Some mockingly call it as the mutual admiration society and wherein people praise – and link to – each other in order to generate traffic. No matter how way you look at it, reciprocating traffic works not just for promoting websites but blogs as well. Here are several dos and don’ts to take note of if you’re in the mood for sharing some love with your fellow bloggers.
How to Reciprocate Traffic for Blog Promotion
Reciprocating is easier than you think. You just have to take note of what other bloggers are doing for you and return the favor. Of course, you can also consider initiating things by being the first to post a comment, include a link in your directory, respond with a blog entry, or review another blog.
As long as what you’re doing places focus on you and the other blogger, you’re doing the right thing!
Make your reciprocation valuable
If you are going to reciprocate a favor, be sure to make it valuable and meaningful for the other blogger. It would simply be a waste of web space if all you’re going to say is hi and goodbye. If that’s what you’re going to do, it’s best not to reciprocate at all.
To make reciprocation valuable, consider which areas you can make the greatest contributions – pages which, even better, the other blogger would appreciate to gain more traffic for. Look for questions that coincide with your fields of expertise.
Make it mutually beneficial
Reciprocity is not merely an exchange of links. It also includes mutual acknowledgment – and maybe even recommendation – of each other’s expertise. When you post a comment or display a link in your website, make sure that the information you provide not only reflects positively on the other blogger but on yourself as well.
Pay attention to house rules
Reciprocation means visiting another person’s blog and as they say, when in Rome, it’s important to do as the Romans do. Every blog has its own set of house rules and you must pay attention to them. One example of house rules is the inclusion of links in your comments. Some bloggers prefer not to have any links displayed without their express permission.
Acts of rudeness commonly result from simple misunderstanding and ignorance of rules. If you’re unsure about your statement, you can always email the other blogger and ask for confirmation as to whether your reply is adequate or not.
Don’t be condescending
It’s easy to be so without even being aware of it. When you are visiting a blog that’s less popular than yours, don’t act or speak in such a way that you’ve made it very clear to everyone the other blogger should be grateful for you little act of reciprocation. That’s a big no-no to do, and you’re sure to receive unpleasant feedback even if it’s true. Such things are better left unsaid.
Always return the favor
Last but not the least, remember to return every favor you receive! This is the golden rule of all golden rules and to violate once or several times is something that no Internet marketer forgets. Soon, tales of your infamy will spread and you shouldn’t be surprised if the popularity of your blog starts declining.
Regardless of how much or how little you’ll benefit from reciprocating the favor, do it anyway. It’s called good business!
Reasons Why Leaving Spam Comments is NOT the Way to Promote Your Blog
There are basically three words that can describe spam accurately: desperate, manipulative, evil. While that may sound like the resume of some soap opera villain, it rings true for every one of us who have ever been burned by spam. Spam is an example of why sometimes, the means does not justify the end.
True, the aim is to build buzz for your blog but the technique used is just plain wrong. If you're planning on leaving spam comments on other websites any time soon, know that it's not the way to promote your blog. On the contrary, you might even do damage to your blog without knowing it.
Understanding spam comments
Spam comments started sprouting their evil seed when online guestbooks began appearing on websites. Unscrupulous site owners and marketers bombarded these guestbooks with links (many even used purely links) back to the spammers' websites. If any comment is included at all, it may contain highly generic ones such as 'cool post' or 'great website' or 'nice page'.
Spam appears in just about anything these days, including blogs, often in the form of a comment. How this is done is quite simple. Any blogger who wishes to promote his blog can simply write down keyword-heavy texts in the guise of a comment and then post it at random on another blog or website. Sites that allow hyperlinks to be displayed are usually the prime targets.
The problem here is that this type of commenting is not purposeful at all. It's done at random, similar to throwing darts at a huge dartboard while wearing a blindfold in the hopes of hitting something, anything.
Why spam commenting will not work for you
Leaving spam comments to promote your blog may seem tempting enough but it's best to avoid it. That is, if you want to be taken seriously and see your blog last long enough for your grandchildren to appreciate. Here are reasons why leaving spam comments to promote your blog are NOT the way to go:
You're being watched
These days, you spam someone once and you'll be branded for life. Or at least the blog or business you're trying to promote will be. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 makes sure spam is controlled and no one can wave it around like a weapon.
Becoming associated with spam is bad news for your blog. People hate spam… period. They will be more than happy to report you to your host provider or even your affiliate companies and avoid your blog altogether. And yes, Akismet and a host of other plug-ins designed to fight spam will be watching.
You will be penalized
By leaving spam comments on another website with the sole purpose of promoting your blog, you give that website's owner the permission to become a witness against you. Your host provider will cut off ties with you and if you're using your blog to promote an affiliate's products, even your affiliate will drop you.
Should this happen, you will have to start all over again, from square one, with a tarnished reputation. If you leave more spam comments in the future, you'll only be repeating the cycle all over again, all to your detriment.
You'll be seen as unprofessional
Leaving spam comments to promote a blog is for the lazy, the uninformed and the desperate. Why else would you use a technique that is generally viewed as unsavory? If you're unprofessional, your visitors will find it difficult to trust you ever again.
You'll be violating certain unwritten codes
The reason why comments are allowed in websites is to provide people a platform with which to interact. Blogs, forums and discussion boards are large meeting places, open to people regardless of their age, sex, location or personal beliefs, with the implicit agreement that those who participate will be respected for their beliefs.
By leaving spam comments on these sites mainly to promote your blog, you break this code of trust.
Leaving spam comments can increase your blog's ranking... artificially
Although an artificial increase in ranking can mean good news for your blog (it will allow your site to appear high in search engine rankings), this is only an initial effect, sort of like anesthesia. Soon, it will wear off.
This is particularly true if your blog has nothing else to offer. Visitors who have been driven to your blog through search engine links (which you were able to achieve artificially) will sniff around your site and if they find nothing there, they'll leave soon enough, never to come back.
Worse, word might even get around that your website is filled with nothing but air. If you must promote your blog this way, make sure you have the content to make visitors stay.
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