If you blog, make it easy for people to comment

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Worst Practices  |  Corporate blogging

CommentI read dozens of blogs regularly and scan hundreds of others in an average week. Maybe you do too.

A big part of what I like about blogs are the comments. (I especially like the comments on this blog! Thank you.)

Of course, if you blog, the choice of permitting comments is yours to make. Some people choose not to.

However, I've noticed recently that many bloggers who allow comments are discouraging them and they probably don’t even know it. Mainly this is because the blog is set up to only accept comments from people who have an account with the particular blog software that they use.

This is silly. Don’t do it.

For example, if you use Wordpress for your blog and only allow people who have a Wordpress account to leave a comment, then you are eliminating the comments from more than 99 percent of your audience because they do not have a Wordpress account.

Here is the Wordpress comment panel. If you use Wordpress, in this panel you want to leave unchecked the button that says: "Users must be registered and logged in to comment."

I see this mistake made most frequently on the Blogger platform. I’ve gotten so frustrated by blogs built on the Blogger platform requiring that I sign in to my Blogger account that I actually registered for a Blogger account (even though I do not blog on this platform) just to be able to leave comments. But I am a rare person who will do this. Almost nobody else will go through the hassle.

Do you want comments? Then make it easy for people to leave them.

The answer is to flip the switch in your blog software that allows comments in multiple ways. People should be able to comment with just a name.

If you are worried about inappropriate (spammy) comments, use a Captcha program on your blog like I do. This eliminates comments made by machines by requiring humans to enter a "secret word". Or you can flip on the moderation mode and approve comments one by one.

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