I wrote a guest post at Daily Blog Tips about 5 common comment mistakes today. These are additional, but not so common 5 comment-related mistakes you should avoid.
1. Disabling Comments
I was skeptical to enable comments on my blog, when I started my tech blog last year. This was because of my fear, having to waste a lot of my time, replying to and moderating comments. I used to read Steve Pavlina’s blog and a few other high traffic blogs. At that time, I had read a post by Steve, why he disabled comments on his blog. Here’s a guest post at ProBlogger, by Greg McFariane telling to disable comments too.
This is not needed for new blogs or most of the blogs, or unless you get too many comments, which take too much of your time and your other work suffers. Recently, Linda Formichelli did this too, for the above reason. You can see, even on a top blog like Daily Blog Tips, the comments aren’t in hundreds per post and can be managed. So, don’t do this mistake which I did, initially. Comments are currency for your blog, as Chris Brogan rightly says.
2. Using a Difficult Comment Posting System
Bloggers use different commenting systems/plugins to post and manage blog comments. Some of them are WordPress.com, Blogger, Disqus, LiveFyre, Intense Debate, CommentLuv, and no external comment system (that is, using just the default WordPress comment form with the standard Akismet plugin). All these systems have different features. But, some of these can be troublesome at times for visitors. Needing you to signup/register adds to the trouble.
Last year, more than twice, I lost my typed comments due to two of the above comment systems’ misbehavior. If you use one of them, make sure to occasionally test it out by posting test comments, from another computer. CommentLuv is a very good commenting system/plugin which I and lots of other bloggers use. It caused some problems for me at one time, last year. I wouldn’t have known about the problem if a visitor hadn’t told me. Since that time, I make sure to post test comments from another computer. Regardless of which commenting system you use, you should likewise test it at times.
3. Not Commenting on Others’ Blogs
You might have heard, you should give first what you expect from others, that is, give before you receive. You can’t expect to receive without giving. Commenting on others’ blogs regularly (and giving something of value) creates good connections and relations. Many bloggers will check your blog and some may even leave comments.
If you want some comments for your new blog (like mine), and are ready to comment on others’ blogs too, you can join some blogging groups like Ultimate Blog Challenge. They have an optional but daily comment chain. Each person posts the link to their daily blog posts, and then, immediately comments on the two links posted above his comment. This way, everyone gets at least one comment per post. Whoever posts below your comment visits and comments on your post.
I used to get comments this way too, but I stopped after I won the UBC badge. Now, I try to leave 1-2 comments daily on blogs I visit in my niche. Even Problogger Darren Rowse suggests doing this in his 31 Days to Build a Better Blog book .
4. No Avatars With Comments
Showing avatars along with visitor comments on your blog depends on you. Most bloggers enable them but some don’t. Some others just show random cartoon characters or strange creatures along with the comments. Not enabling to show avatars isn’t a big mistake, but it helps create an identity. People will remember you better if you have your headshot as an avatar, along with your comments.
Haven’t you heard – “A picture speaks a thousand words”? You can also read how images and other (fonts) stuff have an imapct on your blog here in this recent Daily Blog Tips post by Ali Luke (Read Step #5). Twitter recently enabled posting images along with tweets and the number of retweets and favorites a post with an image gets is more than one without an image, as the figures show at bufferapp.
5. Too Many Comments on a Single Page
Some good and high-traffic blogs too do this mistake. Why is this a mistake? Because it can take a long time to load the page, if there are hundreds of comments on a single post, without pagination. In addition to taking more Internet bandwidth, such a blog post can even hang the browser.
So, what should you do? Simple, as you already understood – paginate your comments. You can do so from WordPress Settings -> Discussion page, as you see in the below image. I’ve set the comments per page to 15 on my blog, but you can set it to any number. Any number like 25-50 should be good.
Do you have any other comment-related mistakes you can share? Please let me know in the comments below.
Featured Image Credit: bbcbob (via Flickr)