I love commenting on blogs, and if I read a great post I make an effort to leave a comment. But I must admit, sometimes it is flippin' hard to do so!
Thinking about how easy it is for me to comment on posts has made me rethink my own blog as well as taking notice of some of the things that work – to help me to comment with ease, and to help others to comment on my site too. Here are 3 Ways to help me (and your readers) engage with your blog and increase your comments, traffic and exposure.
3 Ways to Stop Gagging Your Readers and Get More Blog Comments
- Stop Gagging Your Readers. I read an awesome blog post a while back by Scott Stratten (author of Unmarketing) and it has stuck with me ever since. The Post is titled: The Five Words that Kill Your Blog . At the time of reading it, I was finding myself frustrated at seeing the 5 little words that Scott mentions in his brilliant article: “Your Comment is Awaiting Moderation” .They were quite often popping up whenever I entered a post comment on blogs! And as Scott outlines in his article, it stopped me in my tracks. I didn't proceed to add to the conversation started by others with their comments, or share the article – while my own comment was in limbo. Connection lost. I wanted to see my comment “up there”! While now I can appreciate that “spam filtering” is a consideration, back then I just wanted to share my thoughts and see my comment “stick”. Now that I am blogging more regularly myself, I have decided that I do not want to moderate my comments. I want my readers to be free to say what they want, and I welcome constructive conversation and debate. And don't get me wrong. I check my comments. If there is a comment that is significantly abusive, offensive or inappropriate, I will consider removing it (haven't had to yet!). But for the most part, I wish to respond to everyone – good, bad and ugly. And as Scott recommends, I simply installed the great little plugin called Akismet on my wordpress site, and I haven't had one spammy comment get through to my posts so far. I'm pretty happy with that.
- Ask me a Question or Encourage me to Comment: Don't just leave me hanging at the end of the blog post. Engage me – ask me to contribute, share, be challenged or add my thoughts on something or continue the conversation. I also love the end of blog comments that ask you to share a link to your site or blogpost – sharing is caring.
- Install a User-Friendly Commenting System: Has this been you? You go to comment on a post and you want to post as yourself but you can't seem to get any of the log in options to work? Frustrated that you can't log in via any of the options provided, you give up and don't comment at all? Or you are asked to “register” to the site in order to comment, but you just want to dip your toe in and send a comment without committing yet? This has happened to me many times. And I can hazard a guess that there may be more of you out there that have given up on a post comment from time to time. It lead me to wondering if my own blog was easy to comment on… and then I discovered the Disqus Commenting System. For months, I had the following on on my to-do list: “Set up Disqus Account”. When I finally did get around to setting it up, I wondered why I had never done it before. The Disqus system allows me to easily comment on other blogs, as I am “logged in” as my profile from any site, s0 no need to constantly enter email addresses, avatar photos or codes. It also acts like a mini social media site in itself as it tracks your comments and contributions to other blogs as well as a “like” system all of its own. After a couple of months using Disqus to comment on the blogs of others, I finally installed it on my own blog. I hope that it helps others to experience the ease of commenting that I do. I would highly recommend installing a reputable commenting system like Disqus or Comment Luv. Or, if you have a wordpress site, their native commenting system is pretty good too. If you use Facebook a lot for marketing you could consider the Facebook Comment System. I don't mind, as long as it makes it easier for people to comment.
So that's it. Try to think about how you can best encourage others to engage in conversation on your site. Try to find a balance between fighting spam and gagging your genuine, chatty, readers. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself “is it easy to comment on my blog?”
If you have a blog, how do you handle comments? Is there anything you can recommend to a new-ish blogger like me? What, if anything, deters you from commenting? What makes it easy and fun for you to comment on another blog?
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