Are You a Silent Blogger?

Are You a Silent Blogger?In the past few weeks, I’ve been discussing the blogging community, how it’s being misused and abused, and how those who don’t abuse it have become my community.

Then I realized that a lot of people out there seem not to do this at all – form a community, that is. So here’s a primer on becoming part of someone else’s community, and how to make that community a part of yours.

Think of it as your guide to making friends online.

How to Find Friends Through Blogs

Many people tell you that you should comment on other people’s blogs. I’m about to be one of those people in just a minute. The only way to comment on other people’s blogs, though, is to find blogs worth commenting upon.

It’s not going to do you any good if you just show up to the most popular blogs you know of and write a comment there every day. For one thing, Darren Rowse is a busy guy. He has long since stopped having time to say hi to you.

This is common for blogs at large and perfectly understandable. When you reach a certain level of popularity, you have way too many people clamoring for your attention. You stop trying to sift through the mess to find that one cool new guy.

Stephen King might have been thrilled at some point in his early career to get a fan letter, for example. He might have written his fan back. They might have become buddies. Try writing Stephen now. There’s a very slim chance Mr. King will even see your letter, much less respond to it personally.

The same is true for uber-popular bloggers. They are busy guys. You should go to their blogs and comment anyway, because they have lots of good things to say and their communities listen to you, talk to you, and make friends with you.

Guess what else you should do?

That’s right. You should check out other commentators’ blogs. Chances are pretty good that they like the same sorts of things you like, since they are on a blog that you like. If you think their comment is funny or insightful, go click the link and check out their blog. See if you like it. If you like it, comment on it.

Check out their blogroll, too, if they have one, and check out who else comments on their blog. If this is a cool person, they probably know other cool people that you might want to know.

Give yourself an assignment: Find five cool new blogs every week. Try putting them in your feed reader for two weeks and see if you read every post. If you do, keep that blog, make friends with the blog owner, and bring them into your community.

If you don’t, let it go. It’s okay to be a little picky. There are plenty of fish out there.

How to Comment On Other Blogs the Right Way

This is sort of self-explanatory, but we see a lot of people still don’t get how to comment properly. Here are a few hard-and-fast rules for commenting on other blogs:

• Don’t link to your own articles unless it is really, truly, spot-on relevant to the blog post you’re commenting on. Otherwise it’s just shameless self-promotion, and no one likes that.

• Be interesting. Don’t just say, “Great post,” if you want to be noticed. If you’re a regular, that’s fine, but if this guy doesn’t know you yet, give him a taste of your personality.

• Use the tools you have in the comment section. Lots of blogs now offer Comment Luv (if you want to see what that looks like, comment below), and you can also leave your website URL in the URL field.

Don’t be stupid about the name field. Your name isn’t Brochure Printing or Wonderbra Lingerie or Firewall Networking. That’ll fast track you to spam and you’ll be screwed.

Write to Other Blog Owners

Lots of people know they should comment on blogs they like, but very few people take that critical extra step: actually contacting the blog owner and telling them how much their writing is enjoyed. You could even be really, really smart, and send an email to a commentator as well, just to say how much you liked their comment.

This is the part that makes you different– this is the part where you build a relationship.

I met Nick Cernis this way. I met Taylor this way. I met Brian Clark this way. I met ___ or ___ or ___ this way. Or they met me. It doesn’t really matter. At a certain point, we started sending emails to each other regularly. We were buddies.

And we were part of one another’s communities. We stopped keeping track of how we met, or who contacted whom first, or anything else.

We’re friends. It feels good to be friends. If one of these friends comes out with some awesome new product next week, I’ll be the first one to tell you about it.

Because I like these guys, and I respect their work. And they like me.

Go get yourself some new friends online.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment.

  1. Gordie Rogers says:

    I think emailing up and coming bloggers is great. I know from personal experience that they are happy to receive an email of encouragement and always reply.
    .-= Gordie Rogers´s last blog ..How To Develop Persistence. =-.

  2. I’ve kind of stopped commenting on blogs – just got busy. Thanks for the reminder, and the suggestion to email the blog owners is great!

    I had my sister email me to comment on something I wrote recently, and it was such a great feeling. Time to pass it on methinks.

    *heads off to email James* 😉
    .-= Melinda | WAHM Biz Builder´s last blog ..Systemising Your Emails =-.

  3. I’m always trying to comment on new blogger’s blogs and build working relationships and contacts. These are some fantastic tips. Thanks for sharing them!
    .-= Corey Freeman´s last blog ..Headway for WordPress: A Freelance Writer’s Best Friend =-.

  4. Very timely post!
    I have just started a new blog last month and one of my aims was to take part in a community of like-minded people, bloggers or not (my blog is about building automated trading systems so the audience might only be traders and not bloggers).
    I have just put some decent/interesting posts and am now starting to think how I can
    Comments are I think (especially after this post) an obvious choice but thanks for the additional tips on this post – I am sure they will help a lot a beginner like me.

    I actually received an email from a blog author which I had put on my blogroll (as I had followed his blog for a while) and he suggested we might collaborate!
    How good is that?

    .-= Jez Liberty´s last blog ..What can the Whipsaw Song by Ed Seykota teach you? =-.

  5. Agreed. You can start and join a community by simply by contributing thoughts, ideas and constructive criticisms too. I believe, a community aims for growth and advancement, each of the members has this implied obligation to give their share for this growth, of course, value is the key. I’ve been commenting on blogs for a while and I really enjoy reading, learning, and sharing my own perspective. I’m actually new to this blog but I enjoy the contents that I’m seeing here. Looking forward for more valuable posts =).
    .-= Alex Lim´s last blog ..Before You Purchase A Domain Name Availability =-.

  6. James,

    I know this works, because it’s how you became my groupie. Take James’ advice, folks. 😉

    I have one more: Pace yourself from the beginning. Or from wherever you are now.

    In blog-writing, lots of folks start out writing six days a week, find they’re exhausted and can’t keep up the pace, try just two, and pretty soon, it’s “darn, how long since he wrote? I miss him.”

    The same thing happens to a lot of people in commenting. First they’re commenting on a 150 blogs a week. Check back with them in six months, and it’s only two. Not only does the community feel funky about you in 148 places, but the energy your own blog was deriving from that visibility starts to slump.

    I’m not perfect at it, but slow-and-steady is part of my nature and I highly recommend slow-and-steady to people who’re trying to figure out their commenting strategy. Decide that you’ll comment at four (or whatever your schedule *really* permits) regularly, and twenty semi-regularly. It commits you to reading them thoroughly, too, which is good in our skimming age.

    It’s way better to become part of 24 close-knit groups than get burnt out and drop off the radar of 148 you never kept up with anyway.


    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..How High SHOULD You Reach? =-.

  7. I enjoy blogging, and have had a couple over the years, never huge ones, but with a small loyal following. Looking at things that are personal, training, weight loss, depression etc. I have now started to see the sense in using these as a marketing tool (ok so it took me a while to catch on!!) and have found this information to be invaluable.

    Many thanks for the advice James and keep up the good work.

  8. Everything you said works and it is also is commonsense. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people with little commonsense.

    I am regularly shocked when people I have never heard of before send a form letter saying how much they love my blog and (there is always an “and”) then ask if I can do them some type of favour.

    If you love my blog so much, a comment or two would be nice. If you want something from me, maybe you should make an effort to build a relationship first.

    You don’t go up to a stranger on the street and ask if they would like to go for coffee. That is commonsense, yet people do the exact equivalent online.

    If you like my blog, prove it with a little support. Promote posts on Twitter or Stumbleupon, add a comment, send me an email, anything is greatly appreciated.

    More importantly, most gestures of kindness are reciprocated. I personally respond to every email, tweet, and question. Subscribe to my blog and I will likely visit your site and subscribe. That is how humans interact with each other and that is commonsense.
    .-= John Bardos´s last blog ..Interview with Global Artist, Elizabeth Briel =-.

  9. Great advice on the assignment. I am going to start weeding through all my feeds to see who I actually read all their posts and who is there as clutter.

    And thanks Kelly for the added advice about pacing yourself.

    I enjoyed the useful tips that were given here and will implement them right away.

  10. I have made a few friends by commenting on their blogs but what clinched the deal was that I emailed them via their website. They responded and we became ‘friends’. I had the opportunity to meet two of these people at a recent function. Commenting on blogs is a great networking tool and a way to ‘meet’ people who have a common interest to you.

  11. I wanted to see what the love thingy was all about. I’ve seen it elsewhere and was afraid to click on it in case I got over my head. I am such a non techie person I do good turning on my computer each morning. !
    Jo Ann Hernandez
    BronzeWord Latino Authors
    .-= Jo Ann Hernandez´s last blog ..Mayra airs about Audio Interview =-.

  12. Oh the heart thingy brings you lastest post from your own blog. how neat!!! Cool!!! I know those comments age me and hey!

    Do you have a twitter name? I post your articles on my @LatinoBookNews where I supply Latino/as with publishing and blogging news. You’re one of the sites I use. I’d like for you to know when I post your articles. Anyway.
    Thanks, Jo Ann
    .-= Jo Ann Hernandez´s last blog ..Mayra airs about Audio Interview =-.

  13. Sorry. I forgot to ask. How do I get the heart thingy, please?
    Jo Ann Hernandez
    BronzeWord Latino Authors
    BronzeWord1 AT yahoo com
    .-= Jo Ann Hernandez´s last blog ..Mayra airs about Audio Interview =-.

  14. Great post!

    Oh, wait, you wanted more than that… It’s true, though, commenting is one of the nicest ways to make new friends–both with the blog writer and with the other people already hanging out at the party. Because, of course, if it weren’t for the intersting people, the internet would just be a wasteland of facts (and fiction), and where would the fun be in that?
    .-= –Deb´s last blog ..Autumn is a Breath of Fresh Air =-.

  15. You are right about commenting on the smaller blogs. I enjoy some of the lesser known blogs just as much as the big ones. I’m even in contact with a few of these blog owners. Just about every blogger I’ve met has been really friendly. I think they like receiving email for readers. I know I do.

  16. What? You mean in order to create a community you have to do more than write something, find a good picture to go with it, and hit publish?

    I knew there was more to it than that 🙂

    Building a community is hard work, but it’s great once it gets going. All of the sudden you have others who are networking, promoting, supporting and encouraging your work. The most interesting thing about this type of “work” is my fellow “co-workers” are people I’ve yet to meet in person. I only know a name and an avatar pic. It’s amazing how far things have progressed.

    Thanks for the common-sense kick in the butt James. Keep it up.
    .-= Corey – Simple Marriage´s last blog ..Free Marriage Coaching, A Little Help Please =-.

  17. So, so true. I was thinking about my network of fellow bloggers last night and how I met each one. When I first started blogging, I didn’t know it was okay to just email other bloggers out of the blue so I’m glad others took the time and initiative to email me! I’ve made so many new friends and enjoy collaborating with them or just shooting the breeze.

    I do disagree with John Bardos, I don’t have a need for my relationships to be quid pro quo. There are dozens of bloggers that I’ve tweeted or stumbled or commented on that probably have no idea I exist. And in theory there are folks that have done the same for me that for whatever reason I can’t reciprocate (in theory – all my readers are super duper awesome).

    While I love comments and help in promoting my blog, it is more than enough when folks say they like it. It makes my day!

  18. Great post and one that comes at a perfect time for me. I am working to grow my blog and attempting to get over the fear of commenting on blogs written by people I don’t know. I realize that I need to get myself out there if I want to make my photoblog grow. Thank you for the wonderful tips and the push in the right direction.

  19. I started off commenting on blogs and slacked off because I got busy and felt like the comment I left was not “profound” enough to share. I fell into the trap of not pacing myself as Kelly mentioned in her comment. I am also still in the process of growing my blog and really do appreciate the reminder to get back into commenting on other people’s blogs. As Melinda mentioned, it is nice to have others recognize your work as well. I know some may rely on retweet button as a way to demonstrate how much they love a post and although there is nothing wrong with this, I would rather have someone comment. I like being able to talk to people and exchange ideas and the only true method in doing this is through comments. I truly do enjoy your blog and this post has forced me to get it together and start commenting more!
    .-= LaTosha Johnson ´s last blog ..Filters can’t catch everything =-.

  20. I do a decent job of commenting often, but I do a poor job at spending time with the other commenters. Although it seems like a natural thing to do, for many of us it isn’t. Great reminder.

    As for email, I think it’s fair to say that many bloggers in my position don’t mind email at all. In fact, it breaks the monotony and reminds me that there are people listening.
    .-= Nathan Hangen´s last blog ..Saturday Project Update =-.

  21. It’s a good reminder – I used to be a daily visitor to many of my favorite writing blogs (this one included) but things get so busy and hectic. Now I try and be a regular visitor – say once a weekish – to the bloggers I support and the bloggers to my community. When you take the time to comment, bloggers notice and they appreciate the support. Likewise, when you’re all in the same community and don’t comment or visit, well, they notice that too.

    Now that I’m not tied down to anyone but me (full time – I still have a few clients) I’m trying to be better at supporting the bloggers who I enjoy and, especially, who support me.

    What I don’t like is when other bloggers take the time to write a well thought out response and finish up with – I wrote about it here: and post a link. I mean, you have the website thingy for links, why spam?
    .-= Deb Ng´s last blog ..How Transparent is Too Transparent? =-.

  22. Kenji Crosland says:

    This is an excellent post. I didn’t really think about it before, but now that I think of it, commenting on the little known blogs with excellent content to be a great experience. The bloggers really appreciate the comments, and often a very interesting back-and-forth can result.

    Time to stroll the blogrolls.
    .-= Kenji Crosland´s last blog ..How to Write a Bio =-.

  23. This is one of those posts that you read and you go, “No duh.” Then you step back, think about it for a second and realize, “Wait, if I know this, why aren’t I doing it?”

    Thanks for the reminder James for what we all know we should be doing, but forget to actually do. After all, blogging is supposed to be “social” right? Got to remember to stop screaming into a vacuum.
    .-= Adam Di Stefano´s last blog ..Why Copywriting Gets Overlooked =-.

  24. For the last several months I’ve been slowly making my way through a web of interconnected blogs. I started in public speaking, moved on to entrepreneurship, then to copy writing and online marketing, and from there to writing in general (Hi, Deb!). It’s been an interesting trip and its been pretty apparent that these are overlapping communities of blogs where the writers know each other and support each other. I wondered how they came to be. Thanks for shining a light on it.

  25. I couldn’t agree more about finding blogs worth commenting on. To save you a lot of time, everyone just go to my blog, Death By Children (h and start there. . .
    .-= Chris´s last blog ..Top 10 Rules for Replacing a Glass Window Pane Broken by Your Starving 11 Year Old Son who Thought He Was Locked Out in the Dark. =-.

  26. You’re absolutely right James. I’ve been reading & enjoying the MwP blogs for months now. As a matter of fact it’s my fave blog site (truthfully!) I RT every single one and I pass the link via email to friends with similar interests whom I know will also enjoy them. But not once have I ever taken the time to stop & leave a comment – until today 🙂

    Thanks for reminding me of the importance of leaving a few words of encouragement and keep up the great work!

  27. Hey Everyone!

    Great comments here, and I’m pleased to see so many faces. It’s Thanksgiving up here in Canada, so my apologies on not being around yet today, but I do want to take some time to answer each of you. Here goes!

    @ Gordie – We really do appreciate knowing when we’ve hit the right note with readers, you have that right! Plus it helps us give readers more of what they want – but we have to know what they like first, right?

    @ Melinda – You can never be too busy to be friendly with one person a day. Even if you totally shut off all communication to get work done, all you need to do is think of one person that day and send them an email, or go read one post that day and comment on it.

    @ Corey – It’s amazing the people I know today, just from rubbing shoulders and talking out. I’d say that in 98% of the cases, they were all relationships built off one comment on a blog.

    @ Jez – The most important thing to work on as a new blogger is pacing. A lot of new bloggers go nuts with commenting and then they end up not paying attention to the stuff that really matters (like that new business idea they keep putting off). Pace yourself. Pick five. That’s all you need 🙂

    @ Alex – Welcome! And I’ll welcome you back in upcoming discussions too, I hope! You’re very right that community means contributions, and there’s always value in simply showing up to say, “I really like this post today. Here are my thoughts.”

    @ Kelly – Wait?! Wha-?! HEY! I just SAID that pace yourself thing… are you reading my mind before I even write my thoughts?! Sheesh, lady… 😉

    @ TheOtherJames – The more tools you have in your marketing toolbox, the more you can build an empire. Go at it, young Jedi!

    @ John – Absolutely. You should read my post Screw Community, because I think the type of people that you mention are exactly that kind.

    @ Lee – Go for it! Weed mercilessly!

    @ Rebecca – One thing to remember is that it’s important to do both – blog commenting and emailing. When you just start emailing and stick to only that, it’s not creating a community as full of networking potential as it could have been – because then it’s just a private conversation, you know?

    @ Jo Ann – We like hearty thingies around here. Makes it all warm fuzzy. 😉

    It’s the Comment Luv plugin for WordPress. And Twitter is MenwithPens. Cheers!

    @ Deb – I love the fact that you not only comment on blogs, you email your comments (different ones, of course) too! Which was… totally weird and foreign to me but I’ve since learned 😉

    @ Chris – There’s often far more value in smaller blogs than big ones. I rarely comment on the uber-blogs out there, simply because the return isn’t worth my time. Comments get lost in the sea and no one really talks to each other. On smaller blogs, it’s the opposite!

    @ Corey – Party at your place! I vote you have a “meet me” fest and invite everyone from your community to bring their own food, liquor and music and totally crash your back yard. They have to share, though 🙂

    @ Tracy – There’s a lot to be said for having that support system of friends around when you work online – it’s damned nice to have someone there for you that way, I agree!

    @ Travit – Ahh, fear of commenting. Yeah, a lot of people have that. But you know what I like to think? That there is no fear. There is only an obstacle to our happiness that needs to be removed. And see? You started moving some of it away just with that one comment right there. Awesome.

    @ LaTosha – That’s another reason people don’t comment. They think they have nothing to say – but I say that everyone has something to say. Even if you agree with the post, even if you think the comments have said it all, there is only you who has experienced what you have in life, and adding in your thoughts ALWAYS has value. Everyone has something important to say. Always.

    @ Nathan – Hey, hey! You can’t go breaking the rules like that! What? Not spending time with others? Sheesh, man! No no!

    @ Deb Ng – Let me honestly, openly admit I get all warm fuzzies when you come comment. (I draw the line at squeeing, though.)

    @ Kenji – I’ve had some great discussions on the tiniest blogs out there – they’re the best for welcoming someone new right in.

    @ Adam – “Men with Pens, Home of the No Duh!” *grin*

    @ Chris – Oh yeah. The more you change ‘circles’, the more you see people you recognize from other circles. Kind of like one big family of cousins that pop up all over the place, eh?

    @ TheNextChris – Death by Children! Aye. You have a fun blog indeed. And so true, dammit, so true… (looks over fondly at sleeping, innocent child, then sighs at remembering what happens when she wakes)

    @ Carole – CAROLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOT!!!! *hugshugshugs* CAROLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oooh. Sexy avatar.

  28. Love the post, as well as the note at the top of the comment section about the number of brilliant responses so far. I do enjoy being told I’m smart. 😉

    I’m not a parent, but that “Death by Children” post is hilarious. I think I’ll go leave a comment and say so.

  29. @ Jodi – Not just smart – BRILLIANT!

  30. I’m all for commenting and community. I have to say that I’ve been a part of some pretty great blog communities over the years and I’ve enjoyed it.

    Let me confess something – a lot of times I suffer from what I’ll call comment freeze after reading a post. This condition definitely has a chilling effect on my ability to leave creative and interesting comments.

    Comment freeze happens when the post is so good and so in tune with how I feel that there just doesn’t seem to be anything meaningful to add. Of course, it also happens when I’m hurried or had a particularly long day.

    I mention comment freeze because I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one it happens to (at least judging from the other commentators).

    However, if I really like a post but just can’t think of anything interesting to say I’ll often reward the blogger by tweeting it or otherwise recommending it in social media. This way, even if I can’t add to the conversation I can at least add to the community by sharing an interesting post with others.
    .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..Open Thread: What Type of Freelancer Are You? =-.

  31. Pacing!!
    I thought I had to write every day or my ‘community’ would lose interest!
    Thats so much better, I can easily write every 2 or 3 days and not get burnt out.
    I try to comment every day, but I have subscribed to way too many blogs, I think my interests are pretty broad.

  32. @ Laura – Comment freeze (nice term!) is actually one of the problems with … well, us. A while back, I went to moan to Kelly that DAMN! that post was good and there was hardly ANY comments! And WAH! And I was so upset!! And what was WRONG with me that I couldn’t get people to comment?

    She said, “Your posts say it all.”


    “Sometimes, even I sit there and just nod. Because you’ve said it all. You didn’t forget anything. It was complete. You wrapped it up so tight at the end, what more COULD I say?”

    Or something like that.

    Which of course made me feel worse because I wasn’t letting people get their two cents in, but the point of it is…

    I think I lost my point. But I can say that yes, I know comment freeze.

    Of course, when I’m the commentator and the shoe is on the other foot, I always have something to say, even if it’s already been said and all I can find to say is just, “HEY! That was awesome – and I should’ve thought of that. You so ripped off my future genius, dude.”

    @ Brigid – You’d be amazed at how much you can cut back and still do very well indeed – start small, start cutting back and see if it doesn’t feel better soon!

  33. I like commenting because it shows that the post is valuable and offers insight on a certain topic. I love people who stretch my thinking. I have to admit that sometimes I let laziness prevent me from posting. But I definitely try to show love.
    .-= Omar´s last blog ..A Big Thank You =-.

  34. @James, yes, you should know better, right? Always leave an offer on the table, a call to action? I’m just a newbie myself, but it does seem to work!

    @Brigid, I’ve cut back to 6 day posting on only one blog, with only 5 new articles. The 6th is a weekly wrap up that I can build as I go. Also, you don’t need to write a blog post every day… write 3-5 all in one day, and schedule them out. Once I get Saturday knocked out, I’m done until next Monday.
    .-= Dave Doolin´s last blog ..WordPress Gotcha! Find Out If Your RSS Feed is Helping or Hurting =-.

  35. Lee— You’re welcome. Hope it works for you!


    Yep. It went just like that. And then you confessed that you have comment freeze at my blog every. single. day.

    So you have to get your two cents in with your WAH and your DAMN via email. LOL.

    Until later,

    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..How High SHOULD You Reach? =-.

  36. You are correct James, “Write to Other Blog Owners “, im still new in this field and i got excited when someone post a comment on my articles, somehow i feel like i’m part of this world… 🙂

  37. Ha ha. I agree about that name field issue. I seldom allow people their comments onto my blog if they put anything in the name field other than a real name.
    .-= Nicholas Cardot´s last blog ..Twitter Contest Updates & Explanations =-.

  38. The whole comment freeze thing happens to me all the time, but that doesn’t mean the blog post didn’t make me think. Lots of times I find myself writing about the topic in a day or two, sometimes even on my own blog.

    Perhaps a better way to build community when comment freeze happens is to link back to the post that stirred me up instead of trying to come up with a comment that really doesn’t add anything. I could get into that. And, I would love it if that happened to me on my blog! To know that something I wrote caused someone to think, and so much so that they wrote on the topic? Wow, that’s a compliment, waaaay better than a comment.

    But, I have to confess…somedays I don’t want to connect with anyone! Am I alone? I know, I know, isolation is not really good for business! So, I fight it. But, I’m just sayin’. If I feel like that, chances are others do as well.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Plan B =-.

  39. I always used to comment whenever I read a good post. I felt it makes them happy if they know someone liked it.
    But, in blogs like this and like the most popular ones oflate I feel little scared to comment: not knowing what to say… etc.

    Recently, I suffer from comment freeze syndrome at the moment. And I don’t want to reveal my left out blog to all 🙂
    I didn’t know that I could email to the blog author sometimes. I’m so scared to do that.
    Thanks James for the tips to get connected and make lasting friendship. I really like reading all the posts here!
    .-= Solomon´s last blog ..HEADLINE or HEARTLINE? =-.

  40. Hmmm post reminds me I haven’t commented here in a while.

    Love the new Link Within plugin.

  41. Commenting and becoming part of a community is always a wise thing – what I like best is starting to recognize people who comment as well on other blogs too. It’s neat to put ideas behind the gravatars….
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..Internet Marketing for Your Mom (what YOU need to know!) =-.

  42. Hey James,

    I practice some of the points that you have mentioned like visiting the other bloggers blog also makes me gain new information and ultimately improves my network with the bloggers of same niche.

    Giving away those comments which one don’t like to see on their own blog, this practice makes the commeting come under doubt.
    .-= Ravi Kuwadia´s last blog ..5 Tips to Becoming a Better Leader =-.

  43. James, Thank you – how would you know I enjoy your blog?

    Great advice and I challenge all lurkers to comment – once a day (too start).

  44. Your article certainly applies to myself when it comes to comments. I’m lurking out here soaking up the info. There is something to be said for being part of the community though.

    So Hello.

  45. @ Pat – Ahh, very cool of you to join in. I’m really glad, you know; we had so many new faces drop by on this post, and I hope that everyone becomes part of the gang.

    Just watch out for Janice. She wields a paintbrush. I take no responsibility.

  46. great post…i completely agree with building relationships with bloggers while they’re in the budding stages. though, i often feel like i’m still in the budding stages of blogging.

    and i also don’t post on the uberblogs, particularly because in my genre, those bloggers also tend to let it get to their heads, and they hardly ever comment on other peoples blogs and they rarely link out. that said, if something really moves me, i’ll leave a comment.

    comment luv really makes it easy to comment back on your commentors sites, i really don’t know where i’d be without it.
    .-= jennine´s last blog ..Poll : How do you feel about Sponsored Posts? =-.

  47. @ Jennine – Hoy! You came back! (See? Now I recognize you because you’ve been here two or three times with smart comments. S’very good, that.) And see? I answer!

    @ Diane – Actually, even after all this time and all I’ve been through, I still wonder if people like my blog. I’m not sure that feeling ever stops 🙂

    @ Ravi – Only give away good comments that are part of a discussion. Giving away bad comments is just nasty. Mmhm.

    @ Barbara – I like recognizing people too (see Jennine above). Once, twice, then suddenly I feel like I’m cheering for a friend who walked into the bar. S’funny.

    @ Pat – Hoy! You’re back! And you’re right. You’ve been gone and busy and I was all sad and cried for DAYS, man! DAYS! Now my life is complete and I can go on happily. Welcome home.

    @ Solomon – You always have something to say, even if it’s, “Man, I don’t know what to say!” But I’m glad that you don’t feel TOO intimidated here. It’s like a bar. Come on in, grab a beer, kick up your feet and parlay with your buddies.

    @ Cheryl – I do that myself. I read tons of blog posts and a lot get me thinking for a few days. You’re right – I should write more about my thoughts on them, hm?

    @ Nicolas – Arrgh, yeah, spammers…

    @ Sernan – Absolutely, you’re part of this world. And to be seen in this world, we all have to step out of our dark forest, eh? S’fun in the sun!

    @ Kelly – You just stun me into awestruck speechlessness, that’s all.

    @ Omar – That’s why I have a business. I have no excuse to be lazy. (Dammit. Now I need a new excuse… Oh LOOK, I HAVE to read that book…!)

    Hope I got everyone! Keep ’em coming!

  48. James,

    Man, you are not only, as my kid would say, a total turkey, you also don’t even take a hint.

    ROFL anyway.


    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..How High SHOULD You Reach? =-.

  49. I’ve got to say that James got me motivated into combining my website and blog and if he hadn’t been so helpful and giving great good suggestions early on (the ‘courtship’) chances are I would have either stayed as I was or gone elsewhere.

    Now that I have my new website/blog (thanks to James and Charlie!) there’s nothing I like better than to log on to my dashboard and see the comments waiting.

    Sadly too many are spam, but thanks to Askimet, they’re gone in a flash.

    Keep up the good work guys….

  50. I’m totally with Kelly on the pacing yourself part. I went from reading and commenting on blogs 4 hours a day this spring to a few hours a week. It’s easy to get caught up in the community to exclusion of all else and not get other important work done.

    I set myself a goal of relevant/pithy/something-to-say comments on approximately 30 blog posts each week. I read a whole lot more, but don’t expect too much out of myself or I’ll just burnout like I did this spring and run away from blogs altogether (and that’s just not good).
    .-= Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog ..A New Take On Time Management =-.

  51. Great post, James. I’ve always knows about commenting on other blogs,but your strategies go way beyond what I’ve done in the past. I guess that’s why you wrote it!
    .-= Dr. Bob Clarke´s last blog ..Success In Network Marketing (and Anything) All Starts With This =-.

  52. Just wanted to add my attaboy to this, a great peace full of insight. And, to chip in an endorsement based on personal experience. Because I am part of James’ community, first as a peer in the freelance writing world, where we traded war stories and comisserations, and then as a new blogger to whom James tossed a bone by virtue of a series of guest posts. All of this affirms what he’s offering in this post, that community is the juice that makes this work.

    And work it does. My blog has gone from zero to over 800 subscribers in four months, and it’s because of all these working parts moving together. My content drives this growth, first and foremost, but being in community, by working with James and with Brian at Copyblogger (for whom I also guest blog on occasion, as does James), and a handful of others who are just as good as any of us. This is a selfless culture that acknowledges self-serving goals — let’s all make a buck or two while helping others move forward in their respective arenas — and we help each other reach them.

    One without the other — killer content and abundant community presence –results in wheel spinning. Marry them, work them, embrace them, and the upside can be the shattering of a glass ceiling. And it’s much more fun when you’re not alone on the road. Thanks to James for allowing me to bring some fresh fiction insight writing to MWP, and for accounting for a big chunk of those 800 followers on my site. I owe ya, brother.
    .-= Larry´s last blog ..Is There Seventh Core Competency? =-.

  53. Aw, man, Larry, now you’re just gonna swell his head.


    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..YMMV: Dumb Things Smart Companies Do… =-.

  54. @ Larry – I take cash, Mastercard, Air Miles and Shiraz. 😉

    Seriously, though… yeah. It was that simple. You were a good writer and you knew business. And you emailed me for the hell of it – bonus! That’s all it takes for someone to start being buddies.

    And what’s funny was when you came back, a year or more later. “I’d like to guest post on your blog.”

    “Larry? Dude… Is that you?”

    “James?… No…”


    We could’ve had one of those running towards each other on the beach scenes. Okay, well, maybe not… but you get the point.

  55. Commenting in blogs brings people of like mind together. It’s sort of a viral process, but it cannot be forced. If one shows up regularly on the blogs s/he likes and says intelligent and/or funny things, the friends will appear over a period of time.


  56. I agree that commenting on the post really makes a difference. But especially mailing them about their articles and how we enjoyed it elates the writer and acts like an inspiration or kind of catalyst to write more and more.

    But saying this I am a little concerned for not receiving any comment on my blog. I am into blogging since one year now. At first I was not aware of blog catalogs and blog directories so could not attract more traffic. But now I have on an average 20-3- people visiting my blog everyday. But despite visiting these people don’t comment on my blog. I am unable to understand why.

    Even then, thank you for the post, as it inspired me more for mailing the blog owners.
    .-= Prasad B. Kulkarni´s last blog ..Rangoli – Peacock =-.

  57. Prasad,

    I took a look at just the home page of your blog, to see if I could give a quick suggestion. There are a lot of different topics covered in just your latest posts!

    Imagine going into a store that says “business supplies.” When you get inside, there’s art. There are political signs. There’s a lounge to watch television. There’s music, tennis gear… and it changes all the time, so you really don’t know what you’ll get when you walk in.

    It’s hard to find the business supplies. It’s hard to think of them as the experts in the subject. They’re so busy trying to be everything that they’re not doing one thing, perfectly.

    And it’s hard to tell a friend, “they’re the best at business supplies,” because the experience is so scattered.

    I’d suggest figuring out what one topic you can discuss in a way that no one else is, and sticking with that. You say you’re looking at the world as an MBA, so that might be a start… but maybe that’s not really where your heart lies, so think about the name, too.

    When people know what to expect from you, they’ll be able to spread the word about you more easily and you’ll attract readers who also like to explore that topic—and therefore like to comment about it and further the discussion.

    Hope my being nosy helps!


    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Ugly Truths in Sales and Marketing: MCE Round Table =-.

  58. Commenting is a good way of spreading your blog and getting it noticed. But then, who really has the time to do this with posting, editing and guest posting on other people’s blog (I realise the irony in what I’m saying seing as I am actually commenting right now). But really, blogging can be tough and promotion and interacting in a community can often be the last thing on your mind.

    If anyone’s interested I just started a new blog which I finished coding today. I’d love any suggestions!


  59. Hey James, excellent article. It’s funny you mentioned Darren Rowse because not too long ago he had a post about how he “engages” his readers and you know what was missing on his list?

    Responding to comments on his blog. You’re right, once bloggers reach a certain level of popularity it becomes almost impossible to give that extra personal attention.

    I have to admit, this is a place I’ve been lacking in lately (commenting on other blogs). I’ve got so much to do with writing articles, ebooks, family, etc. and sometimes I’m not always convinced commenting on a ton of blogs is the most efficient use of my time if we’re talking “making money”.

    If I visit and comment on too many blogs on a daily basis, I won’t have enough time to make any money. In this way, I do sort of feel a little stuck.
    .-= John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s last blog ..2 Killer WordPress Security Plugins You Probably Don’t Know About =-.

  60. @ John – You brought up something important, especially for those working to earn a living through their sites: Measuring returns on investments. Comes in nicely with Elizabeth’s upcoming post on SMART freelancing!

    (And I miss you too, bro. Good to see you back.)

  61. I have been to this site several times from Josh’s WSL blog and I like your style. This particular article hit home because I realized that one of the things I love about Josh’s blog (besides his writing style) is that he creates a community for his readers and he interacts with them. Not just by email, although he does that too- but right in the comments, so a dialogue is created, in which everyone can join in. It keeps me commenting because I WANT to be involved. Your blog does the same. By responding to your readers, they feel valued and that makes them come back again to see what else you have to say.
    @Kelly- you rock- I think that even if that was all I could say, which it isn’t because sometimes I ramble…(NO WAY, RIGHT?)lol-your posts are right up my alley -the humor, the TRUTHS, ALL of it.
    Back to James -You just got a new subsciber dude!

  62. Stephanie,

    Aw, shucks. Thanks.

    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Ugly Truths in Sales and Marketing: MCE Round Table =-.

  63. @ Stephanie – That’s awesome. I’m glad to have you hear as a new reader, and glad you stepped in to the discussion!

    (Don’t throw too many flowers Kelly’s way, though… wouldn’t want to add too much to her ego… 😉 )

  64. Just following your advice – leaving a worthy comment. Although not much to say about your article but very well put, and excellent tips!
    .-= Michael Soriano´s last blog ..Free PSD – Grunge Blog Layout =-.

  65. Jeremy Williams says:

    Great article! Thanks!
    Just kidding

    my favorite part is the end. I believe relationships are everything. In the end they are the only thing left.

    To quote Billie The Kid, “Pals.”

    thanks to Michael above for tweet leading me to this article.
    .-= Jeremy Williams´s last blog ..What Is Music? =-.

  66. @ Jeremy – I think we should adopt a calf in honor of the post. What say you?

    @ Michael – Everyone starts somewhere – well done!

  67. we were just discussing this on twitter. while it’s fine and great to tweet a link, our egos like comments, it’s part of why our blogs are open to the public, right. but like you say, if you don’t leave comments how does anyone know you were there to discover your blog?
    great post 😉

  68. I’d add that in my ‘mommy’ world early on when a bigger (than me) blogger DID responde via email or whatever, I was always so impressed that I would respond right back, ask questions etc.

    And surprise surprise, they would respond again…

    I think there is a certain amount of people making assumptions about popular bloggers, I learned that if I was laughing at something they said, then we likely had something in common.

  69. Hi James,

    I was partially doing what you recommend in this post, commenting on Copyblogger when I saw your post which I liked on Getting Off Your Computer..

    I then clicked on your link and found an even better post here.

    I like your suggestion to write an e-mail to the owner of the blog but I wonder if they might not consider it a spam. To really find out I’ll just do it.

    You’re right about the one line comments by total strangers. They are not likely to be approved for long.

    Thanks for the helpful post, I think that it will benefit all your readers as it has benefited me.

    .-= Vance Sova´s last blog ..First Extraordinary Minds Panel, Jay Abraham, Rich Schefren =-.

  70. Greetings,

    I discovered this concept/principle a few months after I started blogging. Unfortunately, and to my chagrin, I have neglected its use (as well as my blog). I am, however, getting back into it (as is evidenced by this comment).

    Being intelligent is good. Being nice is good. Writing at all is good. But I think the most important thing about commenting is to write well!

    No one likes to wade through a mass of disorganized and un-punctuated text to try and find a worthwhile, thoughtful thought. Take the time to edit.

    With joy and peace in Christ,
    Sir Emeth Mimetes
    .-= Sir Emeth Mimetes´s last blog ..God’s Changes in My Life =-.

  71. Totally agree with this post. I comment on a lot of famous blogs where there are very less chances of getting back a reply. Doing so helps to create an online identity for myself. As you pointed out, one should find new and interesting blogs. Following this for sometime, but my feedreader list is increasing and I have to find the important ones
    .-= John Samuel ´s last blog ..How to Spell Check the Subject of a Mail or Title of a Post? =-.

  72. @ John – On this famous blog, we give replies 🙂

    @ Sir Emeth – Well, writing well is fine, but quite truthfully, commenting is more (to me) about sharing thoughts. And that doesn’t require making a good impression with fine language or grammar, I think. For example, take a Russian who doesn’t write well in English – I’d love to hear his thoughts no matter how broken his spelling might be. You know?

    @ Vance – Spam, to me, is someone who says, “Hey, nice posts! Come check out my blog!” or who emails me with a stupid offer. “I thought you’d be interested on this press release about puppies in Mongolia.” Uhhh… just no.

    But a nice email, a connection, a sharing? That’s not spam. That’s just being people.

    @ Carissa – You wouldn’t BELIEVE the number of assumptions flying around the ‘net. Seriously. It’s a little insane. We all need to work more on making far less assumptions… and the world would definitely be a better place.

  73. James,

    Thanks for your reply! 🙂

    I agree that there is a charm to a foreigner’s writing ‘accent,’ but truthfully, I find that thought is conveyed much more effectively when proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation are used. It is hard for me to take people seriously when they do not take the time to think about the way they say something.

    I do not condemn or look down on those who cannot write well (if I can, I try to help them with kindness, support, and encouragement), but I also want to encourage those who do have the ability to write well, to do so.

    Make sense? I think we are in agreement, just looking at two different sides of the issue. 🙂
    .-= Sir Emeth Mimetes´s last blog ..God’s Changes in My Life =-.

  74. I contribute to a lot of blogs but generally I find the best way to engage with the person is to email them through their account if you to ask them something specific. I’ve met a lot of contacts in the industry by doing this and most of them are happy to give advice. After the initial contact though, I think it’s a good idea to subscribe to their blog and show your support by adding comments and following them on Twitter and retweeting their tweets. This is more for blogs that are just starting out than blogs with huge communities. I think it’s nice to support others in the industry especially when they are starting to get established or have embarked on a new venture. People do appreciate the effort you make.

  75. Thanx for sharing this useful experience.

    What I did find out about what happens after commenting other blogs was like that:

    1) people just answering my comments at their posts
    2) they don’t answer at all
    3) They do answer, but that means they only go to my site choose a random post and write “Thanx for commenting” below my posts °_Ö

    Don’t know what to do about that…
    .-= Glitzerpony´s last blog ..Report: "All American Gothic Lolita" oder der neue Alice Hype =-.

  76. There are different ways that you can widen a recognition of your blog e.g, adding social sharing to your blog posts, Including a link to your blog on your social media profiles, Engaging other bloggers in your category via their comments e.t.c.The bottom line is that getting your blog discovered rarely happens without a lot of work to raise blog awareness and develop a blog following. Just like Columbus perserved with his idea that the world was round, you have to you have to find your own path to get your blog noticed.


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