How to Post Links in Blog Comments Without Being Spammy

Today’s assignment in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is to write a “link post.” A link post is a blog article that links to and expands on a blog article that’s been published on another blog.

I think it’s an excellent lesson and assignment.  Link posts are one of my favorite posts to write, because they introduce my readers to someone else’s blog, ideas, and writing, and take an existing conversation even deeper.

One of the things I suggested in conjunction with writing a link post is…

Post a comment on the original article with a link to your article. This will draw readers from the original article to your article. Be sure write a couple sentences in your comment to show how your post is related, something to get people curious enough to click.

Several of the other bloggers involved in the project expressed some reluctance…

Chris commented

Sometimes I feel a little…awkward? Selfish? …something…posting links on other people’s blog comments. It can feel like “enough about you. Let’s talk about me.”

Janis wrote

I must admit that I still like I’m using someone’s blog site to promote my own when I comment and then insert a link to my blog.

Those are very valid concerns, so I think it’s worth addressing this suggestion in greater depth.

Serve others first

One of the things I mentioned yesterday in 7 Blogging Tips Derived from Life Principles is that as a blogger it’s important to serve others first.  Your primary motive should be to add value to your readers.  The same is true when commenting on other blogs.  Your primary motive should be to add value to that blog’s readers.

So, when it comes to posting a link in a comment on another blog, ultimately what it comes down to is… do your comment, link, and link post add value to that person’s blog?

If you’re primary motive for posting the comment with link is to get traffic for your blog, then you probably shouldn’t post it.

Adding value to the other blog

However, if you’ve written a good article and it expands upon the ideas in the original post, then you should be confident that your link/link post are adding value.

Additionally, it helps if you develop a relationship with the blogger and develop a reputation as someone who adds value to the conversation by posting several good, thoughtful comments without any links before you post any comments with a link.

It also helps if you start your post by praising the blogger and pointing out what you like about their post before diving into your point.  This too adds value to their article.

If you’re new to blogging and you haven’t developed confidence in your writing and haven’t developed relationships and reputation on other blogs in your niche, it’s very understandable that you would be hesitant to post a link in a comment.  But as you gain confidence in your writing and build those relationships, you should get a feel for when it’s appropriate to do so.

What do you think?

I recognize, however, that different people have different opinions about including links in comments.  So, what do you think?  Is it appropriate to include a link to a post on your blog when it’s on the same topic and adds to the conversation?  Or does it still feel like self-promotion?

17 Responses to “How to Post Links in Blog Comments Without Being Spammy”

  1. i totally agree: serve others, expand on the post: and remember that there needs to be a balance between giving and receiving :]

    and don’t just throw your blog out there at the end of a sentence looking like a sad puppy alone in the rain, i mean, it just looks bad: http://www.abeautifulmess.info

    haha ;]

    • Hey Justin, thanks for your comment. I know you’re being funny by including a link to your blog in your comment. Haha!

      Thanks for including a great example of how NOT to include a link in a comment. What makes your link spammy is:

      a) it’s to your blog’s homepage instead of a specific post on your blog
      b) what you’ve linked to is not related topically to this post at all
      c) you didn’t explain in your comment how your link adds value to the discussion of this topic.

  2. Paul,
    Thank you for clarifying the point on including your link with a comment. I think I need to know others better before I will comfortable adding my link. I will keep in my mind the significant point, though–does my link add value to the blog and its readers.

    I know my comments focus around what has been said and complementing the person who wrote the post.

    Thank you much.
    Janis

    • Janis, I appreciate you raising the issue. It’s a delicate issue and one that wasn’t adequately addressed in the original post.

  3. What I tend to do, is rather than include the link itself is say something like “as I discussed recently in my post about XYZ”.

    I guess this is teetering on the edge of putting the link in, but I’d rather get my comment seen than my related post. If someone is willing enough they can either click on my avatar / name (I always link these) or simply google the post.

    There are times though that I will include a link – today funnily enough was one such but before I saw this post 🙂

  4. Hi Paul, thank you for following me on Twitter :). Great discussion. This is one of the first times I used a link to a news article at the bottom of my post. Below I was responding to another post I read on your blog this morning. I can’t seem to find it again. I always try to write on a topic or issue that is close to my heart. Sometimes, I struggle with giving myself permission to share thoughts and feelings from my perspective. I’ve had to ask myself, “What am I still afraid of?” If you can keep your words candid and authentic, I am learning the truth will set you free when writing about your personal journey. The amazing response to the posts on my blog has truly been a blessing in my life. http://storiesbyjb.com/

    • JoAnne, thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. It’s great to hear the way your writing has been a blessing to others and their comments in turn have been a blessing to you. Keep writing. 🙂

  5. hi, you have a nice blog here. keep up the good work. 🙂

  6. Hi Paul, I’m relatively new to blogs and was researching google and typed “posting links on blogs” into the search (without the quotes) and your article came up 6th, and the title of your site caught my eye and seemed to be most relevant, so I clicked and read it.

    I found this to be a very imformative article, and you might value the feedback from me of how I came to be here.

  7. I promise not to be Spammy. LOL. Very good article. There are a lot of people who are sooo obvious with their SPAM. I usually just shake my head. I am the owner of several blogs and it’s not easy to keep SPAM from seeping onto the posts sometimes. *sigh*

  8. Paul man ,I agree completely to you. You should never add links to your blog or site that has no relation to your content whatsoever. Only if it adds value to the readers of the other blog , then only do it. But what , the BlackHats won’t listen ,do they?
    I have a site on personality development but as it is in no way related to your blog, I’m not linking. Haha!

  9. What is the benefit for posting links? I can’t understand why peoples waste their time by doing this kinds of works! there are many companies giving guaranteed SEO for your site. why not trying those?

  10. I am seriously going to start using all of that! Thank you so much, I am not even kidding! There is nothing that I hate more than coming up with content all the time to barely keep our real estate blog up. It’s just so time consuming – so thanks again!

    • I removed the link from your comment because it has nothing to do with this post. Remember, the point is to add value. Your link didn’t.

  11. Nice topic Paul, I don’t usually add a link in my comments, but I commented on a blog just the other day and had no intention of adding a link. Just as I finished my comment I saw this “You can use href in your comment”.

    Even though I hadn’t thought of a link I felt like why not, the author doesn’t have a problem with it. Well it was a sincere valid comment, but like you said above, the link should add value.

    I linked to my home page which I thought had value, because my site and his site were Marketing blogs. I should have linked to a page on my site that was more about the topic. I’m sure you know what happened, the comment was not approved.

  12. Janis,

    Here is my thought when it comes to blogging and commenting.

    Readers like confirmation on what they read. Where 2 or more agrees…

    By leaving a comment with additional value and a link back to your blog with the related topic, gives the reader the confirmation that the information is deemed to be of value.

    Tamra

  13. Hi Paul,

    When I read the title of this post I thought really! You are going to tell people not to be to general and add some value and then that is what you did. This should be common sense. I know I would not want people posting a comment on my blog that either didn’t add value or engage other readers to become active.

    What most people don’t understand is that by having people post a comment on your blog can help you as ablogger. If for instance I add “How to Post Links in Blog Comments Without Being Spammy” into my comment it help improve you keyword density for the words in your title.

    If you had seo in mind when writing this blog some keywords your are trying to rank for are embedded in the title. I am also adding unique content to your post with no effort from you. It is a win – win situation if done tactfully.

    What people need to realize is that bloggers want people to comment to there blog. What they don’t want is the general automated comment posted to there blog. This is not helpful and is actually harmful.