Blogging is Just a Numbers Game

I have been blogging for nearly three years now and you would think that I would have this blogging thing figured out by now, but I am still learning. One thing that I have learned about blogging and social networking is it is all a big numbers game.

I’ve never been good with numbers. When I was a kid math was my worst subject. In high-school I had to stay after school every day to get tutored in order to pull off a C in my math class. In college I took remedial math. So this whole numbers game with blogging is a bit challenging for me.

I learned that when you comment on blogs about half of them will return the favor within 24 hours. The other half may visit you in the next week or two, or they may just pass you by and wait for you to leave them another comment. Some bloggers don’t ever return the favor. You just have to know which ones are professional and understand blogging ethics. The only way to find out which bloggers are professional is to leave as many comments on as many different blogs as you can.

How many comments should you leave? I’ve pondered this question in my head over and over again. I’ve also experimented with numbers regarding this too. First you need to ask yourself a couple of questions.

Are you looking to increase your visitors or comments on your articles? If you want visitors about half of them will visit your blog more or less. So if you comment on 100 blogs then you might get about 50 visitors within the next 24 hours. Maybe 80% of them will comment on your blog. So if you are looking to get 50 comments on your article you will have to comment on at least 120 different blogs.

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Wait a minute here, we are all very busy people, right? As mom bloggers we have a life outside our blogs. How in the heck are we going to find the time to comment on 120 different blogs? I learned that it takes me about 4 hours to comment on that many blogs. I don’t mean leaving a quick, “Just stopping to say hi,” comment I mean a real comment regarding the authors article. If I am able to find four hours out of my day, great, this task is completed and I reached my goal. I don’t always have the time to do this, though.

What do you do if you can’t find the time to leave comments? I resort to other methods of generating traffic and comments. Here are a few places that have really helped me.

1. Forums

Forum posting generates links, traffic and when done correctly comments. I usually pick a forum topic related to an article in my blog. Then I leave a link to that article in my forum post. If you re post this in several different high traffic forums you can generate a ton of traffic and new commenters, and subscribers to your blog. Below are a few forums that I am a member of:

Blog Frog
Twitter Moms
Blog Catalog
Mom Bloggers Club
The Healthy Moms Network

If you make at least 10 forum posts a day that is 10 backlinks per day to your blog and maybe 100 or more visitors per day. This is a great way to get your brand noticed.

2. Create a Facebook Fan Page

I also generate a ton of traffic from Facebook. Not only do I have a fan page, I update the page every day and I’ve purchased Facebook ads to promote it so my fans continue to grow every day. You can purchase Facebook ads on a pay per click so they are relatively inexpensive. Make sure you post something to your fan page every single day. You want to keep your fans interested. I also link all the articles from Healthy Moms on my fan page.

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3. Join Stumble Upon

About half of my traffic comes from Stumble Upon. I have my feed linked through their free service. This automatically updates my blog on their site. I’ve also purchased Stumble ads which are also inexpensive. You can also have your account linked to your Twitter account and Facebook account so your feed is automatically updated to Twitter and Facebook. This really helps me out and saves time.

4. Join Twitter

About 10% of my traffic comes from Twitter and I don’t visit this site every day. I have my Stumble Upon account and my Facebook Fan page linked to twitter so whenever I update either one of those it gets tweeted out to my followers too. I also get new followers every day even though I don’t actually visit Twitter every day.

5. Know proper blogging etiquette.

Always, always, always return comments when someone comments on your site. You want them to come back and read more. They will not do that if you don’t visit their site. I have e mail notifications sent to me when anyone leaves comments. This helps me to keep track. I can just go to my e mail and visit their blog from there. I also have all the blog comment e mails filtered into a separate e mail folder. This keeps them all together and I know if I am behind on commenting or not.

I haven’t hit 1,000 subscribers yet but it is growing. I am still learning. Once I figure out how to reach that big 1,000 mark I will share with you how I got there. Meanwhile I will still be plugging away at this blogging thing. Like my daughter’s karate instructor has said, “Never give up!” So, that is what I am going to do. It may take me another 3 years to hit that 1,000 mark but when I do you will surly find out about it!

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  • Tree , April 8, 2010

    I will be the first to leave a comment here. LOL I couldn't agree with you more. I try to make sure I acknowledge any comment I receive on either of my blogs.

    I usually will visit their blog and comment on a post, or if I don't have time…will shoot them an email.

    Honestly, if I've left comments for someone more than a couple times or given them an award, and they don't reply…that's it for me. LOL

    Tree (aka Mother of Pearl)

    P.S. If I can entice you into joining another community network LOL, I would love for you to join my new Mommies Faves Mom Bloggers Network if you're interested! 🙂

  • Alison , April 8, 2010

    As a mama that just started blogging at the end of last month, thank you! I enjoy reading replies to my posts, but I always wondered – how does one get themselves “out there?”

    I really enjoy reading blogs and commenting already (maybe a bit too much?). It's a minor addiction.. really. So, I have that going for me. And while I am no Dooce, I sometimes envy 1/10th of her popularity. 😉

    Thanks again for this. It was helpful. 😀

  • love2eatinpa , April 8, 2010

    lol! i am one of those people you are writing about! you have been kind enough to leave some comments on my blog and i'm finally getting around to returning the favor. thanks for your patience! 🙂

    i would love to hear more about how to “do” a forum, i would need it to be an eating disorder forum though. any advice would be appreciated!

  • Kristie , April 8, 2010

    Thankfully I just do blogging for fun and am not too worried about the 'numbers game' 😉 Good luck with it all! 🙂

  • Elisav , April 8, 2010

    Ack. I'm SUCH a blogging NOOB that I either posted my comment two or three times or managed to delete it altogether. Not sure if you moderate your comments, but if you received four versions of the same comment from me than feel free to delete three of them! 😛

  • nothingprofound , April 8, 2010

    I've built up a pretty good network over the past year, by visiting a lot of blogs. I reply to nearly every shout and broadcast I receive, and actively seek out the blogs of those who have been supportive of me and whose writing I especially admire. Sometimes I'm amiss in passing over people for awhile, but I catch up to them sooner or later. The fact that I'm a retiree has really helped, according me a lot more time than the average person to interact with other bloggers.

  • pam , April 8, 2010

    One of my biggest challenges is finding the time to return comments.

  • Dorothy , April 9, 2010

    I know the feeling, it's so hard to give up so much time on our blogs, and I do try to visit everyone who visits me and comments, I'm passing this post onto my partner thanks so much for sharing your thoughts I'd not visited su for awhile and will do it now tonight.

    Dorothy from grammology

  • &apos;Drea , April 9, 2010

    Interesting post.

    I've been blogging for a year and four months and I really did it to document my weight loss experience. I'm not much of a networker on or offline.

    I enjoy reading other folks blogs and hope that I will find a few like-minded souls who have similar interests.

    Your daughter's karate instructor gives very good advice…

  • Muthering Heights , April 9, 2010

    I always do my best return my blog comments, as long as there is a link left for me to find the commenter…I guess it just goes along with treating others with kindness, and wanting you be social! 🙂

  • Lynn , April 9, 2010

    I try and comment on topics that I really enjoy. I have my regular blogs that I always swing by, but some are just content that I stumble upon. I agree though, it's a numbers game and since I also was never good at math I refuse to play the game! But I love blogging nonetheless… :o)

    My best, Lynn

  • GLENDA CHILDERS , April 9, 2010

    I have only been blogging for 2 months and it has taken me awhile to learn what the blog community rules are. So thanks for this insightful post. (found you on blog frog.)

  • Lucy , April 9, 2010

    I so feel you on this post. In the beginning I was getting really frustrated because I was not getting return comments from tons of blogs. Now I have learned that it is a numbers game.

    I came up with a 3 comment rule. If I leave 3 heartfelt comments and I get not one return reply then Im done and that reply can include responding to me on the persons own blog. I love comments at my site but I am about the relationships too.

    You are an awesome commenter. I am so grateful for each and every comment that you leave at my site especially since we are kind of in the same niche. Im a bit slower than you at returning comments but the email system works great for me in getting back to everyone.


  • JamericanSpice , April 9, 2010

    Thank you for sharing and I do agree! I always try to return comments and not just one one post, but I usually stay awhile and visit with the person and read and comment on other posts too.

    Sometimes I cant visit right away but I still save the comment to visit later.

  • Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma , April 9, 2010

    I admit, I am horrible these days at returning comments. The truth is that I honestly some days don't have enough energy or time to return comments. I constantly have this guilt for not returning them. It has nothing to do with the person leaving the comment, its just a time thing on my end. I go through periods of time where I try to get caught up on all of my reviews and I try to focus on that so I am a horrible commenter. I have been struggling to find a balance for quite some time now. Like you said – its a numbers game. Only for me its the numbers of hours in the day, there's just not enough.

    I definitely appreciate the comments and when I get caught up I go back through my emails and start commenting on those blogs regularly again so that they know that I haven't forgotten about them. Thank YOU for commenting this last week – I do read all of the comments I just haven't been great at replying, for that I am sorry 🙂

  • LittlePeopleWealth , April 9, 2010

    The thing about leaving tons of comments is sometimes they are watered down and spammy. I delete comments that just say “great post come see me”. Did they even read it? I think they are just trying to increase traffic.

    I do not comment much, but I always say something that lets them know I read the post – even if I am just leaving a thank you.

  • Hayley , April 11, 2010

    I always visit blogs where their owners have left a comment on my blog, it's just good manners.

  • Parenting in blue jeans , April 14, 2010

    Well, here I am returning a comment! A little late, but better than never, right? I am very green to blogging and am so happy to have your advice. I don't think I can commit to twitter though….fb page yes!

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog, Parenting in Blue Jenas. I have a giveaway going on right now and you are welcome to “follow” my blog and by doing so put your name in the hat for the drawing!

    So, glad I stopped by for the advice and I will be following you!

  • ArtzeeChris , April 19, 2010

    Thanks so much for all of the great tips and ideas on creating a successful blog. I'm just getting started and I see how overwhelming it can be trying to do this. I do enjoy looking at reading others blogs but like you said there is only so much time in a day. Some of you other stratedgies sound like they are more viable if you are trying to drive more traffic to your site. Once again thanks so much for helping others not to have to reinvent the wheel!

  • Emmy , April 21, 2010

    Well sounds like you are better at numbers than you thought.
    I am here on your blog as you commented on my blog, and I to try and always return the favor. If someone comments, espeically if they leave a real comment and not a comment like “come see my blog!” then I want to return the kindness.
    I am currently not in the blogging world to make money, but I do still love it when I get lots of comments and more followers… I find myself at times wanting to try other methods just to get more followers, but in the end, it is those who like my blog for what it is and who want to read it that really come back the most and I enjoy their comments the most anyway.
    Hope you reach 1000 soon 🙂

  • Secret Mom Thoughts , April 26, 2010

    Great article. I'm going to check out some of those forums. Thanks for stopping my place last week. I'm a little behind the commenting this week 🙂

  • bbubblyb , April 29, 2010

    For me, it's just about reading someones blog and feeling a connection to them. I do my best to comment back but I can't say I'm good at it. I blog for myself, to get my feelings out, if someone comes and gets something from my words I'm glad. I know I've gotten plenty from others words so it's a give take sort of thing. I try to be a friend to the ones that have shown me kindness during my time as a blogger. Sometimes it's returned sometimes it's not, I try not to take it personally since I know people are busy and blogging can be hit and miss depending on time people have. But I did want to come by and say thanks for commenting, it's always appreciated.

  • Family, Money and Stuff , August 11, 2010

    Hi! Thanks for posting this. I'm guilty of not having returned your comment from April sometime. Only in the last two months have I started networking seriously, and learning the inferred blogger etiquette.

    These are helpful tips for a starting marketer. I also find Caffeinated Blog Marketing and Design Tips super helpful 😉

    Thanks again!


  • Helena , January 3, 2011

    Wow! As someone who just passed the year mark in social blogging and who doesn't have a lot of time at all, this is a great article and you have some great suggestions to get more mileage out of the time I do have. BTW, I am also not a numbers gal! I just know when numbers get bigger and when they shrink!

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