Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Social Networking: Read My Link

Part 1 in this Social Networking series focused on visiting other blogs and adding favorites to your blog roll. Today, we focus on what to do when you comment on other blogs.

First off, if you’re going to take the time to visit other blogs (and I know you are), then don’t leave without saying something. Most of the time, you’ll have something to say about the post subject. Add something relevant or pithy. Other times, you’ll read the post and think, okay that was interesting, but I have nothing to add. Sure you do. At the very least, comment and tell the blogger that the post was interesting or funny or inspiring or made you think or whatever is appropriate.

Say something. Otherwise, they’ll never know you were there. Sure, they can see that someone was there when they look at their stats, but they won’t know it was you. And if they don’t know it was you, you’re not networking.

When you comment, you’re going to have to leave your name and a link on the comment form. (Sometimes this is done automatically.) Even so, I recommend you leave your name and the link to your blog within the comment form. If that blogger or another commenter there likes what you have to say, you’ve made it easy for them to pop over to your blog. (More networking.)

Now some of you experienced bloggers know that if you want to visit someone’s blog and they don’t leave a link in their comment, you can click on their name and most of the time you’ll be taken to a profile page that will list their blogs. Then you can click from there. Why put those two steps in there for them? Make it easy.

Keep in mind, though, this is not your blog. Don’t put in two, three or more links. Stick to one. You’re not putting up a huge billboard - just a small sign helping others find their way to your blog. (This is the social part of networking.)

Start today. Start here. Leave a comment and add your link.

Tomorrow, Part 3 in Social Networking

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  1. I don't include a link below my sig if I'm on a blog that I'm already well known on by the host, although your post makes a case for doing so even there - there are readers who might not know I have a blog, who may not know they can click on my name and find out, and might visit if I made it easy for them. I dunno - fine line between gracious networking and blatant self-advertising. I DO include one (ONLY - totally agree with you here) link when visiting new (to me) blogs. I have two main blogs and I leave the link to the one that best/closest fits the topics of the blog I'm visiting.

    And yes, for God's Sake, ALWAYS leave a comment. Ridiculous not to, even if it's just "Loved this post!"

    OK, just to back up your tutorial today,

    Marvin D Wilson

  2. I agree. There's nothing a bloggers likes more than to see comments. I usually add a link after my name to whatever address I want people to visit at the time. Sometimes it is more than one, if I have two posts up that day.

    Morgan Mandel

  3. You are so spot on about this tip. I get more indirect traffic back to my blog after leaving comments and I'm finding that it's fun to exchange ideas, meet new writers in this fashion.


    K. Harrington

  4. And everyone left their link! Yay!

    I know, even I hesitate about leaving my sig line. And sometimes I don't. I don't want to appear pushy, but I know that I really like it when others do it, not just on my blog, but on other blogs. It makes it so easy to just zip to their blog and check it out.

  5. After I commented on this blog yesterday (for the first time) I got comments on my own blog! Coincidence? I don't think so.
    Kim Pearson

  6. You've hit the nail on the head about making it easy to network. (That's also the reason I have my email contact in my profile info, and is why I got rid of the word verification function.)

  7. *Oops, and forgot my blog link. Need more java.*


  8. Well said! This is a great series.


  9. Helen,

    When I first started visting blogs, I noticed that most people don't even sign their notes. This led me to believe that promoting your own blog by including a sig line was bad form.

    Lately I've seen more of it and have started to (sometimes) include a link. But I always feel like I'm doing something wrong - invading someone else's space.

    I'm also bad about leaving comments. If I don't feel like I have something intelligent, or at least relevent, to add, I generally don't comment. Guess I should, just to let folks know I've been by.

    Charlotte Phillips

  10. I try to comment and leave my sig - sorry, mine's got two websites as well! (Got that programed into me at some point and it's still there...) But if one doesn't comment & leave a link, how are others going to find you? I've discovered some cool bloggers just by following these links...

    L. Diane Wolfe

  11. Good advice, Helen. I have an anonymous visitor who corrects my spelling. Not sure how to take that, but I'm blogging in so many places that I sometimes forget to spell check. :)


  12. Networking is great. I've done a lot of it. Some blogs have really helped me- ideas, encouragement. I network in my daily life too. At times I help others, other times they help me. It is something that really makes you feel good.

  13. Hello Kim, Angie, Regan, Charlotte, Diane, Jean, and Lynda.

    Jean, I totally empathize. It seems I often hit the "send" button just as I notice I've misspelled something or used the wrong word. I need a do-over button.

    Charlotte, I know what you mean about the indecision on leaving a link. It seems a bit forward. But I've decided I have to be bolder. One of my major goals is to get to know more people online. Otherwise, why blog? And a big part of that is letting people know who I am and where they can find me. They don't have to come over if they don't want. But if they do, I'm going to make it easy for them.

    I wish you could automatically insert a sig line the way you can in emails.

  14. Great advice, especially for a new blogger like me! Thanks

  15. Thanks for this. I'm guilty of feeling that if I don't have something utterly amazing to add, I don't want to waste the comment space. Your points are well taken about people knowing *I* was there!

  16. Helen,

    I have to be a little contrarian here. Though I appreciate getting comments, I usually delete comments that just say "great post"—because I get tons of spam that says just that. The commenter needs to say something that indicates they read the post: "great post about xyz topic."

    As for sig lines, my spam filter catches every comment that contains a link other than the link in the URL box. Usually I approve the comments that aren't obviously spam, but I will delete the links.

    I understand Blogger is quite different from WordPress and doesn't allow commenters to link to blogs that aren't on Blogger. So I need to get in the habit of leaving a sig line when I comment on Blogger posts because the link leads to a Blogger blog that I keep just so I can comment on Blogger blogs. I post every once a while linking to my main blog, but if I remember to leave a link in the post itself anyone interested can go directly to my blog.

    Not everyone has to be so careful of spam. I am a DoFollow blogger, so I attract lots of commenters who just want a link from a PR4 blog that Google will follow. Consequently, I get a lot of spam, and I have to be very careful. Bloggers who keep their blogs NoFollow don't face nearly as much spam so they can be a little more liberal in approving comments.

    Nevertheless, I do agree with leaving comments, and I do agree they don't have to be profound or insightful, just as long as they let the blogger that you are a person who read the post and not a spam robot leaving "great post" comments all over the blogosphere.

    I'm going to rememberto leave a sig line here!

    Lillie Ammann
    A Writer's Words, An Editor's Eye

  17. Lilie, contrarian is not a word I would use for you! I appreciate your explanation of how it works on blogging hosts other than Blogger.

    I've only gotten spam once or twice, so it's not a problem for me. I also watch the blog during the day. If I did get spam, I would go in and delete it.

    Why do you go into the comments you get and delete their sig line if it contains a link?

  18. Saw your tweet about this over on Twitter.

    First, I agree that all bloggers love to see comments on their blog.

    Second, I always leave a link to my blog IF I'm commenting on a "related" blog. Believe it or not, I visit some sites where I'd rather remain unknown to business colleagues. :-)

    But I'm comfortable here, and I'll be back.


  19. Sorry about the ID on that comment I just left. I'm still trying to work out the OpenID wrinkles with my TypePad blog.

    Cassie (a/k/a 6p00e5538c08058834) :-)

  20. Hi Helen- I will be contrary.

    I only leave links in my signature if I'm participating in a meme. Other than that I hyperlink my site to my name. I understand that people want traffic but sometimes it gets pushy. I do leave addition links on friend sites but not stranger's sites.

    I know some bloggers have deleted author comments as spamm because essentially it was an advertisement, with all their links. I don't understand the need to hyperlink anything other than your name. My site makes it easy to hyperlink your name to any post. If people are interested in what you said they will click on your name. I just think people need to be conscious of not making other bloggers feel that your only interest in them is to get more web traffic.

  21. Hi Cassie. Thanks for stopping by. I like your cartoon on your post today!

    And hi to you, Brooke. I don't know of any way to hyperlink my name on blogger. It just automatically takes the viewer to the Profile page. There are a lot of people who have multiple blogs listed on their profile and it's hard to choose which one to click on.

  22. Thanks for the advice. I plan to be better about leaving comments in the future.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  23. It makes you wonder, if you track your stats and see a lot of readers, but no comments, why no one has anything to say. Even if it's just, "popped by, what an interesting topic..." you know who's reading what you have to say. These are great posts, Helen. Looking forward to part 3.

    Jenny Bean
    The Inner Bean

  24. Hi Helen,

    IF you want to hyperlink your name to a specific blog/and or blog post, use the name/URL option instead. You can do this even if you have a blogger account. I still have a blogger profile but I don't use this option on most blogspot because I want people to come visit me.

  25. Good, sound advice, Helen. The key, I think, is consistency.


  26. Helen,

    I delete the link because it's a repeat of the link that is already linked to the name in WordPress. To me it's spammy to have two links in one comment. I agree that one reason for leaving comments is to get traffic to your own blog, but one link is enough.

  27. Thanks so much for the great advice.

    Joan De La Haye

  28. Thanks to this blog, I'll start posting comments more often. I only have dial-up (I live deep in the North Carolina mountains) but will apply your message.



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