How to Network for Your Online Business Using Social Participation!
Our Social Participation Stinks… Could the Statistics be Right?
There are many people out there looking to make a name for themselves known as Personal Branding… what better way to spread the love and get your name out there in cyberspace than through social participation, I.E. leaving comments.
I recently read a post from Wendy Maynard – Marketing Maven, about “How leaving blog comments can accelerate your Alexa Ranking.” In her article was a post by Darren Rowse where he states that “Only 1 out of every 100 Readers Comment on your Blog”.
On his blog post he has a link to an article written by a Jakob Nielsen talking about social participation… he states that “In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.”, he calls this the “90-9-1 Rule for Social Participation”. This study was conducted in 2006, so the results today may be a little different.
Teachings from a mentor of mine, and thousands of others, Katie Freiling talks about relationship building. She speaks of the 80/20 ratio… giving 80-90% value (anything that can improve the lives of others), and asking for something in return 10-20% of the time.
Don’t bring to the table a selfish mindset “wanting people to buy your product, or join your business opportunity, you will be more of a repellent, than an attractor” Katie says. This is great advice coming from one of the most respected online marketers of today.
Do We Fall Short of Comment Luv?
We would all love to build our personal brand and our relationships status, but the fact is according to Jakob Nielsen, we seem to fall short at giving “Comment Love”! If what he says is true about us, then we need to change this statistic.
Let’s look at this another way… put yourself in the other person’s position for just a minute… if you were the one that spent countless hours or even days producing great content for your followers to read, wouldn’t you like to know that they appreciate your efforts for the time that you spent to bring them your creation?
Isn’t it an awesome feeling to receive a positive comment about an article you wrote or the video you made? I know that a grin from ear to ear falls upon my face when I see the “Comment Luv”, when someone took the time to write what inspired them about my article!
Social Participation as an Endorsement
When there is social participation on the part of the reader in the form of a comment being left for an article you wrote; it can be seen as social proof, an endorsement that your site holds value for the reader. When I visit Katie Freiling’s blog and I see that there are 200+ comments on one of her articles or videos, I automatically think that this content is of great value and I need to look deeper, so I stop my browsing and take the time to soak her information in, I then leave her a comment applauding her brilliance.
There are so many reasons to leave inspirational comments on other people’s blog to let them know you appreciate their article. Besides it being a nice gesture to the person creating the article, leaving a comment on their site will increase the traffic back to your blog for those curious enough to click on your link. The person that you left the comment with might even return the favor by visiting your blog, then leaving a comment for the valued content you wrote.
If you happen to use the WordPress plug-in CommentLuv, then you’ve left a teaser link about your article for anybody that reads your comments, including the site owner, increasing your chances for traffic. Isn’t building your online following what you are shooting for here? This is a productive, social, and clever way to improve SEO rankings for your blog.
The “NoFollow” Tag
The more traffic you have coming to your blog, the more attention you receive from Google and other major search engines as your site being an authority, giving you higher search engine rankings.
However I need to set the record straight. If you are thinking that leaving comments on other people’s blogs will increase your search engine rankings because your link is pointing to your site from theirs, then I need to bring something to your attention.
Most blogs have a nofollow tag… this is an attribute that is automatically attached to all user-posted hyperlinks. This tag is supposed to prevent the search engines from following and taking into account that link in their ranking algorithm. Google appears to follow this rule more strictly than the Yahoo and MSN search engines.
The people behind the search engines don’t want you to figure out how they work; otherwise you could manipulate the system and have your site reach the top of search engine rankings rapidly… for this reason, search engine coders will update and change their algorithms frequently.
The nofollow tag was created to keep spammers from leaving links back to their sites on every possible forum, blog and social network with the hopes of creating better search engine rankings. There are debatable discussions of whether leaving comments on another person’s blog will help your search engine rankings or not, but I am going to pass on this debate and stick to my point.
So Why is Social Participation so Important?
Leaving comments is just just good business, plus an act of courtesy and appreciation! You’ve heard the old saying “what comes around, goes around”! If you would like the people that read your articles to leave you a comment, then you need to do the same. If the article deserves a comment for their efforts, then take the time to let them know! Let’s start something contagious!
Below are Comment Attracting WordPress Plug-ins that I’d Recommend for Any Blog!
CommentLuv – This plug-in shows a link to the last post from the commentors blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment. It rewards your readers and encourages more comments. If you register your site on ComLuv.com, then you will have the opportunity to make a choice between the last 10 posts you put on your blog. Good News! You’ll be happy to know that this link, when left on someone’s blog, does not contain the “nofollow” attribute!
Comment Reply Notification – This plug-in allows commenters on your blog to check a box (Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail), before clicking the submit button which will give you e-mail notifications of further comments. This encourages readers to come back and take part in the conversation.
Top Commentators Widget – This Plug-in encourages discussion from your readers by displaying their name (linked to their site without the nofollow tag if desired) and number of comments on the sidebar. The Plug-in also gives you the option to reset the list every hour, day, week, month or year.
I would like to CHALLENGE YOU for the purposes of social participation! When you visit a person’s blog and read their content, and after you leave inspirational comments for them, don’t stop there! Take the time to browse around and participate in what the person behind the scenes is all about, find more marketable content, and leave comments if you find the information helpful.