Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about the importance of listening to prospects before you pitch particular solutions to them.

A few hours after publishing the post, someone submitted a comment:  “Thanks for the insight in dealing with prospective clients. I contacted a phone answer service a while ago to see if they needed my services. Because I was a listener, things went smoothly.”

The phrase “phone answer service” linked to a web site for those services. It seems pretty obvious that the person posting represented the “phone answer service” to which he linked, not the other unnamed services that he claimed he to represent.

I deleted the comment and blocked the computer network from which it was posted from submitting further comments.

Why? Because the comment was not a genuine effort to contribute to the conversation I started with my post. It was a thinly veiled attempt simply to put a link to his site on my site. He put a bogus comment on my site to drive traffic to his. This is known as “comment spam.”

Some internet marketers coach people to do this, to post comments on site after site with links back to yours. If you read various blogs, you will often notice such posts that add meaningless points to the conversations with links back to their sites.

My advice to you: Don’t do it. Comment spamming is an unethical, unnecessary, ineffective short-cut that will ultimately erode the foundation on which you build your business.

It’s a dishonest tactic. If you post on my site, you imply you were interested in what I had to say and have something to contribute to the conversation. But neither is true for comment spammers. The guy who commented on my site at least attempted to reference an idea in my post by writing, “…because I was a listener…” But, really, his comment makes no sense and does nothing to advance the conversation.

Most importantly, comment spamming doesn’t work. Search engines don’t pay attention to such links back to your site so it doesn’t help with search engine optimization. And the people who see such comments recognize them for what they are. If anything, you can damage your brand if you constantly post comment spam around the internet.

What should you do? Become an honest, active follower of web sites that engage your target market. If you can add a comment to a blog post that will complement the content, that will contribute honestly to the conversation, you should do so. The more you do this, the more you will demonstrate your value to the community. When you demonstrate value, you attract prospects and make more sales. But when you post meaningless, spammy comments, you annoy both the people who write the blog posts and those who follow them honestly.

Of course, commenting on blogs is just one way to attract followers. In this blog, we have several articles about how to engage followers and build your list of prospects.

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