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Moderating blog comments counts

Moderating comments* left on your blog is just another time-consuming task, right?

It one sense yes it is – if you get a lot of spam it can be very tedious to check comments regularly, and moderating does take time that you may want to spend doing income-producing tasks.

However, there are a number of benefits to moderating your comments rather than just accepting any your spam filter allows through. I was just reminded of this after reading a post on a high traffic blog and seeing an obvious spam comment in amongst a number of real comments – along with no replies to the commenters, the spam just made her look lazy and disinterested.

So my quick list of reasons to moderate blog comments is:

  1. it gives you the opportunity to immediately reply to genuine comments and build your community
  2. you look interested in the blog and its readers
  3. you protect your readers from potentially dangerous links (most spam comments are about getting more links to dubious sites)
  4. you will sometimes find fantastic comments accidentally treated as spam by filters
  5. you can maintain the brand and tone of your comments. For example, you can keep people from using vulgar or hateful language, stop people attacking each other and accept only realistic and appropriate negative comments. You may reject comments completely or edit specific comments to suit if they contain a worthwhile message

Moderating comments is an easy task that you can do at the end of the working day or when you need a mental break, or you could outsource it to save time (but be sure to review yourself to answer comments).

Do you moderate comments or just let them go live?

* Moderating comments simply means looking at each comment and deciding if will go live on your site, or not. There is usually a comments section in your administration area where it is easy to view pending comments and deal with them as you wish.

Reply to blog comments

Well the title says it all really – it is important to reply to the comments left on your blog.

interacting speech makes a blogI just read a blog post today that had a dozen or so comments from various people, including a question for clarification on an aspect of the post topic, without one reply from the blogger. The post was a few weeks old so she’s had time to reply – and the post was actually about how to deal with negative blog comments!

So what happens when you don’t reply to comments people take the time to leave for you?

  1. you look arrogant and rude, especially if you’ve written any questions or invitations for responses
  2. you miss the opportunity to discuss the topic further and get others’ input
  3. you miss the opportunity to show further knowledge, expertise and generosity by answering questions that come up in the comments
  4. you appear lazy and/or disinterested in what your readers have to contribute
  5. you give other people the last word – and if their words are negative it could damage your brand
  6. you don’t give the impression that you want to build a community which is a large aspect of blogging in the first place
  7. you reduce the number of back links from your site (people won’t be inspired to comment and leave links if you aren’t answering them) which hinders your SEO potential of a blog
  8. answering comments and engaging in a healthy discussion often gathers momentum and additional attention (e.g. people share the link via social media and bookmark sites) so a lack of comments may limit your exposure further
  9. you may just miss out on building relationships with some great people – some of whom may become clients, suppliers or friends

So I go back to the title of this post – reply to the comments people leave on your blog. And reply as soon as practical, too.

What do you think when you see a blog without replies to comments?