There are thousands, no probably millions, of blogs, articles, forums, and other social networking places where you can discuss your primary industry. I don’t care if you are marketing soap- if you Google it, you will find tons of information and tons of resources where you can participate in a conversation. Many of you out there – AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE- take the time to read information from a variety of sources but you don’t take the time to comment. No Comment- That’s Just Wrong in so many ways.
If you are taking time out of your day to read information about your industry, you are watching and learning. This is a good thing but you can do more. Take the time to comment on the information you just read. If you don’t, you are missing a golden opportunity to engage others in your industry. I have heard many times: “I don’t know what to say”. HOGWASH- just write like you talk. Engage the writer in a conversation. Pick out points you enjoyed, agreed with, disagreed with, or you found fascinating or disgusting. If you are truly at a loss, then leave one of your favorite quotes as a comment. (Of course, make sure the quote has something to do with the information you just read.) When you engage a writer, they will notice you. They will appreciate the fact you took the time to comment and they will remember your name and or your face. Commenting on other peoples stuff is a passive form of social networking and it is one of my favorites. Not only can you engage the writer, you can, also, engage the readers. This is a perfect way to become known in your industry.
There are many perks to commenting on what other people write. One of the best perks is the ability to leave a back-link to your own site. I especially try to engage with writers who post on formats which allow back-links. Like on this blog, you can put your name, picture (if your email is linked to a gravatar account), and a url. Your name will be hyper-linked to the site of your choice. If you leave an interesting comment, you will be surprised how much traffic you can get from this back-link.
Another perk, to commenting on the information you read, is becoming an authority figure in your industry. If you continue to comment on the work of others, even if you don’t write your own blog or articles, you will start getting recognized as an authority. You will be appreciated for your participation and will become known as an active individual who is continuing to engage with people in your industry.
The benefits of commenting on other peoples work far out weigh any negatives. I actually can’t think of any negatives to actively engaging by commenting on the bodies of work available in your industry. Not Commenting – Well, that’s just wrong.