Forums and Blog Comments
What is increasingly clear is that participation in your customer community is essential. Indeed your objective should be to lead your customer community by providing good advice and ultimately recommendations that lead to sales.
So you need to find your customer community and then participate in that community. BoardTracker.com is a website that tracks forum acitivity across the internet. Right now BoardTracker is tracking 58,965,086 threads in 37,989 Forums and it is still only in Beta test.
So the tip is to use the Category of activity rather than keywords to search for relevant forums. Then check out some of the forums listed. This will take you into the specific thread – but you don’t want that. Instead, go to the forum Home page to check out the general level of activity. Very often they will tell you how many threads and posts exist. When you find a forum with lots of activity relevant to your subject then you have found a honey pot of potential visitors to your site who are prospects for your products – so start participating.
One of the most powerful ways of getting one way, inbound links to your website is to make comments on high PR blogs. But finding them is enormously time consuming. That was until Comment Hut turned up. A blindingly simple idea, Comment Hut goes out and uses Google to look for blogs with your specified keyword in the content. Not in the blog title but in what people are actually writing on the blogs. i.e. Google decides whether it is relevant – and that’s pretty important.
I ran it on my niche subject and it came back with 633 responses! Then you tell it to go find the PR of each blog and it comes back with the answer is a very short time. Not even long enough to boil the kettle. Sort into descending order and you have all the relevant blogs which would be MOST productive if you can get a comment on to them.
More importantly in terms of time saving, it checks the blogs for ‘commentability’. That is, can you post a comment on that blog. So you don’t waste even more time looking at blogs which have Comments turned off and are a waste of your time.
Once you have found a good batch of blogs to investigate then you Export your list. This is a little odd as it neither puts a default file extension on the file name nor offers any suggestions. I found that leaving without any extension resulted in a comma delimeted file with an .xls extension. This confused me but if you just go through the import process it sorts itself out.
If you have not done that before then open Excel first, Open File and select the file you want. As it opens you will see that the data fields are all in one field and one column with the fileds seperated by a comma. Just follow the instructions and tell it that the Delimiter is a comma. It will show you a preview of what is happening as you proceed and if all looks well then go through to Finish and you will have an Excel file. When you come to save the file it will ask what format do you want it in and just confirm Excel.
One problem with Comment Hut is that it does not seem to discrimate on the date or recency of the blog posts that it returns. So you need to connect to each one and first thing, don’t bother reading the post, look at the date. If it is not recent it is no good to you. So back out and delete that blog from your list.
Similarly, with the content. A quick scan will tell you if the blog is generally on your subject or you have come across a more general blog that just happens to carry a single post relevant to your keywords. Again, if it the whole blog is not relevant then dump it. Your reading time is valuable!
Then you can get down to some Commenting – and this is where you have to exercise some responsibility. Comment spamming is rife – and destructive of the blogging system. So make sure that the comment you contribute it relevant and intelligent and adds to the discussion. Then include your signature with link back into a page on your site related to the subject/comment and you have a high PR, one way, inbound link! Absolutely for free.
It takes a little time to get the system moving as you have to go through the filtering process to actually view the blog, assimilate the discussion and decide if you can make a suitable comment. But if you only do 2 or 3 per day it should not take you more than 20 minutes. And if you can obtain a couple of high PR links every day then your site is going to head up the rankings where you want to be.
Comment Hut is only just being released (Dec 06) so get in early for the best price.