One of the most recommended acts in curing ‘Ghost Town Blog Syndrome’ is to visit other blogs and comment on them. I’ve heard of one now-noted blogger who visited 100 blogs a day and commented before his blog took off. Many blogs have the problem you do with not-enough-blog-visitors, every comment, as proof of a visitor, is welcome.
Many bloggers have the custom of clicking on the link of every visitor and trying to visit their blog to leave a comment. That custom is almost an expected rule of politeness in some blogging circles now. So visiting and commenting on other blogs will lead to visits and comments on your own.
Do you really have to comment on 100 blogs a day? That’s actually far too many. Setting a high goal like that can lead to leaving weak comments like ‘nice blog’ or ‘interesting.’ Such comments are not much better than no comment at all.
When you visit another blog for the first time, take the time to look around. What does the blogger blog about? Does he have links to his Twitter and Facebook? (Click the links, and follow the blogger.) What are some unique things about the blog?
Then read the top blog post carefully. Slowly. Don’t just skim. Before you comment, THINK! How has this blog post helped you? Entertained you? Amused you? Made you laugh? When you craft your comment, keep these things in mind. You want to post a comment that is specific to that particular blog post in some way.
A blog comment should not be too short, like ‘nice post’ or ‘very helpful.’ It should also not run on too long. A shorter paragraph is about right.
What if the blogger says something horrible? Like ‘abortion is doing God’s work’ or ‘Hitler was too kind to the Jews?’ Arguing back or even turning to insult make make you feel better, but it won’t help get your blog visited— unless you make the insulted blogger decide to come to your blog to insult YOU.
The best response to finding an offensive blog post is to not reward the blogger with a comment. Don’t report the blogger and try to get the blog shut down— remember, freedom of speech— unless there is kiddie porn involved.
If you must comment on a blog post you don’t agree with, don’t be hostile. “Bless your heart” is a good, non-hostile comment that can express disagreement. Or “I see that you are very passionate about X.”
Where do you find blogs to comment on? Try doing a search to find a directory of blogs in your niche. This may give you a whole list of blogs to visit. Make a point of visiting the smaller, less visited but still active blogs. Those bloggers will be the most grateful for your visit. Also make a point of visiting the ‘big boys’ in your blogging niche and commenting there.
WordPress has a blog reader function and it’s a good idea to add your favorite blogs out of those you visit to the list. Then, make sure you read your collected blogs regularly. If you comment regularly on one specific blog, you may make a friend of the blogger involved. Besides gaining a new reader, there are many ways this can help your blogging efforts. For example, the other blogger may share a link to one of your blog posts in his blog post. Through the magic of the internet, links like that make your blog a bigger deal.
What about blogging events? There used to be a great many ‘blog hops’ and people could find a blog hop in their niche, participate, and get to know other bloggers that way. I was involved in a few blog hops like that in the day. They usually have a linky— a list of participating blogs— and you are usually expected to visit a certain number of the other participants.
There aren’t so many of these blog hops any more, but they can be well worth doing. For author bloggers, the Insecure Writers Support Group is a great place to start. There is a long list of participants, and many of them do visit other blogs. I would suggest that since there are too many blogs for most people to visit, do some blogs from the top of the list and some from the bottom, and maybe a few from the middle as well.
Assignment: visit 3 other blogs today, and comment. Do the same thing tomorrow and every day. 3 blogs is nothing, compared to doing 100 a day and other insanely daring plans. Only 3! But your blog will thank you for it.