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Comments, The Lifeblood Of A Blog

The lifeblood of a good blog has to be the comments left by it’s readers. Without comments a blog could be likened to a heartless, soulless zombie wandering around cyberspace looking for commentators to suck the brains from their skulls. :twisted_wp: OK, that may be a little exaggerated, but I reckon you get the gist of where I’m going.

So, we’ve established that comments are important; now we shall look at the types of comments left on blogs.

  • Spam: These are slimy icky comments left by brainless people (probably had them sucked out by zombies) in the hope that they may get some link juice. Can usually be recognized by blatant keywords in the url section and because they’re inane crap that have nothing to do with the post.
  • Ass Kissing: Akin to spam and can be recognized by smooth bullshit comments structured to appease the ego of the blogger. Unfortunately many a blogger will fall for these comments  thereby failing to delete them for the useless crap that they are.
  • Dumb Ass: There are quite a few of these and what makes them stand out is that their comments show they didn’t read the whole post. They have to be really dumb to think they won’t be found out.
  • Ranters: These can be good or bad commentators. Their appearance depend a lot on the actual post as some posts elicit when can be a very emotional response from some commentators. When you do not agree with the rant it is best to deal it diplomatically. Abusive rants should be moderated or even deleted.
  • Enhancers: Cherished by bloggers far and wide these comments improve the post by providing well constructed comments, comments that add value to the original post.
  • Whilst there are other forms of comments, these can be seen as the ones most bloggers come across. As bloggers we wish to attract good comments but unfortunately no matter how hard we try maggots infest our post and these must be eradicated before they spoil the post itself. Eradication is as easy as spamming or deleting the comment, depending on which category the slovenly comments fits in.

    The question is what can we do to invite the thought provoking, post enriching comments that we all long for?

    1. Comment Policy: This is a must as it instructs them as to the type of comments that you insist on whilst warning them how comments not adhering to the rules will be terminated. Too bad a lot of readers will not bother reading it, but those that do will appreciate it.
    2. Quality Content: If you do not provide quality content in the first place, how can you possibly expect people to leave a quality comment. You must lead the way and hopefully some will follow.
    3. Leave Room For Comment: Some posts are so comprehensive that they cover every point imaginable, and if this is the case you’ve left no room for a commentator to add to the subject of the post. Almost all that is left is “Nice Post” and we know how much everybody hates those.
    4. Encourage Comments: Sometimes people need a little encouragement. They may read a post, liked it a whole lot but just don’t know what to say. You can encourage comments by asking for an opinion or by asking for their valued input to solve a problem. I’m sure there’s an old saying that says, ‘Ask and you shall receive?’ Well that works well when blogging is concerned.
    5. Don’t Discourage Comments: Things that discourage comments include Captchas and requiring people to register before they can leave a comment.

    So, what are your thoughts on this post? Was it enough to get you to Tweet, stumble or to share it with some other of your favorite social networks? Perhaps you could even add more points, ones that I have missed? Whatever you do, don’t leave before Tweeting it. I am watching you. :tongue_wink_ee:

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    Peter Pelliccia

    I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

    This Post Has 72 Comments

    1. Sire, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’m not a fan of spammers. And I do appreciate the time you take to comment over at my own blog as well as the honesty and sincerity you seem to exhibit as a person and as a blogger.

      But I’ve got to say that I’ve been reading so much lately about the quality of comments that people will and will not accept that I’m starting to develop a complex. (Yes, another one.) I’m afraid that my comments may not pass muster. I’m not always in the best frame of mind to convey just how and why I enjoyed a particular post or article, but I still want the author to know that I was by and that I did enjoy the post.

      Personally, and I know I’m a rare bird, I would rather have a reader feel that it’s okay to leave a comment letting me know that they were thinking of me today, and stopped by to read, than an in-depth analysis of blow-by that reveals their comprehension of my message. If they’re too tired or busy to read my whole post that day, so be it. I appreciate just knowing they cared enough to stop by.

      That said, spammers are certainly irritating and think they are clever. But their links usually give them away. And jellyfishers are easily seen through and can expect to be banned by me without a moment’s guilt about it. If a person’s comments regularly leave you with a bad feeling, no matter how they may be disguised with smilies or well-chosen words of praise, it is most likely intentional.

      I suppose I should develop a comment policy. And then I’ll have to figure out how to get the text in the appropriate place. Yikes!
      .-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..My Feet by Joe Joe =-.

      1. I normally use the conversation rule of thumb – if you had just spieled off a witty monologue over a fine beer in your local hostelry, engaging the patrons and showing your fine mind, is a natural response to say “nice words, I will certainly listen to you again”? Nope it is not. Those comments get fed to Akismet down my way.

        Really, if a comment shows that the author either read the post I made or has something useful to say it can stay. Odds are that occasionally I catch a real person who just can’t express themselves well, but I would rather have a few false positives than have my site turn up on a list of spam friendly sites.
        .-= Ray´s last blog ..Commentluv & IntenseDebate BFFs =-.

        1. I hear you, Ray! I guess I’m mostly coming from a point of considering my regular readers. I know they’re busy and don’t always have time to read and leave a long, well-thought out comment. I’d rather get the, “Hi Heather, enjoyed the read.” or “Another post about poop, Good Lord woman!” than to have them not leave a comment to let me know they came by.

          I realize I’m the only person in the universe who feels that way, though. I’m prepared to live with that. (I’m such a drama queen. For shame!) :-)
          .-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..My Feet by Joe Joe =-.

          1. Comments do not have to be long Heather, even I don’t always leave long comments. Heck, there are a lot of times when I just leave a little of my sick Aussie humor behind hoping to get a reaction. :devil_tb:

            1. It’s kind of knowing your commenters – if you leave a short one-liner then it’ll stay because I know you. Most of the time though the commenter is clearly looking to get some back links. I think it’s because I have low volumes of traffic so I get to see what comes in each time and can make the judgement call.
              .-= Ray´s last blog ..Commentluv & IntenseDebate BFFs =-.

              1. Yep, that’s you because you know I’m a man of few words huh Ray?

              2. Nah, it’s because after writing your usual long posts I can cut you some slack in the comments :)
                .-= Ray´s last blog ..Commentluv & IntenseDebate BFFs =-.

          2. OK I had to come all the way back up as y’all have used up the allotted replies. LOL

            Never fear Heather, there is a big difference between regular readers saying simply, another great post! and the drive by spammer with the name “used cars”.

            I have plenty of regulars that leave “garbage” just to get a quick conversation started with me.

            (I wonder now if he’ll notice his handy work)
            .-= Dennis Edell´s last blog ..I Want You To Review Me. Part 1 =-.

        2. Nice rule of thumb Ray. The beauty about commenting on a blog though, is that while in real life you may not say anything, like me, in a blogging situation you can take the time to gather your thoughts before commenting.

      2. Heather, you have got to be kidding me. I love your comments and always look forward to you visiting one of my posts. I’ve found your comments to always be of great quality.

        These are merely guidelines to get people to take that little bit longer to read the post and to perhaps spend a little time thinking about the comment rather than just putting anything down before they rush off to the next blog and doing the same thing.

        They don’t always have to add things to the post. You can merely continue the conversation to be part of the group. Don’t ever think that your comments are not worthy, they definitely are.

        1. Thanks!

          Valuable thoughts and advices. I read your topic with great interest.
          .-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..My Feet by Joe Joe =-.

          1. Now Heather my dear, are you taking the mickey out of me. :wink_ee: Gee, I hope I said that right.

            Anyway, your are more than welcome.

            1. I have no clue what that means, but that just makes it funnier.
              .-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..My Feet by Joe Joe =-.

              1. For us Brits, it’s known as “ripping the p***” :)
                .-= Ray´s last blog ..Commentluv & IntenseDebate BFFs =-.

              2. No sweat, it’s just me being an Aussie thinking that I can come up with some American sayings. I should know better. :flush_tb:

    2. i really like the idea of comment policy, we can make policy and if the comment not following the policy we can just delete the comment without hesitate.

      comment for me is just like a praise given by other to support what we doing either it positive or negative comment :)
      .-= izzat aziz´s last blog ..13 wordpress plugins that I installed, and you should too =-.

      1. You can delete them whether or not you have a policy, but having one simply gives them a guideline to follow.

    3. I HATE it when blogs require you to register in order to post comments. As far as I’m concerned, those aren’t even blogs. Yeah, I said it. The same goes for “bloggers” who disable comments on all of their postings. These aren’t even blogs, they’re just websites… in my opinion.

      I don’t like the ass kissing comments either, but I don’t delete them. I figure that they’re damaging their own reputation, and I don’t have any obligation to take down their comments. I’ve only deleted a handful of non-spam comments, and those were extreme cases.

      You have inspired me though, Sire. Maybe I’m not doing enough to provoke discussion on my blog. I’ll brainstorm that idea for a little while and maybe come up with some new ideas. Thanks!
      .-= Trey – Swollen Thumb Entertainment´s last blog ..Treat Your Career Like You Would A Child =-.

      1. They piss me off too Trey, especially when I’ve read a good post and really wanted to leave a comment. Even then I won’t take the time to register. I have better things to do.

        Neither does Extreme John and other bloggers, but I’ve got a delete happy clicker on my mouse.

    4. I love your posts about bagels and kitty litter, you are my favorite blogger of all time. A legend!

      O.k, did you see what I did there? Pretty snappy huh Sire?

      Anyway your right comments are a big deal, and you supplied some decent little tips and insight for the noobs out there :)
      .-= Extreme John@Extreme John Blogs and Business´s last blog ..NFL Week 11 Predictions =-.

      1. Sure did John, and lucky for you I could tell you were setting an example of a Dumb Ass comment.

        As for the noobs, if we don’t help them out who will?

    5. Excellent post…it got me to tweet it!

      Yes, I love the Enhancers – I have a few wonderful bloggers (yourself included) that regularly leave great comments on my blog. It truly does make a difference because for the most part, they add quality to the blog.

      In the past, I approved ‘Ass Kicking’ comments but I am over those. They really don’t provide value. I am going for quality not quantity.
      .-= Paula from Affiliate Blog Online´s last blog ..The Biggest Mistake We Made Blogging =-.

      1. Your Tweet is really appreciated Paula. Tweets are a great way to show appreciation, not to mention it’s nice to share posts you like with people in your social network.

        As for Ass ‘Kissing’, I never liked people that did that. It sort of diminishes their character.
        .-= Sire´s last blog ..Concerning Microsoft And The Conficker Worm =-.

    6. I think using the commentluv plugin can encourage comments too as it allows commenters to post their links.

      The Top Commenters plugin is cool too.
      .-= ark´s last blog ..Breaking the Konami Code =-.

      1. That is true ark, but one has to be careful because it also attracts a lot of the wrong sort of comment. Still, there is an ease fix for that. You can either spam or delete those comments.

    7. Twitter:
      Hi Sire,

      If it’s a “social” blog, then I 100% agree with you … the quantity and quality of comments can say alot about how successful the blog is doing.

      That being said, I do also have niche blogs, where I’d really prefer that people NOT comment … because it’s not what I want them to do … I want them to click on my Adsense and leave! (hmmm, maybe I should just turn the comments off all together)

      On my blogs where I do enjoy getting comments, I’ve thought about putting up a comment policy (and have had one displayed in the past), but the reality is that the only ones likely to read it, are those who are predisposed to leave good quality comments anyway.

      For the spammers, I’ve become a little bit heartless over the years. If I’m feeling nice, and/or it appears that it’s just a newbie who doesn’t know any better, I’ll just delete a spammy comment. However, if someone I don’t know leaves a keyword as their “name”, and links it to site that wouldn’t feel good about my readers visiting, I’ve got no qualms at all about sending it straight to AKISMET land … even without at written warning. Spammers know that they’re spamming, getting reported should never be a huge shock.

      Just my opinion of course,
      .-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..How Many Of Your Followers Actually Know Like And Trust You? =-.

      1. Like you Todd I don’t warn my spammers. Whether or not they’ve read my policy matters little, because like you said, they know what they’re doing so shouldn’t be at all surprised if Akismet gets fed some extra details on their failings.

        I think that perhaps even niche blogs can do with comments, but perhaps the comment policy should be a little stricter saying only comments pertaining to the niche will be accepted. In that way your comments can only help the niche by providing more highly targeted keywords.

    8. Well, if you have a site and accept comments, then you will always some how receive spam one way or another.

      I read a post on last week whereby the comments left were rubbish, you could see that the user did not even read the post. The questions asked were just rubbish and even John responded to the comments the same way.

      I have a user who uses his service page as the url and it gets caught as spam. I then have to adjust the link to go to his homepage and then accept it.

      I have asked this user to stop using this method on my blog, but he still continues to do so. I actually made a decision this week to just delete his comment and not give a f**k (sorry for that, but I’m mad) anymore. I see this same user is using this link all over the net and sites are accepting them, NOT ME.
      .-= George Serradinho´s last blog ..Serious Monday Roundup #17 =-.

      1. I don’t blame you being upset George, these morons are a blight on the blogosphere. I’ve know that post that your referring to on extremejohn and I reckon it’s pretty amazing that they think they can get away with it.

    9. Sire, You are truly make some great point. I faced over 200 spam post daily but sometime akismet put legitimate comment on spam that’s why I check all reply except those very occurred looking medicine related comments. I don’t know why people try to spam blog even when most of those blogs are nofollow.
      .-= Arafat Hossain Piyada´s last blog ..How To Repair & Fix Windows Updates Problem in Windows 7? =-.

      1. Arafat, the post wasn’t all about spam. That was just a tiny portion of it. Did you actually read the whole post. :ponder_tb:

    10. Yes, comments are important, but there are too many spam comments, how can I approve those, they are nonsense. If someone really post comments seriously, I will welcome absolutely.

      1. I delinked your url as you obviously haven’t read my comment policy. Heck you didn’t even take the time to read the ‘blurb’ above the comment box.

    11. Twitter:
      Nicely written, Sire. Of course, you and I have had lots of time to think about and write about how people leave comments. I’m not so sure that almost all of those “nice comment” messages aren’t bots; at this point I tend to believe that everyone who’s ever written on a blog knows that stuff just isn’t going to fly, and we’ll be deleting them.

      Also, you know how long I went before deciding I wanted some kind of comment policy, and mine is even pretty simple. I went that one extra step in putting a message above the comment area to give people a chance to see that I had one, after I noticed that people seemed to be missing it on blogs like yours and Dennis’ too often. I don’t know if it’s helped all that much, but it seems to have helped some.
      .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Done With Demand Studios Also; The Gripe =-.

      1. Actually Mitch, while a lot are most likely bots, I reckon just as many come from those new to the game or people just too stupid to see the what’s staring them in the face.

        As to the message area I have

        “Please leave a comment but remember SPAM will not be tolerated. Please use a name and not a keyword as keywords will be removed. I reserve the right to moderate or reject any comment for any reason.”

        right there in front of them and they totally ignore it.

        PS, thanks for the Tweet.

        1. Twitter:
          No problem, Sire, but I have to ask where you have it here, because I don’t see it. I know it, but I don’t see it.
          .-= Mitch´s last blog ..5 Websites You May Not Know About =-.

          1. Oops! I didn’t realize that the B-Quote function wouldn’t appear because it was the same color as the background. :doh_tb:

              1. Not playing attention, or perhaps not giving a damn. Either way their comment will more than likely be deleted.

    12. Dang!
      I was trying to write a real ass kissing comment but…I can’t think of anything nice to say.

      My next was a dumb ass comment but…You gave that honor to John.

      Guess I’m left with a rant!
      Well, that’s not working so good. I got nothin to complain about.

      Thanks Sire!
      .-= Sheryl Loch´s last blog ..How we do Team Work as a Family =-.

      1. :lol_tb: Sheryl, you kill me. I love your comments. Glad you could come by and make my day.

    13. Yeah, it’s true, the blog itself can determine the type and quality of comments – just look how many you already have on this post! I do like a nice, easy WordPress blog to comment on – without registration, Blogspot crap, etc.
      .-= Christie@Introvert Zone´s last blog ..Holidays and the introvert =-.

      1. Thanks so much for the Tweet Christie, you know how much it’s appreciated.

        Yep, it’s nice getting the comments and the chances of getting them is vastly improved when you make it easy to do so.

    14. Comments really are the lifeblood of a blog but they’re also the blogger’s food (in my opinion). Constructive and intelligent comments inspires bloggers to write more appealing and great posts which of course when returned with much appreciation from the blogger can help build a community around the blog.

      Somehow, twists around posts do work and making jargons a little understandable with a conversant tone does magic.
      .-= Mathdelane @Software Critics´s last blog ..Site Speed Matters in 2010, More Caffeine from Google =-.

      1. Food? Yes, I can see the sense in that, as comments can be likened to a bloggers nourishment, without which they would wither and die. Nicely done Mathdelane.

    15. Sorry…I don’t Tweet (am I the only one ???).

      Another type of comment is the Sideler…when someone simply adds a comment like “I agree, good article.”, with no constructive information. I think encouraging comments makes people think about what they want to write, therefore adding value to the entire topic.

      1. The Sidler, yeah, I see, is sort of like side stepping the whole thing. Sneaky and dumb all in one. Thanks Kathleen.

        1. I get lots of those and usually feed them to Akismet. They are designed to pretend to be real people. And they make me cross because they think I’m at the same level of intelligence as the spammer.
          .-= Ray´s last blog ..Commentluv & IntenseDebate BFFs =-.

          1. Good on you Ray. The more we feed Akismet the more knowledgeable it. In essence we are actually providing the blogosphere a good service. Gee, imagine if we were paid every time we fed Akismet :bigsurprise_ee:

    16. I love your comment policy and have read it several times AND linked to it in a post! Then I went back and read why you don’t [typically] visit blogger blogs and checked out a few of your other sites. And to think, it all started with a Halloween poem.

      Actually, I think it was your comment policy that really got me to start leaving more comments instead of just lurking. I don’t leave comments on all posts. And sometimes I will even go backwards and find an old post and will comment there.

      Now I need to work on being a better comment responder [on my sites]. {sigh}
      .-= Anne´s last blog ..Bath & Body Works ~ Free Candle wyb Gingerbread Luminary =-.

      1. Hey, Anne, all of that because of one of my poems? I knew they weren’t a complete waste of time. :smile2_ee:

        Also, I don’t see a problem with the way you respond on tour sites.

    17. I think your site is very good and It truly does make a difference because for the most part, they add quality to the blog. thanks..

      1. This is a perfect example of a Dumb Ass comment, thanks for showing people how not to do it. Actually it’s also a prime example of a spam comment.

    18. I am running blogs on 7 different languages, intially i actually expected the Spam only to be on my english page, but the other languages are spammend as much as well.

      I thought reason beeng that the blogs was hosted the same place, so i oppened a some new blogs by a hosting company in another country, same thing happens. I get about 150 spam comments per blog / week.

      The spam comments commes from the same 5 to 10 Url’s (spam boots) so i suspect that the somehow follow the links inside my blogs.

      Good think that Askimet catches all of them, but still it is a bit anoying to have to go through all the spam, as it sometimes happen that a GOOD comment get stuck in between.


      1. I’m impressed, seven blogs in seven languages. Still, there’s no reason to expect spammers to originate from only English speaking countries.

        At least we have Akismet.

        1. I can see on the IP, that they do not all originate from an english speaking country, but the spam is done on english, regardless of my blog languages.

          PS: 7 languaes is a challange, but it also gives a great inside, to how people act on the internet in different countries, and there is quite a bit of difference, so one of my feature project will be a blot about multilanguage blogging.

          1. Although Australian by birth I have Italian parents and I have always considered the fact that my Italian is not it’s best to be my greatest failing.

            I know a lot of people who make fun of other’s poor English, and I always point out to them that at least they know another language.

    19. When is was in school I thought it was a pain in the a… having to learn foreign language, but I most say I was totally wrong, now I have live as an expat for 15 years in different countries, when you know the languages it is simply so much easier. My oldest daughter is nine she speaks Croatian and Danish as mother tongue, have learn English the last 4 years which she speaks on conversation level, next year she will start with Italian!
      .-= Morten the Croatia expert´s last blog ..Split Airport | Airport bus and transfer =-.

      1. Cool, maybe I can get her to teach me how to speak it properly :lol_ee:

    20. I am really getting a lot of benefit by commenting on the blogs.. almost 50% of blog visits are from referring sites..
      .-= Rajesh Kanuri´s last blog ..How To Install WordPress Blog Using Simple Scripts One Click Installer in HostMonster =-.

      1. I have always been an advocate of blog commenting, as long as it’s done properly. It’s got me to where I am today.

    21. I’ve gone as far as contacting spammers, letting them know that I would be more than happy to let them have a linkback, but to please simply leave a sentence that makes sense and has one word of relevance to the article. I’d be fine if they just read the TITLE!

      Ok, I hope this was ass kissing * at it’s most subtle :D

      You are Joy!
      Thank you
      .-= Janet´s last blog ..Free Blueprint to make money online =-.

      1. Hi Janet. I wouldn’t exactly call it ass kissing, and I wouldn’t waste my time contacting them, seeing as how I have a comment policy and all. Also I took the liberty of removing the link in your comment as I couldn’t see the relevance in it.

        1. Hi Sire,

          Thank you for your prompt and kind response.

          The relevance to the link in my comment was simply me being a smartass about including spam and ass kissing, or excuse the phrase but, a reach around, so to speak.

          You are Joy! Many Thanks for entertaining me with your honesty.
          .-= Janet´s last blog ..Glider Rocking Chair with Ottoman =-.

          1. Oh, I see, excuse me for not seeing what you were getting at. Thanks for explaining.

    22. The time of judge a blog by Google PR or Alexa is over. Now I always see the number comments as well as how readers engage in comments section before subscribe that blog (I’m your subscriber now :)).
      .-= Phaoloo´s last blog ..Top 19 Tools To Hide Folders On Windows =-.

      1. Thanks Phaoloo. I wonder if Google would be able to use that as part of their algorithm. :tongue_wink_ee:

    23. A very interesting post Sire and so are all the quality comments you have in reply. Sometimes you can read a post and you don’t have much to add and saying something quick often feels like a way of showing your appreciation, just like tipping your hat at the author.

      However, with the advent of social media sites I think I’m now more inclined to not leave such a short comment (where possible) but rather show my appreciation by retweeting the post, or sharing on Facebook etc.

      I had a comment policy on my old site that was just above my comment box and it did decrease the number of spammy (keywords in the name field) comments I received. I am going to put it back on our new site and see how it plays out.


      .-= Karl Foxley´s last blog ..13 Ways To Encourage Blog Comments =-.

      1. That’s exactly what I do Karl, if I haven’t enough to say on any given posts, and that does come up every now an again. A quick Stumble or Tweet is a great way to show you appreciated a good post.

        I think having some kind of instruction above your comment box is a great idea.
        .-= Sire´s last blog ..Charles Sturt Council Defies Rate Payers Wishes Over St. Clair Land Swap =-.

    24. LOL I love your characterization of people that come to leave comments on a blog. I see some of the dumbest things being said by spammers! I don’t know how in the world they could possibly think I would approve some of the mindless comments they leave.
      Bill Gassett recently posted…Top Home Selling Tips and AdviceMy Profile

      1. What is sad Bill is that you actually see comments left by spammers as it makes you wonder why the bloggers hasn’t deleted them?

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