Publishing comments at influential blogs in your field can help expand your sphere of influence efficiently and effectively. I call this “comment blogging” (I think I made up that phrase?), and I do it regularly. If done over a period of time, comment blogging can result in new client prospects, exciting collaborations and valuable features at other people's blogs.
No doubt you've been encouraged to increase traffic to your blog by contributing blog comments that link back to you. This is great, just be sure your comments always add something of value to the discussion.
Sharing a vanilla comment is good if that's all you have to say. But when you come across an issue that you feel passionately about, or about which you have some expertise, sharing in more detail can boost your credibility and encourage others to connect with you.
For example, if you have a unique opinion on a particular topic, share your viewpoint and back it up with examples and/or statistics. Disagreement with other posters can also make a valuable contribution, so long as it's fact-based and you are not rude or insulting.
Provide comments that provoke genuine thought and conversation. As you do this, you will find that certain blogs begin to stand out as places where your comments are acknowledged and well received. From time to time, you may even find that your comment is so substantive that it forms the basis for a brand new post at your own blog.
Comment Areas Are Communities
Blog comment areas are increasingly becoming communities in their own right. With comment systems like Intense Debate, Disqus (which I use and highly recommend) and BackType, you can reply to specific people in a threaded format, and you can “like” and “unlike” their comments. You can even sometimes check a box to subscribe by email or RSS (as you can at the bottom of this post) to be notified when others comment on your comment. This is useful if you want to supplement your comment or otherwise continue the conversation.
With Disqus (and perhaps others), you can even link directly to a comment, and share it on Twitter and FaceBook! Here's an example of how I did this recently.
Some new comment tools allow you to create aggregate comments from across the Web and make it available at a profile page! Here's an example of one of mine. This makes it easy and efficient for you to leave your digital footprints, which of course lead straight to you and the products and services you offer.
Next time you are unable to think of anything to blog about, try comment blogging! Over time, you'll build your platform and expand your sphere of influence. Plus, you'll be collecting new ideas for topics of discussion at your own blog!
Question: What do you think? Have you tried “comment blogging?” Would you try it?