Last month I participated in a Comment Love group with a bunch of other bloggers. We had to visit 75 other sites and leave a comment on one of their posts - all to be done in one week. Of course it was scheduled for Valentine's Week which is insane at my house with 2 birthdays plus Valentine's Day. But I got it done, albeit a few days little late.
The experience was enlightening. I found some awesome new sites with lots of recipes and craft inspirations plus some I wouldn't normally look at because they are not my type of blogs, such as Fashion and Subscription Box reviews (I had no idea there were so many out there).
I dutifully commented on everyone else's site, but I admit there were a few that I didn't want to bother with. Not because of the content on the blog, but because of the comment system used.
This is my personal opinion and by no means indicative of all blog readers, but when I am on my own time I am not going to waste my time to leave a comment if you make it difficult for me.
What makes it difficult? Here are a few things:
- Disquis - I do not want to be forced to sign up for a service to leave a comment, I did for this project, but not everyone will.
- Captcha - GAH!!! There are no words to express the depth of my hatred for Captcha for blog comments. At least now it is numbers instead of a ridiculous combination of letters and numbers that I could almost never read and retype on the first try.
- Requiring me to comment with Google + or Facebook - great if the commenters use them, but if they are not then you are forcing them to sign up. Plus, it forces you to use your "personal" page instead of allowing to use your business page. I was participating as That Recipe, but couldn't leave comments from that page.
- Not allowing non-bloggers to comment - my mother doesn't have a blog and for the longest time she would text me her comment because she couldn't add it.
- Human Detectors that don't work - I can't remember the name of the comment plugin, but there is a fantastic blog I have tried to comment on in the past, but I have to copy and paste a "code". The problem is it NEVER works. I even tried typing the code instead of cut and paste - no dice. I just gave up ever commenting on her blog.
If you are on Blogger, number 2 and 4 are selected for you by default. Unless you go into Settings| Posts and Comments and change it, you could be annoying potential commenters.
|Chose "Anyone" to allow people without blogs to leave a comment.
Moderate your comments if you worried about SPAM or abusive comments
Chose not to show word verification so your commenters don't have to go through Captcha.
My suggestion is abandon the default comment system and install Comment Luv or something similar. No, they aren't paying me to write that. I use it on both blogs and always smile when I see someone else has it. The plug in allows both commenters with and without blogs to comment, but it adds a special bonus for those with blogs: when they comment they are given the option to share a link to their most recent blog post. Free Publicity - ka-ching! I am more likely to comment when I see that.
For Word Press all you need to do is select Plugin | add new - then search for it (remember it is Luv not Love). Easy peasy to install and customize.
For Blogger it is more difficult but worth it in my opinion. For detailed step by step instructions check out Social Media Sass. I know it sounds scary messing with your template like this. It is easy if you follow her steps carefully. I didn't and it still turned out okay.
At the very least, Blogger users, would you please turn off Captcha? Pretty please with sugar and a cherry on top. Monitor your spam by moderating your comments if you feel it is necessary, but please stop making me type annoying codes just to leave a comment.
And now I give my fellow bloggers the chance to share their most recent posts by asking them to leave comments. What comment plugin do you love? Which ones annoy you? Do you leave comments if it is too difficult or just move on?