WordPress has become the content management system of choice for many bloggers and business owners. Once you start getting traction with your content strategy, new and repeat visitors will likely post comments to your blog.
Such being the case, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind while running your blog. Here are some comment management tips to help you handle that new and engaged audience like a pro.
First things first: You need to get the Akismet plugin installed on your WordPress blog. This is an absolutely integral tool for comment management, and it will save you significant amounts of time.
Akismet automatically filters comments that might be spam, and places them into a special, pending “Spam” section, so you have the ability either to post or remove them from your blog. If you find comments that aren’t actually spam, you can simply click on “Not Spam” to approve it.
However, if you identify a comment as spam, you can click “Delete Permanently” to remove it from the queue. Akismet also protects your SEO ranking, so spammy comments can’t hurt your search listings.
It’s not enough just to monitor spam. Your website can suffer if you don’t actively moderate the discussions of your audience.
Your blog should foster positive dialogue and encourage sharing. However, this can stop when some commenters harass or deride others for their contributions.
Keep an eye out for trolling behavior and remove threatening or obscene content. Don’t leave negativity alone to stagnate, because this will drive readers away.
On the other hand, as a comment moderator, you shouldn’t overstep your boundaries by removing comments just because they express views that don’t align with your own. You are entitled to express your own opinions on your blog, but you can chase away readers if you remove or censor alternate views. Ultimately, that will kill give-and-take that makes a blog most interesting to visitors.
Try to remain as open and respectful as possible. This will help you build a trusting relationship between readers who comment and lurkers who are just watching the discussions unfold.
Feel free to post responses to comments, but try to avoid escalating your rebuttals into attacks. Everyone should feel safe enough to share his or her perspectives on your blog. A welcoming attitude can dramatically increase your engagement rates.
In order to raise your blog’s traffic, you’ll need to welcome participation. You can do so by asking your audience questions.
For example, you could ask for your readers’ input when you’re searching for a new, affordable smartphone. Your loyal readers will be inspired to point you in the direction of helpful resources.
Alternatively, you can post blog articles that solve a common problem your readers face. Followers are more likely to comment on blog posts that are relevant to their lives.