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  • How to Build Your Brand Through Blog Comments

    When you leave blog comments, do you have a goal in mind?

    Believe it or not, blog comments are an excellent way to build relationships with key people in your field (find them on AllTop and Technorati), create positive touchpoints for your personal brand, and demonstrate your ability to synthesize information, provide insight and draw on past experiences.

    Commenting on blogs demonstrates that you’re an active member of your niche, you’re passionate enough to participate in conversations related to your area of expertise, and you’re intelligent enough to add value to conversations in your space.

    When commenting on blogs, here’s a checklist that will ensure you’re leaving as strong an impression as possible.

    Blog comment checklist:

    1. Adds insight, a new idea or a relevant link to the original blog post
    2. Accurately and concisely answers someone’s question
    3. Relates to your area of expertise
    4. Includes your name (the one you want people to find you with when they search for you in Google)
    5. Includes a link to your website (boosting the Google rank of your site and leading more people there)
    6. Includes your tagline/position (a short phrase that describes to strangers what you do)
    7. Has no spelling or grammar mistakes (you usually can’t edit it later)
    8. Is not hyper-reactive (doesn’t make you seem emotionally unstable) and does not put anyone down (if arguing, provide counterpoints. Don’t attack individuals)

    Commenting on blogs leaves a trail of “digital breadcrumbs” that people (employers, co-workers, bosses, first dates, etc.) will find when they type your name into Google. So always keep this checklist in mind. Your comments are permanent!

    Blog comments, forums comments, book reviews and contributing to wiki articles are just a few ways to leave a trail of breadcrumbs online that builds a web presence worthy of remark, differentiating you from others. Strengthen your personal brand across the web, one insight at a time.

    Author:

    Pete Kistler is a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2009, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐Yourself.com, the first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S.

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    Pete Kistler is a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine's College Entrepreneur of 2009, a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger for Brand-Yourself.com, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. As CEO, Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐Yourself.com, the world's first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S. He has won a number of top honors for his writing, presentations and business plans.

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    29 comments on “How to Build Your Brand Through Blog Comments
    1. avatar
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      yinka olaito says:

      Leaving blog comment is what i called Digital footprint. It aids your memorability, visibility and enhance personal relevance particularly when they add values

    2. avatar
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      Bryan says:

      Great post Pete. Many people are hyper-reactive, in doing so you lose a lot of credibility at that moment and in future online material published.

      It is too bad that only a small number of readers actually comment on blog posts! I am all for adding value, but as a blogger I have no problem with a simple “Great Post Bryan”.

    3. avatar
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      leaving comments has definitely brought me some traffic. I try to comment on blogs at least once or twice a day.

    4. avatar
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      Sudeep says:

      That is so true Yika Olaito that our comments are like our digital foot prints. Wonderful and very informative post about commenting . As a newbie in blogging this post has really proved me helpful.

    5. avatar
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      I do a lot of commenting and it’s worked well for me. I’ve also picked up several bloggers from comments. It works, but you have to keep doing it for months.

    6. avatar
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      Dan Little says:

      Another great idea is to talk / interact with other commenters you find that people who comment have similar interests to you and when you engage with them and build a relationship it could possibly lead to greater things.

    7. avatar
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      Thomas Ho says:

      Building your brand via blog comments is facilitated by backtype which aggregates virtually all of one’s comments across the Web. I have long been a “fan” of commenting services such as Disqus which I’ve incorporated into my own blog (I’m much more active as a commenter than as a blogger :-), but I am an even bigger fan of backtype which aggregates not only my comments made on services such as Disqus, but even those (like THIS ONE) which do not use any service (I hope this one shows up on my backtype profile :-) as long as I use my personal brand URL (on the comment) which I registered with backtype.

    8. avatar
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      Jo Guerra says:

      I do comment on blogs – not to leave a digital footprint – which of course is good, but because I really appreciate all the time and effort someone goes through to post useful information. Which by the way, you offer great insight into this. Thanks!

    9. avatar
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      First time here at your blog & found it by doing research for a post I’m getting together for my blog, which is about leaving comments and finding the comment area. I’ve noticed lately that at least 4 different sites/blogs that I’ve visited after reading their posts I have to go looking for a place to leave a comment. In two different sites both by Blogger the comment area is very hard to locate and mixed in with other text around it, and when you try to put your cursor in different spots just so you can find where to start…the end result is I find nothing. This is very irritating and by that time I’m wanting to get onto something else. We (bloggers) just don’t have time to look around for a place to leave a comment. If we want people to come to our blogs and leave comments we should make it easier for our readers to so. So in search for more info. I found this great site and have read at least 3 of your very informative posts, some may be for the veterans amongst bloggers but, I’ve found a lot of info. that I am able to use and but to good use. Thanks for this info. jj

    10. avatar
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      Greg London says:

      I agree 100%. Comments are a great thing for both website owners. The person who wrote the post gets valuable feedback and the person that comments gets to leave a little footprint.

    11. avatar
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      MikeKey says:

      I have just recently started and the majority of my traffic I have already noticed is coming from other blogs within my niche that I have left comments at. So it’s really interesting to see how my responses drive traffic. I had a two people already write, one specific mentioned that he liked what I had stated on the other site and wanted to follow up, and also enjoyed my site.

      Great post.

    12. avatar
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      For a while I spent a lot of time commenting on my favorite blogs, which were usually the ones with the largest fan base i.e. Penelope Trunk, Chris Brogan, etc. That was well and good but I’m finding the best way to REALLY connect is to hunt down the still lesser-known blogs. This way you’re not one of a hundred people commenting and you can actually create a real relationship with the authors. I actually just got some freelance work from a comment I left on someone’s blog in my field (publishing). The blog gets a decent viewership but my thoughts didn’t get lost in the crowd.

    13. avatar
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      Great post! Until I had a blog of my own I used to just read blog posts without commenting. I’d have opinions on what I read but didn’t really feel the need to comment.

      Now that I now that every little comment leaves a footprint back to my site, I comment nearly every time I read an article. I just make sure I have something useful to say.

    14. avatar
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      thehoodnerd says:

      Good stuff! I try not to offend anyone when I comment but sometimes when debates get heated I let go a few obscenities.

    15. avatar
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      Alex P. says:

      I would agree with everything said in this post except for the benefits of leaving a link to your website, specifically the notion that it will increase the Google rank of your site. Most major, reputible blogs (the ones that you’re most likely to comment on to demonstrate your expertise), use a no-follow tag on all links used in comments. When Google sees no follow tags, they do not give any SEO juice to that site. Yes, you might get increase traffic to your site with your insightful comments and that is still beneficial, but no SEO benefit.

      • avatar
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        Hm. Interesting point. That just further reinforces what I said – commenting on the smaller blogs is still the best… plus, it shows you’re not just a media whore ;-)

    16. avatar
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      The other thing that I’d suggest is set up your own Disqus profile (for blogs that use Disqus), register for BackType – and for goodness sake get a Gravatar!

      All of these will either help track coments you make, or – in the case of Gravatar – personalise your comments with your chosen image.

    17. avatar
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      Pete Kistler says:

      Here comes a big shout-out and response the great comments on this post! Thanks everyone for your thoughts and keep ‘em coming :)

      JJ, thanks for the kind feedback.

      Greg, absolutely! Feedback on your own posts is key to improving your next posts.

      Mike, glad to hear that your commenting is bringing your more traffic and engagement.

      Marian, FANTASTIC point. A blogger without much traffic will be much happier to get one comment from you than a popular blogger who expects dozens of comments on every post they write. It’s easier to build real relationships when you start small and engage people who you think will care the most.

      Marshall, awesome! I’m so glad you’ve converted from reader to commenter :)

      Hood Nerd, some people make a living simply being ridiculously controversial. Take Perez Hilton.

      Alex, thanks for the SEO clarification. You’re right that most of the main blog platforms use no-follow tags, so traffic increases from commenting on these blogs will come directly from readers clicking your link (rather than raised search results).

      Steve, YES! Disqus, BackType and a Gravatar are all KEY for commenters. Another way to track blog comments you leave is through Brand-Yourself.com, which helps you manage a whole slew of other touchpoints of your personal brand online.

      Yinka, blog comments do indeed make up your “digital footprint.”

      Bryan, good points. Even brief praise is a nice pat on the back for any blogger.

      MySocialRelevane, two comments a day is a very solid commenting strategy. I usually go on commenting sprees then take a break for a week or so.

      Nathan, you never know who will respond well to your comments – it could take a day, or a year, but you never know until you try!

      Thomas, the services you mentioned (BackType and Disuqs) are vital for blog commenters.

      Jo, that’s great to hear. Leave a little love and the world become a better place!

      – Pete Kistler
      CEO, Brand-Yourself.com

    18. avatar
      EXPERT

      This is most useful information about the posting of Comments, Got lot of tips regarding the same, thank you very much friend post a nice article.

    19. avatar
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      I am not a frequent blogger, but I like this article very much, I got lot of ideas with this, thanks

    20. avatar
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      Your point number seven is probably ignored the most. People don’t want to take the time to read their own comment before posting it. Reading a post with spelling errors is really hard to read and they lose creditability.

    21. avatar
      EXPERT

      The content of the post is very well, from here I know much about sports knowledge. It can provide a lot of the latest sports news. I love this post. By the way I know some about websites which content is also very well. Such as XXXXXXX. you can go and see!

    22. avatar
      EXPERT
      santhosh says:

      Your MessageAlex, thanks for the SEO clarification. You’re right that most of the main blog platforms use no-follow tags, so traffic increases from commenting on these blogs will come directly from readers clicking your link (rather than raised search results).

      Steve, YES! Disqus, BackType and a Gravatar are all KEY for commenters. Another way to track blog comments you leave is through Brand-Yourself.com, which helps you manage a whole slew of other touchpoints of your personal brand online.

      Yinka, blog comments do indeed make up your “digital footprint.”

      Bryan, good points. Even brief praise is a nice pat on the back for any blogger.

      MySocialRelevane, two comments a day is a very solid commenting strategy. I usually go on commenting sprees then take a break for a week or so.

    23. avatar
      EXPERT
      santhosh says:

      I do comment on blogs – not to leave a digital footprint – which of course is good, but because I really appreciate all the time and effort someone goes through to post useful information. Which by the way, you offer great insight into this. Thanks!

    24. avatar
      EXPERT

      Great post, but don’t forget to try and cultivate more blog comments on your own blog! CommentLuv and responding to each comment is a great way to do it!

      Cheers!
      Ian

    25. avatar
      EXPERT
      hareram says:

      A comment left on a popular blog may be viewed by a few hundred people in one day. Multiply that by the lifespan of the blog and you’ll see that a simple comment may say a lot about you. Every blog comment is usually permanent. It’s not just a hyperlink but a long-term representation of your brand.

    26. avatar
      EXPERT

      very good article about this topic.. i am agree with your thought. this is a right blog commenting is a good way for promote our brand..blog commenting is a good way for communicated with blog friend.. Blog to help you start and build a better business..

      Thanks a lot for keep this message..

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