Comments. Yes, you've heard it before, "Comment on other blogs." But really, how often do you actually do it? Or, a better question is, how often do your comments contribute to the conversation started by the blogger?
When I comment on other blogs I treat my comments as "micro posts." There are two reasons for that.
The first reason is to maintain my personal brand. As I pointed out during #blogchat on branding (Alli at BlogWorld did a nice write up about my tweet on branding) - "Everything you are and do, is your brand. Way u talk, way u write, way u reply to tweets. Offline & Online." Commenting is a virtual way of opening your mouth to talk. Frankly, the written version is much more important than the verbal; verbal goes away, written is permanent. So how would I maintain my brand by commenting, "Great post!" Compliments are nice and dandy, but they lack authenticity of your brand. Plus, you can always compliment in a more constructive way: showing blogger you put some thought in your comment is a reward in itself.
The second reason is contributing to the conversation. I'll be honest with you. I could care less about traffic to my blog. It's not about money, look around. This blog does not have that many ads around, just enough to ensure my content takes precedence. I blog to engage people in conversations. I love participating in Twitter chats and I recommend #blogchat, #blogtech, #entrepchat, that's 3 hours of my life on Sunday evening spent talking to people, creating relationships and not higher CTR.
Putting thought into almost every comment I leave makes me happy. I said "almost every" because I can't really say more than a thank you when someone leaves "Great post!" There's nothing for me to comment on; it's a dead end.
Alli's article is a perfect example of my commenting style of "micro posts," see comments for that post to see my comment.
I discovered by accident that leaving comments early (the first 5 comments) on a blog post will give you some good quality visitors. If I comment early and put some thought into my comments on ProBlogger, I usually average 10 visitors that day, and occasional residual visitors.
"Micro posting" comments do not have to be long. Just say what you want that's relevant to the topic discussed in the post. Do not comment just to comment. You might as well not comment at all. Be authentic, think for yourself. Add something to the conversation, otherwise you'll appear to have commenting Tourette's. Nobody likes that!
What's your commenting style?