It is important to follow other blogs in your niche. In addition to building links and visibility through blog commenting and guest blogging, following other blogs is a way to keep updated on your niche while expressing your opinions and engaging people in conversation.
When blog commenting for links and exposure, you should try to dedicate 20 minutes or so a day to commenting on related blogs. The manual approach can be all you need to find good commenting opportunities.
Using the manual approach to find related niche blogs
Many believe that finding related niche blogs using the traditional way gives the best results. To do this, simply go to a search engine and try one of the following searches:
- [your keyword(s)]+ “do follow comment blog” (or just “blog”)
- [your keyword(s)]+ “leave a comment”
- “powered by wordpress” (or, “powered by blogger” “powered by Disqus” etc.) + [your keyword(s)]
- [your keyword(s)]+ “powered by wordpress” “leave a comment” +”no comments”
- [your keyword(s)]+ “remember my personal information” “notify me of follow-up comments”
- “powered by wordpress” + “mail (will not be published) (required)” + [your keyword(s)]
- inurl: [your keyword(s)] blog
- [your keyword(s)] +”URLs automatically linked.”
- [your keyword(s)]+”URLs automatically linked.”+”moderated” (note: this will further refine the above search by filtering out blogs that are not moderated)
The above are just a sample of possible footprints that can be used to find blogs. Look around and experiment to find more.
Blog plugins to look for
The following plugins are designed to give blog commentators a better experience and show that the blogger really wants comments. If your goal is to find blogs you can comment on, looking for blogs with one or more of these plugins is a good move.
CommentLuv is a plugin that helps commentators with different features to include automatically placing a link to their most recent post at the end of their comments and giving them do-follow links in some situations.
Both widgets show that the owner of the blog is serious about attracting comments. Therefore, it is a good idea to try these searches:
- “top commentator blogs” + “your keyword”
- “Top Commenter(s)” + “your keywords”
- “Enable CommentLuv” + “your keywords”
Google Alerts is a free service that comes with a Gmail account. Email alerts of articles and blog posts (you can specify that the alert only include blog results) in any niche can be set up easily. This can enable you to beat others to top new blog posts and be the first to comment. Being on the top of the comments always brings more attention and value to the link that goes with it. Just sign up for alerts on popular niche keywords.
Alternatively, you may want to use high-quality blog directories such as BlogCatalog, Technorati and AllTop. Simply brows these directories or search them by keywords and find the most popular and recently updated posts in your chosen niche.
Browser tools to filter blogs
Searches are probably going to turn up more blogs than it is practical to comment on, and it is best to concentrate most efforts on the top blogs. Therefore, you are going to want to filter out those that have lower rank, etc. for more effective commenting.
SEOQuake and SEO for Firefox are both free tools from SEO Book that give a lot of information on sites to include PageRank, Alexa Score and backlinks.
SearchStatus is another browser plugin that does many of the same things as well as offer a fast keyword density analyzer, backward/related links and other SEO tools.
To find out how popular a blog is, go to Compete and quickly find out the traffic to any site.
Social news and media sites
Social news and bookmarking sites to include Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Faves will have categories to search under. In addition, being active in social networks to include having Google Plus and Facebook fan pages in your niche also will bring good blogs to your attention.
Using software to increase productivity
Those pressed for time will probably want to use software to help in finding blogs while organizing and somewhat automating the process. Some of the most popular software include Scrapebox, Comment Hut and Blog Comment Demon. These tools identify the search engine ranking of each of the blogs, have various search options and allow you to track how many of your comments have been approved.
While some people use software to spam comments, the above software can be used more responsibly to automate the process of making good comments that add value to the web.
When you find the best blogs, strive to create relationships with them their subscribers while learning about the niche. This will deliver better long-term results than some quick links and exposure.