Comments are what keeps your blog alive, and, naturally, you are interested in building a discussion around your post.
The quantity is not the key though – it’s the quality of the comments that matters. That’s why you need to develop your own approval policy: which comments stay, and which you will delete without mercy. Of course, when a comment is obviously spammy, the choice is clear, but in some cases it’s difficult to decide whether a comment is spam or not, or whether it deserves to be seen by other readers.
So how do you handle the comments that raise doubts? Here are several practical tips.
Make Sure You Eliminate Spam
Auto-commenting software has become pretty sophisticated, so some of the automatic comments are difficult to recognize. To eliminate them, you will need a good anti-spam plugin on your blog – if you use WordPress, you’ll have plenty of plugins to choose from. That way, you can be sure that any questionable comment you get is at least human-posted.
Don’t Disregard Comments with Backlinks
Some of the comments will have backlinks to the websites of the people who posted them. Don’t disregard them just because a person is trying to get a little publicity and better rankings at your blog’s expense: the question is whether the comment and the backlink it contains can be useful for you, too.
If the value of the comment is low, the backlink is irrelevant to your blog and post, or the quality of the website it leads to is dubious, get rid of the comment. But if the backlink is to the point, the website looks credible and relevant to yours, you can actually benefit from it: linking out to quality websites within your industry can give your blog better rankings.
Don’t Delete Controversial Comments
Sometimes you get comments that disagree with the thoughts in your post. Whether you keep them or not depends on the way a comment is written: hostile or even offensive ones don’t belong on your blog, of course. Comments that disagree with you in an adequate and respectful manner should definitely stay: they add value to your blog by raising a more active discussion. Besides, even if a person who left that comment disagrees with your opinion, they still are interested in the topic, which means you have a chance to build relations with them.
All in all, the general rule for sorting out comments on your blog is leaving the ones that add to the discussion and are of good quality, while the ones that are left only to self-promote and will not provide any additional insight for the next reader should be deleted right away. Analyzing all the comments and deciding whether or not to delete them takes some time, but the quality is worth the effort.
How do you decide which comments to delete and which to keep on your blog? Share your tips with other readers in the comments section below.