For those who blog in unique niches, particularly outside of the realm of “blogs about blogging,” starting out can present several challenges. Fasten your seatbelt and strap on your helmet if you’re just starting out because you’re in for a pretty rough ride.
With the heavily debated “Google Sandbox Effect,” you can probably forget about your blog generating very much search engine traffic for the first two to four months. If you’re not dedicated as well as persistent, you might like most bloggers, throw in the towel before the first six months is up.
Aside from overcoming the litany of challenges involved with generating traffic for your blog, the other problem involves growing your blog community. Ever visit a blog that has zero or one comment on every post? Can you hear an echo in here?
Nothing screams out “dead zone” like a blog that doesn’t have an active community of people who leave thoughtful comments.
At one point in time, I can remember almost enjoying receiving spam comments. Why? Spammers were the only ones who left comments at my blog.
What’s the secret of highly commented blogs?
Without citing any statistics, I can attest to the secret that most heavily commented blogs share is that they have built relationships with their readers who come back, again and again. In contrast, the vast majority of people who visit your blog the first time probably won’t drop a comment particularly if it’s going to be the first and only comment on that particular post.
Building a CommentLuv community around your blog niche?
If you’re still reading this post, you’ve probably already heard of Commentluv. I’m not going to start from square one with a detailed description of the Commentluv plugin, so read: How Commentluv Works. However, what I am going to tell you about are some tips about how to build a Commentluv community around your niche.
Conquering your fear of CommentLuv?
First, before I get to that, the first issue to address is the “fear of Commentluv / dofollow comment links.” Be afraid, be very afraid! I’m only playing you, so relax.
Before I first started using Commentluv, I, like many others, had visions of my websites hemorrhaging Page Rank, Google penalties, and my posts falling rock bottom to the pile in Google.
Fortunately for me, I was just starting out a new blog that wasn’t getting much search engine traffic anyway. Sometimes in life, opportunity knocks when you have nothing to lose. I thought, “what the heck,” this particular blog’s search engine traffic is so low, it can’t get much worse anyway, so ahead I went.
After that, everything was just rosy, comments started flying in and my traffic increased ten fold! Well, actually not. What really happened? To be honest with you, very little if anything. I waited, and waited, and waited some more… What then? Nada!
After my patience was exhausted (it took about a month), I threw my arms up in the air with frustration and I complained to Gail who first told me how CommentLuv grows blogs and businesses. I remarked to Gail that Commentluv seems to work great in some niches like blogs about blogging, but it’s not well-recognized in my niche.
Gail, Commentluv just doesn’t seem to work well in my niche, but I did give it a try. It’s probably because most of my readers don’t maintain blogs.
CommentLuv doesn’t work in your niche either?
A little while later, Gail suggested to me, this from my vague recollection alone, something along the lines of new niches needing a leader to promote Commentluv for it to work. Wait a minute here, Gail. I installed Commentluv because I wanted it to effortlessly increase my traffic and comments, not because I want to spend my free time promoting a WordPress plugin…
Why do you comment on blogs?
Taking a step back now, if you want more comments on your blog how would you go about it?
Ask yourself: What type of situations encourage you or make you more prone to leaving comments yourself?
In many cases, you can generate a tremendous amount of comments by writing something controversial that aggravates people. When people disagree with you or are mad, sure they’ll probably tell you off in a comment, but don’t expect them to become regular readers of your blog either.
Aside from that, I myself am more likely to leave comments on blogs if I know the blogger, find the post interesting and engaging, or if I’ve just visited the blog more than once. At times, Commentluv is enough to push me over the edge (hey, we all love links). Lastly, if I take the time to write a thoughtful comment on a blog and the post author / blog owner doesn’t reply, the chance that I’ll comment on that blog again drastically decreases. Sound about the same experience for yourself, or not?
How to grow a CommentLuv community in your niche!
- For me, I installed the plugin on all of the niche-related blogs that I maintain.
- I politely asked bloggers in my niche to consider installing it themselves–after I told them the benefits that I experienced.
- I started a niche-related Commentluv enabled blog list in a blog post. Nothing complex, I just told readers that if they had a decent-quality blog in the health or fitness related niche, all they had to do was leave a comment in the post. In return, I would give them a dofollow link and put them on my list.
- For those who don’t have the plugin yet, the post is written to both encourage and incentivize them to try it out.
- I’ve politely asked, but not required those who want to be on the list to help promote it by retweeting the post.
- Getting a little help from your friends… I did ask for some help with promoting this list from Gail and my other friends who blog in niches that are more Commentluv friendly.
- Guest blog post: Here I am! Guest blog posting has too many benefits for the scope of this article but needless to say, I’m using the opportunity to promote my Free, health and fitness, dofollow, and Commentluv enabled blog list.
- Other plans include continued promotion of the list and to continue to encourage bloggers in my niche to try it out.
- Support those who’re on my list. I leave a comment on everyone’s site who’s been added to the list.
Benefits of CommentLuv that I’ve experienced:
- Helps encourage not only more comments, but also better-quality comments since most bloggers know that Commentluv blogs are typically more discerning for the quality of comments that they allow.
- Helps to connect you with other bloggers in your niche with the benefit of encouraging comment reciprocity on each other’s respective blogs.
- Stimulates active discussion and engagement of readers.
- Though an increase in spam is a common fear, I haven’t seen an increase. Most of my spam comes from bots and I don’t think that they’re able to exploit Commenluv.
- Increase in web traffic from commentluv–both from the comments getting indexed in search engines as content, but also from people returning to reply to responses.
- Get to know your niche’s blogging community better through all of the above!
This won’t work, bloggers don’t read blogs in my niche…
One of the biggest benefits that I’ve experienced with Commentluv is that it helps to build communities. In the health and fitness blogging niche, many bloggers seem to have a solo mentality. Bringing them together to form a more cohesive community has innumerable benefits. I’ve seen this first hand in the other areas of blogs with the interaction and support among bloggers.
Why do I want bloggers to read my blog anyway?
In my niche, very few bloggers actually read my blogs. This is fine in some respects, but there are several advantages to having bloggers read your blog. It might surprise you that even people who blog about WordPress, Tech, or blogging have interests outside of their own niche. 🙂
To start off with, bloggers are more likely to promote content that they like with social media, are able to provide you with needed backlinks, and often leave great comments. On top of that, bloggers are more likely to have the Alexa bar installed, so they help improve your website’s Alexa traffic ranking.
Regardless of your blog niche whether it’s about real estate, knitting, sports, hang gliding, or whatever, promoting Commentluv in your niche can help you grow a community and connect with other like-minded bloggers. At the same time, connecting with other bloggers can have tremendous impact on improving your presence and traffic on the Internet. Either way, it sure makes these tremendously more fun than feeling like you’re blogging in the dark or in a vacuum.
Addendum by GrowMap: Besides growing your own traffic, building relationships in your niche and having more fun bloggin there is another very important reason to work on growing your blogging niche with CommentLuv. Niche Marketing will continue to grow in importance and niche bloggers who position themselves will be of interest to businesses interested in advertising and reaching your audience. Read more about how to position your blog where the money is.