the blogs we comment on have to say. And writing a comment is because we have a genuine response to make and want to participate in the conversation

    I take your point on return on investment though

  • Vishal Nayak – B2B Copywriter

    I’m with @Guillermo and @Tom on this. There are numerous instances where one is tempted to comment on a blog post, even if one has nothing to say, only for the sake of the traffic potential. To resist the temptation takes a bit of courage and experience.

    I’m now in a stage where I comment on a blog post only if it makes sense to me and if I have something worthwhile to say. @Tom’s observation that as long plugins like commentluv etc are rampant worthless, mundane comments will keep on appearing in the blogosphere

  • Nikhil

    I do comment on some of the blog which i liked most. Also the time is required for reading the blog so I think that 30 comments per hour are not yet possible for me. Also not all the blogs are updated daily so that I can post comment daily..

  • Jeremy L.

    I am still in the “young blog” stage. I comment a fair amount on blogs, but it’s mostly when I find an article useful or interesting enough to comment. I haven’t ever noticed an increase in traffic from commenting, I just do it because I still read a lot of other blogs.

    I would go as far as to say that many become too busy with their blogs to have time to read other blogs. It seems slightly shallow to say that others only comment as a way of promoting their own blog… Though I’ve been wrong before… 🙂

  • Ria

    I agree with Dave. There’s no way to crank out 30 comments in an hour unless you’re a spammer. I try to put out 10 a day, but that includes posting in forums, and finding blogs in my niche that write something that I want to respond to.

    I don’t believe commenting on other blogs is a waste a time, especially in the beginning. It’s not about driving traffic to your site, but more about getting that backlink if you can.

  • Sara at On Simplicity

    I stopped commenting as much when I realized that instead of reading dozens of blog posts each day in order to comment, I could be reading Steinbeck and Atwood. I still comment on a regular basis on handful of favorite blogs and as a way to support new bloggers. I’ve found I enjoy blog-hopping more when it’s done as support instead of self-promotion.

  • Hesham

    This is a very interesting question!

    For me , I am still doing comment on post that I like, and also posts of bloggers friends who comment on my blog.

    I have the feeling that I will not be able to handle this comments and reply to all of them, because comments number is getting higher everyday, so .. now I don’t have time to reply to 20 or 30 comments a day!

    This why I think I will not be able to handle this in the feature, and this is also why I give excuse to older bloggers and experts who don’t reply to my comments, I know they have to much to do, more higher opportunity!

  • Keith

    I suppose if I leave a comment on a blog and it helps my blog that’s great! However, I don’t feel right seeking out other blogs just to do that.
    I like to see what others have to say and if I feel I have something to add or just want to pass along a compliment I’ll do so. By the way, I really liked this article. 🙂

  • Small Steps to Health

    I comment because I like to talk and have friendly conversations. I used to write a blog post every day, but with my full time job, I was starting to hate all that writing. But since I made the decision to post up 2-3 times a week, that leaves me with plenty of time to go blog hopping.

    I do not really expect any traffic in return, but I like it when the blogger acknowledge my comments in some way. Like in real life, I can take a subject and go off on tangent to another topic. I tend to do that with sites that I read regularly. If I have to think that my comments always have to be meaningful or contributing to the discussion all the time, I would stop commenting. That would just be like work.

    —asithi

  • Che – Snugd

    If we have nothing to say about a post/article just commenting on it for hit the target numbers doesn’t make much value in my opinion.

    I usually come directly to the blog post from my RSS reader to check the reader comments.

    Thinking in terms of leaving valuable comment than numbers make some difference.

Comments are closed.