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The Missing Ingredient in Your Blog Strategy: Commenting

Coming off the very successful Content Marketing World, I thought about all the relationship building it took that helped make CMW the largest event in the industry.  Frankly, it was a combination of a number of things that made it happen (I’ll share the story on that in an upcoming post). BUT, what really amazed me was the first step to the majority of our relationships with the leading content thinkers around the world.

Commenting on Blogs

Yes, I said it. What opened the door to, dare I say it, the majority of my relationships and friendships with the speakers at CMW was commenting on their blogs.

How did I first make contact with David Meerman Scott?  I commented on his blog.  Mike Stelzner…same thing…as well as Brian Clark, Jay Baer, Bernie Borges and Drew Davis.

The Forgotten Skill of Blog Commenting

LEGO JesusI was recently at a large marketing conference where I asked the audience how many of them had corporate blogs.  About 50% of the room had a blog.  Then I asked how many of them had a blog commenting strategy.  Only about 10% of those bloggers had a commenting strategy.  What a shame.

Great content alone is not enough.  You have to work it.

In many of my presentations, I show this picture of LEGO Jesus and ask the audience what Jesus was doing before he really started “spreading the Word” at age 30.  I ask them to envision this:

Jesus is 29 years old and distraught. He has this amazing news to share with the world, but no one is following him.  It’s just him and his mom Mary.  Just before his 30th birthday, Jesus asks Mary what he’s doing wrong and why no one is following him.  Mary says simply, “Look Jesus, I love you, and I love your teachings and parables…but if you want people to follow you and truly understand the stories you are telling, you have to leave the house”.

If You Create Great Content, But No One Reads It, Did You Create Great Content?

Gilad de Vries from Outbrain made a fantastic statement at Content Marketing World:

If you write a blog, but no one reads the blog, did you really blog?

You could be the greatest content creator on the planet, but if you don’t work the channels, no one will know about it AND your business won’t be positively impacted.  Number one on your list of distribution techniques should be commenting on the right blogs.

Not sure how?  Here’s a handy list:

  1. Find out where your customers and prospects are hanging out?  Use tools like Google Alerts and Twitter (or a reputation management system) to find out what blogs are making impact on your customers.
  2. Develop a list of at least 10 – 15 key blogs that you are going to be engaged in.  We cover ours with the Junta42 Top Content Marketing Blogs list.
  3. Make an informative comment on each of those blogs at least once per week.

Realistically, this should only take an hour or two per week, but the payoff will be tremendous.  Each of those influential industry leaders will know you.  After a while, some will start sharing your content.  At some point, you may even become friends with them.  And, over the long-term, it will positively affect your blogging and online marketing goals.

So, if you have a blog but don’t have a commenting strategy complete yet, do it today.  It’s that important.

For a more formal plan, check out this post from Brody Dorland on the 12 Things to Do After You Post a Blog.