Let’s get real for just a minute. I know people don’t wake up, turn on their computer, and type in the browser window
h t t p : / / A r e W e C o n n e c t e d . c o m
to see the latest happenings on the site.
People arrive here from various referral sources. That could be a Google Search, a link from a social network like Twitter or Facebook. They might even be reading the newest posts in a feed reader (my preferred method). How they arrive at the blog is not what I’m concerned with here. It’s what happens later.
We Want Comments
Comments are social proof. Somebody arrived at my post, read it and did something. They might not have agreed with me but they responded. If and when people do leave a comment a good blogger will respond to those comments. That encourages discussion, and that’s always a great thing for a writer.
So as a blogger, when we actually succeed at getting someone to comment, here’s how we can screw it all up.
Lack of Comment Notification
If I left a comment on your blog and you replied did I hear it? You asked me for my name and email address, did your blog send me a “Mike replied to your comment on…” email? If it didn’t, did you actually expect me to check back periodically to see if anyone responded? Really? That isn’t going to happen.
Blogging Rule #816: Every blog MUST have a form of subscribe to comments
That could be a simple plugin like “Subscribe to Comments”. It could also be any form of comment management system you like.
New to Comment Management? Here’s a quick rundown of what they do.
- Most all will allow you to sign in using the method of your choice (facebook, twitter, openid etc.).
- Most will allow you to share your comment on various social networks.
- Most will provide a pretty avatar of you next to your comment (have Gravitar?)
- All will provide an extra layer of spam protection.
- All will provide the comment writer with notification (with a link back to the post) so they know someone replied and the discussion can continue!
Disqus – This blog uses Disqus. It has for along time.
Intensedebate – This is from the makers of wordpress (Automattic) so you know it’s going to work beautifully with most themes.
LiveFyre – Is new to me but it looks and operates much the same as the others.
Facebook Comments – I’ve debated putting this on but I can see the real value behind it. Most often (unless you deem otherwise) your comment on the blog is also published on your Facebook Wall for all your friends to see. It’s also a link back to the post, thereby driving traffic back here.
Moral of the Story
So unless your blog is just for broadcasting and you are not interested in any form of dialogue… Before you write that 1st post, you MUST have some sort of comment notification. YOU MUST
If not – just create your posts and turn off all comments like Seth* does.
I read around 200 blog posts a day, I comment on those that are interesting to me. If I see an article that doesn’t have comment notification I’ll skip it. Why do you want to make me work harder? Sorry, I’m moving on.
Do you do this too?
* I’m kidding, you and I are not Seth, don’t even think you can go there!