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May 19, 2016

Drive More Traffic to Your Site With This Trick

by Donna Huber

Girl Who Reads just finished two big blog events - April's A to Z Challenge and ArmchairBEA. These are big events both in the terms of the number of participants, the number of blog posts/topics, the amount of traffic a blog gets and commenting.

There is a lesson to be learned from these events that I think is often overlooked. Yet if bloggers employed it not only during challenges but also during their regular blogging business they would drive more traffic to their site every day.

Blogging challenges are often about visiting other blogs and leaving comments. Everyone loves to get comments on their posts (see Why You Should Leave a Comment), but did you know leaving comments on other blogs can drive traffic to your site?

Leave Comments on Other Blogs

One of the trends I saw in the A to Z Challenge was a lot of people saying that they were only visiting those blogs that had left a comment on their posts. If you have never heard of the A to Z Challenge a bunch of blogs, of all types, not just book bloggers, participate. It's in the thousands.

Participants had to manage the sheer volume somehow. And truth be told, towards the end I started only going to the blogs that left a comment on my blog.

You are probably asking how they find your blog from a comment.

Leave a Calling Card

A few blogs are still using the third party comment app CommentLuv, though its use seems to be dwindling. The nice thing about CommentLuv was that it would provide a link to your latest post.

The good thing is you don't need CommentLuv to leave a link to your blog in the comments. I like to think of it as a calling card and use it as a signature - Donna from Girl Who Reads.

I use to think that it was spamming and as there are other benefits to leaving a link it is used by spammers. But if you leave a thoughtful, applicable comment that adds to the discussion or makes a relevant point, a comment where it is obvious that you are not just commenting to gain SEO points, then I believe it is not a spam tactic.

Now you could just type out your URL - However, this requires the person to copy and paste the URL into their browser. And we know how busy we all are, so you want to make it as easy as possible for readers to get to your blog. To do this you just need a simple string of HTML code:

<a href=URL>NAME</a>

Replace URL with the URL to your blog or a specific post. For me, it is

Replace NAME with your name or other text. For me, Donna from Girl Who Reads

Who Will Use the Link?

You may be thinking, 'Donna, this sounds great, but I don't want just other bloggers visiting. I want new readers."

While it is true at first that the only person who may follow a link left in comments is the blogger, it does not exclude others from following it. Especially if a conversation gets started around the comment you left. Also, if the blogger likes your content they may include a link to your blog on their blogroll or share it on their social media channels.

The important thing to keep in mind is to leave a worthy comment. That comment will be the first introduction to your writing. Put some thought into it.

Do not limit yourself to book bloggers (whatever kind of blogger you are). Just because someone doesn't blog about books, doesn't mean they aren't readers. During the A to Z Challenge, I met several lifestyle and entertainment bloggers who love to read.

Ideas for Comments

I know leaving comments can be difficult. Here are a few ideas you can use when the content doesn't spark any original ideas.

  • "I love historical romance and that book sounds great. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I recently read BOOK TITLE and you can read my review here (link to your review)"
  • "This is a new-to-me author, but I'm going to have to check her out. Thanks for sharing. Donna from Girl Who Reads"
  • For a movie blog "I too thought the movie was well done, but I like the book a little bit more here's my review"

How often do you comment on other blogs? Do you leave a link to your blog when you write a comment?

Donna Huber, founder & publisher. Donna is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. She reads most genres, but her favorite books are psychological thrillers and stories that highlight the survival of the human spirit against unbelievable circumstances.

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  1. Great post. I use the html code to leave a link to my post on memes but never when I'm just visiting everyday posts. I thought it might be considered spamming even when I left a comment. I might reconsider that now. As for commenting. I always reply to the comments on my blog and try to comment on others as often as I can. I follow so many though. LOL I at least try to like and tweet if I can't think of a meaningful comment.

    1. I like when people leave a link to their actual site (not the people that leave spam links advertising something totally unrelated) as then I can check out their blog. I can't always keep straight who runs which blog so it helps me remember where I know some from as well.

  2. Being English I find leaving any kind of comment other than: that was great, rather difficult, but I'll give your suggestions a try.

  3. I rarely leave a link when I comment, Donna. Under the right circumstances, I just might try it :)

  4. I think I'm quite good at commenting and always tweet, share on FB etc any post I leave a comment on which I hope helps bloggers get their posts read. I also always visit everyone who comments on my site and leaves a link. thanks for the html tip. I didn't know how to do that.

  5. What a terrific post.

    I ALWAYS comment on other blogs and reply to comments on my blog.

    I do use the HTML code and love it. It is so much easier to click on the link than to "hunt" for the blog.

    ENJOY this week.

    Silver's Reviews
    Armchair BookExpo Introduction