Spammy, misunderstood, annoying, valuable, overused, underused. – Where I come from, these words are tossed around all the time when speaking of blog and forum comments. What exactly are these comments, you ask? Many blog platforms such as Blogger, WordPress and others allow you to make your own little notes stating your ideas or opinions on a blog post. Usually this is right below the post, and they’re fairly hard to miss. It’s not uncommon though for a blog host to completely disable the ability for others to leave comments on their blogs, usually out of fear of getting annoying and spammy comments by idiots trying to promote their business, products, or website. Unfortunately, this kind of rude spam is rather common, so it’s not too hard to see why a lot of bloggers choose to completely disable this feature.
Unfortunately though, disabling the comment feature on blogs is really a lose-lose situation. Do spammers lose? Of course they do. But so do the general public and the blogger himself. The general public loses out on the worthwhile discussion that can come from blog comments, and the blogger loses out on valuable content that can accomplish the following:
Makes the blog more interesting to readers – bringing them back again and again. Comments add to the content of the blog making it more valuable to search engines, thus giving it more exposure. Obviously comments add new fresh content bringing the search engine spiders around more frequently, meaning more and faster indexing.
There is absolutely no denying that blog comments are an entertaining and valuable tool we can be using. – But how exactly do we make them work not only for the commenters, but for the blog host as well? I have a good solution for this, and it involves education on the part of the blogger and the commenter. Here is my recommendation of what should be implemented on the part of the blog host: A good blog commenting policy that is easy to find and accessible from the front of their blog. It should contain rules similar to the following:
Note: Comments will be accepted on this blog under the following conditions:
- The comment must be thought provoking or useful, providing additional information or well thought out discussion concerning the topic at hand.
- Comments that are completely off topic will be deleted.
- Comments posted only to direct a person to another site will be deleted.
- Comments that, to finish reading, you must go to another site will be deleted.
- Comments that are of no use, merely lame endorsements of the post, such as, “Great job!” will be deleted.
- Here’s even more reason you should leave informative and smart comments: Those that read your comments are much more likely to remember you and take note of you as a competent and intelligent individual. This is especially the case with bright and successful individuals, as they’re always on the lookout for other successful people. – And of course, these are the types we’re trying the hardest to attract.
- All other comments are welcome!
- You may place a link back to your site in your username. – To get the most benefit out of this link though, remember to include the keyword that you’re trying to rank for. A good example is, if your name is John Smith, you can write your name out as such: John (Keyword phrase) Smith. A good tip is to vary up your link and keyword a lot to get maximum benefit.
You would also do well to show an example of a well done, and a poorly done, comment.
Here is something a good blog manager can do to encourage this mutually beneficial commenting:
Install a plugin into your blog that removes the nofollow from links. You can go to this helpful link that will contain instructions on various blogging platforms:
Nofollow Blog Instruction Link
Items for the Blog commenter to do:
Write intelligent comments - if necessary do a Google search on the topic to get some valuable additional information to leave in the comment.
This next tip applies after leaving the comment – it is highly recommended that you place several links back to the address of the page containing your comment. Why? – The post with the comment page itself will often become obscure and perhaps not even indexed in Google. By placing a few links to it everyone wins. The blog master has a more valuable page on their site to generate them traffic and search engine traffic and the commenter gets a link coming back to their site that has some value to it. Most people leave out this step – just adding a couple links to the comment page from several of the social bookmarking sites can make a huge difference.
One final note for the Blog Master. – I would make it so that all blog comments have to be approved by the moderator, however do this in a timely manner based on the criteria above. Upon approval of the comment I would even email the person making the comment with the URL of the page the comment is on advising it would be very beneficial for them to add several links from several of the social bookmarking sites to the blog page with the comment. There is no reason that benefiting from a blog comment must be immediately thought of as spam, and using these tips and techniques, both the blogger and the commenter can have a mutually beneficial relationship!