Blogging: Should you pay for comments?

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The number of comments articles receive is one of the ‘metrics’ we use to see how successful a blog is. Sure, not all big blogs get many comments, but usually, if you’re doing it right and have a decent traffic, it should also show in the comments section.

Many advertisers love to have their campaigns on blogs with good communities, since this means people are more willing to take into account the blogger’s recommendation and the community is ‘sticky’ enough so that their campaign is not another thing people ignore on the site. Not to mention that even us, bloggers, love receiving our readers’ feedback and ideas, at the end of the day we’re not writing just for ourselves.

So the need is clear: we’d like to have an active comments section and promote on more sites, so we’re probably considering paying for comments:

1. Paying for comments on your own blog

One of the things some bloggers pay are the comments posted on their own sites. The deal is easy: get someone to do the job, set a price/comment and then pay the editor after the comments have been posted. This should ensure that your articles get few comments from ‘readers’ and might entice others to also join in the conversation.

How to do it:

  • find marketplaces with freelancers who offer this service. I can recommend you the TopAdmin Jobs marketplace (we have some great editors there)
  • look at your favorite bloggers ‘hire me‘ page. Some do offer the service.
  • open jobs in various freelancing sites or look for providers in various webmaster forums.
  • after you find someone who seems reliable (and have checked their portfolio), hire the providers you want.
  • keep track of their comments and make sure they provide a good quality.
  • delete the bad comments and let your provider know if their comment quality slips.
  • pay after the job is done (or before, depending on what you agreed on) and rate the service.
  • rinse and repeat.

What we’re looking for: you need constant content on the site, so make sure you don’t have 3 comments from the same person on one article. Make sure the comments are spread naturally over more articles and preferably 1-2/day. We need to make sure it all looks ‘natural’, not to mention you’ll need probably few weeks of service to make things run better.

Comment quality IS PARAMOUNT, don’t accept any crap some might give you. A comment needs to be relevant to the article, describe a personal experience or a normal reaction the reader has to your article. Make sure the style/grammar is not sub-par either.

The free way to do it:

  • make sure your blog is ‘comment friendly’, which means:
  • work on your traffic
  • create enticing articles, that give people a reaction
  • make sure the commenting is easy and you don’t prevent your readers in any way (or make it more difficult)
  • keep the community friendly and the comments at a certain standard
  • be active in the comments section: approve them fast, respond, thank your readers for their involvement

2. Paying for comments on other blogs

One of the best ways to get good targeted traffic to your blog (people who are already interested in you and might actually stick around and not just bounce from the site immediately) is to do quite some blog commenting on your own. One of the ways I was able to bring this site from the ‘clinical death’ to the stage where it is already pretty active, was to start reading many blogs, bookmark the ones that I really love reading and starting being active in their community.

Sure, it didn’t happen overnight, but after 1-2 weeks I started receiving constant traffic based on my useful and thoughtful comments (we’re talking CONTRIBUTION, not spamming the blogs), the visitors stick around for more pages and the bounce rate is pretty low (so we’re also talking quality visitors). Many of these new readers (some are the bloggers who initially received my comments and some are their readers who became interested in me) decided to also contribute to the ‘chat’ so it helped the blog get more quality comments.

Sure, if you don’t want to spend 1-2 hours/day doing this, you might want to pay someone to post ‘in your name’.

How to do it:

  • most of the first steps are similar to the blog comments you need on your own site.
  • again, it’s important to find good providers, since in this case we’re not talking crappy comments you’ll delete (if displeased with their quality), we’re talking about YOUR image online and having other bloggers consider you a spammer.
  • keep a very close eye on what your commenters are doing, they’re signing their comments with YOUR NAME and URL. If the comment quality slips, fire the provider and look for someone better.
  • have them comment on the recent posts (many bloggers dislike getting comments on older articles) and not spam anyone. We’re talking 1 comment/day (or more if there are more articles – and they can post something relevant) per blog, just as you would do.
  • give the commenters a list of the desired blogs or make sure they don’t comment on god knows what obscure sites no one has ever heard of. I’ve seen in my life such crappy service that it makes your head spin.
  • track their progress and be very assertive with your requirements, it’s your image they’d tarnish, not theirs.

What we’re looking for: we’re trying to get a certain number of comments/day to some of the blogs we consider good for our own project. The providers will save you the time it takes to read articles and comment, but you will need to make sure they don’t spam or provide sub-par comments. No one wants crappy comments, I’m sure your fellow bloggers are looking at good insightful replies, just as you do.

It’s not a 2 day campaign, you’ll probably want them to post for some weeks/months to really provide you the ‘footing’ you need.

The free way to do it:

  • find good relevant blogs to read
  • bookmark/subscribe to their articles
  • READ the new articles with great care
  • if you feel like you can contribute, write a reply, if not, move on
  • be nice and supportive, provide added information, bring something ‘to the table’
  • rinse and repeat it daily or every 2-3 days

SHOULD YOU DO IT?

Now this is a pretty difficult question. If we’re talking really good writers and a difference in hourly rates, then having someone promote your site ‘in your name’ might make sense. I, for instance, ‘waste’ about 1 hour/day commenting on blogs. I ‘track’ around 150-200 blogs at the moment and, while not all are providing daily articles (or articles I can contribute to), there’s some commenting to be done for sure. It relaxes me and I am not that swamped with client work, but, if it was the case, then a good commenter whom I trust, could take some of the load.

I don’t pay for comments on my own blog, since just posting constantly and trying to provide something useful makes it an un-needed service: my articles receive comments from you, my readers, so no need for me to ‘beef up’ the comment section.

What kind of blog commenting services would you pay for? Have you ran such campaigns? Were they worth it? Can you share some prices/results/good providers?

28 COMMENTS

  1. Comments on articles on your blog do increase your credibility, but I wouldn’t go as far as paying for having people comment on my blog. This can happen naturally, just like you said and I think it’s best to wait to get them (plus, there are some blogs that simply don’t get comments – I had a blog which got in its record month 2 million visitors, but under 100 comments during the time).

    However, I was really considering the other option – that of hiring somebody to comment on some blogs. I do have a list of blogs that I love to read, like this one here, and I would still comment on, but there are so many popular ones that could bring targeted traffic and I simply don’t have time to read them and comment there. So hiring somebody to do it would make sense, but it’s that risk you were talking about of getting someone who writes crap comments and harms your image.

    • Yeah, this is why you need to be careful with whom you hire and track their progress. It can save up quite some time and, if the provider is really good, it won’t make such a huge difference if they’re not yourself.

      I wouldn’t pay for comments on my blogs either.

  2. I’d personally rather have organic and genuine comments but I blog because I love it not for financial reasons so it doesn’t make much difference to me. Some of my personal opinion best posts have the lowest comments, it’s weird to me.

    • Yeah, it’s weird sometimes to see what posts actually attract more comments, but as long as in general people have a reaction to your writing, then it’s OK. Organic comments are the best, no questions asked 🙂

  3. I don’t think I’d ever pay someone to comment on my posts. Luckily, I have some great readers who do that on their own, but it took a while to build that up for sure. I can see the value of paying someone to comment on your behalf, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do that yet. It might be the next logical step as I try to continue to grow, but I feel a bit guilty if I don’t do it myself.

    • Well, it depends on the time it takes you, the quality of posting you can get etc. Delegating is one way to clear out your schedule and get more done, but, if it means spoonfeeding the provider and getting a crap service, it’s a loss and not a gain anymore 😀

  4. I wouldn’t pay for someone to comment on my own blog as luckily my comments are steadily growing. 🙂 I also wouldn’t pay someone at the moment for commenting on other blogs either – just because I enjoy doing this myself, although it can be time consuming. Perhaps in the future though if I can take my blog to the next level. On another note, I’m one of those individuals who can offer a blog commenting and networking service for busy bloggers!

    • This is actually smart: pay them only when the comment is accepted and there’s no issue with it. This way no one can provide a crappy service, since that would probably mean the comments won’t get past the moderation

  5. I think paying for comments is worth it as it would kick start the community on your blog. People always feel reluctant to post comments when there haven’t been much previous comments hence when you hire people to comment, your readers would surely starts commenting.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • It’s the main reason many do buy comments for their blog. I personally found out that in few days of active involvement in other blogs, people started commenting anyway.

  6. In the early stage of a blog I would suggest buying or trading some comments as from my own research I have seen that people don’t really comment on the newer blogs unless someone has taken the lead.

    I agree with your advice though and you have shown that it works on your own blog and therefore I have started following the same advice and it is slowly working.

  7. I wouldn’t pay to other people to leave comments on my blog either. I think it’s a bit silly, to be honest. I love to build rapport with my readers, I love when people leave comments for me to read and I love to comment on other blogs too. I’m glad that people read and comment, but primarily I keep my blog as a diary to track my debt repayment progress, and if someone can benefit from my experience that’s awesome! If not, well, that’s okay too. I’ll still keep writing whenever I feel like it 😛

    • It’s indeed a difference between blogging for the joy of it and having a ‘plan’ for it to make money ASAP, develop this fast in a given time etc. If it’s more of a business, you’ll probably want to speed up the development, so that you can make the money. If it’s a natural process as in our case, then you really don’t care if an article gets fewer comments, as soon as the blog is attracting more readers, the problem will be solved.

  8. I don’t think I would ever pay for someone to comment on my blog. I don’t really see the point in that. If you can’t get people to comment on your posts, then you need to change what you are writing about and how you are writing.

  9. Blog commenting is time-consuming, that’s for sure!
    Also, many, many times, you comment on blogs that don’t reciprocate — but it’s really a game of numbers: the more you comment on, the more you will stand a chance of having some commenting back.
    And I’ve discovered some pretty unique blogs this way, to which I’m still subscribed and loving their posts (sometimes the bloggers too!)

    • Absolutely. Commenting for 1-2 days might not make a difference, but, once you’re a regular and constantly contributing you stand more chances of people noticing you.

  10. I don’t know that you should pay for comments on your own blog. To me, that’s not real engagement. However, commenting on other blogs can be really time consuming. I comment on behalf of a few bloggers, and it drives a lot of traffic and engagement to their websites, which is great.

    • Yeah, blog commenting does attract a lot of well targeted traffic, a good reason to keep on doing it while also making sure the blogger him/herself benefits from quality replies.

  11. I would think that paying for advertising, solo mailings, content, etc. would be better than paying for comments. If you produce extremely high quality content then the visitors attracted from paid advertising should start to convert into comments.

    • Am with you on this one. You might even be able to skip the paid ads, if you’re doing a good promotion on your own and the content is indeed stellar 😉

  12. I say pay for comment with content instead of money! Write a great blog post that will inspire and inform a reader and they will leave a comment. Give the reader something after they read the post. One good tactic I use is…looking at the problems and challenges of the niche and then writing a blog post about an easy solution and you readers will be sending you loads of praise comments!

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