Commenting on John Chow dot Com – A Case Study

published on August 15, 2007

Just about every single person that has ever given advice on blogging has suggested commenting on other blogs and getting involved in your niche. In fact, it’s so important that commenting earns you points towards fulfilling your daily blog score goal. However, one thing I’ve noticed throughout my life is that there are some people out there who absolutely must see something for themselves before they believe it. I know because I’m usually one of them. Anyway, I thought I’d give you “doubting Thomas” types some solid concrete evidence to back up the almost cliche advice to comment on other blogs.

Towards the end of last month, I picked a bit of a fight over on JohnChow.com. While wracking up the comments wasn’t my intent, I did record a new personal best for my daily blog score, as well as earn myself a spot on John’s list of top commentators. So, what did I get out of it? See for yourself. This is a screen shot of my referrals from JohnChow.com for the 15 days after I began commenting on his site.

John Chow dot com Referrals

(Click image for full size version)

As you can see, JohnChow.com sent 272 visitors to this site in 15 days. That’s on pace for more than 500 visitors in a month and an average of about 18 visits a day. Sure that’s only a fraction of John’s traffic numbers, however, there are plenty of sites out there that don’t get that many visitors total, in a month. As with most things that produce results, it does take some work. John’s site has a very active base of commentators, a significant portion of which only leave one line comments (spam in most books) just to pump up their comment count. However, I probably spend less than 20 minutes a day commenting on his site and at this stage in my blog’s development, one minute per visitor is a pretty good exchange. Not only that, but the traffic John sends me is highly targeted as well. People that read his blog are naturally more likely to be interested in the subjects I cover. The stats illustrate that point quite well as the referrals from JohnChow.com are more than twice as likely to subscribe than the average visitor to this site.

So, is commenting on other sites in your blog’s niche worth your time and effort? Looking at these numbers, you tell me…


Reader Question Session: Search Engine Submission

published on August 13, 2007

As regular readers of this blog already know, I’m a big fan of having regular features on your blog. However, as many of you also know, I’ve not yet introduced any such feature on this blog. In essence, I’ve not practiced what I preached, so, as of today, that is going to change. From now on, Monday mornings here on Blogging Experiment will feature reader submitted questions and as many answers to them that I can come up with. Some weeks I’ll only answer one, some weeks I’ll hit as many as I can but each and every day, your questions are more than welcome. So, without further ado, here’s the first question in our new feature:

One thing that I’d like to see you cover is your process of submitting to search engines and feed sites such as pinggoat. Have you done that, and if so, what was the process that you went through to make the greater world aware of your site? Did you use Google Webmaster tools? Or, are you commenting on other blogs and letting the links in your profile/signature page be the hint to the search engines and bots that you’re out there, alive, and well?

Thanks!
Jason

I’d like to first start off by saying that I make a conscious effort to explain each and every step I take in promoting and running this blog. However, as we’ve seen a couple of times already, there are some actions or issues that I take for granted due to my search engine optimization background. This is one of those issues. This question is actually quite common and thank you very much, Jason, for pointing out to me that I’ve not yet addressed it.

Search Engine Submission
As for your question, I never bother with submitting my sites to search engines. It’s quite simply, a colossal waste of time. I’ve seen Google index new blogs within hours of the first post and Yahoo and MSN are usually quite quick as well. Any SEO or internet marketing company that offers to submit your site to hundreds or even thousands of search engines is, in my opinion, looking to rip you off. I mean think about it, how many different search engines can you name? I’m an SEO and I can probably only come up with 10 or so. From a traffic standpoint only 3 or 4 really matter (Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask) and all of those will find your site without any submissions needed.

Ping Services
I do use the pinging service Ping-o-Matic, that is set as the default setting in WordPress. I’ve used several more services in the past but found pinging too many sites just slows down the time it takes for my post to be published. And, for the most part, Ping-Momatic takes care of the bulk of the site’s I’d want to hit anyway.

Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster tools or Webmaster Central is a very good source of information and can be quite useful as well. Google is famously the Scrooge of information in the search engine world, so any data that they are willing to share with you is worth looking at. The bulk of the benefit from Webmaster tools (at least in terms of making sure Google knows about your site) is the sitemap feature. This is probably a good subject for a future post all on it’s own so I’ll just say having a sitemap that Google can find is often a wise move. However, so far for this site, I’ve not yet created one and I certainly don’t rely on it to make sure Google knows about my website.

Post/Comment
That brings us to Jason’s last question about commenting on forums and other blogs and allowing links to do your talking. This is basically the method I use when creating a new site and the method I used for this blog as well. Links are the backbone of ranking in a search engine and you’re going to need them anyway, why not start right from the get go? Besides that, posting in forums and commenting on other blogs can often bring visitors directly, without having to worry about the search engines. Any link that can do that, is well worth having. As I mentioned in my post about keyword research, relying on search engine traffic early in the game is a recipe for failure. Sure some sites manage to rank well for their target terms seemingly right out of the gate, but most of us are going to have to work for a while before we see any type of payoff with the search engines.

One final method of alerting the search engines, as well as the general public, about your new blog or site, is to leverage your existing site or sites. For this experiment I chose not to use this method since I want to make sure this entire blog is something that anyone can reproduce with a bit of work. Unfortunately, not everyone has a network of existing sites they can promote and more importantly for this discussion, link to their new project from. If you are fortunate enough to have other sites at your disposal, don’t be afraid to use them.

Well, Jason, I hope that answers your question. Thanks very much for asking! For the rest of you, I hope this was at least a little bit helpful and be sure to start thinking about questions for next weeks’ Reader Question Session.


You Sphinn Me Right Round, Baby

published on August 10, 2007

“You spin me right round, baby
Right round like a record, baby
Right round round round”
~ Dead or Alive “You Spin Me Round”

Unless you’ve been under a blogging rock for the past year or so you’ve probably heard of the social bookmarking sites Digg, Reddit, Delicious, and a host of others. These sites have huge followings that, if your content is deemed worthy, will swarm your site devouring bandwidth like locusts and hopefully leaving a few subscribers and a load of new links in their wake. However, unless you’re involved in the search engine marketing industry, you might not have heard about one of the newest socially driven sites, Sphinn.com. Before you ask, it’s pronounced “spin” not “sfin” like you’d think. I’m not a huge fan of the domain name but hey, I can deal.

Anyway, Sphinn is what I would consider a niche social site, and while it’s still quite young, hitting the front page can expose your site, and more importantly your content, to hundreds of search marketers. While that would only be a drop in the bucket when compared to the wave of traffic a site like Digg will send, it also might be a lot more valuable traffic. Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz created the term “linkerati” which basically means people who are the most likely to link out to your site (read his full definition here). While it might be fun seeing 10,000 Apple fan-boys swarm your site, if they don’t subscribe and they don’t link to your site, how much benefit did you actually gain from it? My point is, the audience at Sphinn is far more likely to be members of the “linkerati” and therefore, exactly the people you want to market to.

You may have noticed I called Sphinn a niche site. By definition that would imply that it’s not for everyone, and in fact, that’s just the case. Sphinn may not fit everyone’s blog. However, with a bit of creative thinking, you might be able to find a way to work your site in. For instance, yesterday I submitted my story (oh, that’s another nice thing about Sphinn as opposed to Digg, they encourage you to submit your own content!) about making money from abandoned blogs. While there is no “make money online” topic, I thought the story fit quite nicely into the “Display Advertising” category. Apparently at least a few others agreed with me as the story hit the front page and now sits at 21 votes. According to Google Analytics, that was good for nearly 100 new visitors to the site.

As I’ve often said in the past, it’s nothing to write home about but it was more than worth my time. In fact, I was so pleased with the outcome I’ve already submitted a second story. I’d encourage you to check the site out, and think of ways you might be able to fit one of your existing posts in or how you can craft a story for future submission. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to give my second submission a Sphinn.


A Guest Blogger on Guest Blogging

published on August 9, 2007

I’m spending most of my time today working on a pretty exciting project for Blogging Experiment but I also didn’t want to disappoint my expectant readers. So, I’ll leave you with a post that first appeared on hmtk.com as a guest post for Beyond the Rhetoric. I’ve gained quite a few subscribers since that post appeared and many of you may have missed it the first time around. I hope you enjoy it and will hopefully have an announcement for you early next week on this exciting project. How’s that for building expectations and anticipation?

When people talk about marketing a blog or driving traffic to a site, most of the conversation revolves around that site. However, one great method of gaining exposure and driving new traffic to your site doesn’t have anything to do with your site at all: Guest Blogging. Unfortunately, the topic remains one of the less talked about topics of blogging. We see it on a fairly regular basis on the larger blogs but it somehow has retained it’s mystical nature. I figured for my first guest blog post on HMTK, I’d go for a bit of irony and discuss some of the common misconceptions about guest blogging.

One of the most common misconceptions is that only the big, wildly popular blogs can get attract guest bloggers. That’s simply not accurate. I’ve had several different people guest blog for me on multiple different blogs I run. None of them are anywhere near the A-list and I am certainly not some sort of online celebrity. So how did I manage to have other writers create content for me? I asked. Just like Steve’s call for guest bloggers, simply writing a post letting your readers know you’re looking for a few guest posts is probably the best method to recruit guest authors. If you’re waiting for people to fill your inbox just begging to write for your blog, you’re going to be waiting a while. Unless you’ve let it be known that you’re actively seeking guest bloggers, your audience won’t know that you’re even open to the idea. The fact is more and more people are beginning to realize the benefits of guest blogging and you might be surprised by the response you get by just asking.

Also, what better place to find a guest author than your own loyal readership? They already know the tone and “personality” of your blog, the type of topics they like to read about, and what stances you’ve taken in the past. Basically if they’re reading your blog, they can’t be all bad, right? Plus, it’s a great way to reward loyal readers that have helped make your blog what it is.

Another common misconception about guest blogging is that the relationship only benefits the host blog. The first time I asked for guest bloggers I received a few comments and even a couple emails claiming that I was trying to exploit my readers. Why would they spend time creating quality content for my site rather than their own? They wouldn’t be the one gaining the traffic or seeing any of the fruits of their labor. The only thing they’d be getting is their name in the byline. Once again, that’s less than accurate.

Not only is a guest blog post a great way to gain all important links to your blog or site, it’s also a fantastic way of gaining exposure in your target audience. As I talked about in my recent post Expose Yourself, the successful launching of a new blog is as much about exposing yourself, getting your name out there, as it is about the content you write. You could be the next Shakespeare but if no one knows you or your blog is out there, you’re not going to have the success you’re hoping for. If that weren’t enough, writing for other blogs builds your credibility as well. It’s one thing to have your own site where you state your opinions or give out advice, but it’s another matter entirely for someone else to trust and respect you enough to allow you to post on their site. If you manage to make “appearances” on multiple blogs in your industry, you’ll be well on your way to establishing yourself as an industry expert.

While guest blogging is certainly nothing to be taken lightly (both parties need to work to ensure the quality of the blog does not suffer), it’s not nearly as difficult or mystical as many people seem to believe. There are significant advantages for both the guest blogger and the host blog. Not only will the host blog receive new fresh content from a fresh and unique perspective, the guest blogger will gain a link and the all important exposure to their target audience. It really is a win-win situation.


WordPress Plugins: Related Posts

published on August 8, 2007

As I was struggling to update WordPress yesterday (I made it a lot harder than it should have been… it’s a talent), I figured why not add another plugin to the mix, just to kick up the difficulty level a bit. To be honest, the update really shouldn’t have been difficult AT ALL but hey, what good is it if I don’t have something to complain about right? Anyway, as I said, I’m now using the Related Posts Plugin from w-a-s-a-b-i.com (quite possibly the most obnoxious domain name I have ever had to type into my browser). The plugin was crazy easy to install and in fact, the theme I’m using already had a spot for the related posts commented out. Even I can’t manage to screw that up.

It also provides two key benefits that will help your blog grow. Not only does this plugin give interested readers yet another way to access your content, it will also help interlink your content for search engine purposes. The more links each of your posts has (including links from your own site) the more likely they will be to show up in the search results.

Bottom line, it’s easy to use, and it’s helpful to your site. What more could you ask for from a plugin?


Make Money from Abandoned Blogs

published on August 7, 2007

“Hi everybody, my name is Ben, and while it’s a bit difficult
for me to admit, I am a serial blogger.”

I probably shouldn’t mock the recovery process but my point is this: I have a few blogs I post to on a weekly basis. If you count the blogs I update once a month or so, that number doubles. If you then count the number of blogs I’ve started, written for, and have since abandoned, that number makes the space shuttle look like a bottle rocket. The thing is, I know I’m not alone. Technorati released a study earlier this year that said 79% of the 15.5 million blogs out there are no longer active. That’s something like 12.2 million inactive blogs out there. Now I can probably claim 30 or 40 thousand of those but that tells me there are quite a few others out there like me. So, are those poor orphaned blogs worthless and just taking up space? Well, that depends on what you do with ‘em.

Text Link AdsI logged into my Text Link Ads (TLA) account today to approve an ad sale and much to my surprise, it was for another ad on one of my all but forgotten blogs! This thing has been sitting there inactive for almost a year now and it only had about 20 posts on it to begin with. However, I had managed to get it up to a PageRank of 4 and today, someone purchased a link from it. For the past three months I’ve been earning about $10 a month from it for one of the Post Level Ads that TLA offers and it looks like that total will more than double for this month. While $30 a month is certainly not something to write home about, it’s not a bad price for doing absolutely nothing. I mean, if I made that off every one of my abandoned blogs, I could pay my house payment every month and then some.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not just telling you this out of the goodness of my own heart. Not only does TLA offer a great way to monetize your blog by selling links, they also have an affiliate program that can be another significant source of income. In fact, last month, John Chow earned more from the affiliate program than he did selling links on his site. That might not blow you away but when you consider the fact that he made over $2,000 from selling links, all of the sudden that affiliate program seems like something worth looking into.

Bottom line, Text Link Ads doesn’t cost a cent to join, their affiliate program pays $25 for every person you refer that signs up and, through their text link ad marketplace, they offer a great way for you to make money off your old abandoned blogs and sites. If you’re interested in joining, I’d appreciate it if you did so by way of my affiliate link (or the new banner over to the right). Thanks!

In the context of today’s information technology revolution, various huge companies have made billions of dollars by selling a wide range of hardware and software and have reaped emerging markets of world. Software like data recovery programs and disaster recovery plans helps to take back ups of hard disk files. Hardware like computer backup device and data recovery manuals have contributed a large sales volumes in the hardware market. These devices have proved to be one of major sources of making money in the area of hardware and software. Due to high internet sales through affiliate programs windows backup software have played a vital role in management of sales data on regular basis. Moreover due to online file sharing facility new money making businesses has emerged in the past few years allowing visitors to download songs, software and games.


10 Blog Traffic Tips

published on August 7, 2007

I mentioned a while back that I had joined Blog Mastermind, the blog mentoring program recently started by Yaro Starak. I’ve also become an affiliate of the program and one of the “tools” Yaro offers his affiliates is the right to publish this article. It’s obviously a tool for Yaro to promote his program, however, I think the subject matter is perfect for this blog so here it is.

In every bloggers life comes a special day – the day they first launch a new blog. Now unless you went out and purchased someone else’s blog chances are your blog launched with only one very loyal reader – you. Maybe a few days later you received a few hits when you told your sister, father, girlfriend and best friend about your new blog but that’s about as far you went when it comes to finding readers.

Here are the top 10 techniques new bloggers can use to find readers. These are tips specifically for new bloggers, those people who have next-to-no audience at the moment and want to get the ball rolling.

It helps if you work on this list from top to bottom as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. Eventually once you establish enough momentum you gain what is called “traction”, which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good) that you no longer have to work too hard on finding new readers. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.

Top 10 Tips

10. Write at least five major “pillar” articles. A pillar article is a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good “how-to” lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.

9. Write one new blog post per day minimum. Not every post has to be a pillar, but you should work on getting those five pillars done at the same time as you keep your blog fresh with a daily news or short article style post. The important thing here is to demonstrate to first time visitors that your blog is updated all the time so they feel that if they come back tomorrow they will likely find something new. This causes them to bookmark your site or subscribe to your blog feed.

You don’t have to produce one post per day all the time but it is important you do when your blog is brand new. Once you get traction you still need to keep the fresh content coming but your loyal audience will be more forgiving if you slow down to a few per week instead. The first few months are critical so the more content you can produce at this time the better.

8. Use a proper domain name. If you are serious about blogging be serious about what you call your blog. In order for people to easily spread the word about your blog you need a easily rememberable domain name. People often talk about blogs they like when they are speaking to friends in the real world (that’s the offline world, you remember that place right?) so you need to make it easy for them to spread the word and pass on your URL. Try and get a .com if you can and focus on small easy to remember domains rather than worry about having the correct keywords (of course if you can get great keywords and easy to remember then you’ve done a good job!).

7. Start commenting on other blogs. Once you have your pillar articles and your daily fresh smaller articles your blog is ready to be exposed to the world. One of the best ways to find the right type of reader for your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs. You should aim to comment on blogs focused on a similar niche topic to yours since the readers there will be more likely to be interested in your blog.

Most blog commenting systems allow you to have your name/title linked to your blog when you leave a comment. This is how people find your blog. If you are a prolific commentor and always have something valuable to say then people will be interested to read more of your work and hence click through to visit your blog.

6. Trackback and link to other blogs in your blog posts. A trackback is sort of like a blog conversation. When you write a new article to your blog and it links or references another blogger’s article you can do a trackback to their entry. What this does is leave a truncated summary of your blog post on their blog entry – it’s sort of like your blog telling someone else’s blog that you wrote an article mentioning them. Trackbacks often appear like comments.

This is a good technique because like leaving comments a trackback leaves a link from another blog back to yours for readers to follow, but it also does something very important – it gets the attention of another blogger. The other blogger will likely come and read your post eager to see what you wrote about them. They may then become a loyal reader of yours or at least monitor you and if you are lucky some time down the road they may do a post linking to your blog bringing in more new readers.

5. Encourage comments on your own blog. One of the most powerful ways to convince someone to become a loyal reader is to show there are other loyal readers already following your work. If they see people commenting on your blog then they infer that your content must be good since you have readers so they should stick around and see what all the fuss is about. To encourage comments you can simply pose a question in a blog post. Be sure to always respond to comments as well so you can keep the conversation going.

4. Submit your latest pillar article to a blog carnival. A blog carnival is a post in a blog that summarizes a collection of articles from many different blogs on a specific topic. The idea is to collect some of the best content on a topic in a given week. Often many other blogs link back to a carnival host and as such the people that have articles featured in the carnival often enjoy a spike in new readers.

To find the right blog carnival for your blog, do a search at blogcarnival.com.

3. Submit your blog to blogtopsites.com. To be honest this tip is not going to bring in a flood of new readers but it’s so easy to do and only takes five minutes so it’s worth the effort. Go to Blog Top Sites, find the appropriate category for your blog and submit it. You have to copy and paste a couple of lines of code on to your blog so you can rank and then sit back and watch the traffic come in. You will probably only get 1-10 incoming readers per day with this technique but over time it can build up as you climb the rankings. It all helps!

2. Submit your articles to EzineArticles.com. This is another tip that doesn’t bring in hundreds of new visitors immediately (although it can if you keep doing it) but it’s worthwhile because you simply leverage what you already have – your pillar articles. Once a week or so take one of your pillar articles and submit it to Ezine Articles. Your article then becomes available to other people who can republish your article on their website or in their newsletter.

How you benefit is through what is called your “Resource Box”. You create your own resource box which is like a signature file where you include one to two sentences and link back to your website (or blog in this case). Anyone who publishes your article has to include your resource box so you get incoming links. If someone with a large newsletter publishes your article you can get a lot of new readers at once.

1. Write more pillar articles. Everything you do above will help you to find blog readers however all of the techniques I’ve listed only work when you have strong pillars in place. Without them if you do everything above you may bring in readers but they won’t stay or bother to come back. Aim for one solid pillar article per week and by the end of the year you will have a database of over 50 fantastic feature articles that will work hard for you to bring in more and more readers.

I hope you enjoyed my list of traffic tips. Everything listed above are techniques I’ve put into place myself for my blogs and have worked for me, however it’s certainly not a comprehensive list. There are many more things you can do. Finding readers is all about testing to see what works best for you and your audience and I have no doubt if you put your mind to it you will find a balance that works for you.

This article was by Yaro Starak, a professional blogger and my blog mentor. He is the leader of the Blog Mastermind mentoring program designed to teach bloggers how to earn a full time income blogging part time.

To get more information about Blog Mastermind click this link:

www.BlogMastermind.com


Keep It Simple for the Stupid

published on August 3, 2007

“You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence
of the American public” ~ P.T. Barum

A few days ago I was getting ready to go out and glanced in the mirror at the mop that was my hair. I had a bit of time so I decided I’d trim it up. Now before you go thinking this is some big ordeal allow me to explain. I almost always sport a buzz cut that I can do myself with the handy #2 length guard and a set of clippers. I’ve been cutting my own hair for years and have it down to about a 10 minute process. The reason my head resembled a mop was because I had just been too lazy to take those 10 minutes. Anyway, as I said, I decided to finally cut my hair. I covered the sink and about 15 minutes later (I told you it had gotten long) I was done. Well, almost…

The one problem with cutting your own hair is your neck. No matter how hard I try, I just don’t have enough coordination to trim a straight line on the back of my neck. Luckily, I’m married and don’t have to worry about that anymore. My wife just pops the guard off, turns the clippers over and in about three seconds, I have a nice clean line. We’ve pretty much got it down to a system. Well, almost…

My wife was in the other room getting ready so I popped the guard off and sat the clippers down for her and proceeded to brush my teeth. While I was brushing I noticed I had missed a pretty large chunk of hair that was now standing up at the back of my head making me look an awful lot like a human peacock. As I said, I had done this about a thousand times and every now and then I just miss a spot. Anyway I picked up the clippers, turned them on and with two quick swipes removed the tuft.

Unfortunately, as those of you who have been paying attention probably already realize, I didn’t mention putting the guard back ON the clippers. That is, in fact, because I hadn’t. So, while I did succeed in removing the peacock look, I simultaneously created two rectangular bald strips on the back of my head. I of course realized this as I was setting the clippers back down and noticed my trusty 2 guard sitting on the other side of the sink. After consulting with my now laughing wife, I came to the conclusion that my only real option was to finish off the rest of the head like that. Another 15 minutes later and viola, I joined Darren Rowse and Shoemoney as a member of the bald bloggers brigade.

Moral of the story? Even smart people (just allow me my delusions please) do dumb things once in a while. What does that mean for your blog? To borrow Mr. Barnum’s line, you’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of your audience. That’s not to say you act as if everyone that reads your blog is stupid. Shoot, in my case I’m pretty sure most of the readers still have their hair which puts them one step above me. The point is, everybody has learned different things at different times through different experiences. One reader might know a lot about SEO but know next to nothing about usability. One person might know a lot about writing compelling copy, but have no idea how to use WordPress. By taking the time to make sure you cover all your bases, you’ll allow your site to be a useful resource for novices and experts alike.

In short, keep it simple for the stupid, even if the stupidity is only temporary. ;)


Pick a Fight!

published on August 2, 2007

“I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” ~ Monty Python

Ok, so that’s not exactly what I mean but who can pass up using a Python quote? Many people over the years have said that great writing elicits a response from the reader. You’ve probably read blogging advice (including some here) that talks about being controversial. Why? Because it stirs people up, get’s them fired up, and one way or the other, they’re going to react. Well, yesterday I decided to try that tactic out a bit over on JohnChow.com. As I said before, I really believe that John Chow dot Com has Jumped the Shark, however, there’s no denying the amount of traffic and readers he has. So, I made my way over and made my feelings known on a few topics, but the overarching theme to my comments was that John needs to get back to posting about making money online. Now I’m quite certain I ticked a few people off (several commentators came to his defense), however, I know for certain I also gained some exposure and a few readers from it as well. Just this morning Egonitron.com linked to me in his post which echoes my sentiments about Mr. Chow’s website as of late. Also, Erik from erikkarey.com mentioned he had also found my site via my comments yesterday.

As if a couple of new readers weren’t enough, I managed to comment my way up onto John’s Top Commentator list which gives me a nice link from a PR6 site which happens to be an authority (or at least used to be) in my niche. Granted, that link is probably temporary as it’s difficult to keep up that rate of commenting while still providing value to the conversation. But, over the course of the last two days (I started my comment spree Monday) I’ve received more than 40 referrals from JohnChow.com.

Picking a fight or being critical of a very popular figure can be a bit risky. You have to be careful to represent yourself well and try to walk the fine line between stirring up emotions and alienating potential readers. However, if you manage to pull it off, it can be quite rewarding.

What are you waiting for? Go pick a fight!

Update: As Erik correctly pointed out in the comments, you shouldn’t pick a fight just for the sake of picking a fight. You should be arguing or debating about a topic you legitimately care about and believe in. If you don’t have the passion about the topic, people will see right through it and you’ll probably just come across as a jerk. However, if you’re passionately discussing a cause or topic you feel strongly about, you’ll be seen as a champion for the cause. Another good point that I probably should have mentioned is don’t hesitate to admit when you’re wrong. If you overstep your bounds or say something you shouldn’t have, admit it and apologize. If it turns out you’re wrong about the issue, admit that as well. People respect someone willing to admit they are wrong much more than someone who thinks they’re never wrong.