To help others first to make your business benefit | The Commenting Club

How commenting to help others can create gains for your business

commenting to help others

I've said this before: altruistic commenting, or commenting to help others, is the best form of social engagement. In fact, apart from creating social relationships, this is probably the main reason why you should comment.

And yet, I receive comments daily by people who envisage commenting as a means to promote themselves. Commenting is a perfunctory activity merely to spread links as widely as possible. Even though this is not necessarily performed by spammers, this is exactly what they are doing.

You should always have your brain engaged in thinking "how can I help this person?". What can you say which is kind, helpful, forthcoming, valuable and contributes towards continuing the conversation? Being positive is not a sign of weakness, as it can have a huge beneficial impact on the recipient.

This infographic explores how commenting to help others can have many advantages:

How commenting to help others can create gains for your business

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Finding a reason to connect with others

Commenting is one of the easiest ways to connect with other bloggers. Here is an open invitation for you to have your say, right underneath a post. Your comment won't get swamped by other comments (unless the blog is very popular), nor is it likely to be superseded by future interaction as on social media.

Usually the purpose of this kind of commenting is to form social relationships. Building connections can be advantageous, for networking reasons, increasing contacts, expanding your knowledge of resources, and generally establishing friendships within the online world.

You can use this new alliance to help others by introducing writers to each other, or recommending readers or clients to particular blogs. This is possible if you bother to remember important details about each person, usually accomplished if you regularly engage with them on social media.

What can you say which will improve their lives?

Part of your commenting focus should be to provide value. What information or knowledge can you share which will make a difference? Would you be willing to offer your expertise to answer a question or solve a problem? In other words, what can you do to help others?

A comment which constructively benefits its readers is far more interesting to read, other than one which practically says nothing. Acknowledgement such as 'Nice post' may be congratulatory, but these two words fails to provide substance which helps anybody, commenter, blogger or reader.

There is nothing wrong with sharing your wisdom to help others. It will place you on a higher pedestal than your peers, get you noticed for the right reasons, and you'll be remembered for the value you offered. This may result in invitations to social events which will certainly benefit your business.

How can you make the world a better place?

Keeping your cards close to your chest will not help anyone. Yourself included. Commenting is not like a game of poker, where you are staking everything for a high return. You may not actively see any results for quite a while, as the momentum will build up unnoticed until the right situation comes along.

Commenting is a form of volunteering your time to help others. Your words of encouragement could persuade a brilliant blogger to keep on writing. Your appreciation could provide the all important lift a business needs to get their product off the ground.

Actually it's not easy to write a forthcoming or constructive comment. It requires using your brain to stop and think what you're going to say. The choice of words is paramount to avoid any misunderstanding, or to convey your message in the most appropriate manner.

Warning: being kind can be contagious!

The hashtag #BeKind trended in 2019, due to increased publicity about hate commenting and the impact this had on its victims. Negative interaction doesn't help anyone, except the troll out to get his kicks. But what power is there in being so narrow minded you make people miserable all the time?

Surely there is more to gain from being kind, considerate, helpful and forthcoming? The attention you draw on yourself will be welcoming, appreciative and respected. What better way is there to publicise what you have to offer others, such as expertise, value, benefits and whatever your brand entails.

Positivity breeds positivity, as long as you let it. This is a force which should be cultivated, nurtured and expanded to benefit everyone. It encourages growth in business, livelihoods, wealth and personalities, which can only be a good thing.

Commenting to help others to make yourself feel better

Being kind and doing good creates a sense of wellbeing. (Hopefully much more powerfully than those encased in hatred.) Kindness can have a dramatic affect on your health, releasing a series of hormones and other beneficial chemicals into your body.

There are many advantages to focusing on kindness and positivity within your comments. Consider relaying a funny story or telling an anecdote with a happy morale raises spirits. You'll find this will be remembered for longer, may be brought up later as an example, and can pass on your message in a more meaningful manner.

And there is this sense of achievement knowing you've provided something to help others which benefits many. Commenting is not done in dead space. A well-written contribution is more likely to be read, appreciated, understood and acted upon. Thus fulfilling its purpose.

Giving yourself a sense of meaning and purpose

All commenting should be done with an objective in mind. Do you want to get noticed? Is there a message you want to get across? Do you wish to create awareness? Are you willing to share your knowledge to help others?

Therefore this doesn't mean flitting from social update to post, quickly skim-reading it to save time, cut and pasting your contribution everywhere, peppering your comment with links, and disregarding the subject matter to say only what you want. This will not allow you to achieve any purpose whatsoever.

Good commenting has at its heart a desire to help others, as well as raise awareness. If people appreciate the value you provide, they will respond favourably. Your reputation will soar, and you will be seen as a thought-leader for what you say. Your business will easily be placed in the forefront of people's memories.

How does commenting to help others help businesses?

There are various tactics marketing departments do to increase their website rankings within the search engines. These require asking for help from blogs, websites, organisations and influential individuals to obtain them.

Usually these pitches arrive out of the blue, to the annoyance or dismay of whoever receives them. I receive countless requests for guest blogging slots by people I don't know from Adam. Most of these are cut and pasted to massive impersonal mailing lists, as they contain no personal greeting or recognition for me or my blog.

This cold calling probably receives very little response. The majority of their emails will go to spam. This spray and pray attitude is totally wasteful, as no connection is made, no acknowledge is given and no call to action is offered.

However, if commenting was used previously to build relationships first, these requests would be more warmly received. Better results would be achieved from a focused email list, with more appropriate content which matches the recipient.

This infographic suggests five scenarios where commenting first would make a huge difference to achieving any goals:

How commenting to help others can create gains for your business

And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.

Social networking is based around commenting

I remember when I did offline networking how important it was to stop and listen first. Giving the other person their lead to talk meant you learned so much about them. You found out their problems and aspirations. Then you knew what solutions you could offer them from your own business.

The same happens in social media. The word 'social' is a big clue. It's all about making connections, learning about each other and forming friendships. Commenting should be used to get to know, like and trust people, and they the same with you, usually through conversations which may have nothing to do with business.

Commenting is not a vehicle for self-promotion. It should be used for research, relationship building, customer services, information gathering and sharing, forming connections and refining perceptions. For some this may seem trivial, but this is how alliances are made in the social world.

Try to help others by writing reviews

Many businesses try to get influencers to help promote their brand. They ride the wave of popularity with their massive audiences to spread the word further than their mailing lists. They know the power of trust and loyalty can go a long way in convincing new prospective customers to buy.

People are easily persuaded by things they can relate to. Such as a good review of a product or service written in the kind of words they would use. They value the time spent by the writer to try the product, experience its benefits, and relay what they think to help others.

Consider writing a review in a website's comments. Which business would not value a well-written, constructive, personal attribute of their brand? And if you also provide a video showing how you use their product, as user generated content, they will thank you all the more for it.

Say what you think in a testimonial

Everybody loves receiving positive feedback. And the commenting box is a really good place to do this. Use the techniques of writing a good comment to know what to say and you can't go wrong. And it's a great way to get noticed too!

Make sure you actually use the product or service before attempting this. This means you will be able to describe your experience in a way which is more convincing. Relevance is key here, as others won't believe you if they are unable to relate to what you say.

Not enough people write testimonials. These could be for courses, social events and performances, experiencing a holiday, and so much more. The best time to draft it is immediately afterwards, while things are still fresh in your mind. And remember to use your own words to make your contribution more authentic.

Draw attention to broken links

There are some SEO specialists who like to help others in the blogging world by informing them about broken links on their blogs and websites. Now this isn't imposing, it's often something people are totally unaware about, and especially how it can affect their rankings.

The idea is to find some broken links, tell the owner about them, and offer relevant alternatives to remedy the situation. If the recipient gratefully accepts this help, you could continue commenting to form a blogging relationship with them.

Once you've achieved a comfortable situation, you then an offer your own blog's URLs as suggestions for broken links. Some may not be broken at all, but having established a warm connection, this is an acceptable way of building links back to your blog from other people's sites.

How to pitch for roundup posts

Roundup posts are a fabulous method of getting a link back to your site in exchange for an expert's contribution. Search carefully for websites who regularly publish roundups as close as possible to your chosen niche. It is important you remain relevant to your blog's subject.

Then carefully read each post and leave an appreciative comment. Focus on your writing skills as well as providing value, to get noticed for the right reasons. Try to instigate conversations with the readers and other commenters. This is so when you approach the roundup host, they already know who you are.

When you pitch your suggestions for a suitable roundup post, offer a different aspect from the other contributors. This will make yours stand out and will avoid repetition (a common problem in roundup posts). And remember to thank the hosts for the opportunity afterwards in the comments.

How do you comment to help others?

If you use commenting as a form of social chat for relationship building purposes, you'll understand the power of conversation. Comments should not be reduced, stilted, awkward mutterings because the reader feels they should do something. If you can't think of anything to say, don't bother. Share the post instead.

Commenting to help others should always have an altruistic element involved. What can you share to make other people's lives better? Will you be the first to break the commenting duck, thereby encouraging others to contribute? How can your comment enhance the post? Would writing a good comment make the blogger's day?

Let us know in the comments below your experiences of helping others through commenting. Did a well placed reply result in a fantastic opportunity? Has an online conversation ever introduced you to extremely valuable people? Have you been headhunted because of what you said on social media? We would love to hear from you!

Alice Elliott
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