Comments are are a sign that people not only read what we have to say, but care enough to contribute. Problem is, it takes quite a bit of patience, a little controversy and…. AND… a really good comment system.
By responding to your comments you make it ridiculously easy (and desirable!) for readers to come back for more, contribute again and again and respond to each other.
Want to know how to get your next hit? Enter Disqus. Since installing, comments have more than doubled, conversation between commenters has increased and all is right in the world.
Leave Comments to Get Comments
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know a great blogging strategy is to comment on other blogs. While it won’t generate loads of traffic, it will it help catapult you into that blog’s unique community. Commenting puts you on a blogger’s radar, shows you can make valuable contributions (this is especially good if you want to guest post on said blog) and can link back to your own site, putting you on the radar of that blog’s readership as well.
Now, have you ever commented on a blog, put a of effort into that comment, only to get zero response from the blogger?
It’s frustrating to say the least.
Thing is, most good bloggers respond to some, if not most, of their comments. But how do you know said blogger has responded?
You Have Two Options
- Revisit the post in question every hour until you see a response.
- Tick the box that says, “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.”
Problem is, number one is tedious. Who has time to constantly hit refresh until you see a reply? No one, that’s who. Plus, many bloggers employ the whole “Let me respond to everyone in one long comment and write things like ‘@Marge: Great point! @John: I disagree’ thing” so then you have no idea what to look for.
The problem with number two is that your inbox will be flooded with emails if you’ve commented on a popular blog. I did this on Tim Ferris’ site only to get TWO HUNDRED emails from commenters in the course of a day.
I thought “followup” meant people who were following up with me. Responding to my particular comment and not to the post in general.
Comments are one of the best aspects of blogging. I’ve made good friends by reading the comments section of my favorite sites. I even got a job once from a comment I left. I love to keep up-to-date with new comments. I DO NOT, however, want them emailed to me every time someone posts.
The Ideal Situation
Here’s how I’d like it to work: I comment on Blog X run by Joe Sixpack. A few hours later, Joe Sixpack responds and I get an email notification. I go back to his blog, respond if the comment warrants one, and check out the comments of other readers while I’m there. Maybe I comment on their comment and then maybe a few hours after that one of them responds to me. I get an email notification.
See how that works? I get notified when someone responds to me directly, but I don’t get notified every time the blogger gets some comment spam or an equally douchey “Great post!” (Some blogs do offer the option to only be emailed when someone responds to you, but not enough sites do this.)
If you’re not ridiculously busy with hundreds of comments on every post, you should try to respond to every comment. No, not the douchey ones, but the ones that give you a compliment, ask a question, present a differing opinion or leave an experience of their own. Let them know there’s a person behind the blog. Add new content in the comments section, make it a place people like to go. It means they’ll stop by more frequently and contribute just as much.
Cons of Disqus
Disqus isn’t all rainbows and puppy dog tails, and even though I have a passionate love affair with it doesn’t mean it’s without flaws.
The main issue people whine about is that you “have to log in” – which just isn’t true. You can sign in as a guest. The downside is if you don’t have a Disqus account you won’t have an image posted next to your name, even if you do have a Gravatar. Let me say that again folks: There is NO requirement to have an account with Disqus to leave a comment. That said, just get an account already.
A few months ago I tried installing CommentLuv on my site because I wanted to reward commenters. Problem was, it doesn’t work with Disqus, and when I tried to uninstall it, ALL my comments unthreaded. Not pretty. Basically meaning I can never NOT have Disqus. You’re pretty much in it for life.
Still, even with the bad, I think the positives outweigh the negatives…
The #1 Reason You Should Install Disqus
It makes conversation easy. There are a ton of benefits, and you can check out these links to learn more, but when doing my research, not ONE blogger stressed the importance of maintaining a conversation. It was all about SEO and comment ratings and spam. I don’t know about you but, for me, it begins and ends with the discussion. If you don’t have a comment system installed that facilitates that discussion? Well then, in my opinion, you’re missing out BIG TIME.