Is Your Comment Box Hiding?

where do I commentDo you pay much attention to the comment box on your blog? You do have one right? As I read a number of assorted blogs, I’m often surprised with the appearance or lack of comment boxes. Most are very easy to find and access whereas others are rather small, require code deciphering, and have far too many hoops to jump through.

Personally I tend to only leave comments when I can do so quickly and easily. If you make me work to leave a comment, well I simply click away. Sorry, but I do and I’d venture to say, so do other readers.

You work hard on your blog posts. It’s not always easy to come up with catchy headlines, write content that speaks to your audience, and inspires your readers to comment. So when you find that winning combination make it easy for your readers to converse with you.

Now I must admit that the WordPress theme you choose can play a role in where your comment sits and how it appears. For example, I’d really like to change the wording atop the comment box here from “speak your mind” to something like “love to hear what you think”, but I have no idea where to make that change. I’ve even looked over the CSS code and can’t find where that wording resides. I’m using the Genesis theme so if you know, I’d be quite obliged.

When someone finds your blog and takes the time to read your posts you really want them to leave a comment, so make your comment box welcoming. Roll out the red carpet or at least set up the welcome mat. Let me explain what I mean with these three helpful tips.

3 Tips to Make Your Comment Box Work for You

These tips assume that you are using WordPress for your blogging platform, not one of the Web 2.0 sites like Blogger, but I do understand that there is a settings box within Blogger as well.

1. Set up your comment settings

In WordPress go to Settings / Discussion / Other comment settings – check the box stating that the “comment author must fill out name and email”. Don’t require them to be registered and don’t ever close comments on old articles, who knows a post may find readers months after they’ve been written.

comment settings

Also under “Email me whenever” – check both boxes so that you are notified when a comment is left and under “Before a comment appears” check only that the comment author must have a previously approved comment, this helps to block spam.

 

comment settings 2

 

 

 

 

2. Encourage readers to leave comments

Having a comment box that stands right up there doesn’t always mean readers will take the time to leave a comment. Many people simply take the information they needed from your blog post and then leave, so encourage them to speak their mind. Ask for comments with phrases like “what are your thoughts” or “do you agree with my recommendations”, rather than simply stating “please comment”. Encourage them with a direct invitation.

3. Add Blog Sharing Plugins

Entice your reader to leave a comment by installing a plugin that allows them to share their content. I use the Comment Luv plugin which allows commenters to share the title of a recent blog post. This reciprocal arrangement lets other commenters notice their blog posts that they may click and pop on over to read. I’ve heard that the plugin has created conflicts for some users but I’ve not experienced any difficulties.

Take a look at your comment box, are you happy with it? Do you find it welcoming for your reader?

What do you think of my suggestions – do you have others to offer? Let us hear from you.

 

To your hard earned success,
Marilyn T

 

Comments

  1. I have to agree that it can be annoying when you have to log into a particular site to leave a comment.

    I just added a different type of comment plugin on my site. You have to copy and paste a code. Not yet sure if that is too much. It is supposed to cut down on spam comments. Gonna see. 🙂
    Victoria recently posted…Welcome to The Lazy Girl MakeoverMy Profile

  2. After reading this, I went to my own blog and I definitely see something I need to fix. Thank you. 🙂 As a reader, I love blogs that ask a question at the end of a post to get you thinking. I also don’t mind when they ask to share if I liked something because I love to share posts, I just don’t always think of it.
    crystal touchton recently posted…Free Ebook: Increase Your Amazon Affiliate Commission Today!My Profile

  3. I so appreciate the comments that give me the link love (like comment luv) and I need to go make sure my sites are set up for that too since I’ve re-done a few this month.

    • Hi Jenn,

      I like the Comment Luv plugin for exactly that reason, it’s nice to be able to share the posts of those who take the time to comment.
      Thanks for commenting!

  4. These are all great suggestions, Marilyn!

    AND… to change your default “Speak Your Mind” to something else above your comment box, must be done inside of the theme’s functions.php file.

    Since you purchased a Genesis theme, the code snippet is inside the comment/member’s area here:
    http://my.studiopress.com/snippets/comments/#speak-your-mind

    If you need help changing it, let me know!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…Are You Breaking the Article Writing Challenge Rules?My Profile

  5. Good point – I’ll have to double-check my ease of use on commenting. For yours, maybe this will help – http://my.studiopress.com/snippets/comments/
    Mel Day recently posted…How To Make Money Online Part 3My Profile

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