March 21, 2009

Entrecard Blogs with Dofollow Top Commenter Lists

It is one of the goals of many a blogger that their blog to become a hub of community activity in areas related to the blog's topic. That readers go beyond merely reading and take action. Today, this usually means opening up the blog to various forms of reader participation. Community requires personal investment to weather the inevitable personality clashes, and what better way to foster personal investment than giving the reader a voice?

It should not be surprising that this is a difficult decision for many bloggers. Despite its public nature, a blog is often one of the few personal spaces that a blogger truly owns. A place to shelter a battered ego. Reader participation threatens even this small space. Post comments are a nice compromise to the dilemma. Comments are firmly separated from the post, but carry an obligation to be somewhat related to the post. They are an acknowledgment of the blogger. Ego affirming rather than ego threatening. It is no wonder they have become such a popular format for reader participation.

However, participation requires effort. This is a blessing and a curse. A curse because "0 comments" can itself become an ego blow. Why am I being ignored!? A blessing because new readers use the number of comments to judge whether to spend time reading - the first barrier to overcome in our ADHD world. A dozen comments says "other's thought that this post was worth reading." It is social proof of time well spent.

How then to encourage comments? The best way to encourage comments is to respond to them. Open a dialog with your readers. Let your readers know that you appreciate the time they took to make the comment. But there is still the bootstrap problem. No one will comment unless there are already comments. Mariuca's First Commenter Club is a great way to get that first comment. Why? Because you promise to link to the blog of the first commenter.

When someone links to you, you have acquired a backlink (as opposed to a forward link from your blog to someone else). Why are backlinks important? Search engines like Google use them to calculate how popular a particular site is. The more popular, the higher in the rankings, and the more traffic the search engine will send you. Backlinks are a form of voting for your blog.

But not all votes are equal. Back in 2005, Google introduced the nofollow attribute for links. If you look at the HTML for a nofollow link it will look something like this:

<a href="http://www.google.com/" rel="nofollow">Google</a>

In essence, the nofollow attribute tells Google (and most other search engines) not to count the link as a vote for the page being linked to. Why would you do that? The problem is that without the attribute, you may be automatically voting for your commenters. You can probably imagine that comment spammers took advantage of that. Once you have so many commenters that you can't effectively police the spam, it is just easier to discourage the spammers by adding nofollow to every link.

For many bloggers, it'd be nice to get to that point. When you want to encourage comments, providing automatic dofollow backlinks is an easy way to do it. Dofollow links are just links without the nofollow attribute, also called "nofollow free." This is enough for most blogs, but if you really want to rev up the number of comments, you can use a dofollow Top Commenter list. A Top Commenter list rewards the readers that comment most by providing a dofollow link to the commenter from the sidebar. That means the commenter receives a sitewide dofollow link, that is, a dofollow link from every page of the blog. For some blogs, this can mean hundreds or even thousands of dofollow backlinks. A big incentive for loyal commenters.

Well obviously blogs with dofollow Top Commenter lists are interested in your comments. But, as a reader, how to find them? I'm currently enjoying participating in the Entrecard community, and I couldn't find a list of such blogs for Entrecard, so I've started one below. The list was a little tricky to put together, because many Top Commenter lists that purport to be dofollow are constructed with javascript. Why does that matter? Because the search engine robots generally don't execute javascript - they see only the javascript code, and not what it produces. Basically, Top Commenter lists built with javascript (which includes most blogger blogs) don't count.

The following list should help some Entrecarders get more comments. The sites are listed in order of current Google pagerank (PR). I stopped at PR3, but I'll go through the PR1 and PR2 sites if there is interest. Sites with a '+' sign after them also provide dofollow links from each comment.

PR6

www.killerbuffalo.com
themelib.com

PR5

www.neonbubble.com

PR4

thebobofiles.com +
writer.fitzhome.com +
potpolitics.com +
nthambazale.com +
www.reason4smile.com
www.joetech.com
www.kongtechnology.com
ahkong.net
www.mybigworldofcrap.org

PR3

usws.isgreat.org +
www.painrelief101.com +
www.stevenhumour.com +
bryanking.net
www.getmoneyenergy.com
www.mommawannabe.com
pctutorialsonline.net
www.buckrobin.com
www.earnontheside.com
www.marketing-business-review.com
theblogentrepreneur.com
blog.winesworld.com
learnthis.ca

PR0

paulubiadas.com

If you'd to be added to this list, removed from this list, or have something other than your domain name as the link text, just let me know.

19 comments:

  1. Hey, thanks for including a link to me! My blog is moving up though, may not stay at PR 3 for long:) I believe my blog is also dofollow, though...

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  2. Also, I'm on twitter now too - look me up! And if you'd like to do a guest post let me know, I'm looking for some - even if you don't have a finance blog of your own.

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  3. You mentioned that some blogs that have zero comments can be an ego blow, this could be true but people shouldn't feel that way. It is hard to take at first,but then you get to thinking am I leaving comments at others site? I know of several quite well known blog owners that have Do Follows and I see this woman will leave entrecards everywhere but I've yet to see her leave a comment on anyone's blog! I still go to her blog and will read her post and leave comments, with that being said I do not go to blogs and leave a comment just for the sake of leaving a comment. I enjoy reading posts and I also think if that person took the time to write a post and I have something to say about it then I'm going to leave a comment. Thanks for the list too... a nice little extra!

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  4. @MoneyEnergy - You're welcome, I hope you get lots of good comments. The little '+' means that the links from each comment are also dofollow. I double checked your comments, and they are definitely nofollow. Perhaps they become dofollow after a certain number of comments? If so, let me know and, once I've checked it out, I'll add a note.

    Guest posts are another great way to get dofollow backlinks. I hope some people take advantage of your offer.

    @JJ - That's so true, I'm guilty of that myself. The problem is that it can be difficult to come up with thoughtful comments. Many times I read a post and my main reaction is "I agree." Well, I don't want to just comment with "I agree." I think it's a good idea for post writers who are looking for comments to include some sort of question - and more than just "Do you agree?"

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  5. hi Zack, thanks for the update... and stopping by my blog.

    @JJ - I agree, when I see a post and have something to say I often make a quick comment, even if it's on something I know less about or even if I don't have much time... there are also lots of very successful blogs that don't even use the comments function and others that just don't get alot, but you know the owner is doing well with the blog.

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  6. Zack -- great post, and very helpful for us fellow bloggers. It's hard to manage commenters. The spam is almost unmanagable (after a few weeks, I can find 200 spam comments in queue), but its important to encourage participation.

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  7. @MoneyEnergy - It's interesting. I've seen some very successful blogs turn off comments, because they liked writing posts and didn't like policing comments. But if a community has developed, inevitably, someone will start a discussion board to comment on the posts anyway! Once you succeed in building a community, you can't just turn it off :)

    @Sean - have you tried the Bad Behavior plug-in for Wordpress? It can prevent a lot of automated comment spam.

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  8. thanks for the do follow list :)

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  9. Hi there,

    Intreasting post, but I didn't see where you explained how to figure out how to make a blog do follow. Nice list for the do follow.

    Chronic Chick Talk

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  10. @Ms. Chronic - what was I thinking?

    If you're on Wordpress, install this plug-in.

    If you're on Blogger, follow these directions.

    If you're on some other platform, then you are already used to figuring things out for yourself :D

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  11. My site paulubiadas.com has a dofollow top commentator too. It is located near my footer.

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  12. Thanks Paul, I've added your blog to the list.

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  13. Excellent list - well done.

    And good write up too.

    It's surprising how few comments you actually need to make on a blog in order to get into the top 10 commentators

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  14. Thanks Andy. Yes, the number of comments you need to get on the list depends on how often the Top Comments counter is reset. Many counters are reset each month. Some seem never to have been reset. I guess it depends on what type of commenters the blogger is looking to attract.

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  15. Hi Zack - just wanted to say thanks for including me on this list. It is much appreciated.

    Regarding a comment up there about the "top commenters" spots on the blogs - I can answer for myself - but it may be similar for other bloggers.

    I don't reset the top commenters because it encourages others to come back and try to get their name higher up on the list - you know - competition. If I reset it each month it might discourage my frequent commenters from returning if they keep losing their spots. Not that I would want people to come back just to make the list. It also helps me to build rapport with other bloggers. Once they come in - they're hooked! :)

    For that reason I also added the EntreDropper widget for EC people - it is a dofollow link as well and will link back to everyone that drops.

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  16. I will drop from this list. Please only add 1 blog, make it the one on which you drop daily on. Blogs must have the Entrecard widget on the Top or nearest to the Top, I want to create a high quality list for anyone to drop or may even subscribe to. I really dont want to look for the Entrecard widget in every corner of the blog.

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  17. Thanks for putting up the links and writing such a nice article. But in the name of do follow blogs and forums there are lot of spams are going on. People just post anything in do follow blogs and forums even not related to the topic most of the times just to advertise something. I don't think that is right. Atleast write something related to the topic I would say.

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  18. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Betty

    http://laptopprocessor.info

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  19. When I right click on a link in blog comments, then on properties, usually it tells me whether the link is nofollow or not. In your blog it says dofollow rather than nothing at all. The link you gave for removing dofollow is the one I used. It doesn't produce dofollow as a property, just removes the nofollow property. Is there a difference, or do they both work in the same way?

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