My thoughts on promoting your blog on someone else’s blog

If you’re a blogger or if you read blogs, you may have seen someone promoting their blog, business, or event in the comments of your blog or another blogger’s blog. Let’s go through some of the ways this is done.

The Drive-by

This is the person who is so intent on advertising their blog, business, or event that they don’t try to hide it. Imagine writing a post about the loss of a friendship, then checking the comments only to read “Think Pink party on July 6! Tickets only ₦1,200. RSVP at http://thinkpinkparty.com.” It’s spammy, not exactly the response you were expecting, and in about 99% of the cases the person is a true drive-by: you’ve never received a comment from them before, nor will you again.

The Not-so-hidden agenda

This individual is a step up from the Drive-by, because they try to respond to your blog post before promoting themselves, however in many cases they didn’t read your blog post to the end, or they read too quickly, so they don’t realize that (using the above example) the so-called lost friendship was actually mended by the end of the blog post! So their comment might be “Sorry for your lost friendship. Think Pink party on July 6! Tickets only ₦1,200. RSVP at http://thinkpinkparty.com”, not knowing that you and your friend are now planning to be each other’s chief bridesmaid later in the year!

The “Win-win” situation

In this instance, the commenter has taken the time to read your blog post in its entirety, and the comment they leave could be very relevant (e.g. “I’ve gone through this exact same issue, but unlike you ours was caused by my friend getting closer to her colleague. After a while we were able to have a good talk and prioritize our friendship and now all is well”) or vague (e.g. “It’s good to have friends”), but the “win-win” part of the comment is you get a legitimate blog comment (win for you) and they leave a link to their blog or to their latest blog post as a parting gift (win for them, if it leads to others clicking the link).

I initially didn’t understand this last scenario because my blog is powered by WordPress, and when you leave a comment, you’re asked to provide your name, email address (which is not published), and your blog address (if you have one). If you provide a blog address, it’s automatically linked to your name and anyone reading your comment can access your blog by clicking on your name. But not all blogs use the commenting system that comes with WordPress; many use third-party systems like Disqus, and Disqus does not link the commenter’s name to their blog—you’d have to click on the commenter’s Disqus profile to see if they have a blog.

Similarly, if someone has a blog powered by Blogger, and they comment on the blog of another Blogger user, if they’re logged in to their blog, I think their comment gets linked to their Blogger profile or Google+ account rather than directly to their blog. Another reason some include a link to their blog within a comment they leave on another blog is they don’t know (or they think most people don’t know) that clicking on the name of the commenter will lead to their blog, and they think a link within the comment may be more likely to be clicked. These are the top reasons that come to my mind; no doubt there are others.

Alternatives to the above

Bring value to the blogger

Call me naive, but I’ve always believed that if you leave a useful, thought-provoking comment, people will naturally want to read more from you, and they will find a way to you, either by googling you or by realizing that they can click your name to access your blog. But let’s say my naivete is really too much and you need a better strategy. If this is the case I’d like to propose an alternative to being a Drive-by, Not-so-hidden agenda, or “Win-win” commenter, one that could potentially get you in the spotlight more easily (spoiler alert: it’ll require more effort). Try to connect genuinely with a blogger by being helpful to them. If you find an article that you think would inspire them, send it to them! If you thought of an awesome series they could share on their blog, suggest it to them! The goal is to be helpful and provide them with value. Rather than being “win-win”, this is a true win-win because you’ll feel good helping someone (I hope!) and they’ll feel great because you’re giving them tremendous value in the form of blog post ideas. As a bonus they may mention you and link to your blog in their blog post if they end up taking your suggestion, but even if they don’t credit you as the one who hooked them up with the blog series idea, you’ll be less of a stranger to them, if you decide to pursue the next suggestion.

Offer to write a guest post

Once you’ve built a bit of a connection with the blogger, it will be easier to move to the next level: proposing that you guest post on their blog! If you have blog post idea that you think would benefit the readers of the blogger you wish to reach out to, share the idea with the blogger and see if they’re interested in posting your blog post on their blog. I recommend that the blog post be new, something that you haven’t posted anywhere else, and you should let their blog be the first place to feature it. Along with the blog post you will usually be able to share a few sentences about yourself—this is where you can link to your blog. Guest posting gives you a spotlight and the opportunity to win some new fans.

If someone rejects your guest post idea, don’t worry: many bloggers, especially those with personal blogs, are very protective of their blog and want to make sure that anything they post is a good match for their brand. Continue to leave useful comments and the blogger might change their mind!

I came upon these two ideas as an unexpected result of things that I’ve done in the past: if I see something that someone could benefit from, I can’t help but pass it on. Similarly, if I can help someone, I try to. As a result I’ve been thanked publicly on a blog and this is how I know this technique works. I beg you though to prioritize helping the person over all other things.

We need more collaborations in the Nigerian blogging space!

I don’t see many collaborations among Nigerian bloggers: there blogs with multiple writers, but I’m talking more about two or more established bloggers deciding to work on a project or supporting each other on individual projects—for example Kunmio and Dero collaborated when they took pictures of each other to put on their individual blogs, and also posted about the same article of clothing (skirt). There’s more to say on collaborations; let’s save that for next time.

What’s your take on promoting your own blog, business, or event in the comments of someone else’s blog?

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15 thoughts on “My thoughts on promoting your blog on someone else’s blog

  1. Lol @ “thinkpinkparty.com” I dislike the color pink so much I intuitively went for a green stationary when I was presented with a pink one last week.

    You know, I don’t get offended when I see those spammy links. I just automatically think spam.

    I also like what you wrote about having more bloggers collaborate. It is honestly the holy grail of list building and promotion (with or without the intention to profit).

    Do you know how many times I have received an email from Michael Hyatt, David Siteman Garland, and others about the facebook webinar that Amy Porterfield is holding? Tons! And this happens yearly too! Of course, they reciprocate this favor by featuring one another on podcasts, guest posts, affiliate/bonus courses, and so much more.

    I would love to see something like this happen in our space too! Thanks for writing this, Jummy!

    • Yes, Maggie, yes! You’ve said it all regarding the collaborations that are out there. I’m certain that once people see how much further they can go when they collaborate, they won’t shy away from it so much. There’s nothing stopping us from getting the collabo movement going—well, you know, aside from time!

      Lol at not liking pink—what did it ever do to you?

  2. A very interesting post again Jummy, you know how to keep me coming ’em coming :D

    When I started blogging, I believed one’s profile can be clicked on, by interested persons. And I observed that some people leave their links in comment box, because their blog names are not on the blogger’s blog roll, especially, when they have a very interesting topic they want feedback on. Some people leave their links as new bloggers to draw attention to their blog, because some people don’t bother to click on profile, because of time, MGB, and lack of interest. So if the blogger leaves links to captivating headlines, that might be an incentive for them to visit.

    My length and tone of comment depends on the topic at hand. If I truly have nothing to say, I drop a few lines or read without commenting. And I sometimes drop links related to the post at hand to back up my POV.

    I hate spam messages! And if a guest blogger has something interesting to say to promote her blog, it is commendable. But are they regular BVs? Will they be visiting and commenting sometimes after giving them the platform to showcase their blog? That is why, some are protective because blogging is competitive in a kind of way…especially money making blogs.

    Well done Jummy. You are good at giving help to promote blogs. I still appreciate your tremendous help to my blog.

    • Hi Nitty, thanks for reading and commenting. I like knowing what goes through people’s minds when they decide to interact with a blog and your insight is very useful!

      You’re right about blogging being competitive, among those seeking to make money from their blogs and even those who are not: some may be hesitant to allow guest posts on their blog because they fear that the guest poster will be more appealing to their readers than they are, leading to a lost reader. But I see how many bloggers in other groups collaborate, and how far they seem to go. The key is to find the right people to work with.

      Thank you for your appreciation; I am happy to help.

  3. Two things:
    1. I think you hit the nail on the head on this one with regards to how overtly protective people can be of their writing & blogs. I have found myself here many times where I absolutely find it difficult to accept a guest post from friends. For me, I used to think it was because I needed to first establish the blog’s style and develop my ‘brand’ but I guess you got it right there – its the protective ish…

    2. One thing about guest posting though… why does everyone think it should be new content? It is very difficult to pull this off when you are working to generate content for your own blog too. For instance, what happens if you have written something that you believe is absolutely great content but went dead on your new blog simply because you don’t get as much traffic as the more established blogs?

    Kudos. I enjoyed reading this

    • Hi Jay! (You and I have the same first name and my Oyinbo boss calls me “Jay”!)

      I’m right there with you about being protective of your blog, but your point about developing your brand is also legit. I’ve been asked to post something on my blog that’s purely promotional and of very little value to those who read my blog. In those cases I tell the person asking that I can’t for that reason, but offer to help them promote their post on social media. It’s important to always consider your reader when deciding what to post on your blog.

      You’re right: making the time to produce new content while simultaneously working to build up your blog’s body of work is a lot of work, but I think it’s necessary: you should aim to give the blog you’re guest posting on the best fresh content that you have, and reposting an existing blog post, especially from a SEO perspective, may not do your blog any favours (check out this article for what I mean).

      I think it’s worth posting less often on your own blog for the sake of a guest post, so if you normally post twice a week and want to write one guest post a month, then write seven posts per month for your blog, and make the eighth post a guest post. It’s a good idea to guest post on a blog that has equal to or more traffic from your dream demographic than you currently have, so that the pay off is good.

      To answer your question, if you write a stunning (fresh) guest post on a site containing your dream readers, they’re going to love the post and come back to you blog for more. That is how they finally get to read that awesome post that went dead on your new blog, and that would be worth it, right? To take it to the next level, what some people do is create a special page on their blog for people who come to their blog from the blog the guest post appeared on, and this is the page they link to in the bio shared on the blog they guest post on.

      That page would say something like:

      Hello, (name of guest post blog) reader! Thanks for coming to my home to check me out; it’s great to have you here. Since you seem to like reading about (topic of your guest post), check out these top posts that you’ll love:

      -link to your awesome post
      -link to a second awesome post
      -link to a third awesome post

      Want to know more about me? It’s all here (link to your about page). Have any questions? Email me anytime: jummy@madeupblogname.com!

      I hope that’s helpful! Thanks for commenting

      • Jay Namesake! (Cheesy! Lol),

        You know one of those times when you read an article and just keep nodding and nodding? This was it for me. Clarity!

        …and the link was on point too. Thanks for the detailed response. I guess this collaboration thing is a lot more important for bloggers than I would have ever imagined.

        I shall be emailing you fo sure!!!

        Have a great day.

  4. I like the idea of blog collaborations which you have rightly pointed out isn’t that common with bloggers, I mean Nigerian bloggers. Guest posting has its pros and cons and its best to carry out research around that area, especially as it involves content that may not align with one’s own blog theme.
    How are you? Great post, and thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for the feedback and kind words, Blogoratti; much appreciated. I’m fine and hope you are too. :)

      That’s a good tip you shared about researching the blog post if you intend to guest post for a blog that covers information that you don’t typically cover on your own blog. Finding an angle that connects your blog to the blog you wish to guest post on can also be a good strategy.

  5. The thing about comments is you can usually spot an ‘authentic/genuine’ comment from a mile off. What makes it genuine? It just rings true to me. Because I am fairly new on the blog scene, I consider every comment a joy (even the spammy ones, I am there trying to be doubly doubly sure its just spam, haha, before I banish it to spam world) and so it just means the authentic ones produce more of a smile from me, or make me think, or just bring me closer in my ‘relationship’ with the commentator.

    This right here is an awesome article. I am glad I found your blog and same as you, I would love to see more linkages amongst nigerian bloggers. And I have a few ideas Im working on about improvements on this too ;).

    Bee

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