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10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments



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

Remove nofollow from comments. Andy Beard has written extensively on this topic. He even created a Bumpzee community to bring supporters together.

For WordPress users, there are lots of plugins to make this extremely easy:

Link Love – This allows you to remove nofollow after a commenter has X number of comments.

DoFollow – Strips nofollow from comment links.

DoFollow (WP Plugin) – Allows some enhanced options when removing nofollow.

Remove NoFollow – Yet another WordPress option.

TypepadMike Sansone has you covered for removing nofollow.

BloggerDummies Guide to Google Blogger Beta has cracked the nofollow code for you.

Grab a badge. There’s a simple one here, and you can get multicolored badges (like in my sidebar) from Randa Clay.

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.

MyAvatars – The new solution for avatars uses a WordPress plugin to grab avatars from MyBlogLog. (This is what I use on my blog.)

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 AJAXWP Ajax Edit Comments enables users to edit their comments in-place, up to X minutes after posting. It’s in use on this blog.

Go old school – If spiffy JavaScript isn’t your thing, provide a simple edit link for users to modify their comments, via Jalecode’s Edit Comments plugin.

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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Comments

89 Responses to “10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments”

  1. Owen Cutajar
    April 15th, 2007

    *chuckle* .. you have 11 methods there. The final point on your post is an open invitation for your readers to continue the conversation.

  2. Andrew Flusche
    April 15th, 2007

    I see that it worked. :)

  3. Ponn Sabra
    April 15th, 2007

    Andrew,

    These are great tips!
    All in one-place too!
    One thing I’d like you to add is “email to a friend”. Given you had all the others down-pat, I was expecting just to email this over to my VA right now ;-)

    I’ll just have to send the link myself…which is definitely not a problem :-)

    I agree wholeheartedly about the NoFollow concept, as it increased my comments this week dramatically. And, by joining Andy’s bumpzee community, I found you and this awesome post!

    In addition to my comment here, you gained a new RSS subscriber as well. Kudos to you.

    To our success & empowerment,
    Ponn
    P.S. I’m the 1% that Askimet is not grabbing all the spam, so thanks for the 2nd alternative.
    P.P.S. How do I get the “notify me of followup comments via email” checkbox?

  4. Andrew Flusche
    April 15th, 2007

    Hi Ponn,

    I’m really glad you enjoyed this post so much. Your kind words have made my day. Honestly, that is what I really love about blogging. :)

    Emailing a friend is definitely important for growing your blog audience. The only reason I didn’t include it in the post is because I don’t see it directly related to comments. Maybe that’s just a difference of opinion.

    On my blog, if you click the “Share This” link (the green icon at the bottom of every post), you can submit the article to various bookmarking sites. There is also an option to email the post. This is made possible by the Share This plugin, created by my plugin idol, Alex King.

    The checkbox to “notify me of followup comments” is part of the spiffy Subscribe to Comments plugin that I mention above. You can even subscribe to a post’s comments via email without commenting. That’d be handy for an “ask the readers” post, where you didn’t feel like adding anything, but want to see what others say.

    Please let me know if I can do anything else for you. And once again, thank you so much for the kind words.

    Take care,
    Andrew

  5. Ronald Huereca
    April 15th, 2007

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for mentioning the Ajax Edit plugin. Please let me know if you have any suggestions and/or issues.

    Take care,

    Ronald

    Edit: Yay!

  6. Andrew Flusche
    April 15th, 2007

    Ronald,

    Thank you for programming this cool plugin. I’ve already used it a couple times. It’s definitely handy, and I’ll bet my readers will get some benefit out of it.

    Andrew

  7. Maki :: Dosh Dosh
    April 15th, 2007

    Nice post, Andrew.

    Captchas are by far the most irritating element when it comes to commenting. Many times, I’ve entered a captcha after typing a comment and the screen just goes blank and doesn’t have the courtesy to redirect me back to the post page.

    Moderation is important though, for first time commenters. I get a lot of manual type-in spam and it’s the easiest way to manage them.. :)

  8. Andrew Flusche
    April 16th, 2007

    Maki,

    I’m glad you liked the post. It’s good to see I’m not the only one who has trouble with captchas. Sometimes I can’t even read what I’m supposed to type, but maybe I’m cross-eyed.

    For spam control, do you run Akismet? It’s usually darn effective at combating spam, and at least putting questionable comments in a moderation queue. That way bona fide comments go live right away.

    But I guess if you’re only moderating first timers, that’s not too intense. Although that creates extra work on your end. :)

    Thanks for commenting,
    Andrew

  9. [...] is because of spam. LegalAndrew reiterates a point from the Blogopreneur that moderation is the number one killer of blog conversations. This point alone has forced me to reevaluate the position of RA Project and the moderation of [...]

  10. [...] Bumpzee community, details below #4) , Andrew wrote a fantastic, easy-to-read list of all the ways to increase comments to your blog. He graciously shares every plugin I’ve ever wanted specifically to make you want to comment [...]

  11. Ponn Sabra
    April 16th, 2007

    Thanks so much Andrew!

    With your reply…this post is simply awesome. I updated my post (link above) directing readers to this post, with a disclosure sharing my problems with spam, askimet, plugins, etc. I’m just patiently in limbo right now. (Really…this is all ‘trying my patience’ Urgh!) I don’t think there’s much anyone can do, except hope I didn’t get “hacked” which some have suggested (as I just moved to WP a month ago March 15th).

    Great additional tip about “ask the reader” post…very slick trick. I have the ‘subscribe’ option, but I asked my VA, why? I just wanted the “notify me” option. Why would anyone just want read the comments? Thanks for verifying a much needed Aha-moment.

    All the best,
    Ponn

  12. Ronald Huereca
    April 16th, 2007

    Andrew,

    Your post inspired me to try out optional methods besides a CAPTCHA to combat Spam. At RA Project, Bes and I decided to use Bad Behavior and Akismet with no comment moderation as an experiment. I hope it works. :)

  13. Andrew Flusche
    April 16th, 2007

    Hi Ponn,

    I’m really glad this post was so helpful to you, and I definitely appreciate the link. I hope your situation gets worked out soon. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

    Andrew

  14. Andrew Flusche
    April 16th, 2007

    Ronald,

    I’m really intrigued about the results of your no-captcha experiment. Akismet + Bad Behavior has worked perfect for me, but it might not for you guys. All sites are different. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for some results on your experiment.

    Andrew

  15. spitbook
    April 18th, 2007

    Great Tips… I will be using some of this myself. Thanks!

  16. Andrew Flusche
    April 19th, 2007

    spitbook,

    Great! It always makes my day when someone benefits from a post here. :)

  17. [...] One of the more controversial ways to limit spam is to install a CAPTCHA. CAPTCHAs overall have been given a bad reputation due to the unreadable monstrosities on most websites and not to mention the accessibility problems by blind or dyslexic users. CAPTCHAs almost seem taboo because they inconvenience readers and cause them to perform one more step in order to leave a comment. [...]

  18. [...] werden – ohne ist eine Diskussion doch nicht möglich. Gutes Plugin von txfx.net. Gesehen bei Legal Andrew, ja, das Theme gefällt mir auch [...]

  19. Pete Shop
    April 25th, 2007

    Hello,
    a great theme and good tips !
    But won’t this increase spam traffic ?
    Pete

  20. Andrew Flusche
    April 25th, 2007

    Pete,

    I’m glad you like the blog and this post. Thanks!

    I guarantee that Akismet and Bad Behavior will stop 99.9% of spam. Have you tried these two plugins?

  21. Pete Shop
    April 25th, 2007

    Hello Andrew,
    thank for fast reply.
    Is it possible to install several anti spam plugins at once ?
    By the way, your blog send message twice ?
    Pete

  22. Andrew Flusche
    April 25th, 2007

    Pete,

    You can generally install any plugins you want. You might run across a couple that don’t play well together. But most should work fine.

    I know that Akismet and Bad Behavior can work just fine together. They’re running on this blog right now. :)

    As for duplicate messages, are you talking about email notifications? If so, can you forward them to me? – aflusche@gmail.com. I’ll definitely get to the bottom of that.

    Take care,
    Andrew

  23. AnitoKid
    May 18th, 2007

    Very well said! More power! Mabuhay!

  24. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  25. Search a book
    June 11th, 2007

    Can someone explain how Bad Behavior really works ?
    I added it to a blog I’m still building and without the blog is live the plugin shows me statictics for blocked things ?!

  26. Andrew Flusche
    June 11th, 2007

    Honestly, the technical end of Bad Behavior is a bit over my head. My basic idea is that spammers access your page with automated scripts. Bad Behavior detects these scripts, since they look different than actual browser visits. It blocks them.

    I could be really wrong there, but that’s my best shot. You might check out the official site (linked to above).

    Thanks for commenting,
    Andrew

  27. Pete Shop
    June 11th, 2007

    Oh, I also understood you tested it )-:
    I have the same problem, blog is in work and the plugin is active working. No idea, may be it is so cool, that it also blocks some robots.txt follower!?

  28. Cafe_Cafe
    June 23rd, 2007

    That kind of info is really valuable. I´ll change my template right now to follow comments.
    Thanks a lot and feel free to visit me any day to have some fun.

    Entretenimiento Online

  29. [...] Participation (Matt Huggins) 37. 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog (ProBlogger) 38. 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) 39. Top 5 WordPress Plugins That Help Increase Comments [...]

  30. [...] Participation (Matt Huggins) 37. 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog (ProBlogger) 38. 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) 39. Top 5 WordPress Plugins That Help Increase Comments [...]

  31. Paul (Buy Books)
    July 7th, 2007

    I installed Bad Behavior on a development website – i t was counting activity from day one. Than I include MY OWN wordpress feed into the rest of my website and after some days Bad Behavior hat blocked my own IP so I can’t get my own feed…
    Forget the plugoin, may be it will be good in a lot of cases, but you’ll never know what it is doing and may be it will stop also a lot of other feed users and readers.

  32. [...] For some background reading you can read:Randy Clay DesBumpzeeLegal Andrew [...]

  33. Brian
    July 10th, 2007

    Great post Andrew and great tips, I don’t think nofollow is on my blog http://www.britec.co.uk/techblog/ but then I am new to blogging so I don’t know I would be glade of some comments I have only got 2 lol lets hope I get more traffic and then people may comment…I don’t even care if they say me blog is crap…just a comment would be nice.

  34. Andrew Flusche
    July 11th, 2007

    Hi Brian,

    It looks like you’ve got some good content so far. Keep up the great work!

    From what I see, it looks like your comments currently have “nofollow” in use. To remove that easily, implement one of the plugins I link to at the top of this post.

    Good luck to you, and thanks for commenting!
    Andrew

  35. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  36. FacingTheSharks
    July 24th, 2007

    Andrew, can I have “recent comments” on my blog? Can I, can I, can I?

  37. Andrew Flusche
    July 24th, 2007

    Of course you can! I’ve added that to my To Do list.

  38. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  39. Pinky22
    August 12th, 2007

    My comments this week, I found you and this awesome post, definitely important for growing your blog audience. The only reason I didn’t include it in the post, I’ve already used it a couple times. It’s definitely handy. it comes to commenting. Many times, I’ve entered a captcha after typing a comment and the screen, It’s usually darn effective at combating spam, and at least putting questionable, I definitely appreciate the link. I hope your situation gets worked out soon

  40. WendyWings
    August 19th, 2007

    Surfed here while checking out the nofollow phenom, unfortuntely I use blogger and my template was adapted for me long ago, tinkering has not helped so at this point I can’t join the no follow brigade as much as I would like too lol.Have a great day.

  41. Traveller
    August 20th, 2007

    Great tips! Now I have to figure out how to do all of these in Blogger (Notification, RSS feeds, etc.

  42. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  43. pbradish
    September 4th, 2007

    These are all very good methods. I’ve seen the best results by combining do-follow movement with a top commentators plug in.

  44. Bape
    September 28th, 2007

    Its ironic that many bloggers talk about this but then they actually use no follow.

  45. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Andrew Flusche ) [...]

  46. JemoJeafe
    November 27th, 2007

    Hi, hello, privet
    hunger

  47. do follow
    December 15th, 2007

    Hi, your site is included in our index of DoFollow sites search engine!

    Cheers!

  48. Referáty zeměpis
    December 22nd, 2007

    Thank you for this useful post!

    Cheers.

  49. Helga
    February 13th, 2008

    Great Site – really useful information!u

  50. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  51. Dee
    March 16th, 2008

    wow you posted this almost one year ago and we are still commenting. Bravo your post really works.

  52. MSN hacken
    March 16th, 2008

    Yes, I know this is a great posts. But I think the most comments are about because they are not nofollowed.

  53. Maria Ozawa
    March 19th, 2008

    This is a nice post. I guess i will implement those in my blog.

  54. Taylor Nursing Scrubs
    March 26th, 2008

    OK , I agree with you in concept, if used properly, comments are great. They add a level of interactivity that a flat blog post just doesn’t have. But I find that the problem with removing the NoFollow tag is that you end up getting all kinds of blatant spam. I mean, just look at some of the comments left on your post. Don’t you think it hurts your blog a little?

    Just my humble opinion,
    Charles

  55. Zack Katz
    April 11th, 2008

    You write about the technical side of getting more comments, but there are also other reasons why a site might want for comments, including how inviting the copy is to response.

    What do you think are ways to increase comments without plugins?

  56. [...] 10 quick methods to increase blog comments [...]

  57. Billy
    April 16th, 2008

    wicked article keep up the good work

  58. Cecelia
    April 17th, 2008

    Thanks for the tips…I may have to ditch my comments monderation. :(

  59. Andrew Flusche
    April 17th, 2008

    Thanks for all the comments, guys!

    @Zack – I’ll definitely leave the writing tips up to better bloggers than myself. I don’t claim to be an expert at that sort of thing. But I think one key is to leave things unsaid. If you say it all (or try to), nobody will want to comment.

  60. Jarod Clark
    April 28th, 2008

    Hey Andrew,
    Nice piece. Writings in blogs can be written in a way to engage the audience and invoke comments. Articles can also be written with room for discussion.

  61. Movie
    May 23rd, 2008

    NoFollow and Top Commenters plug-in – this is the way to increase attendance and even commented :) Note this on your blog :)

  62. fkraa.com
    June 19th, 2008

    Thank you

  63. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  64. MSN Hacken
    October 24th, 2008

    I know this is a great posts. But I think the most comments are about because they are not nofollowed.

  65. vertaalbureau engels
    October 25th, 2008

    Well DoFollow works, but sometimes it works too well, like here, and you only get human spammers instead op spambots…

  66. Andrew Flusche
    October 25th, 2008

    Sure, most comments on this post are due to nofollow. But that doesn’t mean all comments on my blog are simply because of nofollow. There are many factors that help increase commenting.

  67. [...] Participation (Matt Huggins) 42. 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog (ProBlogger) 43. 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) 44. Top 5 WordPress Plugins That Help Increase Comments (JohnTP) Blog Monetization [...]

  68. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  69. Altesino
    January 10th, 2009

    Looks like you could use Akismet! I agree limiting your censorship but you have to keep the junk off the site.

  70. Andrew Flusche
    January 10th, 2009

    @Altesino – I actually do use Akismet. I can’t believe it let some of those comments through. But the obvious spam ones are gone now. Thanks for the heads up!

  71. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  72. Raman
    February 23rd, 2009

    I fear that blogger will ban my account as spam blog if I remove the nofollow. Any one has any feedback?

  73. Denver Web Design
    April 15th, 2009

    Spot on! Love your article, I don’t understand why people think the no follow thing is cool, it seems cold and coarse. Also good point on censorship, I hate it when I see comments that have been censored, it makes me think “why post, this guy doesn’t value diversity in opinion, or they are weird about foul language, comments are just that comments, some people watch their mouths and others don’t, ce la ve!

  74. [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Andrew Flusche ) [...]

  75. Sally
    May 20th, 2009

    removing no follow from comments is the best way to get more comments

  76. Audemars Piguet
    June 23rd, 2009

    This is a nice post. I guess i will implement those in my blog.

  77. jason
    July 20th, 2009

    ty man :)

  78. online müzik dinle
    July 20th, 2009

    Thanks for the information.

  79. Link Degisimi
    July 21st, 2009

    Thank you for mentioning the Ajax Edit plugin. Please let me know if you have any suggestions and/or issues.

  80. Film Fragmanları
    July 27th, 2009

    [...] 10 Quick Methods to Increase Blog Comments (Legal Andrew) [...]

  81. Ilse
    August 6th, 2009

    Very useful! Thanks and keep it coming.

  82. Youtube Gir
    August 7th, 2009

    Great Tips.. I will be using some of this myself. Thanks!

  83. Uzay
    August 25th, 2009

    Great article..Thank you for sharing..

  84. printing
    August 27th, 2009

    Hi,Thanks for sharing this nice post with a good topic and related nice topic…..keep it up….

  85. bingo
    September 1st, 2009

    Hello everyone. Thanks for this.

  86. government grants for individuals
    September 18th, 2009

    such a great site you have

  87. Miami homes
    September 24th, 2009

    I think it’s not about moderation, it’s about making sure that you’re not attracting a human-visitor who’s eager to earn link only and doesn’t contribute to your blog. Just don’t tinker with them, thats what I am sure people will not like. Anyways dofollow is good but yeah take good measures to make sure you’ve got spam blocked.

  88. Why do your readers comment?
    October 2nd, 2009

    [...] 10 Quick methods to increase your blog comments Tweet This Post Buzz This Post Digg This Post Facebook Stumble This PostYou May be Interested in these postsFebruary 20, 2009 — How To Increase your blog traffic Commenting on other blogsOctober 1, 2009 — Home Income From Google – Google Home JobsOctober 1, 2009 — Installing WordPress and doing the initial setup – Content Management SystemSeptember 30, 2009 — Do you get link exchange proposal for your blog / website?September 30, 2009 — Problogger Community is on – Not a free to use place [...]

  89. scott webb
    October 18th, 2009

    I’m totally thinking about the dofollow options. I need to check out that wp option to see if it gives the ability to give follow links to only specific people that comment. So it’s earned! and not expected. Great tips.

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