Blogging Tips: Screening Comments

When managing a blog, whether it’s independently operated or hosted on your company’s website, one of the responsibilities is handling the comments that visitors leave. As a casual blog reader, you probably didn’t think too much about the behind-the-scenes process when you browsed comments or left your own. But when it comes time for you to be in charge of your own blog, knowing the consequences of your comment management choices can actually do a world of good for your website marketing.

The first decision you need to make is whether or not you’ll allow comments. Most blog servers offer this option (along with a few others covered below). If you decide not to let visitors comment, the responsibility is taken off your shoulders. But it can be a downfall for two primary reasons:

  • First, it dissuades activity. Your blog’s readers may not feel as engaged with your content. They might not form an attachment with your website that makes them want to come back. On the other hand, if they’re able to read comments and leave their own, they might return to follow a conversation or simply because they feel involved and like you want to hear their feedback.
  • Second, you’ll wind up with a static webpage that only generates new material whenever you post a blog (let’s say once a week). But when you let readers leave comments, new text is often added to the site. This not only entreats visitors to come back to the same blog post more than once, but also boosts your ranking with search engines that give credit to sites that are often updated. (This is why you also want to ask questions and invite guests to leave comments in your post.)

If you do want to allow comments, the biggest downfall is that you then have to moderate them. You can set up some flags so that sexually explicit or otherwise offensive comments are automatically taken down. But you may also have to read through and manually delete certain comments. You can have the blog set up so that it asks your permission to approve or deny every single comment that’s submitted before it goes live on your site. But some visitors don’t like to wait to see their comment posted, and it’s also more labor-intensive for you.

There are other quality control options that you can choose from most standard comment settings. One choice is to only let members of the website leave comments. Sometimes this means joining your site by creating a specific ID, but other times this can mean logging in via Gmail or Facebook. In this case, anonymous commenting is often not allowed and people may feel more restricted to voice opinions. Another option is asking potential commentators to pass a word verification check, which is designed to deter spambots (computer-generated spam robots) and confirm that you’re a human visitor.

Need advice on how to set up a blog – and then make it work hard to promote your business? Mad 4 Marketing knows the tips and tricks to boost your traffic and search engine rankings. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

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