To link or not to link? That is the blogging question! You come across a great blog post and decide to leave a comment. Networking is a great way to engage with other bloggers, connect, and increase the traffic to your blog. The question is, do you leave a link back to your blog or not? That depends… For the sake of this post, I’ll be referencing WordPress bloggers as that’s the platform I’m on.
In general, I personally choose not to leave a link to my blog when I comment on another blogger’s post. If the blogger or other commenters choose to visit my blog based on the comment I’ve left, all they have to do is click on my blog name which is linked directly to my blog. Should they choose to click on my photo, they’ll be taken to my Gravatar profile where they can read more about me and choose which of my blogs they’d like to visit.
If I’m leaving a comment on a meet and greet or a post specifically created for link sharing, obviously I’ll leave a comment with a link. Even in this case, I’m sure to thank the host for allowing the opportunity to share a link, I leave a comment that opens the door to a conversation should other bloggers choose to respond and leave a link that might be helpful instead of the most recently published post.
The reason I’m sharing this is that as I visit blogs, I see people leave a variety of comments. I’ve narrowed it down to four consistent comments I see that don’t contribute to the conversation much and are really a way of just trying to steer the party to their place instead of engaging with those attending the party you’re at.
- A vague comment or compliment, followed by “check out my blog here!” (link to their blog inserted here).
- Hey, great post! Check out mine on a similar topic that can be found here (link to their blog inserted).
- Hmm there are a LOT of comments on this post (or followers on this blog), let me leave a little one liner and (insert link to my blog here). Yep, that should do it!
- A comment that doesn’t contribute to the post or conversation much, but hey I took the time to find it, paste my comment, and you guessed it! Insert the link to my own blog here!
For the most part, I think the majority of the first two examples are done by new bloggers. They may not realize that by leaving a comment, other bloggers can click on their name and be redirected to their blog. When someone leaves one of those comments on my blog, I approve and reply in a way that encourages conversation. I often ignore the request to visit because I’m generally inclined to stop by new neighbors’ blogs anyway. Although I’m not going to lie, if they flat out tell me to visit or beg me to stop by, most times it makes me not want to visit.
The third comment really depends, if it’s the first time, I’ll approve and reply. If it happens several times, I mark it as spam never to see from the blogger again. The last type doesn’t even get approved. I automatically consider it spamming to just drop by and randomly leave a link to your blog on a post. A lot of times they are spam and get caught in my spam folder but for those that take the time to randomly paste their comment into blogs I visit along with my own, I mark it as spam and delete it for good measure.
So while I’m not against leaving links, I do encourage you to question your intention for leaving them. If it’s genuinely an attempt to steer traffic to your blog, it might backfire on you because people can see through that and won’t visit (which you can probably tell by the lack of referrers in your stats). If you’re doing it in hopes that someone will visit, I’d have to say in my own personal experience I’d check out your blog just by clicking your name if your comment resonated with me. If you’re coming across as pushy or needy people will be less likely to visit.
Another way to look at it is, how would you feel about someone leaving that comment on your post? If you get all excited to see the comment notification only to be let down because they’re obviously just trying to get you to visit their blog instead of being a gracious visitor of yours, guess what? That’s probably how your comments are coming across if they fall into any of the examples above.
You’re better off liking the post and hoping the blogger checks out an unfamiliar blog like or just leaving a genuine comment and letting the conversation flow. Other bloggers will comment and respond and you’ll be able to build rapport that will naturally encourage bloggers to visit. You never know, it might naturally lead to you being able to share a post! If you leave a link because you don’t realize we can click on your name and stop by, no worries! Now you know and you can relax and just participate in the conversation because you’ll likely get a few visitors anyway.
The thing is, it takes time to build up a following. The blogosphere is big and just hoping to get discovered isn’t enough. I encourage you to seek out other bloggers and engage in their content. I personally follow the golden rule of blogging-
“blog unto others as you would have others blog unto you.”
So basically, if I want people to like and comment, I’ll like and comment on posts that speak to me. Always be authentic in your engagement! Don’t play the follow for follow game or comment just to try to be seen. Just be yourself and you’ll either attract potential followers or repel them. As someone who values engagement over the number of followers, I prefer to repel those who won’t be interested in what I have to offer and attract those who will value the content I provide. Either way, the goal is to connect with those who will enjoy your blog and be happy to read what you put into the blogosphere.
Side note: Self-hosted bloggers, I know it’s tough to be found and don’t hold it against you. I’d just add a little note saying your self-hosted. 😉
As always, feel free to ask questions or leave suggestions for topics you’d like to see in future Blogging Tip posts!
What are your thoughts on this post? Are you a link dropper? Did you realize that we can find your blog by clicking on your name? Do you click on links when people leave them on your blog? Do you click on links when people leave them on other blogs? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, feel free to share in the comments!
Thanks Miriam for leaving such a lovely comment, I hope you don’t mind me showcasing your comment as an example ❤