Looking for Something?
Posts Tagged for


30 Days to a Better Blog: Keep Up With Your Comments


30 Days to a Better Blog: Keep Up With Your Comments

Conversations are a HUGE and integral part of blogging. And the first place a discussion usually takes place is in your comments section. Keeping on top of your comments should be just as important as writing your next post, and there are several steps involved:

  • Field Spam. Everyone hates spam. Bloggers hate weeding through it, but honestly … readers hate seeing it too. It is the first way to signify to a reader that you don’t really care about your blog. The first step is to activate Akismet (or another anti-spam plugin) but many comments and trackbacks will slip through the crack. Flag them as spam and keep them off your blog.
  • Approve Comments. If you have your blog set up so that you must manually approve comments, you must keep on top of them and commit to approving them immediately. If a reader took the time to offer feedback or continue a discussion, they’re not going to come back a day later to see if their comment made it through.
  • Reply to Comments. If someone responds to a post (even to say “great idea”), take the time to respond back. They took time out of their day to read your blog and give you feedback. They are opening the door to becoming a repeat visitor and starting a dialogue with you. Respect your readers, talk to them, and they’re bound to recommend you to others.
  • Start a Debate. Face reality. Not everybody is going to love you or your ideas. But controversy and debate can fuel very interesting conversations and bring in pageviews. If someone disagrees with you, don’t ignore their comment – start a debate. Acknowledge their viewpoint and counter it. Be respectful, but this is your opportunity to show that you care about your topic and are knowledgeable enough to debate it.
  • Bring Comments Into Your Posts. Browse your comments for ideas for future posts, or pull together several into a follow-up article. Your readers will love seeing themselves brought into your content and will continue to comment on the blog. You may even ask a commenter to contribute with a guest post of his/her own.

Are there other ways you keep up with your comments? Share them in OUR comment section below.

Are Spammy Comments Inevitable?


Hang on, I’m not going to talk about the spam and junk comments we get on our blogs because that’s long since been discussed to death and while it’s managed by Akismet and such, it’s just a fact of life. Even with those tools, I still get 5-10 clearly spam comments on AskDaveTaylor every night (usually between 1-5am, when I imagine that it’s mid-day in India or China?), all easily deleted.

Instead, I’m going to ask whether these sort of comments are just part of being online and a natural outgrowth of any commercial or economic system where there are bottom-feeders trying to exploit and trick both the system and its users for a fast buck?

What made me wonder this, btw, is when I was looking at the app reviews on iTunes for a game and noticed that they’re starting to be overrun by spammers. Yup, those little two-sentence reviews are a brave new outpost for this sort of thing, as shown here:

In case it’s not obvious, I’m not encouraging you to check out either of the apps (or Web sites) mentioned. Like email spam, like blog comment spam, encouraging these guys is like feeding cockroaches in a tenement, a really bad idea.

What really strikes me about this after being in the blogging world for eight years and being online for a lot longer than that is that there’s a sort of inevitability to this sort of thing, a sense that everyone who designs any sort of user feedback or user generated content system, any Web-based app or even standalone app that lets people share their own opinions must take this junk into account and design the system to limit — or, better, prevent — these sort of abuses.

On the blogging front, it amazes me that I see similar sort of daft spam comments on all of my blog articles, from film reviews on my film blog to parenting discussions on my parenting blog. I know, much of it’s automated, but it’s not, really, because the automated stuff is what Akismet is so darn good at catching. This is actually a human being spending the time and effort to attempt to leave a comment that starts out more or less related to the topic (“good review, I love Jolie!”) followed by those pesky links to their scams, hustles and rip-offs.

Is this just the way of things?  Should we all finally buckle down and just assume spam is going to spread and ooze into every corner of our online lives?  What do you think?

Learn About NMX


Recent Comments