This post forms part of the blogger debates series, here we are going to discuss Comments vs No Comments. Read on to discover why your blog needs to have comments enabled!
Should I allow visitors to comment on my blog?
If you have looked around this site you’ll notice that I have left comments on, however there aren’t actually many comments left on any of the posts! There is a simple explanation for this! This blog was created as an outlet against the frustrations I feel from exploitative make money schemes, you know the ones. They charge large up front fees for hyped up deliverables that rarely materialise. All the information you need is out there on the net and this site aims to consolidate it for beginners.
I am not looking to build a community, I am not looking to pump my readers for all the cash I can. So on that basis I don’t have time to sort through the spammy comments that this site seems to attract. However from time to time a genuine comment comes through and in those cases I am happy to share it.
So you don’t recommend comments on a blog?
On the contrary! Comments are a great way to get reader engagement. Comments allow your readers to add to a post, feed back to you, talk to other readers. They allow your readers to generate content for you, which will potentially help bring in long tail keyword search terms that you would never have written into your content yourself.
How to Manage Blog Comments
- Avoiding Spam: Unfortunately this will put off many bloggers from allowing comments. Many of the posts you get will be from full time spammers just trying to associate their name with your site. They will add nothing to the conversation and usually link out to a site that you don’t want to associate yourself with. This is a big problem here on Blogercise as this site attracts a lot of highly motivated marketers who would love to have a link from a well respected free resource leading to their money making schemes. Here are some tips to avoid spam:
- Dealing with Abuse: Sadly a few of your readers will have it in for your blog. I’m not talking about constructive criticism here, negative feedback should always be welcome on your site. I’m talking about the haters who will just try to stir things up. Generally you can block and ban these people but sometimes it pays to listen to them and respond calmly. Never let yourself get drawn into a protracted argument as this will only take up lots of your time and gain you nothing. Often these people are looking to waste your time so a short one-time response is often the best way to win the war. The less attention you give them the quicker they go away.
- Respond to Comments: Allow the conversation to be two way, regulars will love the opportunity to pick your brains and listen to your response. By engaging with readers they are far more likely to become regular readers and to come by the site more often. Build up a relationship and you will eventually obtain a core readership which will stand by you for years to come.
Listen to your Readers
Allowing comments can transform your blog if you listen to what people are writing.
- Ask Questions: Use any and every opportunity to build a rapport with your readers. Every time you make a post you have the chance to ask for feedback on the topic, ask about your reader’s own experiences, try to extend the debate.
- Pick up on Additional points: If you get some good response from the above then you can feed this back in to future posts, pick up on a really good point that was made and extend the discussion.
- Correct Mistakes: From time to time you will most likely balls up a blog post. You’ll get some information wrong, get your facts muddled up, or just make a good old fashioned typo. Comments allow your readers to pick up on these problems and help you fix them. Remember to leave your ego at the door though, don’t get offended by such corrections. Just thank the poster and correct the mistake whilst making a mental note to check your work more carefully next time!
The down side of blog comments
Yes, there is a slight con to this. If your blog doesn’t get any comments then it can make your site look unloved. Perhaps the answer to this is start with comments off although it’s not something I would do myself. Other people try to add fake comments and conversations in the early days but again I wouldn’t do this myself. It will look a bit odd and will be hard to maintain – your time is better spent developing rich content for your site.
Besides, this site gets plenty of visitors from various sources and I very rarely approve any of the submitted comments!
Allow people to comment, but put the time in to manage the comments and keep the quality high.