Are You Utilizing Blog Comments To Your Advantage?
I've been a blogger for many years and in that time I have learned the importance of blog comments and that if you want to have a true community you need to grab the
bull minotaur by the horns and encourage commentators.
I'm not the only one that realises this and yet I've noticed over the years that there is many a blogger who just doesn't seem to grasp the importance of blog comments, not only to their blog but to their credibility as well.
These very same bloggers who tell their readers that blog comments are important fail to walk the walk because their behavior show that they don't really have a true understanding of it. In case you're wondering what they're doing wrong you needn't worry because that is what this post is all about. So without further adieu I give you just some of the things they're doing that is stopping people from commenting on their blogs.
Things That Can Lower Your Blog Comments
- Interaction: While the quality of your content is important in its capacity to generate comments its just as important to interact with those who take the time to comment on any given post. I've had more than one A Lister tell me that there is no value to this interaction, that their time is better spent trying to generate an income. Unfortunately there are many who believe them and do so because that's exactly what they see happening on their blog. I bet if you were to dig into their archives you would find there was a time when they did actually interact with their commentators. Now that they have built up a following they feel it's not necessary anymore because their popularity is enough for people to leave comments, many of which I would have deleted. Perhaps they are also too busy to moderate 😉
- Third Party Blog Comment System: A lot of bloggers resort to these systems because they've read somewhere that all the bells and whistles these systems, such as Disqus, Livefyre and Intense Debate, have would actually increase their comments? I wasn't so sure so I conducted a poll on a post titled Will Disqus Cost You Comments? Have You Refrained From Commenting Because It Was A Disqus Blog? Of the 196 people who took part in the poll 46% said they did not comment because it was a Disqus blog. Of the 54% who said they would comment some also added they only commented because they knew the blogger personally. Even so, I'm not one who thinks that turning away 46% of your commentators just for the sake of a few bells and whistles is a smart decision.
- Moderation: I see way too many blogs that moderate their comments. Personally I feel that as long as you use plugins such as Akismet and GASP there is no need for comment moderation. The worst thing that you can do when moderating comments is not having a way of notifying your commentators that their comment has been accepted, such as using the ReplyMe plugin. Not having something like that in place could mean that you may never see your commentator again. Even if you don't moderate your comments I highly recommend some form of subscribe to comment plugin as this encourages interaction amongst your readers.
- Unnecessary Captcha: Some bloggers use Captcha to cut down on spam, unfortunately it can also stop people from blog commenting especially when it is too hard to read. I've lost comments that disappeared because I misread the captcha, something that I find most annoying which has caused me to avoid that blog altogether. They are totally unnecessary and if you're using them I recommend you replace them with the GASP plugin.