Blog Hopping – What It Is And Why You Should Do It

In my last post I gave an overview of a number of traffic sources that you could employ to increase the number of visitors coming to your site. During the week I read an interseting article that went into some detail about one of the techniques I mentioned, specifically Blog Hopping. As a result of reading that article I thought that I would write this week’s post on the topic of blog hopping as both a way of cementing some of the information in my own mind but also to share the information with you.

Just in case you are wondering what blog hopping (sometimes called blog walking) in all about let me explain. Blog hopping is a process of actively looking for other blogs in your niche and visiting recent posts with a view to leaving a comment on the post with a link back to your own site. The principle behind the process is that other readers of the blog on which you left your comment will see what you wrote and be interested enough to follow your link back to your blog to find out more about you. Done on a consistant basis it is a very effective method to get targetted traffic to your own blog.

This leads to the obvious question, “How do I find other blogs that I want to attract visitors from?” It is not a natter of ‘stealing’ visitors from these other blogs but rather finding people on them who might be interested in engaging with you on your blog as well. Every blogger knows that other bloggers are interested not only in finding traffic but also social shares and comments. So by leaving comments on another blogger’s site you are helping them out as well. Here, then, are two ways of finding blogs that are suitable to engage with.

One of the top questions asked by new bloggers and those that would like to see an increase in traffic is how to get an engaged audience to visit their blog. The answer is quite simple: connect with other bloggers who are interested in your niche. Bloggers understand that other bloggers not only want traffic, but also social shares and comments. Here is how to find other blogs with readers who will be interested in reading your blog and engaging with it.

The first is to find the top blogs in your niche. Remember that you are looking for blogs in your own niche so don’t be tempted to go looking for the world’s most visited blogs. Rather look for the top blogs in your own niche. You are interested in the top blogs for a couple of reasons. Firstly, these blogs attract a lot of traffic and so are good places to look for traffic to come your way. The other obvious reason is that these blogs are updated on a regular basis, which is important because it means that there will be more regular posts to be able to comment on.

There are a couple of websites that you can use to help find these blogs. The first is Alltop.com. This site organises popular blogs in almost any niche you could imagine by topic so you can find blogs in your niche without too much effort at all. The real benefit comes as you visit some of these blogs in your niche and find the people who are leaving comments. Obviously most of these are doing the same as you, that is looking for targetted traffic, so click the links to the commentors blogs and use these as the places that you leave your comments.

The reason is simple… these blog owners visit other blogs and leave comments! You know that to be true because that’s how you found them so all you need to do is to engage on their blog and wait for some reciprocal engagement on your blog. This is more likely to happen if you are a regular commentor as opposed to someone who dropped in once, left a casual comment and left never to return.

Another point to remember is that your comments should provide value. Comments like “Great post” or “I agree” won’t cut it at all. Offer opinions, add extra thoughts on the topic and in doing so provide value. This is more likely to get you noticed by both the other blogger and their readers and getting noticed is likely to get you some visitors. It is fine to be controversial but never be rude or argumentative.

Anyway, back on the topic. As well as checking out Alltop.com I would strongly suggest that you check out FindTheLuv.com. This site identifies blogs that are using the WorPress plugin CommentLuv. (If your site is not using it I suggest that you consider doing so. As you can see it I use the free version on this site. It allows you to link to a recent blog post on your site and to be notified is anyone comments on your comment, which is very useful for keeping a conversation going.)

The real benefit that CommentLuv brings is that once you have left your comment you can the follow the links that other commentors have left on the blog to find their blogs on which you can leave comments. And the process starts all over again; finding a suitable blog in your niche and building a relationship with that blog owner.

A couple of comments before I close this article that you might find helpful. First, it is best to comment on the most recent posts on any blog you visit as these are the posts that most visitors to the blog will visit and these are the posts that the blo owner will be monitoring in order to respond. The second point I think is relevant is to subscribe to any blog that you think might be one you will want to visit on a regular basis. I do this using a free piece of software called FeedDemon (there are many others, I just happen to use this one). This allows me to link to a blog’s RSS feed and be alerted every time a new post is published. I can link in this way to as many blogs as I want. I simply check FeedDemon every day and if there are any new posts on the blogs I watch I can head over to the blog, read the post and leave a comment if appropriate. If there are no new posts I can move on to another taks… perhaps finding a couple of new blogs to comment on!

I hope that you have found this article helpful. Do leave a comment and feel free to share with your own readers.

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