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?