The following is a guest post from V. Michael Santoro, founder of AuthorInterns.com.
Although back links from blogs are not as valued as other links because of spamming, they are still worth obtaining if they are targeted to your niche. These posts are also indexed by Google. However, many blogs use the "no follow" tag with links. This tag informs the search engine spiders not to count the link as a back link to your site. You want to post to blogs that do not use the "no follow tag."
The following are three ways to find niche-specific blogs that don’t use the "no follow" tag:
1. Go to http://blogsearch.google.com and conduct a search using: "your keyword phrase" + "do follow" - This will return the blogs that allow your link to count as a back link. If Google returns a page that indicates that no blogs were available, it only means that your keyword phrase was too narrow. Just repeat your search using a higher level phrase. For example, if "weight loss tips for people in Tampa" did not return any results, try "weight loss tips" and then "weight loss."
2. If you use the Firefox browser, you can download a free plug-in that will highlight blogs that use the "no follow" tag in red. It will also indicate the PR (Page Rank) value of the blogs. The higher the PR, the more valuable the back link. Go to: http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/seo-for-firefox.html.
3. Other “Do Follow” Blog Directory Sites
http://www.commenthunt.com - This site allows you to search for “do follow” blogs. They provide the option to buy comments or you can post them on your own for free.
http://www.followlist.com - This “do follow” blog directory also allows you to search by keyword phrase. A list of recent and popular blogs are also provided as well. Additionally, you can add your blog to directory.
http://courtneytuttle.com/blogs-that-follow - This is another site that provides links to 200 “do follow” blogs where you can post comments.
How to Select a Blog for Posting
In addition to the "no follow" tag rule, you need to evaluate the blog to ensure that you only spend time posting to those that will provide the greatest return. Use the following criteria as a guide:
1. Current and up to date - Check the date of the last post and how much time there is in between posts. If it is a older, dated blog, then don't make a post. It can take several months before the search engine spiders visit the blog to index your comments.
2. Active Comments Section - The best blogs for posting are those with an enthusiastic following that provides continuous posting. You can bet that the search engine spiders are visiting these blogs often.
3. Have some page rank (a page rank of "0" provides little value). Unless the blog is very relevant to your niche and seems current, you should seek to begin posting on higher PR blogs first.
Tips for Posting Comments
When you find a blog and are ready to post a comment, you will be asked to add your name and email address. Make sure to add your Website URL as well and since blogs use your name as anchor text with your URL, use a competitive, long tail keyword phrase instead of your name. This will help your Web page rank better for that keyword phrase.
Before you add a comment, read the current post and ensure that you contribute relevant quality content. Also incorporate the long tail keyword phrase if it fits the reply to the post.
Another tip is to include a link back to one of your articles. For example, "I'd also like to share an article that I've written about” (add your keyword phrase as anchor text link to article here) and “I hope that you find it helpful." Now you have two quality links by offering quality content.
Many blogs are moderated and your posts will have to be approved. If you just offer something like, "Yo, nice blog!" for the sake of getting a quick link, it will be viewed as spam and not posted. Quality counts here and you want to be viewed as an expert in your niche. Remember, in addition to a good link back to your site, you can also receive traffic to your website if the blog visitors are impressed with your posts.
V. Michael Santoro is an award winning author and creator of the Author Intern System. You can now use a student intern as your book marketing assistant to unleash your book’s potential without having to do all the work.
John's Note: I haven't reviewed the details of the Author Intern System yet, but I love the idea of training and using interns to do a lot of the nitty-gritty work that most authors hate to do (myself included).