Do You Have a Strategy for Handling Your Blog's Comments?

Larry Alton
by Larry Alton 04 May, 2017

Blogging is a major challenge for many business owners.

The demand to constantly publish fresh and engaging content is always there and can require an "all hands on deck" approach from your marketing team. And while most businesses are getting better about consistently developing quality content, there's one aspect that the vast majority of brands forget about: the comment section.

How to Handle the Blog Comment Section

Did you even know your blog had a comment section? You're probably aware that it does, but do you remember the last time you scrolled down to the bottom of a post to see if anyone posted feedback?

An even more pervasive problem is that some businesses simply choose to ignore comments on blog posts because they don't want to get caught up in a back and forth conversation that they view as a losing situation.

Whatever the case may be, statistics suggest that you don't have a strategy for handling your blog's comments. Unless you're in the minority, you just sort of gloss over this aspect of blogging and focus all of your energy on content creation. This is a big missed opportunity. A blog's comment section is highly valuable real estate. It's a place where you can gather feedback, address issues and build rapport with customers.

Not sure where to start? Let's take a brief look at some tips and techniques for efficiently and effectively handling your blog's comment section.

1. Understand the Different Types of Comments

According to successful blogger Jeff Goins, there are seven types of blog comments: spammer, long-winded, nonsensical, non-reader, self-promoter, generic and truly interested. Until you learn to differentiate between these different categories, you'll end up wasting your time. Each type of comment requires a unique response, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the right approaches.

2.  Be Prepared for Negative Feedback

Making the decision to respond to blog comments is accepting the fact that there will be negative feedback. You have to be prepared to handle this negative feedback, or you'll end up doing more damage than good.

According to Insightly, properly handling negative feedback is all about having a plan in place. You must respond quickly and clearly. Avoid getting in squabbles and actually listen to what commenters are saying. This is the recipe for success.

3. Enable Threaded Comments

If you haven't already, be sure to enable threaded comments on your WordPress blog. This allows responses to show up under the specific comment that you're responding to. This is more practical and visually pleasing for both you and the commenters.

4. Build a Sense of Community

If you have a super active blog, it's almost impossible for one person to respond to all of the comments; putting your entire marketing team on "commenting" duty is an inefficient use of your time. In this case, what you really need is for other readers/commenters to help out when a question or issue arises. You do this by gradually building a community over time.

"When you have a community of readers who help each other find the answers they're looking for, this not only takes the pressure off of you to be the 'end-all,' but it will also develop a sense of team and community," says Marcus Sheridan, an experienced blogger.

You Can't Ignore Comments

Whatever you do, don't ignore comments any longer. From a customer's perspective, a failure to respond is rude and lazy. It shows them that you either (a) don't maintain an active blog, or (b) don't value their opinion enough to come up with a response.

It'll take some effort on your part, but the return on investment of addressing your blog's comments is high.

About the Author

Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he's also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on  Twitter and  LinkedIn.