There was a time on the internet when you could build a website and the traffic would come. Unfortunately, those days are long over. No longer is it “Build it and they will come.”
As a business owner, you need to do your part of driving traffic to your website or blog. This is referred to as inbound marketing – doing specific actions that will pull your target audience to you and your product or service.
You probably know of small business owners that have spent thousands of dollars on a website that turned into a virtual ghost town. Maybe that business owner is you.
I am here to tell you there is hope! There is one simple thing that you can do that if done consistently will reap huge rewards in traffic.
Comment on other blogs that your target audience is reading. This is something that you can do every day and only takes a few minutes. Almost every blog has a place where you can comment and add a back link to your website.
So exactly how do you do this?
Find blogs that others are reading in your industry. If you have a WordPress blog, you can add a plugin called “Sphere Related Content.” This plugin will find other blog posts related to the topic you have just written about. You can then review these blog posts and make comments. This encourages the authors of these blogs to come over to your site and do the same.
Another tool is a site called Technorati.com. You can look for blogs on specific topics and then simply click the link to check them out. Some of the things you will want to look for are:
- How often is the owner posting to the blog?
- Is the blog encouraging comments?
- Are there spelling or grammar errors on the blog? You want someone who takes pride in their posts.
If you are uncomfortable posting on blogs that are your competitors, choose blogs in related fields. For example, if you own a lawn care company, you may want to comment on blogs written by local pest control companies. Also, consider blogs written by people who could refer business your way. In the case of the lawn care company, look for blogs by real estate agents or property management companies.
Create a list of blogs that you want to follow and set up an RSS feed to the blog. Or if you are like me and want to keep things simple, create a simple Excel spreadsheet with the name of the blog, the link, overall subject matter and a place to add the date of your last comment.
Set a schedule and two or three times a week pull up your spreadsheet and click on the link to the blog to check out what is new. Eventually, the owner of the blog will get to know you and you can start building a business relationship. If you find the owner of the blog is not posting on a regular basis, you simply remove them from your spreadsheet.
Next, you will want to create a gravatar. A gravatar is simply a photo or graphic that represents your persona online. These are easily created at Gravatar.com. Each time you comment your gravatar will show up next to your comment. This provides a consistent identity for you and your business and in time people will start to recognise you and associate your gravatar with your business.
Just a few tips to make your commenting effective:
- When you are researching the blogs you want to follow and comment make sure you are selecting quality sites that share your target market, philosophy and have a good look and feel.
- Create a relationship with the blog owner. Look for contact information on the blog site. After you have made a few comments, send an email and introduce yourself. See if they are open to guest bloggers. Invite them to your blog to look around and comment.
- As with any other internet endeavour, consistency is the key. Block out specific times in your schedule when you will visit other blogs, read the blog and make specific comments. A good time for this is when you are sitting down to write a blog post. Often reading other blogs will spark an idea for your post.
- Whatever you do – don’t copy and paste the same comment on all the posts. Make your comments are specific to what was written. Also, don’t stuff your comments with a link back to your website or blog. Your gravatar will have that information. Keep your comments pertinent to the post.
When you are consistent and use specific comments you will see amazing results. If you take the time to build those business relationships you will find great referral resources and possible joint venture partners for future projects.
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