As most people know, comments are an absolutely critical aspect of any functioning blog. It not only means you have readers, but readers that care enough and are engaged enough with your content to respond back.
Blogs that have an extremely active user base and get hundreds of comments on every page are usually some of the most popular blogs on earth, but that fame doesn’t always come easy.
Such blogs usually require constant moderation for forums and commenting, and have built up a system of social media connection with users over many years.
There are 3 very important steps you need to take to ensure your site is getting the most out of its comment section.
The first and most important is to stop spam; the second is to incentivize users to comment; and the third is to connect with users beyond your blog.
The following three plugins will help you accomplish those tasks.
The number one plugin for WordPress several years running, Akismet is still the best way to protect your blog from spam.
Any good blog should put stopping spam as their number one priority right from the get-go. Askimet’s filter works by storing a database of all spam links posted on the WordPress network, and then blocking those same patterns from repeating in the future.
If Akismet detects that a comment is definitely spam, it blocks it completely. If it thinks a comment might be spam, it holds the comment back for you to inspect yourself. If it is spam, you can report it and that type of comment will be blocked in the future.
You can also modify Akismet’s settings to hold ALL comments back for moderation, or block only certain criteria when users are posting (such as the words “Gucci Purse”).
CommentLuv is a fantastic plugin that not only incentivizes users to comment, but also to leave as insightful and good natured comment as possible. It does this by allowing the users blog or recent posts to appear in their comment, even if the link system on the blog is “nofollow”
Users who post the best comments are much more likely to get other users, or even the blog owner, interested in their own site and subsequently click on the links. They don’t get a trackback bonus, but they do get extra traffic back to their blog.
Striking a balance between stopping spam and incentivizing users to comment is key. The above two plugins in tandem do that splendidly.
The third and final key to our comment plugin combo is to install the plugin Twitterlink Comments. This handy little plugin allows users to automatically add a link to their twitter profile in every comment they make.
This makes it much easier for savvy blog owners to connect with readers immediately outside of the blogosphere.
Doing so not only virtually ensures the commenter will be a “repeat customer” (visits your blog more than once), but does the invaluable job of “linking” your otherwise middle of nowhere blog into one of the biggest social networks on earth.
The same thing can be done if you chose to forego standard WordPress comments altogether, and instead install Facebook commenting. Or, simply add other types of Facebook integration such as a large “friend me” button and lots of “like” icons.
So, if your following along, the steps to mastering the comment kingdom on WordPress go something like this:
First: Stop comment spam. You don’t want to be a backlink pin-cushion or an advertising venue, especially if your blog is very popular. If the standard Akismet doesn’t cut it, try plugins like “ReCaptcha” or “Simple Trackback Validation”.
Second: Incentivize users to comment. You want to stop spam, but you still want genuine comments. They are critical to your blogs success. The best way to do this is offering some free recognition to bloggers who comment on your site. CommentLuv does this very well, and likewise is one of the best WordPress Plugins.
Third: Connect with users beyond the blog. If a user cares about your content enough to comment on your blog, you probably have a lot in common. Connecting through Twitter not only expands the reaches of your blog to potentially thousands of more people; increasing your chances of earning a paycheck for your blog, but is also a great way to connect with people who would otherwise remain total strangers. TwitterLink comments is the best plugin we have found to integrate twitter accounts into your comments.
That just about wraps it up for this post, be sure to install these plugins and leave a nice comment in the comment section
About the guest author: Rahul Makhija has been in the internet marketing industry for more than 6 years. For more information you can visit Baltimore website design. He is an expert on SEO & PPC tactics and in his free times likes to read and understand about human behavior.
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This post was submitted by Rahul Makhija.