I'm excited to share this new series with you, called "101 Blogging Tips". In the series there will be 101 blogging tips that you can begin applying to your blog today! Don't wait, get started now!
Tip #42: Open Up Your Comments
This is a popular question I get about how to allow people to comment easily on your site, and it's an important feature and option to "open up". You want peopl to comment and want to make the process as easy as possible but also protect agains spam.
So let's review some options in Blogger, TypePad and WordPress.
In reviewing the Comment Settings, the most important feature to set is to allow "Anyone" to comment.
- Go to Settings and then Posts and Comments (if using the Old Blogger interface it just says Comments).
- Then under Comment Location you can choose a Pop-up Window which opens another window for people to comment leaving the post open beneath. You can choose Embedded or full page. You can experiment. But Embedded and Pop-up are the most common amongst my customers.
- Next, under Who Can Comment, select Anyone.
- Under Comment Moderation, you can choose either Sometimes (for post older than x days), Always or Never. That's your choice. But some do moderate to review spam comments. If you choose to moderate, enter your email adddress there to receive notification.
- For Word Verification, set to Yes. This is important to cut down on spam.
- Click Save Settings when finished.
To really "open up" your comments, go to Comment Authentication. But we also review other settings as well.
- Go to Settings.
- Then Comments.
- Under Comment Authentication choose Optional or No (do not choose Yes. You do not want to force people to have a TypePad-like account to be able to comment).
- Choose to turn on Comment Moderation or not. Comment Moderation means that the readers can still comment easily but the comments will not show (be published) on your site until you've had a chance to review them and manually choose to Publish them.
- Under Email Notification, check off to be notified. This is a good things. You want to be notified when people leave comments, especially if you have Comment Moderation on.
- Click Save Changes.
We'll review quite a few settings here but the most important is to be sure you have a check mark next to "allow people to post comments on new articles".
- The default comment settings are under Settings and then Discussion.
- Under Default Article Settings you can check off a few settings but be sure to chooose "allow people to post comments on new articles".
- Under Other Comment Settings check to have people enter their name and email
- Optional, you can set to "close" comments after a certain day/month (period of time) to reduce spam.
- Check to "Email me whenever" so you are notified when someone comments.
- "Before a comment appears" you can check that it won't appear until approved.
- Then there is an additional section for Comment Moderation. This is where you can have a comment "held" if it contains x amount of links in it.
- There is also a Comment Blacklist where you can enter words or phrases, and if the comment contains those it will be marked as spam.
- When finished reviewing the settings, click Save Changes.
Hope this helps you get your comments and dialogue flowing on your site and help reduce the amount of spam as well. Enjoy!