Where Has All The Spam Gone?

Spam is a blight on blogs. I like to think of spammers as vultures or seagulls hovering above the blogs looking for a tasty morsel that they can descend on and devour. In our case those tasty morsels are dofollow blogs as well as those using CommentLuv and KeyWordLuv. If you’re one of those bloggers who are being inundated with spam you should read on because you’re going to find this post really interesting.

It’s because spam has always been a pain is the ass that I’m always on the lookout to find stuff that will help me to control it. Heck, you ask almost any blogger and they’ll tell you how monitoring and deleting spam will take up a good portion of their blogging time.

In Search Of The Spam Busters

Akismet would have to be the first ever plugin I used to combat spamming and it is so good I have it in my spam busting arsenal. Unfortunately as good as it is, it’s not quite enough. That’s when I installed GASP, to put a stop to all the Robot Spam. And yet it still wasn’t enough and it’s one of the reasons I put my hand into my cyberspace pocket, i.e. PayPal to purchase CommentLuv Premium which had an updated, more powerful version of GASP installed

Enter ComentLuv Premium Spam Buster

It’s because spammers are always on the lookout to circumvent whatever plugin you’re using that we have to thank people like Andy who are keeping track of their shenanigans by updating their plugins, speaking of which you should see what Andy has done to make CommentLuv Premium even better.

  • Minimum amount of keyups on comment?: Let’s face it, spammers know that you’re not going to accept those “Great post” type comments anymore and so now preparing their comments before hand so they can copy and paste them directly into your comment form. I’m sure you’ve seen similar comments posted those blogs you’ve been reading? Well, the new updates have nipped that in the bud!
  • Banned search terms: The updated version of CommentLuv Premium now lets you nominate those search terms that you want to ban so that users get notified before entering your blog that you will not tolerate crappy spammy comments

Just watch the video to see how it works.

Did you notice the clickable banner on the top left of the video? How about the cover image I used? Notice how it’s the same image I used in the post.  The cover image is a great way to promote your brand or to overcome the random image that YouTube’s uses when displaying your video. Well, rather than going into all that here why don’t you read my Review Of Easy Video Press!

Continue your page here…

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What Is The Best Comment System For WordPress Blogs

Yes, the argument for the best comment system for WordPress blogs is continuing but I’m here to tell you, no matter what you read on other blogs, the best comment system for your WordPress blog is the default one. Don’t be like all those sheep out there who install third party comment systems like Livefyre, Intense Debate and Disqus just because others are doing it. Why, because if you do, you will get fewer comments.

I proved that when I wrote my post on how Disqus is costing people comments. Out of 183 people who took part in the poll, 54% said they would not comment on a blog that used Disqus. It would have been higher but some said they would comment if the blogger was someone they knew. So, if you’re a newbie I definitely would stick with the default system. Why the heck would you change when it has all the benefits a commentator would want, not to mention the added benefits from those bloggers who have installed commentluv and keywordluv?

Sure some of those comment systems might have bells and whistles but are theyAquarel birds worth it when you consider that it could well cost you valuable comments? Then there’s also the possibility if your third party comment system bites the dust that it would take all your comments with it! Now there is a horrible thought. I’ve had people using Disqus email me asking for help because they were scared of losing their comments knowing that their comments were held off site. Unfortunately I couldn’t help them because I was never silly enough to install it and so I didn’t know much about it.

You may be wondering why I dislike those commenting systems so much. It’s because I refuse to go through any extra hoops when leaving a comment, which my previous post proved to be the most popular reason for not commenting on those blogs. What’s that, I can register for free and then it’s easy to leave a comment? True, but there’s the rub, there is the extra hoop I have to jump through, and then if I delete my cookies, which I do a lot, I have to sign in again when wanting to comment on those blogs. Those damn hoops, I have enough crap to put up with without having more spoiling my blogging experience.

As far as I’m concerned I believe that old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. But hey, don’t listen to me, you go ahead and install it, that’s just one less blog that I need to comment on. :drunk_tb:

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More On LA, Las Vegas & Rewarding Your Readers

In my last two posts I wrote about my trip to the US and I thought I would continue the thread because so many interesting things happened there and I have a lot to share with you. Those posts talked about tipping and good service and I tied them into how we could improve our blogging.

It would be unreasonable to expect that no matter where you go in the States they would treat you like pure gold. There were a few places where the service was shocking. The first happened to be in the Bank Of America. As there were a few questionable people hanging around the ATM I decided to go into the bank to withdraw some cash. After walking through this weird system, obviously something to do with security, that involved two doors where only one person was allowed to enter at a time.

hollywoodviewI approached a female bank teller about withdrawing some cash. Man, what a sour puss, I reckon she must have missed out on getting laid that morning. Anyway, she says she needed to see my passport to which I replied I only had my driver’s licence on me, which happened to be acceptable everywhere else we went whilst there, Nope that wasn’t acceptable but I was welcome to use the ATM outside. I’m sorry but that made no sense to me whatsoever, it’s not like the ATM could check my ID. What really cheesed me off was her condescending attitude.

Another occasion of bad service happened at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Let me set the scene by quoting what Caesars Palace says about the Spanish Steps.

The warmth of the sun and cool desert breezes. Imagine the ambiance of Spanish Steps, where you can enjoy a frozen fruit cocktail amid the outdoor market atmosphere of the Roman Plaza. The Spanish Steps in Rome were completed in 1725 and lead to the Trinita dei Monti. Like the original, the Las Vegas Spanish Steps serve as a vibrant, outdoor meeting place.

Spanish Steps

Yep, it was our last day in Vegas and Anna and I had some time to kill before catching our plane back to LA and then home. We had walked past the Spanish steps the night before and thought it would be great to relax there while sipping a frozen cocktail. We approached the bar where they had two empty containers representing the sizes available. I pointed to the smaller of the two and said, “I will have two that size, one watermelon and one lemon.” He came back with three and I said, ” Sorry mate I only asked for two one of each flavour.” “No,” he replies, “you asked for two watermelon and one lemon!” I argued the point which caused him to pick up the spare frozen cocktail, hold it in the air in front of me and then to drop it in a bin, making it plain that he wasn’t at all happy.

storm trooper

Sorry, that’s no way to treat a paying customer. Firstly you never argue with a customer, that’s why they have the old’ The customer is always right’ saying. Secondly, you never try to make a customer feel small by using actions meant to intimidate him. Needless to say he didn’t get a tip.

There were a few others but they were minor and not enough to spoil our holiday. I only mentioned them to prepare others for when it happens to them. It’s unreasonable to expect everyone in the service American service industry to be perfect, because no matter where you go in this wonderful world of ours you’re always bound to come across some bad apples.

Something else I noticed while over there is that so many place offer their customers an incentive to encourage them to return. It got me to wondering what we as bloggers could do to encourage our readers to do the same. Most of these have been covered in previous posts but I think, especially for the new readers, I will touch briefly on them again.

  • Go DoFollow: Don’t worry about all those bloggers who tell you it’s wrong to go dofollow because it will increase your spam and it will ruin your PR. There are plugins to deal with spam and I’ve been dofollow since day one and I’ve still managed a PR4.
  • Install Commentluv: A great way to reward customers is to install the commentluv plugin. Once they learn that commenting will give them a titled link for their last blog post, and if they’re a member they can choose from their last 10 posts, they will continue to return for more.
  • KeywordLuv: Another great plugin to reward those who hollywood boulevardcomment on your blog. This plugin allows them to leave their name and a keyword and you all know how important keywords are to SEO.
  • Keep It Simple: By this I mean don’t make it difficult for people to comment. Most people are busy and they do not want to jump through hoops just to leave a comment so forget those stupid captchas and comment systems that require people to be logged in, such as Disqus and Intense Debate, to leave a comment. Rather than those captchas use GASP instead as it’s the simplest way of defeating those damn spam bots.
  • Return The favour: What better way to reward your commentators than to visit their blog and leave a quality comment in return. I’ve found this to be the best way to build long term relationships.
  • Subscribe To Comment Plugin: This is one that many bloggers forget and yet it can bring a lot of return traffic. There are a lot around but make sure you select one that only sends out an email when someone replies to a comment directly and not one that sends and email every time someone leaves a comment.

Naturally you also want to provide the best content possible because if they don’t like what you’re putting out there isn’t much incentive to return. I thought about offering a free eBook but then that may be good for getting them to sign up for a list but it’s only a one time offer so it won’t necessarily get them to return on a regular basis and that’s what we really want now isn’t it?

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