Comments. We want them. We like them. We probably need them. They make blogging more fun.
But many bloggers actually do things that DETRACT from getting them comments. Here’s some of the things you DON’T want to do if you want people to comment on your blog:
Require too much information – Most people are used to the Name/Social/Email schtick, but some also separate the first and last name, require two email address, blood type, notes from one’s mother, etc. Point is, you need to make your commenting AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE.
Make people sign up to comment – One of my least favorite things bloggers can do is make people sign up. Ok, look, I know you like the idea of being some elite community where people feel elite by being memebers, but check this: You know sites like the Huffington Post, Gawker, Lifehacker, Mashable, etc? You know how they also require membership? Well…
I don’t post on those because of that reason!
Point being, if I’m not a fan of being a member of those sites, what makes you think I’ll sign up for yours, ESPECIALLY if there’s only one article I’m initially interested in? Stick to the generic name/email/url setup.
Only allow one social network to comment – I don’t use every social network for every purpose. I tend to keep my Facebook for people I trust as friends. My Twitter is open to just about anyone, and LinkedIn is for people I want to talk with professionally.
Bloggers seem to think that hooking up their blog with a social network’s comments system (Facebook in particular) have the right idea in making it more convenient for people to comment, but the thing is, if you restrict it to only one social network, you’re potentially reducing comments. Some people like to keep their public comments away from their private life, and vice versa.
Your comment is pending moderation – This isn’t as annoying to me as some other things bloggers do, but it does show your readers that you don’t trust them. In all seriousness, you’re gonna have to deal with spam comments one way or another, so just the commenters come into the fray.
There is ONE exception to this: If you deal in a blog that discusses politics and religion, or other controversial topics, you should keep an eye on comments so that nothing hateful, libelous or demeaning goes on your site.
Never respond to any comments – Hi! I found your article on teh internets and I actually was so moved by it that I decided to comment on it. What did you think of it? ….Hello? ….Anyone There? HELOOOOOOO…………Ok, bye bye.
…..Be there for your readers, and they’ll be there for you.
Comments are important. They make you feel good because someone out there is watching.
Tell me some advice you might have in the comments below….Oh! That’s a bonus! Don’t ask people to leave comments!