This post on six ways to lose your readership got me thinking about ways that bloggers can encourage readers to visit their blogs, especially in how they moderate their comments sections, which is something I didn’t see discussed in that post.
So, here are a few tips for fostering and maintaining healthy discussion in the comments section of your blog. If you have any ideas to add, please feel free to drop them in the comments section!
Clean Out Spam
In order to keep your commenters happy and create the environment for a healthy discussion, it’s imperative that you delete all spam comments as quickly as possible. Of course, there are plenty of good spam filtering widgets out there that you can use on your blog; however, even these sometimes miss the better disguised spam. So always be vigilant. Nothing shows that a blogger doesn’t care about his blog more than the presence of spam in the comments section.
Allow Commenters a Backlink
Another thing that will attract commenters to your blog is if you allow them to have a do-follow link in their comments. Of course, this will really open your blog up to spam comments or comments by people who simply want to get that link, so that’s a tradeoff that you’ll have to consider before you implement that feature.
Follow a Clear Comment Moderation Policy
If you do allow do-follow comments, then you should consider announcing a clear comment moderation policy to encourage sincere discussion in your comments sections.
For example, you could say that you will delete all comments that are simply statements of agreement or disagreement. Of course, you’ll have consequences of this moderation policy, so do keep those in mind. Likewise, you could allow all comments, except obvious spam; however, if you do that, you will have to deal with trolling comments and other empty comments as well. Whatever moderation policy you choose to follow, you should uphold it fairly.
Respond to Comments
Finally, when you actually do get worthwhile comments on your posts, you should be sure to respond smartly and say thanks for the comment. This will show your commenters that you are paying attention to what they have to say. It also makes you more accessible to them.
Instead of being the blogger behind the curtain, you are actually open to interacting with your readers. This is really important in this day and age of social networking. A blog cannot survive without that kind of interaction between its readers and the webmaster.
This is a guest post by Mariana Ashley, a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to guest post here, check out the guidelines.
Image Credit: Wheatfields>