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Blog Comments Do’s and Don’ts

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A blog without comments is like having a conversation with yourself.

Having people commenting on what you’ve written and leaving remarks on other’s blog posts is what makes the blogosphere go round.

What are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to blog comments? As a WordPress blogs two of the most commonly used anti-spam comment plugins are Akismet and GASP (GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin) and these can save you a lot of time trawling through pointless comments and blatant attempts at getting backlinks.

Blog readers

If you frequently comment on other people’s blog posts, the next four tips are for you…

Add something constructive to the debate

Anyone can write “Nice post – thanks for sharing” or something similar. If you want your comments to stand a good chance of being published you should try to add something to the topic being discussed.

For example if someone has written a top 10 reasons style blog post, you may want to chip in with one or two reasons of your own to create further discussion.

Engage with other blog readers

A blog with lots of comment is a better place for everyone. If you’ve got a genuine interest in the subject matter you should debate it with other people who’ve left comments. Responding directly to what others have said and having an in-depth discussion can help you portray yourself as an expert in your field.

Consider your own reputation

If you’re posting comments on other people’s blogs, you should remember that what goes around usually comes around. If you’re deliberately abusive or critical without any foundation you may find yourself getting a taste of your own medicine via comments on your own blog.

You also need to consider your own reputation and that of your business. A bad reputation can spread very quickly online nowadays.

Register with Gravatar.com before leaving comments

Make your comments more individual and memorable by registering an avatar for your blog comments at gravatar.com

Choosing a photograph of yourself is a good idea and will help make your comments more personal as well as standing out against those who have a generic avatar.

Guest Bio: Jamie Fairbairn is the founder of Search Blogger -a great place to find small business online marketing tips. Follow Jamie on Twitter here.

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Comments

  1. Dahlia Valentine ) says: 2/18/2011

    One more important point… when you leave a comment, be sure to subscribe to the thread, or agree to be notified of follow-up comments. Why? Because your comment may encourage the post writer (or other commenters) to respond with a follow-up question. If you’re a hit-and-run commenter then you may miss out on a prime opportunity to continue your part of the conversation.

    Reply

  2. Deanna ) says: 2/21/2011

    I agree with Dahlia. I do think a good constructive critique is good because it will help the blogger improve his or her writing and it will also give the blogger an idea of what his or her audience is looking for in terms of content.

    Reply

  3. Roger ) says: 2/22/2011

    This is a great post. Far too often people come along only to add a sloppy comment as a means of trying to get noticed. If they would only work a little extra and add something constructive they have a much greater chance of getting noticed and receive those new visitors. I myself would like to add that in considering ones reputation staying away from curse words is still a necessary demand in being professional.

    Reply

  4. Jamie Fairbairn ) says: 2/22/2011

    Thank you for all your comments. Dahlia, you’ve made a very good point about subscribing to the thread and how useful this can be.

    Reply

  5. Adrian Gould says: 2/24/2011

    Hi James and others – historically I’ve been very cautious of comments, largely thanks to my detestation of not only real comment spam, but ‘spammy vacuousness’ cluttering up a conversation. Threaded comment options (like Intense Debate), better spam-stoppers, and even simple things like having post author’s comments styled differently so you can skim to them if they’re your main focus, all help counter such derailing.

    Which brings me to a question – does anyone have experience with the G.A.S.P plug-in on WP 3.1 – my tests so far don’t seem to be stopping comments that should be flagged as spam. Is there some parameter I’m likely to be setting incorrectly, or has something changed with the new WP release? (this is a brand new install, so no experience of the plug-in pre 3.1)

    Thanks, and happy commenting :)

    Reply

  6. Deanna ) says: 2/25/2011

    I used to have a blog on wordpress, ‘Everything Historical’, and so I used to get lots of interesting comments on that blog. Some, though, were very terse, which obviously shows that the person commenting acted purely on emotions. I think some people, if they don’t like what they read on a blog, they should think through their emotions before commenting. Unfortunately, people are people and no matter what advice we give them, they will still act without thinking.

    Reply

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  8. Jerrick ) says: 3/24/2011

    i think most of the blogger to face spam comment. They are some plugin in wordpress that allow you to filter your blog comment and you able to delete those spammer. Beside that use the blog comment that do need agree by blogger and make their comment under moderation. If you do not have it, most of the spammer will hunt on your blog.

    Reply

  9. new mobiles gallery ) says: 4/26/2011

    They are some plugin in wordpress that allow you to filter your blog comment and you able to delete those spammer. Beside that use the blog comment that do need agree by blogger and make their comment under moderation

    Reply

  10. seo says: 5/4/2011

    They are some plugin in wordpress that allow you to filter your blog comment and you able to delete those spammer. Beside that use the blog comment that do need agree by blogger and make their comment under moderation. If you do not have it, most of the spammer will hunt on your blog.

    Reply

  11. Nick Chang says: 5/16/2011

    I absolutely agree with Dahlia Valentine, Its a great point

    Reply

  12. ginaann says: 6/14/2011

    Does a blog have to have comments at all? Before you react to my question with admonishments, understand the context of my question. I already realize social interaction is what makes a blog valuable—but what if a blogger doesn’t have time to manage comments? What if time managing comments takes away from the time necessary to write valuable blog posts? Can a blog function or provide value without comments? Perhaps readers could contacts a blogger directly if there are questions or pressing comments to communicate, which the blogger could then publish. Just speculating.

    I realize my thinking is offensive to the 3.0 world, but there is no single way to do anything in this world. I wonder if others face my dilemma.

    Reply

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  15. Chirag Parekh ) says: 6/28/2011

    James, I do agree with you. I think by keeping comment enable blog, we are inviting our reader to share their ideas as well as judge our work, we’ll have chance to read people’s (Might be potential customer) mind if we are selling something. After the understanding the need of our customer we’ll have right direction to work.

    Great post
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