Every strong executive brand has an online identity that follows these 5 guidelines:
Commenting on blogs is a powerful, and relatively easy, way to cover all 5 bases.
If you’ve been even an occasional follower and reader of this blog, you know that recruiters and the hiring decision makers at your target employers are searching online when they source and assess talent. Without a strong online presence, you’re probably invisible to them.
Along with building more quality search results for “your name”, blog commenting is also a great way to build visibility and credibility for your subject matter expertise and connect with people who can help you achieve your career goals.
If you haven’t been very active with social networking, blog commenting can lead you to a forward-thinking community you may not have known otherwise. For the long term, develop a manageable strategy for routine blog commenting on as many blogs as you can handle.
To leverage this strategy well, find and regularly comment on blogs with strong “link juice” (meaning sites that have street cred with Google and other search engines because they’re content-rich, have been in existence for a long time, and have a strong following, among other things). Your comments will likely land high in search results for “your name” based on the strength of the site.
Find the right blogs for commenting:
Google names of industry experts, relevant keyword phrases, names of your target companies, names of key decision makers at your target companies, etc.
Look for industry-leading sites and those being written or read by your target audience.
Check the websites of your target companies and see if they have blogs.
For those interested in Venture Capital blogs, see my blog post, 100+ Top Global Venture Capital Blogs.
Set up Google Alerts for relevant key word phrases, industry terms, company names, industry leaders’ names, subject matter experts’ names, etc. Google will email you when a blog post or anything else is published online with those words or phrases. You’ll find out quickly when something new shows up.
Sign up for RSS feeds and/or email subscriptions to relevant blogs, so you’ll know when they publish new articles.
When you find good blogs, look at their blogrolls for others to add to your list.
Leverage blog comments:
Include a website or web page, along with your name and email address.
Don’t leave this blank. The URL you include will be hyperlinked to your name in the comment and lead people to all the brand-reinforcing info you need them to know about you. This is your chance to generate interest in you.
If you don’t have a blog or website, put in a link to your VisualCV, Google Profile, or web portfolio. You can use a link to your LinkedIn profile, but people may not be able to view the entire profile. If you have a blog or website, the backlink from a site with good link weight boosts your site’s relevance in Google’s eyes.
Write comments with substance – not just “Great blog post!”.
Choose a piece of the blog post to address that will allow you to contribute your own take on the blogger’s viewpoint or subject matter. Bring up a point relative to the topic that the blogger didn’t mention. Add to the conversation while positioning yourself as a subject matter expert.
Try to be a first-responder.
If you’re first, your comment will usually stay at the top of all comments that follow. More people are likely to read your comment and click on your hyperlinked name to find out more about you. Respond quickly with a blog comment when you get a Google Alert for a relevant blog post.
Think twice before you hit “submit comment”.
There’s a tendency to feel that, when you comment, you’re having a private conversation with the blogger. Keep in mind that whatever you post as a comment will be out there in the blogosphere forever. Be sure your comments won’t negatively impact your brand and reputation.
Think about it. Commenting on the right blogs is almost like being a guest blogger on them. It’s an opportunity to be found on blogs you know your target audience is reading and, piggybacking off the website’s own strong link weight, has the added benefit of boosting your online reputation with a valuable search result that should land within the first several pages of results.
Everybody wins with good blog commenting. Bloggers love the attention and well-written comments that drive the conversation. You’ll love your ever-expanding search results. You’ll improve your writing skill. You’ll make valuable connections with the blogger, other readers and (hopefully!) hiring decision makers at your target companies.
Another bonus – The very fact that you routinely comment on blogs positions you as social media-savvy. Your target audience will notice.
photo by Sean MacEntee