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

  1. Dee
    March 16th, 2008

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

  2. 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.

  3. Maria Ozawa
    March 19th, 2008

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

  4. 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,

  5. 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?