When you first start your blog, you might not receive any comments at all. Gradually, however, people will discover your content and begin to leave their opinions in the comments sections of your blog posts. As you become more popular and even more people respond to your blog, comments can become almost unmanageable. To stay connected to your audience and to encourage more activity on your blog, use these tips for managing blog comments.
Designate Times for Reviewing Comments
If you allow them to, comments can overrun your entire day. Technologist John Saddington recommends batch-reading your comments. Schedule one or two times per day during which you’ll devote a specific amount of time to reading and responding to comments. Don’t allow yourself to check the comments section outside of these times.
A batch-reading approach allows you to efficiently manage blog comments. You might set aside from 30 minutes to an hour for this purpose, depending on comment volume. Each session allows you to focus intently on the task without distraction, which might make your responses more thoughtful.
Create a Comment Policy
Think of your website as your home. You don’t have to allow anyone past your front door; similarly, you don’t have to let someone comment on your blog if his or her feedback proves to be abusive, negative, or otherwise unacceptable. Writing for CopyPress, content marketing expert Beth Hayden recommends writing a clear comment policy. This should be one of the 7 pages every site needs to have.
Explain what types of comments you’ll delete and how visitors should behave on your website. Most important, enforce your comment policy across the board. Don’t allow unacceptable comments to slip through the cracks. Consistent moderation creates a positive blog culture that your readers will come to expect.
Invite Guest Authors to Comment
Although you might want to handle the comments on the content you write, you can always ask guest authors to participate in the comment section. That way, the original author of the piece can interact with your audience and answer questions. Ask him or her to check in throughout the few days after the post.
Large blogs often need paid or volunteer monitors to help with all the blog comments. You might not want a third party to respond to your audience — after all, your blog is built around your unique voice — but your monitors can delete abusive comments and otherwise keep the section clean.
Most blog software programs allow you to set your own spam filters. Consider limiting links on comments to one or two to reduce spam. Specifically, look for links that appear in the user’s name. Some blog authors also send new comments to be moderated. If a user has never commented before, you’ll have to approve the comment before it goes live.
Although spam might not seem like a big issue at first, it can get in the way of conversation and make your blog appear unprofessional. Some people will add legitimate links to your comments, but you can approve them during your daily comment moderation activities.
Check Comments On the Go
Maybe you need extra time to moderate blog comments but find yourself on the road more often than not. If you’re sitting on the subway, waiting in your doctor’s reception lounge, or sitting in a coffee shop, use your mobile device to check out and respond to comments.
Regardless of where you find yourself on the road, using a powerful smartphone to check comments will help you keep them under control. The Samsung Galaxy S7, with its large Quad HD Super AMOLED display, makes this easy. If you know you won’t have time to look at comments later, you can check this one item off your to-do list by doing it early.
Disable Email Notifications
Although blog comments can prove useful and engaging, they shouldn’t dominate every second of your life. If you get an email notification for every comment, you’ll feel compelled to visit your site and see what the commenter said. Consider disabling those notifications so that you can focus on producing new content, then use only your designated time for dealing with comments.
If you’re getting more comments on your blog, that means your audience continues to grow. Although you might love the attention, don’t let the comments section get out of control. Use these tips to manage your time wisely.