…for the last several days my blog was being absolutely accosted by what seemed to be terrible, evil comment spammers, and the Marine in me was ready to go on the warpath. All of these comments started showing up (like 100 per day) with commercial URLs in place of the Author link, and we were deleting them left and right.
…Then some of the new visitors who had been commenting profusely started questioning why all of their posts were being deleted both in the blog’s comments and via the contact form.
Educating Your Readers On How To Comment
There are some things that you would think wouldn’t need explanation, like how to leave appropriate comments on blogs. They are not complicated. They are just common sense things to do.
Yet, people violate the most basic blog comment etiquette like:
- Don’t use keywords in your comment form name – use your name, blog title, or a pseudonym that resembles a name you want to be known as.
- Don’t stuff your comment signature (which is unnecessary – use the form) with links and qualifications on what kind of an expert you think you are. Let your comment speak for your expertise.
- Don’t leave time waster comment nonsense like “Cool”, “I like your article”, “You make a good point”, “I need this”, and “This is great.”
- Don’t leave long link addresses that screw up web page designs. Put them in an HTML anchor tag with descriptive text that tells the reader where the link is going and what it is about.
- Don’t attack the blogger nor other commenters. Attack the content if you have to attack, not the person.
Still, people don’t seems to get it and blog comments often look like your room when you were a teenager.
Comments need to speak for themselves, but they also speak loudly for your blog.
As long as people keep doing dumb things in comments, bloggers will keep wasting time cleaning up and deleting unnecessary and time wasting comments.
Some are so thrilled to get a comment, they don’t care what it looks like and are willing to waste their time fixing them, or just leaving the comments as they stand. Other bloggers think that there needs to be a Plugin-fix to prevent idiot comments.
Blog comment policies help, as do instructions within the comment form area on how to comment. Liz Strauss tells commenters to “Play nice” – simple, and a gentle, to-the-point reminder.
I say educate your readers on how to comment on your blog, and you will get better comments and happier readers.
Blog readers are tired of the dumb and time waster stuff in comments. I’m not talking about comment spam, but truly time wasting comments by commenters who don’t think, or are abusing comments intentionally or unintentionally.
Many won’t comment after a dumb comment, or judge the blogger by the way they keep their comments clean – or not. Others will point out the dumb comment and ask that it be removed, adding more clutter to the comment queue.
Bloggers can’t read minds. A commenter leaves one to ten comments in a day. A typical blogger has to deal with ten to one hundred comments a day, cleaning out the crap from the jewels. They are making decisions fast and furious, and often harshly.
They know the better the content of the comments, the more integrity your blog seems to have.
How do you educate your readers on how to comment?
- Have a Comment Policy: Create a strong and clear comments policy describing what is acceptable or not on your blog comments. Promote it by blogging about it, and feature a link to it from your comments form. Use it as a pointer for those who complain or question.
- Blog About How to Comment: Education begins with presentation of the issues and how to solve them, so why not educate your readers by blogging about commenting on your blog. Do it every few months to remind them, if necessary.
- Set an Example: How you comment on your blog and on other blogs sets an example to everyone on how to comment. Comment as you would like comments on your blog.
- Ask Your Readers How They Want Comments to Appear on Your Blog: Sometimes the educational process is best when the students give the answers rather than being told. Ask your readers to tell you what they think are the best comments and how they want comments to appear on your blog. You might be surprised to learn that they are tougher on comments than you are.
Do you have a comment policy? Are you tired of time wasting comments? Do you think a comment policy will improve things?
What do you think about educating your readers on how to comment on your blog?
Author: Lorelle VanFossen
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.