If you’re thinking about launching a blog, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not to allow visitors to submit comments. There are both advantages and disadvantages to enabling this feature. Many newcomers assume the best solution is to disable visitor commenting, but the answer isn’t as cut and dry as this. So, should you allow visitors to submit comments on your blog?
Benefits of Visitor Commenting
The primary benefit in allowing visitors to comment on your blog is the free content it creates. Each time a visitor leaves a comment, it adds unique, relevant content to your blog — and you probably know the importance of fresh content. Adding new content to your blog regularly will encourage higher search engine rankings, which subsequently brings more visitors to your blog. While you can always write new posts and articles to create fresh content, visitor comments are free and require little-to-no effort on your part.
Secondly, commenting encourages greater visitor engagement. Visitors will feel like they are a part of a community by sharing their thoughts and opinions. If the comments turn controversial, this can spark even more interest and engagement, although the comments shouldn’t become rude. This type of engagement can boost your site’s percentage of returning visitors, lower your bounce rate, and improve your metrics across the board.
Disadvantages of Visitor Commenting
Of course, there are some drawbacks to enabling visitor commenting on your blog, such as the potential for spam. Mischievous marketers and spammers often use the comment field to promote their products and services, watering down the quality of the blog. It’s not uncommon for high-traffic blogs to receive hundreds or even thousands of spam comments per month, attesting to the problem of spam. Spam comments may come in the form of irrelevant phrases like “Great job, I’ll grab your RSS!” or they may be nothing more than a list of URLs.
Tips To Combat Comment Spam:
- Set all new visitor comments for moderation by logging into your WordPress dashboard and selecting Settings > Discussion > and tick the box labeled ““
- Download and activate an anti-spam plugin such as Akismet.
- Disable commenting on old posts and articles.
- Thoroughly read through the comments to ensure they are relevant to the post or article.
- Beware of visitors who use keywords as their name instead of an actual, real name.
Do you allow visitors to post comments on your blog? We’d love to hear what you think below!