This post is a part of the Double Your Followers blog tour to spread the word about April Bowles-Olin’s upcoming CreativeLive course. Does hearing the word ‘marketing’ make your armpits start to drip with anxiety? Are you terrified of sounding salesy or like you have the personality of a dead blowfish? If so, come join me and 2,500+ entrepreneurs who’re taking April’s latest CreativeLive course, Double Your Followers with Creative Marketing. You can RSVP and watch for FREE. Yep, free. High fives, wildflowers, wine samples. Who doesn’t love free?
When I first started my business almost 3 years ago, marketing was extremely difficult for me.
But still nothing. No readers, no shares, no comments. Just crickets.
Not surprisingly, at this time I also had no clients. If I was ever going to make it as a life coach, I knew I had to do something about my marketing. It was time for drastic action!
I was super confident that I could help others, but there’d be no one to help unless I could somehow figured out how to get people to realize my business existed.
Since I didn’t have anything else to do during the day (remember, zero clients), I decided to spend every second I could getting in front of the people I wanted to hire me.
After coming up with an extremely detailed client profile (ie, who I wanted to work with), I went in search of where those folks hang out.
Then I left helpful comments on at least 80 other blogs per day.
And you know what? It worked. BIG TIME!
I was getting anywhere from 30-60 new subscribers daily, my blog posts were finally getting noticed, and I finally got paying clients.
The best part was that these new followers were handpicked by me through my commenting efforts. I’m in control of my business, and it’s up to me to court my ideal customer.
Commenting has transformed my business from a struggling startup to a thriving 6-figure coaching practice.
I don’t comment 80 times per day anymore, but commenting is still a huge part of my ongoing marketing plan.
But when I suggest commenting to my clients, I get a lot of pushback. They think it’s going to be difficult or boring. OK, commenting isn’t the most exciting thing you can do, but it works.
So do you want to be a proactive leader of your business? Or do you want to keep waiting for people to find you?
You can do this! But first, you need to find blogs to comment on.
Where to Find Other Blogs
- Google searches. Type in the kind of blogs you’re looking for such as “crafting blogs” or “productivity blogs.” Look for blogs where your ideal customers hang out, not your competition. This is why I rarely comment on other life coaches’ blogs.
- Comment sections. Scroll down to the comment sections on your favorite blogs. Most of the people who leave comments have their own blogs. Click on the link to their blogs (usually their names) and see if they might be your ideal clients.
- Feed readers. Feedly, BlogLovin, and other feed readers not only help you organize the RSS feeds of your favorite blogs, but they also suggest other blogs for you to follow.
- Social media platforms, especially Pinterest. Search on Pinterest for the kind of blogs you’re looking for or for things your ideal clients would search for such as “save time” or “get organized.” Click a pin to be redirected to the blog where it came from and see if the writer is your ideal client.
- Blog tours and link-ups. Blog tours (like this one!) are excellent ways to find like-minded bloggers all at once. The 31 Days Writing Challenge is one of my favorite roundups of blogs.
Start saving your favorite blogs in a feed reader (I recommend Feedly) so you can find them again quickly.
How to Market Your Business Using Comments
Comment sections at the bottom of blog posts are where you can tell people that you have a business and that it’s worthy of their time.
Imagine you have a brick and mortar store with a physical location (some of you may actually have a storefront business). You might not get a lot of sales because you’re relying on people to walk by and notice you.
But if you hired a teenager to stand in front of the building and tell the passersby how great your business is (“Today only! The coolest gizmos in the tri-county area! Check it out!”), then people would realize your business exists and probably stop in to see what you’re offering.
Leaving helpful comments on other people’s blogs is like standing on the sidewalk saying, “Look at me!”
Then when those folks visit your website, they have the chance to sign up to get your freebie and start your sales funnel process.
Your comments represent how you run your business, so be professional and helpful.
Unhelpful comments are usually one or two words, they don’t offer a new insight or start a conversation, or they’re too self-promotional. Remember, there’s no reason to leave your URL in the body of the comment because your name will be linked back to your website automatically.
Helpful comments are engaging, they show that you actually read the blog post, and they offer your opinion or experiences without being so “I’m the best!!!”
Here are some examples of what you should and should not say in your comments.
- “Great post!”
- “That’s amazing!”
- “Please follow me.”
- “I like your writing.”
- “I wrote about this exact same topic. Read my post here: LINK.”
- “I never thought about organizing my office that way, but it makes sense. I’m going to try your technique this weekend and maybe I can finally be proud of my workspace. 🙂 Wish me luck!”
- “Your designs are gorgeous! What kind of illustrating software do you use? I use BLANK for much of my work, and it has its pluses and minuses. I’m always looking for ways to improve.”
- “I hear where you’re coming from about why it’s so important to BLANK; however, I find it very difficult with all my responsibilities as a mom, business owner, and wife. Do you have any tips for prioritizing my time and making sure everything gets done?”
- “That sounds like a tough problem. Have you tried doing BLANK? I know it seems difficult, but it’s really changed my life.”
Newbies and Nurtures
When you’re leaving helpful comments, be sure to comment on blogs that are completely new to you and blogs where you want to create a relationship with the blogger, such as someone you look up to or might want to partner with in the future.
I call these 2 types of comments “newbies” and “nurtures” and you need to do both to grow your readership.
Use Comment Sections to Improve Your Content
Interacting in comment sections of blogs can also help you improve your content on your blog, in your digital guides, and through the services you provide. It’s time to play detective!
When you visit a website, look at what other people in your field are talking about and share your opinion or unique viewpoint on your blog. Do you agree or disagree with what others are saying?
Then search the comment sections on yours and other blogs. What questions are people asking? Answer those questions with your blog posts. This is how you get inside your readers’ minds.
Be Consistent With Your Commenting
Lastly, remember that you’ll see the best results from commenting if you stay consistent. You don’t have to comment on 80 blogs per day like I used to, but aim for at least 1 newbie and 1 nurture comment per pay.
Don’t forget to install Google Analytics on your blog ASAP so you can tell where your new readers and subscribers are coming from.
Do you use commenting to promote your blog or business?
This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.