Blogging is about conversation. What better way is there to foster conversations than with comments?
If you want to increase comments on your blog, here are some handy tips to do so. Implement one, or try all of them.
Share link love
For WordPress users, there are lots of plugins to make this extremely easy:
DoFollow – Strips nofollow from comment links.
DoFollow (WP Plugin) – Allows some enhanced options when removing nofollow.
Remove NoFollow – Yet another WordPress option.
Typepad – Mike Sansone has you covered for removing nofollow.
Blogger – Dummies Guide to Google Blogger Beta has cracked the nofollow code for you.
Display comment avatars
People love seeing their face on your blog, so give them what they want.
Gravatars – This is the old standby, integrated with WordPress via ZenPax’s Gravatars2 Plugin.
Provide a comment preview
Preview button – This is the old school way, requiring users to click a button to see their comment preview. WordPress plugin: Filosofo Comments Preview.
Live preview – Provide a live preview of the user’s comment, while they type. Courtesy of Live Comment Preview WordPress plugin.
Allow comment editing
Use AJAX – WP Ajax Edit Comments enables users to edit their comments in-place, up to X minutes after posting. It’s in use on this blog.
Eliminate spam comments
You want valuable comments, not spam. There are tons of ways to control comment spam, but I recommend two (and only these two).
Akismet – This comes standard with WordPress. It will kill 99% of all comment spam. Although, the FDA hasn’t approved that statement.
Bad Behavior – Use this plugin to provide another layer of protection. Bad Behavior stops spam bots from even accessing your blog.
Remove comment barriers
How often have you not left a comment, because you had to register or fill out a captcha? Don’t do this yourself.
No captcha – Akismet and Bad Behavior will fix the spam problem. I promise.
No registration – Don’t create an exclusive community on your blog. Invite everyone to participate.
Don’t moderate comments
No censoring – Moderation is important for everything except blog comments. People don’t like to be censored.
Converse – The Blogopreneur explains that moderation is the #1 killer of blog conversations.
Provide comment subscriptions
Email updates – This is the most common and easiest way to let readers subscribe to comment updates. My recommendation is the Subscribe to Comments plugin.
RSS feed – Most blogging platforms also have a RSS feed available for each post’s comments. Showcasing this link on each post can encourage comments and conversations.
Highlight top commenters
Commenters can be encouraged with rewards. They’ll likely respond to a possible link (to their site) in your sidebar. It’s easy to showcase the top commenters with this Top Commenters Plugin.
Display recent comments
Along the same lines as above, you can recent comments in your sidebar with a plugin like Get Recent Comments. This plugin even includes Gravatars support.
Anything to add?
I’d love to hear from you. Did I leave something out? Is there a cool plugin I’m missing? Leave a comment or drop me a line.
[tags]wordpress, plugin, comment[/tags]
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