Commenting Your Way To The Top

Leaving comments on other people’s blog is a good way to not only get the blog owners to notice you, it can also be a good source of traffic because blog readers notice you as well. Now you don’t have be as prolific as few of our Top Commentators but being part of a blog community brings many advantages. Here are a few ways to get maximum benefit out of comments.

Be The First To Comment

If you’re after traffic, then be the first to comment. Blog readers rarely read comments after the first ten so the chances of you receiving any traffic benefit if your comment is near the bottom is very slim. I remember telling Ed to be the first to comment on Digg stories that match his blog posts. Ed would sneak in a link to his related post in the comments of a front page Digg story and the resulting traffic was better than if he had submitted a Digg that didn’t make the front page. However, after while of doing that, Diggers got pissed off at him for being a comment spammer so use this technique sparingly.

I did this myself when I was still banned from Digg. My friend Carl got a front page Digg to his tech site and someone made a comment that his RSS button was very big. I made a reply that said, “That’s not a big RSS button. THIS is a big RSS button!” That reply sent almost 500 Diggers to check out the button.

Go After The Big Blogs

Technorati has a list of the top 100 blogs on the Net. These blogs get a ton of traffic and they all have comment system. The key is not to spam those blogs with a ton of comments. All you need is to be among the first 10 or so to make a comment to the latest post. It’s best to go after big blogs with topics that are related to yours. Make a nice thought provoking comment and there’s a good chance readers will check out your blog.

Another trick you can do is to send a trackback because some blogs separate their trackback from their comments. TechCrunch is one of the blogs that does this. Best of all, their trackbacks are listed above their comments. Look at their post about Cisco Buying WebEx. 45 comments but only four trackbacks (one being mine).

Look For Blogs With Top Commentators List

If you’re going to be active in a blog, you should be rewarded for it. After all, you are helping to drive traffic and keep the blog active. The Top Commentators list is the way I reward bloggers for helping to maintain an active community. The WordPress Plugin lists the commentators with the highest comment count over the past five days (it can be set for whatever period you like). The link does not have a nofollow tag so the commentators gets full SEO benefit as well.

Being a Top Commentator on this blog bring the added benefit of sky rocking your Technorati ranking. Those commentators who were on the list saw their ranking shoot up after my Technorati ping fest. How does that help you dollar wise? It allowed Michael Kwan to finally join ReviewMe and it boosted Stephen Fung’s ReviewMe price to $100. That’s money in the bank.

While it may not seem like it, getting on the Top Commentators list really isn’t that hard. Your chance of beating Saman Sadeghi is pretty slim but it only takes about 30 comments to get on the list. That works out to six comments per day.


166 thoughts on “Commenting Your Way To The Top”

  1. Alex Shalman says:

    You always have ingenious little ways to come out on top. It’s evil and I love it ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      With threaded comments, couldn’t someone like me just pop in and reply to the first comment and effectively become among the “first ten comments” on a post?… Like how I’m doing now?

      1. Great idea Michael. Scoot over a little and make some room for me too. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

        1. Tyler says:

          Wouldn’t this be the highest you can get a reply comment to go? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

          1. Justin Slife says:

            Very interesting…how you can scoot in like this. I just added this plugin to my site. Hopefully it will help bring me some more traffic like everyone else.

          2. Nenad Ristic says:

            I see… That idea does work, its awesome in its evilness…

            I might add threaded commenting to my site, I have yet to see any conversations take place there.

          3. jan geronimo says:

            Let me sidle in then. I have this thing with evilness, too. lols.

            An average of 6 comments per day to make it to the top 10. Ugh. That’s a bit painful. :(

            jan geronimo’s last blog post: Question and Answer With WritingToExhale

          4. Jonix says:

            hmmm…cannot go to the top, let’s see what this post gets ๐Ÿ˜€

            5th position i think :mrgreen:

          5. Jonix says:

            ah ah! i was right, 5th position. I love this brian threaded comments plugin :)

            Ok, that’s enought of experiences, let’s get back to the juicy comments!

          6. Jonix says:

            my god, last post, i realized that i’m talking to myself :mrgreen:

            And that’s it! Last one here :mrgreen:

          7. No that’s comment whoring!!!

          8. HMTKSteve says:

            I have a new plan. I will reply to every comment left by Sam.

          9. Jonix says:

            Great plan steve, let’as do it! :mrgreen:

          10. Matthew says:

            double posting helps ya get to the top

      2. Very true Micheal! As a blogger, I think the threaded comments encourage commenting more because you can have separate discussions going on for the same topic!

        1. jez says:

          Yeah I still have to add that and the mail back to my blog… I turned of threaded comments as it jumped the sidebar out in IE (its out at the moment anyway so doesnt really matter…)

          1. David says:

            I had some problems with the top commentator messing with the positions on the page too…somehow it seemed to fix itself, if I put it at the very bottom of the sidebar.

        2. jez says:

          “your chances of beating Saman are slim” :mrgreen:

          1. David says:

            I still don’t understand how Saman gets so many comments…I think that is all he does!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

          2. HMTKSteve says:

            Yes, it is all he does. I think he is top commentator on my blog too…

          3. It’s not all that I do!! There is still plenty of regular content on my site!

          4. jan geronimo says:

            So you’re the man to beat. Well, you don’t look like the monster evil you’ve been pictured to be. Nice meeting you, Saman. :)

            jan geronimo’s last blog post: Question and Answer With WritingToExhale

          5. Jonix says:

            lol, they are joking saman! aren’t you guys joking? (or not?) ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

          6. my new goal is to beat saman

          7. Matthew says:

            its a great way to get extra links, when you can get to be top commenter, why not?

          8. Zach says:

            I guess in the long run it’s not a bad idea. although it i think it would be the most boring 2 hours of your day

        3. HMTKSteve says:

          Sometimes threaded comments cause problems when they get too wide for the div statement.

          1. Jez says:

            Yeah I had to turn it off for that reason pending a mod to the template.

        4. Gary Lee says:

          no matter what the good intentions are for the threaded comments, people are going to learn how to game the system to their advantage . . .

      3. Seems appropriately evil….

      4. Anyone done or found such a plugin yet? ๐Ÿ˜€

      5. Jonix says:

        Not the first, but almost that :mrgreen:

      6. Marc says:

        The threaded comments eventually have a limit. Once you breach the “won’t best beyond” limit, you can’t get to high up.

    2. HMTKSteve says:

      I just got back on the list! Why did you have to post this? ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

      1. Jane May says:

        Hahaha…one more challenge to staying on top!

        1. yeah top commenter minimum has gone up by 20 in 1 day

      2. Marc says:

        John’s just trying to make it harder on everybody. Evil…

    3. Erik says:

      John Chow never never ceases to amaze me ๐Ÿ˜‰

    4. Jane May says:

      Yes, I love it too John…i’m implementing it now ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  2. I wished I had been the first comment on this post. Nothing better than being the first comment on a post that talks about the benefits of being the first comment.

  3. Comment on the big boys sites hey.. that’s why people always comment spam you site John. :)

    FT

  4. Jon Lee says:

    Damn, I was in the middle of writing an article on the benefits of commenting.. and you beat me to it John! ahhh

    1. Jason Spence says:

      I was doing the same thing, but I didn’t let the fact that you beat me to it deter me. I finished my post anyway. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      1. I was doing the same… aww dangit. Guess I was doing the same thing as the same thing. ๐Ÿ˜†

        1. I have been advising this in comments, but haven’t written an article on it – I should have since a lot of people have pointed out my commenting skills!

          I guess I missed that boat! Oh well, I’ll take the linkback! Thanks John!

          1. jez says:

            I know ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

            (see Im learning :mrgreen: )

          2. Haha.. both of you guys beat me to it. Grrr! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

          3. HMTKSteve says:

            I erote this article last month. I think you read it Sam?

          4. Jonix says:

            Steve, is erote something to do with writing in a erotic way? :)

    2. Aris says:

      >Damn, I was in the middle of writing an
      >article on the benefits of commenting.. and
      >you beat me to it John! ahhh

      Wish you can continue to write and let us know where to find it. After all you may have different points than what John has already written here, right?

    3. HMTKSteve says:

      I wrote an article on this very subject a few weeks ago. Maybe I should add a link back to this post to gain a trackback.. hmm…

      1. Jane May says:

        Would definitely be a smart move…maybe an evil move ๐Ÿ‘ฟ Perfect for John’s site

      2. I guess you should! ๐Ÿ˜€

      3. Jonix says:

        Do it steve, let’s get the record on a post with comments.

      4. Marc says:

        Always good to add relevant links. Always ๐Ÿ˜‰

    4. Jez says:

      One of the reasons I started commenting was to see what benefits it brought with a view of writing a post on it, I was going to wait a while before writing it….

      Ill still write my own though, I cant believe no-one did this sooner… perhaps they did.

  5. MasterSparky says:

    Dang #3 ๐Ÿ˜›

    I need to work on commenting more. I still don’t see how you have guys make ~300 posts in month ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      I believe Saman had over 200 in the first 4 or 5 days of this month.

      1. What sort of benefits are involved in a job like that? Medical and dental or just medical?

        Geez, I’d have to quit and stay at home all day to hit 200 comms in 4 days.

        1. ๐Ÿ˜† Actually, I get 401k benefits for this full time job!

          If you have noticed, I am the top commentator on more sites then just Johns!

          1. From these new highs he’s earning each month I’d believe he could be handing out 401K matching to a lot of people!

          2. HMTKSteve says:

            401K benefits? Is that the number of comments you have left on this blog?

          3. Jonix says:

            lol steve, almost there, 401.1k …

      2. Erik says:

        Wha?! Does Saman sleep?

        1. Jonix says:

          We think not. Saman is a guy who doesn’t need to sleep, he’s the commentMan

        2. Marc says:

          I think that Saman’s an automated bot programmed to do nothing but post to John’s blog.

    2. The folks who are free and have nothing better to do most of the day than just plain reading and commenting on others’ blogs. Dang!

      1. Jonix says:

        It’s the multi-tasking guy! Or if you want the perfect worker! In this days if you are not multi-tasking, you’ve less and less value.

    3. Jez says:

      Touch typing, practice and multiple browser tabs :-)

  6. Bertrand says:

    Nicely written, very pragmatic. I bet this could quickly become a little bible of how to get to the top. Thanks.

  7. Chris Hope says:

    Really useful stuff. The posts on your site have inspired me to get my site back going again with more frequent posts. It originally started out a few years ago as a technical articles site but I’m currently in the process of turning the existing content into a redesigned blog site. Hopefully I should have the new version of the site running in the next few hours. Thanks John.

  8. Jane May says:

    Slim to none to beat the Sandman huh…I think he’ll fall from that 1 spot…eventually :)

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      It’s totally possible. I remember when I once stop atop the Top Commentators list. Now, I’m struggling to hold on to 9th or 10th place… it’s almost a good thing that I’m too busy these days to comment as much as I used to.

      1. I was at the bottom of the list last week, that was a busy week for me!

        1. Now that you are back, there’s nothing to stop you from being up there at the top once more! Dang! ๐Ÿ˜€ *grins.

        2. HMTKSteve says:

          I used to be number on on John’s blog… used to be…

        3. Jonix says:

          commentMan, strikes again

      2. Marc says:

        I was at the top last month and I too am having a hard time keeping up. On the bright side, being too busy suggests you’re doing something more constructive.

    2. jez says:

      Not while he still has fingers

    3. Aris says:

      But he is fast. This is the second time he gets there. ๐Ÿ˜† Congrats buddy. Hope it wouldn’t be wiped out by the 5 days limit tomorrow.

      1. Thanks, I’m pretty sure my seat at the top is safe! ๐Ÿ˜€

        1. Erik says:

          Holy crap man. Let us catch up ๐Ÿ˜›

        2. HMTKSteve says:

          For now it is. Remember, this is a five day rolling list now. You need to be on top everyday!

          One day I will find where you store your packets and knock out your IP! then you will be done for hours and unable to post comments!!!

          1. Jonix says:

            uhhh…steve that’s to harsh, don’t (,do it) don’t (,do it)!

  9. Alex says:

    These really are great methods. However, sometimes I go mad when I see tons of useless comments of people who try to get on the top commentators list. But I got to hand it to your top commentators, they’re not bad at all ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Alex says:

      Just kidding, they suck ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

      1. Well I almost thanked you, but now I have to say: “YOU SUCK TOO!”

        Actually, I hope that people don’t view me as a spammer, I do try an add to the conversation! If I can’t, I don’t comment!

        1. jez says:

          I think the volume of comments remains constant, but their length is inversely proportional to spare time :-)

        2. Alex says:

          Sorry Saman. I said they suck, but I didn’t say they ALL suck! I read some of your comments and I don’t think you’re a spammer, but a lot of people are :sad:

          1. No worries, I was just being an ass ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

            I’m glad to hear that this great community doesn’t view me as a true spammer! ๐Ÿ˜€

          2. Jonix says:

            You are not a spammer saman, you are the true commentMan, go for it, go go go!

        3. HMTKSteve says:

          Sam, a spammer? No, we call you a “sammer”!!!

          1. Jonix says:

            commentMan, AKA sammer the Hammer

          2. Jonix says:

            ahh that’s enought! i don’t have time for this :) Jonix the Hammerix (no spam!)

      2. Marc says:

        Lol, yeah we do! Especially since Saman’s decided to raise the bar.

  10. Erik says:

    That is a big ass RSS button!

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      It would have been bigger if the WordPress template allowed it, I’m sure. :) Someone make a WordPress template with a single column 1200 pixels wide! ๐Ÿ˜†

      1. Erik says:

        ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Its in the works!

  11. carl says:

    nice tips john! ๐Ÿ˜€ well sometimes I do that to have more exposure to people ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  12. John Chow you hit the nail on the head with this post. Just started my site Hollywoodheadache.com I have been doing all these tips for the last week. I hit all the relevant blogs and most of the top 100 blogs. I try to be first commenter but thats easier said than done. I sat in front of the computer screen with a auto refresh Firefox extension running for perezhilton.com. I caught the post within 20 seconds of it going live and pasted my comment in and submitted. When the page refreshed I was the 15th comment. How does that work. Its almost impossible but if anyone can get it its you right?

  13. Jeff says:

    John.. what the fu**???… this blog has gone to shit

    1. If you really think it’s that bad, why do you bother coming back? No one needs to read your negative comment! We all enjoy being here. If you don’t, there are 7.8 million other blogs out there for you to visit.

      1. HMTKSteve says:

        I think he comes back for your comments!

        1. Jonix says:

          can’t resist! lol, you are killing me steve :mrgreen:

          1. Marc says:

            Yeah, Steve deserves a great big hug. His comments have been making me chuckle all evening long :)

            As far as the opinions on the blog… Care to elaborate?

  14. Very similar advice to my article “6 ways to get free traffic using social networking”:

    http://www.harpzon.com/articles/8/1/6-Ways-to-Get-Free-Traffic-Using-Social-Networking/Page1.html

  15. Chuck says:

    And just remember…a clean desktop is a sign of the deeply warped sickness which infests an blog comment-spammers mind! http://www.johnchow.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_confused.gif
    ๐Ÿ˜•

  16. Scott says:

    I may never make it onto John’s list, but I’m on Wendy’s list so that’s better anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. John Wesley says:

    All these comments and not a single one worth reading. This is the kiddy pool of blogs. ๐Ÿ’ก

  18. Tyler says:

    When was Stephen ever on the Top Commentators list for John’s site?

    Don’t remember seeing him on that list ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. I wish I was fast enough to be in the top 10 comments….#42… ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  20. Matthew says:

    I havent hard too hard of a time to get to the top comment list, just have to basically keep up with the blog, which most people do anyways right?

  21. Aris says:

    I missed this one since I was busy checking how soon will John’s position on ‘make money online’ climb up Google’s ladder and fill out a new blog entry on that. Right now there is only an old posting of John at page 16 of ‘make money online’ in Google.

    I need to find out what is the best way to be alerted when there is a new post.

  22. carl says:

    I want one!! is that photo royalty free? so we can grab it?? :mrgreen:

    1. David says:

      I’m not sure what you are referring to here, but I could swear it has nothing to do with this post and everything to do with the Zonda…

      1. carl says:

        I am talking about the big rss button, because I want one!!:)

        1. David says:

          ahh..ok…my mistake… ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  23. Jeff Kee says:

    This will inspoire more peopel to be comment whores…

    Thanks for the pen by the way, John.

    1. Matthew says:

      it already has

      *whore* *Spam* :)

    2. David says:

      But after a few weeks, the comment whores will die down, and the true commentators will prevail. With Saman at the top the whole time, of course…haha

    3. carl says:

      but if people are comment whores, you will get more visitors, visitors = impressions, impressions = $$$

      :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

      1. HMTKSteve says:

        Every comment you leave is one more page view for John… I think I’m beginning to see the method behind John’s madness!!!

        1. Erik says:

          Like he doesn’t have enough pageviews.

        2. Jonix says:

          You found it steve! It’s the big “evil” secret!

      2. Matthew says:

        the ‘real’ commentors are still comment whores lol

    4. carl says:

      wow! you are one of the top commentator! hehehe nice job!:)

  24. Azeem says:

    I do not see a trackback from your side John .
    I am talking about tech crunch’c article about Cisco acquiring Webex. There are only 3 linkbanks. where is yours.

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/03/15/cisco-buys-webex-for-32-billion/

  25. Scot says:

    I need to add this plugin to my blog. Even though I have a total of 5 comments thus far :p

    1. I’m in a similar position. I added it and have seen our comments go up a little. Nothing overwhelming yet though.

  26. Ed Lau says:

    It’s true. I got my start whoring up Digg comments.

    1. Yea, and John has made a mention of that. The pioneer for comment whoring eh? ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Erik says:

        What an achievement! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  27. Vincent Chow says:

    Not only the first comment get the buzz, the last one do have too. Normally people will read the first few comments, and if there’s too many of them, they will scroll all the way down and read the last one. So being the last one is better than those in the middle IMO.

    1. Well what about the last reply to the last comment?? Ah hah! ๐Ÿ˜†

    2. Jeff says:

      Wasnt the first to comment but still leaving my mark in letting you know that this is a very great article!

      Jeff – http://wallpapers.jeffreymunro.com

  28. IndoDX says:

    I will do it, and make to the tops commenter in JohnChow.com Blogs ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. "ME" says:

    Yes, It is really true that posting a comment to top sites will increase your traffic.. :smile:

    I have proven it after I posted once on this site beautiful people visited my blog…

    take note only “beautiful people” visited my blog. :roll:

    1. Weird, a similar thing happened to me too. After I began posting here my dog came back, my boss doubled my pay, and John Chow started asking me for blog advertising advice! Craziness.

    2. Dang, you have just enticed me to click and visit your blog. ๐Ÿ˜€

  30. Jonix says:

    Great post John, this is the kind of post, that makes your blog the “juice of the gods”

    1. carl says:

      lets make that as “the juice of all evil!” ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

      1. Jonix says:

        Do you like more the “dark side of the moon”? uuh! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  31. Yumcha Girl says:

    Ooh la la! Love this post John. Will try to post more comments (but I never seem to be the first to make one!). Cheers,

  32. Tyler Ingram says:

    I think John is secretly training all of us as an elite (or is that |337) crew of comment whores!

  33. Gdog says:

    I don’t have time to compete with these comment whores, it takes too much time! :mrgreen:

  34. Pitumbo says:

    John, long time lurker, first time poster. Your blog is outstanding and I greatly appreciate all your helpful advice. This article in particular is especially informative. Thanks for helping out us newbies ๐Ÿ˜†

    1. Erik says:

      Welcome to the world of commenting!

  35. Vincent Chow says:

    While having lots of comments is good for a blog, but too many of comments will eventually prolong the loading time of the page. Especially when the MBL avatar is shown – it took ages for them to load.

    1. Jonix says:

      i agree with you, but this post is special, you are geting ride of the daily stress in this comments. But for sure, this post will beat the comments record

  36. Greg Butler says:

    It is absolutely critical to take an hour or two each day to comment on other blogs. It builds recognition, traffic, and credibility.

    Good article, John

  37. Yeah, commenting on big blogs can bring you some nice additional traffic. I’ve gotten a few visitors by commenting on ProBlogger for example – not to mention all the traffic I’ve gotten from John Chow ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But I didn’t see your trackback on that TechCrunch post…

    If people want to get on a Top Commentators list my blog uses that plug-in — and you only need 2 comments to break into the Top 10 list ๐Ÿ˜‰

  38. happysurfer says:

    Thanks for the tips.

    1. Who’s number at Technorati? :mrgreen: It will be JC, when they unban him. :roll:

  39. Zach says:

    it’s a smart concept, but i have to say that these ideas will get your blog a bunch of stupid little “cool” posts

  40. I don’t know if I can do a “Saman” or a “lyndonmaxewell,” but I’ll try. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    So when’s the next reset? :mrgreen:

  41. Well John I finally got to this wonderful comment article. I am really shooting to get on your top commentor’s list, so I can see what the effect on my technorati rating is. This will be fun!! But also I really love you site, so I want to start commenting more, but I have catching up to do.

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