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Blast from the Past: The Perfect Host

The Daily Post is on hiatus this week, so we’ll be highlighting great posts from the archives that you might…

The Daily Post is on hiatus this week, so we’ll be highlighting great posts from the archives that you might have missed the first time around (never fear — there’ll still be a new Photo Challenge on Friday!). 

To round out the week, Elizabeth, Miss Manners of the blogosphere, offers her top tips on comment moderation:

Ah, the elusive comment. All bloggers know the joy of the comment notification, the disappointment of those posts where the “Leave a Comment” prompt never changes to a number. A good comment thread can elevate a lackluster post, and a bad one – one that’s full of in-fighting or self-promotion – can turn off new readers. I read some blogs for the comments alone. Certain bloggers have built communities of loyal commenters whose insightful and entertaining conversations are almost more fun than the posts themselves.

So how do you encourage good commenting on your site, and discourage bad behavior (or silence)? Here are some ideas:

  • End with a prompt. At the end of each post, encourage comments by asking a question or requesting feedback. This lets your readers know that your blog isn’t just a monologue – you value their opinions and want to hear from them.
  • Reply to comments. Your job doesn’t end when you hit publish. When readers leave comments, keep the conversation going with a thoughtful reply. You can even reply directly from the notification email, before it has time to slip your mind.
  • But don’t reply to every comment. If you have quite a lot of comments and you reply to each with a simple ‘thanks,’ your comment thread isn’t going to be as interesting to readers. Think of your replies as a way to add something substantial that will build on the discussion.
  • Police (politely). Ok, I’ll admit that an occasional train wreck in the comment section can be luridly entertaining, but for the most part, it’s best not to encourage or allow nasty and abusive comments. They intimidate new readers, derail conversations, and distract you from good blogging. Give them a polite warning, and if they don’t shape up, give them the boot.
  • Post commenting guidelines. If you find yourself doing a lot of policing, an excellent way to be transparent about the type of comments you will and will not permit is to post some simple guidelines. This can help you attract the kind of commenters you want, and deter unwanted behavior. (For an example, check out the Daily Post’s!)
  • Don’t approve spam. Sounds like a no-brainer, but spam can be tough to recognize. While approving spam might up your comment count, it will discourage real readers from participating, and it will attract more spammers to your site.
  • Return the visit. Developing friendships with your readers is one of the best parts of blogging. If you have loyal commenters, make sure you visit and comment on their blogs, as well. If they like what you write, chances are you’ll be into their stuff, too.

Remember, you’re in complete control of who comments about what on your blog. Ultimately, the comments that appear on your blog become a part of the content you’re presenting to the world, so don’t forget to give your comment section the attention it deserves.

Does your blog have a pretty lively comment section, or do you wish there was more activity? Have you discovered any effective ways to improve the comments you receive? (See what I did there?)

31 Comments

  1. I hardly have any comments. I have tried promptig people to comment by asking questions but it didn’t work. Recently my likes have declined as well. It makes me think no one is reading my blog anymore.

    1. it may be because you have some privacy settings that won’t allow someone to just go to your posts and requires a “request to see your content”. That may be turning people off and not your actual content. :)

  2. I actually do all those but I find I don’t have time to return the visit to every commenter, especially after every post. I do when I can but I’d never live my life if I had to spend so much time visiting other blogs.
    Also, I definitely respond to every single commenter but I never do it at my blog — who goes back to re-read comments? I never do so I doubt visitors to my blog do either. Instead, I respond individually to every commenter by email — I receive all comments to my email and it’s so easy to respond.

  3. This is really helpful. I’m willing to do all this things, but I don’t get comments on my blog. I have vistis and likes, but no comments. I would love to answer them and have conversations with other bloggers.

    1. Mafiroig, I am going to assume you are a photographer (hope I am right in assuming this) I unfortunately do not speak or read Spanish but awesome pictures! Make me want to go find a beach somewhere :)

    2. I’m responding just to respond, because I think it’s hard on writers to write to no one. :-) I think we need responses, otherwise, we get discouraged and give up. I know *I* do. I would like to say that I’m capable of writing endlessly without getting any response whatsoever, but my psyche doesn’t seem to want to work like that.

  4. I found this helpful! Since I am new to the realm of adult blogging ( we won’t count age 14 with livejournal) I am trying to learn all that I can, and every little bit helps me improve as a writer (or that’s the plan at least). I was terrified of trolling, but wordpress allows me to approve comments.

  5. I have been blogging since May this year. Initially I just wanted a platform to write my autobiography and stumbled upon WordPress and loved it. Then my writing diverted to random thoughts of all sorts and participation in DailyPrompts boosts traffic and interaction with other bloggers and that’s pretty interesting. I created a LittleGirlStory Badge and also have a page in my blog for fellow bloggers (especially new bloggers) to comment and introduce their blogs. When I first started blogging, Likes and Comments are hugely an encouragement and I still treasured them greatly. If anyone want to comment or add your blog in my page, please visit http://littlegirlstory.wordpress.com/littlegirlstory-must-read-blogs/
    Thank you.

  6. I’ve tried to engage my audience that may or may not be there with zero results. I do have a lot of spam messages! It may be that my blog is too new I’m not sure. I’m new to all this on my own and when I was writing for a different blog they did all the down and dirty stuff. I’m starting to doubt my move a little. Any suggestions you may have let me know.

    http://jamesrdraven.wordpress.com/

  7. thanks. it’s helpful for me. it’s a good start to follow bloggers to make friends and communicate. pleases visit my page in blog, thanks.

  8. Really very helpful post. I have removed approx 80 spam comments. But, spammer… How to stop them. They just want to advertise themselves, nothing else.. :-(

  9. I have tried (almost everything, short of contests). I get so few comments on my writing blog, I do get discouraged. Encouraging commentary by asking questions reminds me of dropping a penny in a well… eventually I might hear something, but it could take awhile. Sorry to sound depressing, but I would welcome all suggestions and…. comments!

  10. Thank you. I am new to WordPress and I am really excited about becoming a part of the online community. Still getting my head around some of the basics – though luckily I haven’t had much trouble with spammers like some others have mentioned in comments. Things will be increasingly on the up and up with this great advice!

  11. I have not yet posted commenting guidelines –so far I’ve cultivated some regular visitors who are mutually polite/civil and encouraging. Others –I just moderate and don’t respond/allow them in. Meaning spam.

    Life is too short to deal with trollers and spammers.

  12. I agree withe the comment posted on the 10/10/2013 at 12;17 pm. It seems no one is interested in reading of true facts of life …Regala

  13. Friend,
    This is a spiritual war between ancient Esau the ( Red ), and his twin brother Jacob. God named Jacob ( Israel ). This spiritual struggle was revealed in the Garden of Eden. The serpent, Lucifer, in agreement with Eve, that this earthly struggle would be between his, (satins’ ) seed line and Eve’s. Please notice that conversation via Adam and the serpent was not recorded!
    Up until the present all sworn in presidents were compelled to lay their left hand upon the Old Testament, while holding their right hand into the air, while taking an oath. This actually gives a very subtle warning that Christ is left out. To day since the enemy has full control it is not necessary to mention any specific religion, since the ancient gods Moloch and Baal rule our national government.
    America has become a melting pot for pseudo religious movements, of Oriental fundamentalism’s in an attempt to destroy whats left of christian Western civilization. Our Republic is now in the hands and influence of Idumea. This nation is of the roots of ancient Esau, the Red, Red Russia, –Bolshevism, is locked with horns between Obama and Premier Putin. Putin is attempting to stay away from pseudo democracy, as being spread world-wide by the loans to Third- World nations through the International Monetary Fund. This machine is a tool of the United Nations Organization.
    So we learn that we are in a spiritual war, not materialist conception. War and political whoredom are methods to carry on ancient Esau’s determination to make war upon any nation or religious promulgation, that brings to light God’s worst enemy. God says: I loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau! In the last days God implies that this gang of satanic misgivings with be burned as a stubble!
    God says that his seed line is of Shem, oldest son of Noah–He, God, knows His children, and no one cannot pluck them from his hands. The United Nations Organizations is an opponent of God. All is huff and bluff, when mud people, globalized financial gangsters, in the spirit of looting the world’s helpless populations, seek revelation from the depths of hell in order to grind down God’s people in carrying on a spirit of hatred, for taking a stand in order to drag the globe’s inarticulate herds down a global road of darkness, right into the arms of international socialism!

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