Sunday, February 05, 2012

Blog Comments: 7 Scenarios

Uh-oh! Thanks a lot, twitter! Now bloggers must begin intensely watching what commenters are saying!
There is NO REASON why you should allow comments to appear on your blog without moderating them!

Since the New Year began it seems like every blog which accepts guest-posts has an article
purporting to serve up advice for better blogging and monetization. Trouble is, these
otherwise noble writers have mistaken comments for an indicator and perhaps an influencer of
traffic and interactivity, if not popularity! That point-of-view, is, of course, flawed.

Comments are available on blogs for readers' convenience. They are not and never were intended to be a reflection of a blog or blogger's credibility or popularity. Matter of fact, one A-List blogger deliberately closed commenting on her blog for TWO YEARS! It didn't effect the strength of her words or the measure of her popularity by one iota.

Here are the 7 scenarios involving comments:

(1) COMMENTS AS A FORUM - I've seen this in action on LaShawn Barber's old political blog.
Her comments area was like the webforums you still see from time to time. It was not unusual for her to receive more than 100 comments on any given post! In the the forum for discussion model — LaShawn's readers asked questions, provided insight, and offered their own commentary. Later, when LaShawn changed her blog to one more personal (with music as a major topic) comments fell off to near zero.

You'll still see the "forum" style in action on major newspaper blogs whenever a
controversial story is published. That brings us to:

(2) STRONG OPINIONS - If you write about a topic that touches a raw nerve you will get
comments (unless nobody reads your blog - this is one of the best ways to determine how much "klout" you really have - oh, and your "regular" band of commenters don't count!)

(3) HOPING FOR TRAFFIC BACK - here's what CommentLuv is all about. There's even an app that sniffs out blogs using CommentLuv so your own URL can get a free ride. And that's what you really want: traffic back!

(4) GETTING BROWNIE POINTS - One of the latest blog fads involves a "contest" where people are judged on how many links they can rack up by commenting on other blogs and leaving reference to a particular contest or article URL. While you might be safe from being "banned" for now, there's a geek in Israel working on an app to reject and ban commenters who are associated with contests - he's setting it up the way anti-virus developers scan the net for trojans. Once installed on your PC it will update itself automatically to protect you against blog contestants out to win prizes.

(5) HOPING TO BE INVITED TO GUEST POST - Like the proverbial "snowball in hell," a great
majority of guest posters are poor writers - for some, English is a second language. I don't think you'll want to put up a guest post from someone who writes "I big blogger people read me daily" (that's an actual snip from a comment on a blog) as a guest-post on your blog anytime soon. (Or maybe you would, just for laughs. Tag it "humour"...)

(6) WANNA GET BACKLINK FOR SEO - there are also programs like "Drop My Links" that seek out blogs you can comment on, with the promise you'll build your blog's SEO and PR. They are so obvious! When I see comments like these I strip off the URL before publishing the comment!

(7) CIRCLE OF FRIENDS - blogs with these are easy to spot. It's the same 7 or 8 bloggers
(some of them with multiple blogs and multiple identities) trading comments back and forth
on the same 9 or 10 blogs - they usually give one another "first commenter" "best blogger"
and other ridiculous "awards" - outsiders are rarely allowed to break into their little worlds, and if they do, are carefully policed.

MORAL ::: Comments do not make or break any blog or website. I've seen blogs with ZERO
comments that get a million hits a day. I've seen blogs with 15 comments that get 12 hits a day.


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  1. Hi Dave,

    Comment are good, and it's real indication that a blog has life!

    I've got a few guest posts by interacting with people in the comment section of my blog and also their own blogs.

    So, yes.. That's so true!

    Nice stuff.

  2. I am in the camp that comments show life in a blog, I read awesome blogs without comments but comments are just as valuable for SEO to a blog post. Google indexes the HTML of all comments as well as the post and I have seen search results lead to a blog post because of a detailed comment had the keywords or match of what was being searched.

    Provided the comment isn't a bot or backlink scammer, less than 1 out of 1000 visitors actually takes the time to leave a comment, so they should be savored that someone took the time to comment instead of reading and bouncing and each comment should be given a proper response (if it is a legit comment).

    Comments don't make the blog popular, I got 500+ comments on my last contest, but it shows interactivity and raises awareness with you and the readers 1 reader at a time.

    Livefyre is hosting a live conversation on New York Time blogs for Superbowl, just see how popular this commenting session will be and you will see commenting should be about interaction and not necessarily about leaving comments for backlinks.

  3. I've been thinking of closing or at least limiting comments for a while now.

    Will it cause traffic to lower? We'll have to see - if I ever get the guts to do it, that is.

    Thanks for the insights, Dave; it actually gave me a lot of food for thought.

  4. Dave,msometimes the comments continue the conversation as in this case . It all depends on the post and the type of blog you run.


  5. @Hesham - "blog has life" says it all - please continue rading:

    @Dragonblogger - "less than 1 out of 1000 visitors actually takes the time to leave a comment" - yes, that's when your article is attracting traffic based on its own merit!

    @Ana - I'll always read you rblog, comments open or not!

    @Geoffrey - I'm still trying to figure out why my Google Reader "lost" your RSS - but now I gotcha back and have re-followed you on twitter!

  6. Dave - Sorry about taking so long to reply. I finally got around to writing a blog post about this, and tying it to an issue about comments going on in New Haven, CT.

    No Comment!

  7. I always comment with hope of getting traffic back.

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