Stop Making Commenting Harder For Your Readers

commentoI’m in a few blogger communities and I’m also currently taking part in the Ultimate Blogging Challenge.  I take some time out of my day each day to scroll through the Facebook group and see what people are posting about and read a few interesting looking posts. Lately I’ve been noticing a really annoying trend though, and if you’re doing it you could be hurting your blog.

More and more bloggers are trying to stop spam by making it harder to comment on posts!

I don’t think they mean to make it more difficult, they just want to stop the automated tools that spam blogs with comments. The thing is, if you want to build a community or active readership those comments are so important. Getting comments on your blog gives you social proof that people value. They help people feel like they are part of the blog so they’ll keep coming back to read. You want people to leave comments.

Here are some of the things I’ve been seeing that deter me from commenting. (I’ve clicked away from over a dozen blog posts today without commenting because of these.)

  • Captchas. They are one of the most common ways to stop spammers but they’re annoying, especially if the captcha doesn’t show up until after you try to submit your comment. Half the time there are weird special characters in the captcha making them impossible to solve. 
  • Facebook comments. I don’t like to post my business stuff on Facebook and I know a lot of other people like to either. That’s what fan pages are. I also don’t like connecting my FB in any way to random blogs. I know there is that little checkbox so it doesn’t post to my wall but that still means my comment links to my personal profile. I’m not a fan and I won’t comment on blogs that use Facebook comments.
  • Disqus or other systems that require me to sign up. I don’t want to take the time to sign up just to leave a comment on a blog. I’m commenting to let you know that I liked your post or to add something to the conversation but it’s not worth the time and hassle of signing up for something new. Sorry.
  • Too many check boxes. I went to one blog that had 6 checkboxes under the comment box for things like confirming you aren’t a spammer, signing up for the email list, registering for their site, and some other stuff. It’s too many options. Don’t make it too confusing!

In the end, you’re the blogger. It’s your job to keep spam off of your posts. There are things you can do to stop spam without adding more work for your readers. Keep it simple.

So, if you’re not supposed to use captchas or registration, how do you keep spam off of your blog?

  • Install a spam filter. I use Akismet and it works wonderfully. It’s free for personal blogs and professional blogs can buy it for a low price. Out of the 100-300 spam comments I get a day I only get maybe one that doesn’t get caught. You will want to scroll through your spam comments from time to time. Every once and a while a legitimate comment gets stuck in there but after you click the “not spam” button their comments won’t get caught by you filter anymore.
  • Use GASP with premium CommentLuv. Out of all of the tools that require an extra step from readers, this is the only one I don’t mind. It adds one little check box with the text “Check to confirm you are NOT a spammer.” It reduces spam comments to almost nothing. (As an added bonus, since I installed it my comments have almost doubled and I see my posts getting G+1’s and tweeted more often.)
  • Set comments so they need to be approved. You may decide to let them auto-approve after they’ve had a certain number of approved comments but I prefer to manually approve them all so I can reply to them as they go live.

How do you deal with spam on your blog? As a reader, what keeps you from leaving a comment?

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  1. I really dislike Captcha. However I do comment on blogs with it. A lot of checkboxes would turn me off, but I haven’t run into much besides confirm you are not a spammer. I do use Facebook Comments, but I also have Comment Luv to give people a choice. I started with Facebook Comments and I actually get a fair amount of comments with it, but I added Comment Luv too and that is working out well for me.
    Michelle recently posted..The Bright Side of Household BreakdownsMy Profile

    • I’ve been suggesting that to a lot of people. Facebook comments work really well in some niches but giving a second option for the large group of people who don’t use Facebook comments is a good idea.

  2. Great post! I found a WP plugin called Anti-Spam – it eliminates all automated spam in a very simple way. Since I’ve installed it, I have gotten no spam (I was getting a couple hundred spam per day) – and if someone enters spam manually, Akismet will catch it. I do get frustrated with some of the sign ins and accounts that I need. I prefer the simple leave your name, email and URL and moderate method!
    Gwen Tanner recently posted..Happy Earth Day AllMy Profile

  3. Great points Amanda. There are so many blogging commenting systems and tools out there, it is difficult for people to choose. We as bloggers definitely should not make it hard or difficult for our readers to share their thoughts in comments. I use the Disqus platform for commenting and it allows people to comment without having to login and sign up. How awesome is that? Thanks for your incites and recommendations. Cheers.
    Edward Elliott recently posted..The Blessings Of MiraclesMy Profile

    • I’ve never liked Disqus as a blogger because the default WordPress comments just feel cleaner. I’ve also bee to a lot of blogs where they ask me to log in to Disqus before I can comment.

  4. Hear Hear! Couldn’t agree with you more, Amanda! I remember Tiff commenting on this when she started her Blogging Challenge and I hadn’t had the problem at that stage. I’m also doing the UBC and I now won’t even go onto a blog that is with blogger or wordpress as they want you to log into something …. painful!!

    Comment Luv has a free version and it is so easy to use. Love it!
    Tamsin recently posted..Understanding Financial Reports Part 2My Profile

    • I really like CommentLuv. I’m not sure if GASP is included in the free version. I got the premium one a while back to use on all of my sites and it’s got some cool extra features.

  5. I really dislike the Facebook comments when that is the only choice. Sometimes I don’t mind, but other times it is just not something I want posted to my personal account. I do use the option of Facebook comments on a few blogs, but I always make sure there are other options as well.
    Julie – Wahm Solutions recently posted..Could Your Business Use Some Spring Cleaning?My Profile

    • I feel like Facebook comments require me to put out a little more personal information than I’m comfortable with and I don’t want to spam my friends with all of my blog commenting.

  6. Great post. Believe me I understand spam, I totally agree with you and several of the others should not make it difficult to post on a friend, a colleague, a fellow UBCer or other’s blog. There are was to do it without feeling like you are jumping through hoops. Capchta meh. Comment luv -don’t know enough about it to comment, Askimet -great-does work well with WP spam posts. Disqus-OK –have had to log in.
    Liz Who Motivates recently posted..UBC #23—Top 10 Exercise MythsMy Profile

  7. Absolutely agree, Amanda! If i can’t just add a comment without going through hoops then I’m outta there. Time is precious. Disappointing at times when you really are moved to say something though.
    Mel Day recently posted..Plan Your Business MarketingMy Profile

  8. I agree about Facebook. I have people on my personal profile that just wouldn’t get Internet marketing, and some of the blogs I comment on for the UBC would really make them raise their eyebrows (interesting blogs, don’t get me wrong, but I live in a very conservative area).

    A checkbox or even a simple question like “What’s 1+1?” doesn’t bother me, but Captchas are just annoying.
    Katie S recently posted..Care to Comment? Building Blog Community Through Your CommentsMy Profile

  9. Excellent post, Amanda. I have a check box to check or not. If checked, it subscribes you, but it isn’t mandatory. At first I had all kinds of captchas and junk I couldn’t even figure out. I got tired of that. If I won’t jump through the hoops I don’t expect you to, either. I’m so glad you addressed this.
    Ruth Clark recently posted..Things You May Not Know About MeMy Profile

    • How do you do the check box for subscriptions? I’ve been wanting to add that but I haven’t figured out how to do it. It’s another one of those things where you want to make things easy. That’s quite possibly as easy as you can make it for people to sign up for your list.

  10. I have the same mindset as you do Amanda.

    In fact, one of the first UBCs I took part in, I wrote a similar post to this one as a result of being annoyed at the hurdles people make you jump over just to comment!

    I won’t post to a FB comment box either! Good for you!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted..How to Give Your Business a Competitive AdvantageMy Profile

  11. I’m taking part in the Ultimate blog challenge and commenting on some blogs is challenging me to say the least. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve added a lengthy comment and then given up because it demanded I log into some system that has nothing to do with the blog and where I don’t even have an account.

    Facebook is a pet hate because my Facebook is for friends and family only. I have a page for my business but I don’t see how you can comment with that – and often the blog is not relevant to my page anyway.

    I love the blogs that just ask for name, email and website and the Commentluv ones. I didn’t have CommentLuv on my blog before the challenge but I love the way you can easily see everyone’s latest posts so I have added it now.
    Ana recently posted..21 Ways To Make Your Guy Feel SpecialMy Profile

    • CommentLuv is nice and it makes it easier to see what my readers are up to. Sometimes I’ll just open up my most recent post and check out some of my reader’s blogs. More than few times it’s given me inspiration because I see something they are doing really well that some people mess up or they’re not doing something so great and I can explain how to do it better.

  12. I never had too much of a problem with spam until recently, and it’s now getting to the point of being really annoying. But I absolutely don’t want to use something like Captcha, or anything else that will make things troublesome for my legitimate readers. Thanks for the tips on some other options!
    Melissa recently posted..Blissful Ignorance, How I Miss YouMy Profile

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