How Ana Hoffman Uses Comment Replies To Boost Traffic & Spread The Love

giveaway bannerMaybe you don’t know Ana Hoffman…yet.  But I’m telling you, you can learn a whole bucket-load of incredibly valuable Blogging Tips from studying how she handles her Comments section at her blog,Traffic Generation Cafe. (That is an image of her giveaway banner on the left, that you can find and click on at her website, to get her free gift – it’s a good one!).

That is by no means all she can teach you, but I’ll stick to her Comments Strategy only, for this post – otherwise we would be here for weeks.  It really is a case of ‘Watch and Learn’ with Ana.  And no, she is not paying me to say nice things about her.

Where to start?  Once you happen to come across Ana in your surfing, you won’t realize it at first, but you will have stumbled upon an incredible network of interweaving top-class links that lead you to an amazing array of Top-Shelf Internet People – yes, we’re definitely in Big Cheese Territory here!

At first, you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of juicy leads and must-read articles you find.  But the good thing is, our computers have Bookmarking systems.  Yes!  Bookmark all of these leads and articles, and study and digest them later, one at a time, at your leisure.  But, whatever you do, don’t let these Prize Catches slip through your fingers!

Hmmm….I seem to have digressed……Back to Ana’s Comments strategy.

How Ana Hoffman’s Comment Reply Strategy Spreads The Love, Increases Traffic, and Inspires Brand Loyalty.

I know, that’s quite a call, but here is how she does it.

This is the process: You read an article by Ana, and are so impressed that you just have to leave a comment. Brilliant comments are always best, of course, but we can’t always manage that.  Not sure how to make brilliant Comments? Check out: How to Write Brilliant Comments & Increase Traffic.

The important thing is that you must never leave spam comments.

Then, Surprise! You get an email back from Ana into your inbox!  The one I got said:

“Look at that: I just answered your comment at Traffic Generation Cafe!”

My Reaction: Really?  Is she really sending me a personal email? (My head knows it’s not really personal, but it’s still a pleasant surprise and still makes me feel good).

I’m usually happy if my comments get through the Moderation process.  And the most I expect is that I will get a boring automatic email Notification if someone (anyone) writes another Comment on that article, or replies to my Comment.  But Ana over-delivers.

And… how could you not open an email with that Title?  It’s friendly and personal – you instantly like her – and you feel that she likes you too – more on that below.

The feeling that you get from this single email is: Wow! That’s incredible.  She is actually emailing me personally (OK, I know… my Head I know it’s only her ‘system’, but that doesn’t matter – you still Feel the Love anyway).  See how it works? Clever old Ana!

[Disclaimer: She’s a great deal younger than I am, but who cares?]

Study Ana’s Email Carefully & You Will Learn Heaps About Good Marketing Strategy.

What else has this single email done? Ana has turned an ordinary ‘Notification of Further Comments’ option into a marketing opportunity for her and her website.

She even makes the most of how unusual this type of notification is, by spelling it out for us (for our Subconsciousness, really). By doing that, she increases and reinforces our own surprise and feel-good pleasure.

Email Reply Analysis:

Look at that’ (Translation: Heads up, people, this is BIG!)

‘I just answered your Comment’ (Translation: yes, me (Ana) in person, has personally answered your Comment.  

Which translated again means: I’ve noticed your comment, I’ve read it, and ‘I’m so impressed with it’ I have gone to the trouble of emailing you personally!

Note: it doesn’t have to be true, you just have to make people feel that it’s true.

‘At Traffic Generation Café! : Marketing Strategy Alert: she has repeated her Blog’s Name again in the email’s Message ‘Title’, as well as in the email’s ‘From’ line

An exclamation point at the end! (Translation: yes, it’s true, I really did!).

One thing I notice with Ana’s emails is that her ‘From’ line in my email Inbox, is her email address, not the name of her website, Traffic Generation Café.  I don’t think I’ve seen that anywhere on the web before.

I know there has to be a good reason for her to do this….but I’m not sure what it is.   Maybe it’s to make it easier for us to add her email address to our White List without having to open the email?   Or maybe because it shows us her name, not just the name of the website the email has come from.  Not sure.

I’ll just let that one dangle in the ether, and see if Ana finds us and enlightens us…..Smile

Ana Replies To Every Comment! Yes! Every One.

This is a lot of work.  Others might think that answering every Comment is ‘unnecessary extra work’, and don’t bother to do it.  They would be making a big mistake.  Think about it.  It is her replies to Comments at her website that drives this whole Spreading The Love, strategy.

She has set up her system so that every time she replies to a Comment on her Site, ‘all the above’ swings into action, automatically.  I’m not exactly sure how she does that, but working that out could be our homework for today.

What else? Of course…..The CONTENTS of The Email!

It is NOT a boring one-liner, notifying you that another Comment has been made at your subscribed thread at Traffic Generation Café, plus a link to the TGC article’s Comments section. That’s what everyone else does – but they don’t know how to Spread The Love like Ana does!

Instead of a single, boring, one-line Notification and Link, the email contains the whole text of my original Comment, plus the whole text of Ana’s reply, plus 2 hyperlinks to the original article on her site where I made the comment.

She also adds at the end:

‘Have you gotten your FREE SEO report that will show you how to finally start getting more search engine traffic to your site yet? Get it now!’

Nice move!  It would be silly to waste a good opportunity to get more Subscribers to sign up to your Email List wouldn’t it?   So Ana makes the most of this marketing opportunity.  (It’s a marketing opportunity because we have opened this email, so she has already managed to get our attention, and gained exposure to us, which is a ‘marketing opportunity’ for Ana).  So she plugs her Giveaway Freebies, to encourage us to sign up.  Great idea.


So Ana’s Spread The Love Strategy is to reply to every Comment, and in a way that makes people feel good.  To make her readers feel special.  To make them feel that she likes them personally, and values their contributions to her website’s Comments.  Like I said before, it doesn’t have to be true – as long as they feel it to be true, she has them hooked.

You think that is too cynical?  Sorry guys, but this is the internet.  Blog owners don’t know the people who Comment on their blogs from a bar of soap.  It can’t be personal because they don’t know us.

But…if we can ‘Spread the Feel of Love’ between ourselves and our readers, that is Very Good for Business……sorry, that is a bit cynical, but still true – I think I feel a song coming on….

I hope this article will encourage you to go and check out Ana and Traffic Generation Café, and take full advantage of all her great Blogging Tips. I think you will find that it’s worth it.

So Onward friends!…altogether now, on the count of 3:

Spreadin’ the Feel of Luurve, tra la!....

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How Ana Hoffman Uses Comment Replies To Boost Traffic & Spread The Love — 8 Comments

  1. …Wow, Carol; one smart kookie you are! Most people just ignore all the little tweaks you noticed…

    My email is in my “From” line? News to me! Need to check it out…

    • Hi Ana,
      Glad, and relieved, that you like it.

      And yes, you did land in my Spam folder. Which is a bit alarming – Akismet is pretty fussy isn’t it? I’ll have to keep a closer eye on what they do.

        • Your second comment landed in the Pending folder ok, so Akismet does have a learning curve, of sorts. Did you get a ‘Your Comment is awaiting moderation’ message with the first time you left a comment here?

          That article you linked to is interesting, alright. You might be interested in checking this one out:

          I’m currently using Stop Forum Spam Plugin plus Akismet. I’ve been thinking that if I kept an eye on my Spam Folder to see what Akismet was up to, I wouldn’t miss any genuine comments. In truth I’ve only been checking the spam folder about once a week to check that Akismet is doing it’s job ok.

          I suppose I find what MIGHT be a genuine comment that Akismt has put in the Spam folder about 1 out of 50 comments. But I still probably approve the occasional comment that might be spam. But if they aren’t tossing in a string of spammy links, and are not listed at Stop Forum Spam, I tend to be more lenient.

  2. TGC is always worth a regular visit and Ana’s emails definitely stand out from the multitude of IM niche emails (85% garbage) that arrive.

    To minimize spam I have found “Antispam Bee” (free plugin) the perfect solution and deleted Akismet from all my sites long ago.

    • Hi Jon, why did you ditch Akisment? I know Ana recommends that people ditch it, but I find it works out ok. I use Spam Free WordPress to block non human bots from even getting through the front door, and Akismet catches most of the rest. I do check my Spam folder every few days to see if Akismet has made a mistake, and sometimes they do, but that’s ok because Akismet does catch most of the Spam Commments and I can quickly confirm that at a glance.

      Why DO spammers make it so obvious with lines and lines of spam or promotion for their not-relevant product? I also have a policy of any ‘Nice blog’ or ‘You have a great mind etc’ Comments being marked as Spam – they have to do better than that!

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