I remember asking around this time last year “Does Getting Blog Comments Matter?” and I came to the conclusion they mattered for creating and maintaining a sense of community on your blog.
Getting blog comments also offers a certain level of social proof, or at least from a visitors point of view as they will be more likely to perceive the site to be a successful one.
Over an extended period of time, I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst many bloggers spend a lot of their time blog hopping and commenting, this isn’t always the best use of time.
Why? Because it takes away from other more important things like researching and writing quality posts, training time, making products, helping people, networking and building a business.
OK, before I continue, let me say I’ve certainly not changed my mind about the importance of creating a community on a blog or the relationship marketing aspect of commenting. However, I think there are alternative ways to go about these things and I’ll be covering those in a later post.
A Big Change And The Start Of Things To Come
I also remember writing that “CommentLuv Premium Is Still Top Dog” not that long ago and I still believe it is a really useful plugin. I changed my mind about using it on my blog though.
Don’t get me wrong, I still read a lot of blogs and if I feel compelled to write a comment I will but nowhere near as often as I used to. It will be much more strategic. In fact, Marcus Sheridan pretty much summed up where I’m at in his post The Worst Article I’ve Read About Business Blogging And Comments.
If you’re a regular visitor to my blog you may have already noticed that I’ve changed over to the Disqus commenting system. Initially, when I removed CommentLuv I was going to just keep the native WordPress commenting system. However, I’ve never had Disqus on my blog and decided there’s no harm in giving it a try.
Initial Thoughts On Disqus
Setting it up was easy or at least after I’d read Getting Disqus To Sync Comments With WordPress over at Dragon Blogger. It’s important to me that any comments made on the Disqus system are automatically copied back to WordPress. I didn’t want to be in the position of losing them all should I decide to revert back to the WordPress native comments system.
If you’re using any kind of caching plugin or Content Delivery Network (CDN) then the sync of comments between Disqus and WordPress isn’t very reliable out of the box. Why? Because it relies on visitors viewing your actual web page rather than a cached version in order for the sync to start (or at least that’s how I understand it!).
It’s ok though because I got around it following Justin’s post as well as this helpful article at Disqus. I didn’t have to activate the alternative WordPress cron but did have to manually add the cron job as described in both articles. Now comments are being synced from Disqus to WordPress just fine.
I’ve seen some immediate benefits from removing CommentLuv and installing Disqus.
- I’ve been able to remove five plugins and only install one in its place (or two if you count the plugin I installed and then removed to update the cron job).
- There’s no sign of any more spam comments. They’ve literally stopped!
- I had lots broken links before I removed CommentLuv and they were never ending. Now I have none.
The Future Of Blog Comments
I don’t see a time that I’ll ever turn comments off on my blog but the days of my blog appearing in a list of DoFollow blogs on a crappy website the other side of the world are over!
I’ve always been conscious of the quality of the comments I’m authorising on my blog but with CommentLuv installed it was always tricky to know the intention of the person leaving the comment.
I’ve made some wonderful friends in my short blogging career and I’m humbled to know that they read and comment on my blog regularly without any expectations. They also leave some awesome comments and those are the ones I want to attract more of.
The thing about Disqus is that it does seem to have a professional edge over CommentLuv, particularly in the quality of the comments which are left by people. I haven’t had a meaningless one liner since I installed it.
Comments Don’t Make A Blog Successful, You Do
It really isn’t the comments that make a blog successful. It’s quality writing, the sale of products, advertising revenue and the ability to generate leads that are most important to your business. Comments are nice to have and can help develop blogging relationships but they don’t directly contribute to success.
What do you think?