Comments are the Lifeblood of Your Blog Community
Blogging’s interactive nature lends itself beautifully to building a sense of community and encouraging conversations. Bloggers often lament the lack of comments their posts attract. Here’s the deal. You’ve just written a scintillatingly [insert your choice of interesting, momentous, heartwarming, news breaking, money launching etc. post – here]. You sit back and wait for the traffic and comments to roll in. Traffic – check! RSS subscriptions – check! But wait… where are the commenters? Why are there only a handful of comments? Oh…nooo! Why are there no comments?
Is Your Blog a Comment Obstacle Course?
Bloggers take note. Avoiding or fixing these may attract far more comments, and not cause those of us who want to comment, to leave in frustration. Some are beyond the bloggers’ control, and are more to do with the blog platform you use. However, it is good to be aware that they are frustrations all the same, which may hinder potential commenters.
The following is in no way reflective of people’s blogs and posts. I’m just talking about encouraging more comments. You can have a very loyal readership, and have great posts, but making it easier to comment will be a bonus.
Blogger Blogs – Enable the Other Option on Your Blog
Blogger is a great platform, but some Blogger users may not be aware that not everyone can comment easily. Blogger users – Please enable your “Other” option. Not everyone has a Google Account, wants to sign up for one or wants to use their Google account when commenting. Allowing readers to choose “Other” in addition to the existing options means anyone and everyone can leave a comment. I guarantee you will get more comments if you enable this.
On a side note, [just hold on… while I get my soapbox in position] I have to say Blogger blogs are not particularly comment friendly all round. I’d like to see Blogger offer the option to have comments in full screen rather than opening in a new window which can’t be maximized. It makes it less user friendly to follow and join in a whole conversation. Also, you can’t see the original post to refer to when commenting. I feel like I failed Blogger commenting school, and am a slow learner, because quite a few times I have to resubmit my comment as it didn’t seem to “take” the first time.
Captcha – Secret Codes
None of us want spam, but some blogs make it seem like an obstacle course to comment. Some of my recent commenting adventures have included having to enter through 2 lots of anti comment anti spam “secret codes”, deciphering letters and numbers that are so heavily “camouflaged” as to be unreadable, and having to pass math or word questions. By the time I’ve navigated the comment obstacle course, I’m exhausted. At the end of one commenting obstacle course marathon, it proclaimed in big letters – “Success!”, and that is exactly how I felt.
The trouble is you are not only keeping out spam. You risk keeping out genuine commenters too. If you are considering a new blog platform I can highly recommend the self hosted version of WordPress along with the anti spam Aksimet plugin. If you have that combo, you don’t need secret codes.