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Bloggers, Make It Easy To Comment, Please

If you’re running a blog, one of the ways to increase traffic is to get your readers to comment on your posts. In fact, the ability to comment is one of the major things that sets blogs apart form static web pages. Blogs offer the opportunity to truly interact with your readers through their comments. In fact, your readers can also interact with each other through comments on your blog.

Assuming you want this conversation on your blog you’ve simply got to make it easy for your readers to comment.

Commenting devices that are designed, maybe, to prevent spam get in the way of your conversations. Anything that requires the reader to fill out a form, or enter a strange bunch of characters or even a semi-disguised word or two tends to slow down and even stop comments.

Even requiring approval before you allow the comment to show is a bit of a barrier and one that’s pretty easy to avoid. In my case, I only require approval of the first post someone makes. 

It’s sort of like inviting people for dinner then putting up a barrier in the street that keeps them from getting there.

But what about spam or other undesirable things being posted on your blog?

Use a spam filter like Akismet which is free for personal use. (And if your blog platform won’t allow it, upgrade yourself to WordPress.)

Set your blog up so you either don’t need to approve anything or you just approve the first post by any one user. It also may help if you set your blog to email you when you get a comment. Keep an eye on the comments so you know if problems are developing – although frankly they’re pretty rare in my experience.

Make it easy for your readers to use your commenting feature; you’ll be glad you did.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us why.

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • I will comment even if I have to type in characters but I don’t want to register to comment. If I have something to say to the blogger or the commenting parties I usually say it.

    Michelle Kafka’s last blog post..What Key Factors Can Inventors Teach Freelancers?

  • Anne, I have my own domain at GregMinton.com. I might look into buying OasisOfFreedom.com, as well.

    Greg’s last blog post..Getting Things Done: Someday/Maybe

  • admin

    Benjamin, I occasionally register… a good friend or when I’m frankly marketing, but that’s all.

    Greg, I’m hosted at hostsgator which is where this blog is… domain names aren’t very expensive any more… you might take a look.

    Katherine, I know what you mean

    Devon, that sounds like my experiences with yahoo… works for awhile then I have to start all over again… hate it.

  • Even though I had a blogger account for years and have a google account, they refuse to acknowledge my existence; if that’s the only option on a blog, I can’t comment and I don’t come back. Period. One of the points of blogging, to me, is interaction.

    If it’s easy for me to leave a comment, I’ll do so, and it’s likely I’ll come back. If I have to jump through hoops or register, or switch to seven different screens — buh-bye. I think it’s insulting to people who are the genuine audience not to let them comment easily — it’s very simple to set up systems to filter out spam and to remove abusive comments and block the abuser.

    I find Wordpress much better, both for posting, and for commenting.

    My time is valuable, and if I bother to take the time to read someone else’s blog and want to leave a comment, it shouldn’t take me longer to leave the comment (if I even can) than it did to read the post.

    You’re always going to get negative comments — it’s part of putting your work out there. And there are ways to protect yourself when lines are crossed. If you can’t deal, don’t blog.

    Devon Ellington’s last blog post..Friday, March 27, 2009

  • This post (and the comments in it) are making me strongly consider moving to a top-level domain with a WordPress server. It’s definitely something I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. This might be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

    Greg’s last blog post..Getting Things Done: Someday/Maybe

  • Hey Anne – I know that I rarely post on any Blogger sites because its always such a hassle for me. The easier it is then the more likely I will comment and comment often.

  • I completely agree, Anne. An open comment system is the only way to go when running a blog. I feel that the effort required to screen spam is worth it to remove the barriers between casual browsers / readers and the chance to post their opinions. I know that personally, I don’t comment anywhere that asks me to register.

    Benjamin Hunting’s last blog post..How To Protect Your Car From Mice

  • Speaking of which, thanks for the nice comment on my blog post this morning 😉

    Greg’s last blog post..Getting Things Done: Someday/Maybe

  • I’ve tried having completely open comments; that’s how my blog was originally set up. However, that changed when I got back home one evening only to find no fewer than seven abusive comments on three or four blog entries of mine — all from the same person.

    Until I get a server of my own on which I can do the same thing you do, I’m just going to have to moderate comments. I’m not going to give abusers an open forum on which they can spout their verbal abuse. Sure, I want to make commenting on my blog as easy as possible, but my first priority is to allow my readers to feel safe.

    I can’t do that if I allow abusive people to comment freely.

    Greg’s last blog post..Getting Things Done: Someday/Maybe

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