It’s a regular occurrence on the internet, ‘can we have your feedback / comments please?’
If you are like me, the temptation is to skip this and leave nothing. I ask ‘what’s in it for me?’
In reality, leaving feedback has a number of agendas / payoffs. Here’s the obvious stuff.
1. You get to write something nice about something you like
2. You get to vent about something that you didn’t like
3. They get feedback which they may or may not listen to
4. They get good quotes which they can feature on their webpages
5. They get activity on what might be a ‘static’ site which Google likes
But what else is in it for you?
By leaving genuine positive feedback, there is a good chance the providers of the product or service you are commenting on may use your words prominently or consistently throughout ongoing campaigns. If they do, YOU get the benefit. How so?
First, IF your comments are featured, and they use your name AND a URL (maybe your blog or LinkedIn profile), that creates another bit of unique web real estate with your name on it. Google loves this. And you should too. The more real estate you leave, the higher your Google ranking. And as we all know, you really want to be on that first page of a Google search.
So after you leave a blog comment or positive feedback, make sure you leave your name, spelt correctly (and always the same, no deviation with middle names for instance) and a URL you want to connect with you, maybe a blog, LinkedIn profile or webpage etc.
You may already be experiencing the ‘spam’ version of this too. If you run a blog, you may well be getting comments that typically read something like…
‘I agree with your comments, such a great post’ etc.
But the giveaway is in the URL submitted with the comment. It’s often for an online shoe retailer, a casino or other random entity.
These comments are left by people who are paid to add hundreds or thousands of comments all over the web, in order that the URL they are listing is picked up by Google and therefore ranked higher.
They are simply paying people to increase their digital footprint. At best it’s disingenuous, so I always delete these comments on my blog (I get one or two a day right now).
UPDATE – As if by magic, I just had one such ‘comment’ on my blog. Here is a screen grab (so as not to use the actual searchable words in my post)
But if you are authentic in your comments, Goggle should spot this pattern with its clever algorithms and give you a big thumbs up. So be honest and relevant in any comments or feedback you leave.
The second reason to leave positive feedback is to create relationships.
Whenever someone leaves authentic and outstanding feedback for one of my courses, books or films, not only do I tend to feature it somewhere in my own online real estate, but I often contact them too.
This creates a relationship. And that can last years. Todays blog was prompted by Natascia Radice who did my Guerilla Film Makers ten years ago, a film maker who left feedback on the Production Office LIVE last year (her feedback here).
She asked me for help and because she left positive feedback previously, I am looking into how I can get involved and help her right now. I would not have done this had I no prior relationship. And I may not be able to help either, but at least I am exploring the idea.
Think of this as a favour that you ‘pay forward’.
And it’s a fundamental of all civilisation, ‘if you help me, I am obligated to help you’.
Here is some of the most recent feedback from our online film makers workshop, you will see that the first is so glowing, I also featured it on the front page of the official site (this workshop is still discounted to £37.99 for blog readers, you can sign up at the discounted rate here, but the official site is here).
This is just smart SEO tactics.
Better than any film school or University media course!
Absolutely brilliant, Chris gives you honest experience, including the mistakes he made and how those mistake were used to turn it into a positive action. This seminar really does cover Pre-Production past Post-Production and into Marketing & Distribution. We have learned a lot from this and most certainly will be adopting these methods in our production processes. Having bite size videos and the ability to watch later and refer back to it was a very practical way of learning, very well presented and contents with PDFs and sample clips really completed the learning experience.
Daren, DarenDino Productions, Independent Film Makers
Sunday, February 13, 2011 3:30:38 PM
Thanks Daren, you have just increased your digital footprint.
If you want to check how digitally distinct you are, there is a fun calculator here.
But the real acid test is always going to be, am I on the first page of a Google search for my name, movie or production company?
OK good luck with your blog comments, feedback and campaign to increase your digital footprint.
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author
Couldn’t agree more, Christoph. One way I got myself and my blog noticed waaaaaaaay back was by trawling through blog posts and leaving comment after comment on people’s writings (no Facebook or Twitter back then). I won’t lie; at first I wanted the link back to MY blog, but as time went on I actually came to enjoy creating a sort of “community” for myself, which others did too and which all became known as the rather lofty “Scribosphere”. It was the first way of screenwriters and filmmakers all getting together, before Scribomatic, before social networking, before even Blogger subscription. It’s all a bit different now, but the end result is the same: self promotion and the creation of relationships… exactly what blogging, microblogging and social networking should be about I reckon.
Brilliant! I haven’t thought of it that way before!
One comment on this – if you talk to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) people about this tactic, they’ll tell you that it doesn’t work, because most blogging platforms (specifically WordPress) add a “nofollow” tag to any links in comments.
However, some very smart people have tested and determined that at the moment, Google does indeed pay some attention to nofollow links. However, the evidence suggests it’s not as much as it pays to links elsewhere that don’t have a nofollow tag.
Short version: This IS useful, but not as useful as you might think. Still worth doing, though.
commenting and/or giving feedback is the best way to be a part of a community. Blogs and forums. Forums tend to be more question related and usually initiated by a forum member. A blog generally asks and answers a question in one go – but that us one person’s opinion, when other people offer their opinion it gives life to the blog post.
When the readers continue the discussion then it almost validates the existence of the post.
I make a point to comment as much as possible, I know how disheartening it is to not have comments so I refuse to be indifferent to every post that I read.
I agree with your comments, such a great post
‘I agree with your comments, such a great post’ etc.
No, just kidding. I think it’s great that both you and Lucy @Bang2write always reply to comments on your sites. Many websites don’t
Also, in order for the low-budget UK independent film industry to be successful, I think it’s really important that like-minded people build relationships and work together. Thanks.
All great comments, thanks. Gosh Lucy, was there ever a time before Facebook and Twitter? Seriously though, these new tools evolve SO rapidly, its a little overwhelming at times. I know I struggle to keep onto of FB, Twitter, Blog, email, LinkedIn…. and I havent even begun to look at Tumblr, Stumbleup etc…
Couldn’t agree more, Chris. I think it’s vital in this day and age. Posting more and more comments and feedback comes with experience and a growing confindence of the medium. I know from my own experience that not only the blogger but also the casual reader values the feedback. Creating a blog is easy. The hard thing is to keep it going. I can safely say you have it sussed.
Blimey, after this post I’d better make a comment!
I always hand out feedback forms when I run a workshop, and find them really useful. I don’t ask for names, so people tend to be quite honest, especially on questions such as:
What would you have liked to have done more of?
What could have been improved?
Was there anything that you disliked?
I’ve never really thought about doing it online…until now that is!
I will totally make use of this. Starting now! Thanks for the useful and thoughtful post!