Go back in time and think about when you started your blog.

You only had a few readers: your friends, your family and people you begged to subscribe. You were desperate to get some eye balls for your content. You were obsessed with it.

Every single day you woke up, you logged in excitedly, with bated breath. Always hoping to see more visits to your blog, more shares, more readers. And it never happened.

Traffic trickled in, at an infuriatingly slow pace. Then people told you to go over to other blogs and start leaving meaningful comments. They assured you that it is great traffic building strategy.

You were told that when you comment on somebody’s blog, people will check your comment and follow your link to the blog. Slowly, you will build a thriving traffic to your site.

I am afraid that you were given incorrect advice, my friend. You have been duped!

You have been commenting on the blogs, but you have been doing it for the totally wrong reason. You do not comment on blogs to drive traffic. So why do you do it then? Glad you asked.

Most People Don’t Read Other Comments

Ok, let’s approach this from other readers’ point of view. They arrive on the site to read a post and in most cases they are done. They will share or they won’t, and they are gone.

About 1-2% of those people will take a few minutes to leave a comment. And if they see other comments, what do you think will happen? Do think they will think with glee ..oooh comments and read them all, or they might read one or two and go on their merry way. I am thinking the latter.

Actually, what would you do? Do you read lots of comments? How many do you click on to check their blogs? I am guessing not too many.

In this age where people are scrambling to make the most of their time, they just don’t check out others people’s blogs in the comments section. They don’t even bother clicking on a guest poster’s byline so you can imagine how ridiculous it is to expect them to do so in the comments, of all places.

If even you do get some traffic, it is not worth the time spend leaving comments. There are much better options such as guest posting, interviewing other bloggers on your site or linking to their work and asking them to share.

Comment to Get Blogger’s Attention

When you comment on a post with the intention of driving traffic, you make it about yourself. You try to impress other readers and hope that will become curious at your sheer brilliance and check you out.

You are approaching this from a totally wrong place. Stop trying to make it about you. You need to comment to get the attention of bloggers and build a relationship with them.

Jon Morrow, the Associate Copyeditor of Copyblogger says that most bloggers read every single comment they receive, even if they don’t respond to it (and many times comments like ‘great post’ or ‘Awesome’ hardly need anything to be said). Don’t assume that the popular bloggers are not paying attention, they are.

The trick is to leave comments consistently so they begin to recognize you as a loyal and enthusiastic reader. A valuable member of their tribe.

Now think if you asked them for a small favour, like tweet a post that is beneficial for their audience of course, what would they say? Because they remember you, and hopefully like you already, you are more likely to get a yes. What if you wanted to ask them a few questions to include in your post, you are much more likely to get a response.

Comment to Pave the Way to a Guest Post Opportunity

I said this before, but it is worth saying it again. Commenting is a GREAT strategy if you genuinely like the blog and also intend to guest post on it in the future.

When you leave a thoughtful comment and add to the discussion, the blogger appreciates it wholeheartedly (hint, hint!). They remember you and often invite you to write a guest post expanding on their point in discussion.

If nothing, they remember you as a valued reader. You are going to open your email when you make your pitch. They are more likely to accept your post idea, even if it’s not perfect. And you know, how valuable that is.

People have built successful programs around teaching how to guest post successfully. Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging Course and Danny Iny’s Write Like Freddy are the two that I personally recommend.

So yes, leaving comments for the sake of traffic generation is a lousy strategy. However, doing so for the purpose of making friends with the bloggers you truly respect and admire is simply brilliant.

Go ahead, leave as many comments as you like. But think about this for a second: Who are you posting for? For other readers (to drive traffic) or for the blogger themselves (to build connections)?

Happy commenting!