In the days of decreased Google exposure within the search engine results due to rich snippets and rich media there still exists ways to generate traffic from within the top results.
1st Google the top results within your industry on a particular topic. 2nd read the blogposts, some of you like skimming but read it so you can figure out where the author is missing opportunities to add value. 3rd provide value by creating a nice detailed comment about the topic in the comment section (OR create your own blogpost following up!). 4th - boom traffic. It's not rocket surgery.
The key to that success is #1 you are going to get people are that "hot leads", meaning they took the time to read the comments and realize you have insight that can help them, therefore when they come to your site they are in a better place mentally to buy or trust you since they read something you said that was informative, educational, entertaining or inspirational.
Add Value, Real Value
If you cannot "add value" with your comment, you are spamming - Period. So the question is what is "adding value", seems elusive, but it's not when you think about it. When you create a comment within threads on forums or within blogposts of your industry that help users = that's creating "trust" for you and your brand within that community. When people see you constantly creating "positive energy" with your comments it'll create more "trust" for who you are as in individual. Think about the priest, police officer, or firefighter within a community. They are here to take away the fear of death and to provide safety for the community. They are inherently trusted individuals in a community.
If you find a thriving community that has potential clients, visit it and become a member. Don't start PM (private messaging) or comment spamming users cause:
#1. They don't know you
#2. It's clear you are just attempting to sell them without adding "positive energy" into a community.
#3. It looks bad for you and whatever you are trying to hard sell.
You have to create trust and become an "insider" that the community looks to for answers.
I mean some of the ridiculous comments you see out here, I have to wonder some times if their brains get enough oxygen:
Classic Spam: "Great article! I'll be using this technique on my website https://www.example.com/"
You can go that route but that's just laziness and spam!
There is a better way.
Helping Newbies = $$Money$$
The key is the newbies (Newbies = People new to an industry, topic, or subject).
In every single industry there are newbies that arrive at your doors every single day. At an old forum I used to participate in I would sit down in the newbie section and just reply helping out users who were lost or had simple questions. Yes, a lot of questions could have been simply "Googled" or even searched within the forum search feature, but forum search inputs tend to be pretty difficult to use - they aren't there yet like "Google" is. Even then a newbie can be asking a question cause they want to make sure the answers they've read are inline with best practices.
One thing that someone noticed here and at BuilderSociety.com and other places is we try to go indepth with our answers so a user can fully grasp the ideas we are trying to convey to them.
Now if you are new to an industry the best thing is probably not to comment giving advice to others within an industry. The key about great commenting or great threads is "CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS" on what to do. That comes with knowledge but also EXPERIENCE.
An example is you can read 100 books on how to ride a bicycle, you'll have knowledge, but until you ride a bicycle, learn balancing, and braking - the basics, and then go on to doing advanced things like popping wheelies and jumping curbs do you have EXPERIENCE. And then that's where you'll be able to start helping people.
Remember Your Newbie Days
Another problem that occurs is once you do something for so long it becomes almost second nature to you. So when you see a newbie asking "how do I ride a bike?" As an expert you might thing that's a completely retarded question. "By riding the freaking bike noob!"
But remember, you also at one point didn't know those basics either. So when you go in to comment on these platforms put yourself in the mind of that newbie or person asking questions. They may not know things like balancing, braking, and the basics that they'll need to know, so add that in with your comment. Try to give them a grand macro overview answer to their question along with answering the direct question.
I was doing an analysis of some of the best content on several platforms and I once again re-confirmed that all the best comments, threads, and blogposts have DIY (Do It Yourself) instructions at some level. The problem is alot of people FEAR that the readers will "cut" them out of the equation and not pay the author to do the work. Trust me, the people willing to do it themselves weren't going to pay you the sums you wanted. They aren't the real targets when creating that content. But you should always answer their questions and point them in the right direction. Round out their knowledge with your comments and then you'll start realizing the real goal.
The real targets are the people that are researching to hire people to do the task for them.
They would rather put their time and effort into things they are great and hire a consultant to do the things they don't want to do or don't understand. They'll read the content that you wrote, see that you know what you are talking about since you are able to give detailed instructions and reply within your own comments on how to get the job done, and then attempt to contact you through your contact information. That's how I got every single consulting gig ever.
Either because the person read my content OR someone else read my content who then realized I knew what I was talking about and then when one of their friends/colleagues needed help they referred them to me cause I had show knowledge, experience, and the ability to teach others, I was therefore an expert in their mind.
How To Get Started
A lot of people start out in industries, like SEO for example, by "blogging" and then can't figure out why no one contacts them or comes to their site. It's because when they are blogging its only on their websites with non-existent traffic. That's where commenting within your industry plays a powerful role. But you have to add context that hits home with the audience without "selling" them your great service. It's about first getting them to trust you.
If you comment at 100 platforms with great responses, long detailed instructions, and answers that are clear it's impossible for you not to get trickles of traffic that turns into a flood of hotter leads than most can handle. The people that click through read your comment and see something "special" with you if they are willing to click through to your site. I'm still getting leads off of content I created 10 internet generations ago.
And the truth is when I first started commenting on Wickedfire I was completely horrible at conveying my ideas.
I know hard to believe.
However I had the knowledge and experience so I just decided to go more detailed with instructions. People started noticing and loving it, and then I got better and better with more and more practice. Before I hit that publish button I would re-read my comment over and over and over - well have my Mac read the comment over and over meanwhile thinking about whether I conveyed my message so a newbie would understand. I have already RE-READ THIS THREAD over a dozen time from top to bottom before I hit the publish button. I do this with ALL my comments, threads, and posts around the internet. WHY? Cause if the underlying message is not conveyed to me in my "newbie" state - thinking like a newbie, then it will have missing parts that need to be rounded out.
And then I add gifs - and that takes me another 30 mins cause the gifs has to match the messaging. ;)
Once you are able to help newbies out and they are able to come back and tell you "thanks, I learned to ride a bike because of your advice!" - then you can call yourself an expert in a field. You have only truly learned something when you are able to clearly convey the idea to others and they completely understand your message and therefore you have passed on the knowledge.
So if you want the $10,000 a month or $50K consulting gigs, say something smart with substance. There is a 99 to 1 ratio for lurker to commenters, and in that mix of the 99 there are people that need to hire people to solve a problem, showcase that you can solve that problem by being the harbinger of knowledge within your own industry and within the communities within your industry.
An Example In The Wild
The idea for this thread started out when someone commented on a SERPWoo video (How To Sell SEO Services with an 80% Close Ratio) from May 2015 asking a question about SEO. I replied back, and they came back and thanked me. But here is the thing, they came back AGAIN the next day and asked a more in-depth question. To put it in simple terms I had them hooked. So I dropped another longer detailed comment and then slid in BuilderSociety.com's Digital Crash Course for good measure. Screenshot:
^^ This is an example of an interaction that builds trust between an individual and a brand. Now here is what you have to ask yourself: Would you have done that with the level of details in your own industry? If not WHY NOT? Now if the following answer is "because I don't have that level of knowledge of my industry to convey that message", you know what you need to do - gain that level of knowledge.
I didn't set out to "hook" him into BuilderSociety.com, I simply set out to answer a question cause someone took the time to ask a question on one of my videos. Even if the person doesn't sign up for SERPWoo, people in the audience will see we took the time to reply to his question which wasn't a buying question for SERPWoo but a generalized question about the industry they are trying to get into. Answering comments kills multiple birds - it lets the audience know we are responsive. It shows we aren't assholes and are willing to help individuals, and for that individual they have a sense that there is someone here to help them out as a newbie.
When the user came in for the 2nd round, I knew he was a bit more serious so more details made more sense and since I knew the BuilderSociety.com Crash Course would be perfect it was a great resource for that person. If I had thought a Moz article or some Majestic blog post was a great link I would have sent them there too.
Comments Allow You to Hyper-Target Your Message
And that's the thing about online selling. Too often times people just take a shotgun approach when you blast your message everywhere and see what trickles in and then try to hard close the individual with a single funnel approach. There is no emotional connection or personalize aspect of it and that's where, with all the knowledge we can gather about individuals with the internet, you can take it to a higher level approach.
But you don't even need to become a stalker, you can intuitively understand what the individual is trying to arrive at if you place yourself in their shoes as if you were asking a question like theirs. I know that if I was looking at videos on youtube for "How to Sell SEO" and asking questions the BuilderSociety.com Digital Crash Course would have been a goldmine for me to round out all my knowledge.
So the best way to comment and get started commenting is to help newbies in your industry - and most importantly remember to think from their perspective as if you were in their state of mind. Ask yourself what's the real underlying reasoning for asking this question.
Time to get to work.