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How to Network for Your Online Business Using Social Participation!

Social Participation for Personal Brand Marketing

Our Social Participation Stinks… Could the Statistics be Right?

There are many people out there looking to make a name for themselves known as Personal Branding… what better way to spread the love and get your name out there in cyberspace than through social participation, I.E. leaving comments.

I recently read a post from Wendy Maynard – Marketing Maven, about “How leaving blog comments can accelerate your Alexa Ranking.” In her article was a post by Darren Rowse where he states that “Only 1 out of every 100 Readers Comment on your Blog”.

On his blog post he has a link to an article written by a Jakob Nielsen talking about social participation… he states that “In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.”, he calls this the “90-9-1 Rule for Social Participation”. This study was conducted in 2006, so the results today may be a little different.

Teachings from a mentor of mine, and thousands of others, Katie Freiling talks about relationship building. She speaks of the 80/20 ratio… giving 80-90% value (anything that can improve the lives of others), and asking for something in return 10-20% of the time.

Don’t bring to the table a selfish mindset “wanting people to buy your product, or join your business opportunity, you will be more of a repellent, than an attractor” Katie says. This is great advice coming from one of the most respected online marketers of today.

Do We Fall Short of Comment Luv?

We would all love to build our personal brand and our relationships status, but the fact is according to Jakob Nielsen, we seem to fall short at giving “Comment Love”! If what he says is true about us, then we need to change this statistic.

Let’s look at this another way… put yourself in the other person’s position for just a minute… if you were the one that spent countless hours or even days producing great content for your followers to read, wouldn’t you like to know that they appreciate your efforts for the time that you spent to bring them your creation?

Isn’t it an awesome feeling to receive a positive comment about an article you wrote or the video you made? I know that a grin from ear to ear falls upon my face when I see the “Comment Luv”, when someone took the time to write what inspired them about my article!

Social Participation as an Endorsement

Your Personal Brand  - Social Participation

When there is social participation on the part of the reader in the form of a comment being left for an article you wrote; it can be seen as social proof, an endorsement that your site holds value for the reader. When I visit Katie Freiling’s blog and I see that there are 200+ comments on one of her articles or videos, I automatically think that this content is of great value and I need to look deeper, so I stop my browsing and take the time to soak her information in, I then leave her a comment applauding her brilliance.

There are so many reasons to leave inspirational comments on other people’s blog to let them know you appreciate their article. Besides it being a nice gesture to the person creating the article, leaving a comment on their site will increase the traffic back to your blog for those curious enough to click on your link. The person that you left the comment with might even return the favor by visiting your blog, then leaving a comment for the valued content you wrote.

If you happen to use the WordPress plug-in CommentLuv, then you’ve left a teaser link about your article for anybody that reads your comments, including the site owner, increasing your chances for traffic. Isn’t building your online following what you are shooting for here? This is a productive, social, and clever way to improve SEO rankings for your blog.

The “NoFollow” Tag

The more traffic you have coming to your blog, the more attention you receive from Google and other major search engines as your site being an authority, giving you higher search engine rankings.

However I need to set the record straight. If you are thinking that leaving comments on other people’s blogs will increase your search engine rankings because your link is pointing to your site from theirs, then I need to bring something to your attention.

Most blogs have a nofollow tag… this is an attribute that is automatically attached to all user-posted hyperlinks. This tag is supposed to prevent the search engines from following and taking into account that link in their ranking algorithm. Google appears to follow this rule more strictly than the Yahoo and MSN search engines.

The people behind the search engines don’t want you to figure out how they work; otherwise you could manipulate the system and have your site reach the top of search engine rankings rapidly… for this reason, search engine coders will update and change their algorithms frequently.

The nofollow tag was created to keep spammers from leaving links back to their sites on every possible forum, blog and social network with the hopes of creating better search engine rankings. There are debatable discussions of whether leaving comments on another person’s blog will help your search engine rankings or not, but I am going to pass on this debate and stick to my point.

So Why is Social Participation so Important?

Leaving comments is just just good business, plus an act of courtesy and appreciation! You’ve heard the old saying “what comes around, goes around”! If you would like the people that read your articles to leave you a comment, then you need to do the same. If the article deserves a comment for their efforts, then take the time to let them know! Let’s start something contagious!

Below are Comment Attracting WordPress Plug-ins that I’d Recommend for Any Blog!

CommentLuv – This plug-in shows a link to the last post from the commentors blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment. It rewards your readers and encourages more comments. If you register your site on, then you will have the opportunity to make a choice between the last 10 posts you put on your blog. Good News! You’ll be happy to know that this link, when left on someone’s blog, does not contain the “nofollow” attribute!

Comment Reply Notification – This plug-in allows commentors on your blog to check a box (Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail), before clicking the submit button which will give you e-mail notifications of further comments. This encourages readers to come back and take part in the conversation.

Top Commentators Widget – This Plug-in encourages discussion from your readers by displaying their name (linked to their site without the nofollow tag if desired) and number of comments on the sidebar. The Plug-in also gives you the option to reset the list every hour, day, week, month or year.

I would like to CHALLENGE YOU for the purposes of social participation! When you visit a person’s blog and read their content, and after you leave inspirational comments for them, don’t stop there! Take the time to browse around and participate in what the person behind the scenes is all about, find more marketable content, and leave comments if you find the information helpful.

Related Article for Your Reading Pleasure: How to Increase Productivity – 10 Quick Tips to Explode Your Small Business
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  1. How to Network Using Social Participation! | May 26, 2012
  1. Hii John Engle

    Awesome blog:) Really such an informative blog

  2. Ada Popescu says:

    You’re right, people don’t comment enough. I don’t comment enough! When I read your article I realized I’ve been reading some interesting posts the last few days, but never left a comment. So I immediately did that! And will continue to do so!
    All the best!

    • John Engle says:

      Hey Ada,

      I’m glad that my article gave you some insight… I appreciate you taking the time to participate with a comment… stop by any time.

      Thank You…

      John Engle

  3. Barb says:

    Awesome blog. Thank you for such great blog. I forgot to do my shares in the house because keep reading. Bless you Barb

  4. Timothy says:

    This is really attention-grabbing, You are an overly professional blogger.

    I have joined your feed and sit up for in the hunt for extra of your great post.

    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social
    Timothy recently posted…TimothyMy Profile

  5. Joslyn says:

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  10. TheIndieG says:

    Thank You for a very informative post! I didnt even know about nofollow tags, I will have to look out for it in other blogs, are there any ways to find out if a blog has a nofollow tag? and is there really much use in terms of SEO to comment on these? obviously i understand that it is useful for people to come visit your blog, but should we as promoters concentrate on those without nofollow tags? But other than that thankyou for a very informative post, I hope to read much more from you in the future.

    TheIndieG recently posted…Competitors Don’t Need to be Selling a Competing ProductMy Profile

    • John Engle says:

      Hey TheIndieG,

      To answer your question… commenting on blogs without the ‘NoFollow’ tag has its advantages, but commenting on these and only these blogs will not look good in the eyes of Google. It is good to comment on blogs with and without the ‘NoFollow’ attribute because it looks more natural to the search engine, like you are not trying to cheat it and receive higher rankings by commenting only on blogs that can help improve your SEO. To help you find some ‘DoFollow’ blogs to be used in moderation, visit the following link for a list:

      As far as how you can tell if a blog has the “NoFollow” attribute attached to comments or not, you can install an SEO Toolbar by which has a drop down menu to where you can click on the words “Highlight NoFollow Links” which will highlight the ‘NoFollow’ links RED. You can find and install this toolbar at the following link:

      I hope I have been of help to you.

      Thank You for stopping by and commenting.

      John Engle

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  17. I drop a comment when I like a article on a website or I have something to valuable to contribute
    to the conversation. It’s triggered by the
    fire communicated in the post I browsed. And on
    this article How to Personal Brand Using Social Participation |
    John E Engle. I was actually moved enough to post a thought :
    -) I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind.
    Is it simply me or do a few of the responses look like written
    by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional online sites, I’d
    like to follow you. Could you list the complete urls of your community sites like your Facebook page,
    twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    • John Engle says:

      You can find all the social icons to follow this site in the upper right hand corner of the site.

      Thank You for your comments.


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  23. Lucile says:

    Thanks so much for this article this was exactly the thing I needed to read :

  24. John, this is such great advice. 80/20 is so important to those building a biz online. It is Social Media and sometimes people (myself included) tend to forget that in an actual face to face conversation they would not be just talking about themselves. This needs to be heard by so many out there! I just tweet, dug and facebooked it. If only I knew how to do smoke-signals! Thanks so much!

    • John Engle says:

      Hey Cynthia,

      To do smoke signals, grab yourself a 55 gallon drum/barrel, fill it with trash, grab a lighter… just kidding! Thanks for the nice words… I love it when people participate by leaving comments, it shows me that they appreciate the hard work it takes to write materials like this.

      Even though I write it with no strings attached, it’s nice to know people care.

      This 80/20 advice is brought to you by Katie Freiling and her online marketing genius!

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, and thank you for sharing it with others!

      John Engle

  25. Hi John,

    Thanks for this in-depth article, and your encouragement of people to get commenting! I so identified with your one reply about “feeling a million bucks” when someone leaves a comment 🙂

    Another plugin people might find useful, is one called “Thank Me Later” – I’ve installed it on my blog, and about a day after someone has left me a comment, it sends them a brief email of appreciation, thanking them for taking the time to comment on my blog. (Just search for “Thank Me Later” in the Add New Plugins area of WordPress.)

    Have a great day!

    • John Engle says:

      Hi Tracey,

      Thank you for your compliments, and the time to comment about my article. It does make me feel good when a person appreciates the time that it takes to write an article by leaving a comment to the value they received from my article.

      I do already have the Comment Reply Notification, but I will look in to the plug-in you recommended because it is an awesome idea to thank the person for taking the time to leave the comment!

      Thank you again Tracey, and I hope to hear from you again!

      John Engle

  26. Amanda Marie says:

    Hey John! Great plugins you share there! Your right, commenting is SO important! I did a post awhile back about how it’s actually underestimated as a traffic driving strategy as well.

    Overall, there a limitless benefits to commenting for both parties. Which is why I’m leaving you this message. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! You are rocking out some awesome content! 🙂

    • John Engle says:

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you again for your kind words… I do try very hard to bring value to all of my articles, after all I did learn from the best in the business!

      I agree with you, there can be limitless benefits for both parties for those willing to offer inspirational comments to the author.

      I believe that when a person writes intriguing, worthwhile content that satisfies the readers, that there is a dominoes affect in motion. People are more willing to leave a comment on their blog which will increase the traffic back to the commenter’s site for those curious enough to click on their link, plus the more comments that are written showing appreciation for the author, the more inspired the writer becomes for passing on even more invaluable content, which brings more followers to the site… you can see where I’m going with this?

      Thank you again,

      John Engle

  27. Linda G. Cox says:

    This is a wonderful post! Relationships begin with comments! I am enjoying the comments left on my blog and I like to put my two cents in on others!

  28. Great stuff John! I just went and added all of those plugins to my wordpress blog, so if you ever comment on it, you’ll be gettin’ some luv! (not in a weird way haha)

    • John Engle says:

      Hey Landon,

      Thanks for commenting… that’s what this post is all about, social participation with people. I’m glad that my article left you with some information that helps, that’s what this blog is all about… helping people!

      Thank You again Landon,

      I’ll visit you soon, so I can give that comment luv back!

      John Engle

  29. Beth Allen says:

    Hey John! Happy to have found my way to your blog! Really great post, rich with information. I actually just really understood last week the nofollow/ dofollow bit ~ I fully agree, and will continue to comment on posts because “it’s just good business and an act of courtesy and appreciation”, but am beginning to wonder why everyone doesn’t switch to dofollow? It seems like a no-brainer, but still seems most don’t do it. OK, I know that was not the meat of your post, but it’s where my mind is atm. 🙂

    Great tips, thanks John.

    • John Engle says:

      Hi Beth Allen,

      Thank you for your comments!

      I guess the best way a person could look at the “NoFollow” attribute would be to ask themselves if they endorse the content the link goes to, if you don’t, you would want to use the “nofollow” attribute.

      Search engine robots can’t sign in or register as a member on a forum, or a sales page, so there’s no reason to invite Mr. Googlebot to follow “register here” or “sign in” links, so this would be another time to use the “nofollow” attribute.

      Thanks again,

      John Engle

  30. Lee Wise says:

    Hi John,

    You asked about adding comments and I’m not sure about that at this time, but I can tell you something that enjoyed reading here in your post.

    I paused while reading this comment:

    ” I then leave her a comment applauding her brilliance.”

    Why the pause? Answer:

    *It was personal.
    *It was complimentary.

    And I thought: “Neat, I like that.”

    Thanks for taking the time to share these tips and insights.

    May you and those you love have a meaningful day,


    • John Engle says:

      Hi Lee,

      Thank you for your comments, your thoughts were personal and I thank you for that!

      I’m happy that I can bring information to people that they can relate to… You have yourself a fantastic day, and for those you love, have a meaningful day also!

      John Engle

  31. Ryan Yokome says:

    Hey John!

    Man you’ve got a knack for writing great posts. I suck at writing! LOL, But hey, I know my strengths are on video.

    Social Proof is KEY. Like you said about Katie Freiling having over 200 posts (I think a lot of them are fake. HAHA j/k) She’s pretty legit 😀

    You’ve dropped some HUGE tips here. If I can also add one, I think it would be cool to link up the WordPress Plugins. Those ones rock for sure.

    Chat soon!

    • John Engle says:

      Hey Ryan,

      You snuck one in on me… I didn’t realize that you posted a comment here. I will agree with you, you are a video guru!

      Thank You for your nice words… I have been out of writing for a while now, but I will be returning with more interesting content, so please stay tuned!

      Thanks again,

      John Engle

      P.S. I went ahead and linked the Plug-ins!

  32. physical therapist says:

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  33. Vicki Berry says:

    Hi John!

    Thanks for this wonderfully insightful post! I’ve personally seen direct traffic coming from my links on blogs that I have commented on, I am sure both from visitors and authors alike (and I do the same, follow the links sometimes! Oh yea, that’s how I got here! 🙂

    So again, thanks for the wonderful value added contribution!

    Wishing You Brilliant Success,

    • John Engle says:

      Hi Vicki,

      Sorry for the delay in responding!

      I am thankful that you found this post insightful… I too have personally seen traffic come from other blogs that I have commented on.

      Thank you for your added contribution… you writing a comment was the answer to what this post was all about!

      Thanks… talk with you soon Vicki,

      John Engle

  34. Laurie Morin says:

    Hi John, I am so glad that you are sending this message out to the internet marketing world. I am pretty new to blogging, and one thing I have found is that the blogosphere can be a pretty lonely place. You can literally sit in front of a computer screen for days without talking to anyone! Only when I joined the Unified Tribe did I learn the value of building relationships with other bloggers. Now I look forward to commenting and reading comments every day…and learning something in the process. Thanks for a great post! Laurie

    • John Engle says:

      Hi Laurie,

      It’s great to know that people appreciate the work that I put into a blog post.

      You are right, cyberspace does seem to be a lonely place when I can’t even be sure whether people are taking the time to browse and read my content. I too am new to the blogging world, and before the Unified Tribe I was wondering whether people were actually reading my work, because no one was leaving comments. Without Google Analytics I wouldn’t have even known that people were actually visiting my blog. I too look forward to reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments… it’s actually addictive!

      Thank You for your comments,

      John Engle

      • Laurie Morin says:

        Hi John,
        Yesterday I responded to a blog post by Unified Tribe member Marcus Baker. He passed on a meme asking the question “What has blogging done for my business?” The idea is to get as many people as possible to post about this and have it go viral. I tagged you in my response thinking you might have fun responding. But I dont’ really know how to “tag” someone, so I am sending you a link to my post just in case you didn’t get my tag. I hope you will have fun as I did responding to the meme. Kind regards, Laurie

  35. Hey John,

    Great article! and so true, I have personally had a tremendous response and link backs to my blog from commenting on others not to mention the fealing that it gives the person who spent so much time contributing to us all by writing that article in the first place!
    Great Job 🙂


    • John Engle says:

      Hey Niko,

      Thank you for your nice comments… I feel that appreciation for what we do makes the whole world go around! It is so true what you said… the feeling for me when a person like yourself comments about the article that I spent hours or days writing, makes me feel like a million bucks!

      Have a great night!

      John Engle

  36. Hi John,

    amazing post about the importance of leaving comments. Apart from all the “no-follow” and “SEO-stuff” – which is important, no question – I would like to point out sentence of your post: It’s just good business – and an act of courtesy and appreciation.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Take care


    • John Engle says:

      Thank You Oliver,

      You made my day… thank you for your nice comments, it is appreciated more than you know!

      You will notice that I added your sentence to my article… that was very good advice; sometimes it takes an outside source to help with the wording to make it sound more proper!

      Thank You again Oliver for your input,

      John Engle

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