Can I Comment on Your Blog?

One of the things that make blogs such powerful marketing tools is the fact that they allow readers to interact with you by commenting on what you’ve written. I personally click through to the blog or website of every organizer who comments here, and leave a comment for them whenever I can.


By “whenever I can,” I don’t mean “whenever I can think of something to say.” I can nearly always come up with a comment; if the most recent post doesn’t inspire me, I’ll go to an earlier one. Unfortunately, some bloggers make it so difficult to leave a comment that I don’t have the time or desire to jump through hoops in order to do so.

Here are a few of the obstacles I’ve encountered:

1. You must login or register to leave a comment.

I have to be pretty sure that I’m going to be a regular reader before I will go through a sign-up process that will probably take longer than it will take me to post my comment. If you’re one of my clients or I know you personally, I might register, but otherwise, I’m moving on.

2. I can only comment by using a Google (or other) account.

Yes, I have a Google account. I even have a Blogger account, but that’s the problem: I don’t use it for anything. I set it up to try out the system several years ago and there’s no content and it’s not nice looking. I would rather not leave a comment than leave one that’s going to lead people to that and have them think that it reflects me in any way.

I even created an account with ClaimID so I could comment on blogs requiring an OpenID (they are supposedly compatible), but there have been a number of times when the blog I was trying to comment on wouldn’t accept it.

3. Your CAPTCHA is impossible for me to read.

I understand that you’re trying to eliminate comment spam, and I respect that. I use the Akismet and Bad Behavior plug-ins for WordPress, and they do a fine job without making my readers take additional steps. I will try once or twice, but three times and you’re out – life is too short to spend fighting with annoying technology.

4. You don’t approve my comments on a timely basis, or at all.

If you’re using a plug-in to filter out spam comments or a user-friendly CAPTCHA system, I don’t really think it should be necessary to hold all comments for moderation. If you do, there should be a good reason for not approving them. I have left comments on the blog of another virtual assistant which were not the least bit self-promotional, yet she did not approve them. To me, that is just rude! Is she so lacking in self-confidence that she doesn’t want her readers to know that she’s not the only VA on the planet?

If you do moderate all comments, be sure to stay on top of the process. If someone takes the time to read your blog and leave a comment, then goes out of their way to go back to see if you or anyone else has responded to their comment, only to find that you haven’t even approved it, you have just closed a door. How do you know that person wasn’t a potential customer? Even if they work in your industry, you never know when they might have considered you for a referral or subcontracting opportunity. (If time is an issue, hire a virtual assistant to look after this for you!)

5. There is no way to leave comments!

If you don’t allow readers to comment on your blog, you are missing the point! To me, a blogger who doesn’t want feedback from his or her readers is like a speaker who refuses to acknowledge questions or comments from the audience. It makes me feel like they are only concerned with sending out their own message and have no interest in getting to know me at all.

I hope I have not offended anyone with this post; my only concern is that you get the maximum benefit from your blog.

Do you agree or disagree?

A former professional organizer, I’m now a web designer and Certified Digital Business Consultant. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. I found a social networking blog that I signed up to comment on because it had great content. After I made my comment I got BOMBARDED with emails that indicated there were more comments after my comments, emails about comments of the comments, emails about comments on the comments about the next blog post etc. etc.

    I unsubscribed and I haven’t been back to even READ the blog since.

    Engage your followers, don’t pester them.
    .-= Jacki Hollywood Brown´s last blog ..The King of Classification =-.

  2. Janet –
    I could not agree more! I love providing comments to posts that I believe are valuable or if I have additional information to share. I get really frusterated when I read to the bottom of an article or post find that I’d have to login to comment. My personal preference are the blogs that allow me to log in if I have a profile somewhere, but also allow more traditional comment giving technology like what you have here. Having the choice is awesome.

    Honestly, I have too many other important applications that require login for me to have to create one for a blog. I’m all about simplicity and making things easy and the blogs that do that for me receive more comments.

    Jacki also makes a great point. There are some blog posts that I WANT to see what others have to say and there are others that I don’t. I prefer to see that function set up just like you have yours. It is a choice given by checking off “Notify me of followup comments via email.”

    Bravo for a great post with some solid tips. It may hurt some feelings, but it needed to be said.
    To your success!
    Productive & Organized – We’ll help you find your way! tm
    .-= Stephanie Calahan (@StephCalahan)´s last blog ..One Key to Success – Make SMART Goals and Write Them Down =-.

  3. I also think the blogger can generate more discussion by responding to comments as long as he or she doesnt’ take those comments personally. It’s a great way to extend the conversation and for me, it helps me further my thinking.

  4. Jacki, that’s a great point. Just because you’ve made a comment on a particular post doesn’t mean you’re interested in every comment made on that blog going forward, especially if it’s a very popular one that receives hundreds of comments every week. By attempting to make you feel like part of the community, they’ve actually chased you away!

    Stephanie, I know exactly what you mean about having enough user names and passwords already. I use Roboform to manage my passwords but I still don’t want to have individual logins for the many blogs I read.

    Glenn, I am absolutely more likely to comment if I think the blogger will respond to what I say. That’s why I rarely comment on major blogs; I would be surprised if someone like Darren Rowse has time to read all his comments, let alone reply to them!

  5. Janet – you are spot on with this post – I try to make it a point to comment on someone’s blog every day and some of them are such a pain. I don’t even bother to go to some of the bigger sites because it seems all they want is to capture my information to bombard me as Jacki noted above.
    If it is made easy, then people will comment more and keep the conversations going.

  6. Liz, sometimes I get a wee bit jealous of bloggers who get so many comments, but I realize if I ever get to that point, I’ll no longer be able to interact with my readers, and to me, one of the best things about having a blog is getting to know other people in a different way than is possible on forums and social networking sites.

  7. Fortunately, Blogger no longer requires you to have any kind of account in order to comment. Even if you have a Blogger account, you don’t have to use that identity when commenting. You can use just your name and (optional) URL, or even be anonymous – as long as the blog owner has enabled that option.

    Personally, I use Blogger, and I allow anyone to comment – Blogger account or no.

    And I agree on comment moderation. John Trosko convinced me to turn it off some time ago, and I’ve never regretted it. I do have a CAPTCHA system, and sometimes I still get spammy comments – but nothing too horrible, and it’s easy enough to delete them.

    Another thing that bugs me about some blogs is the inability to include a live URL in the comments. I understand that allowing links can lead to spam, which then has to be deleted – but it can also allow a commenter to point to valuable resources related to the topic at hand.
    .-= Jeri Dansky´s last blog ..October 2009 Organizing Tips and More =-.

  8. Jeri, I had noticed that some Blogger blogs seem to offer more options than others – I guess it depends on when it was created, or how the individual chose to set it up?

    I have my blog set to moderate comments which include more than 2 links, so between that and the plug-ins, I don’t really have to worry about spam either.

    And yes, it is frustrating if you can’t include a live URL in your comments. Of course, we would like people to be able to click through to our own blogs or websites, but as you say, there are also times when we want to inform them of other relevant resources. I used to read a blog that would strip off anything after the .com which was even stranger, in my opinion.

  9. I actually followed up with a person after they left a comment on my blog. They had excellent feedback and I ended up taking their suggestion(s) and made changes. Praise is great, but good advice can be valuable. If the process is too difficult then I agree that people will move on…I’ve done that. However, I don’t mind logging in to leave a comment if it is easy – Google is quick enough and pretty universal.
    Fantastic topic. Thanks.

  10. Great example of using blog comments as a networking tool, Kristin. I’ve actually connected with people as a result of comments I’ve left on other blogs (not theirs) and I’ve remained in contact with one of them two years later.

    In other words, don’t underestimate the value of commenting on blogs! Sharing links on social networks is great, but have a limited “shelf life” whereas comments stay on the blog as long as it remains online.

    • Thanks, Hazel! I think this is what’s referred to as an “evergreen” post – it never becomes outdated. And although I do use a plugin to retweet my older content, this is one I personally selected to recycle, because it’s an ongoing issue!

  11. Great advice, Janet. Any site that makes it difficult to comment or complete a sale because of a difficult CAPTCHA is usually quick to lose my interest. My favorite is on where you play a game to prove you are human. Now I need to go recheck my blog’s comment setup to be sure it’s user friendly.

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