Get More Comments On Your WordPress Blog

It is unfortunate that a great percentage of bloggers don’t set up their WordPress blog properly to accept comments. Comments are very important to the success of your blog, so take the time to do it right.

The most frustrating aspect of this issue is that when you have taken several minutes to create, what you think, is a great comment, only to find out your comment isn’t accepted. Everyone loses: The blog owner is cheated out of a valuable comment. Comments are incredibly significant to your blog’s success.

An example:

I have a particular problem with a plug-in that says “How are you at math?” This plugin is frequently setup wrong.

You are supposed to add two numbers together and put that number in the box. You dutifully enter the answer in the box only to find that it blows up and says “You must have failed math!” That “blow up” will have you speaking in foreign languages as your anger takes control of you. (I have started highlighting whatever I write in the post and I hit control- c to copy it. That way, if it fails to take my comment, I have another chance at it. )

What went wrong?

Usually, the blog owner has committed some errors in the set up. Because there are so many check boxes, it is easy to make a mistake. Here is one suggested way to set up your blog in WordPress. I am currently using version 2.5 of WordPress, but these settings are not specific to this version. It should work with every relatively current version.

Here’s how: While logged into your WordPress blog, go to settings:

* Anyone Can Register – check the box
* Users must be registered and logged in to comment – DO NOT check the box
* New user default – choose “contributor”

You are not done yet: Go to Settings, Discussion: Email me whenever anyone:

* Posts a comment – check the box
* A comment is held for moderation – check the box – A very important box to check

Before a comment appears:

* An administrator must always approve a comment – check the box – Also, very important
* Comment author must fill out name and email – check the box

Let’s explain these in order:

Anyone can register: You want to check this box because you want it to be easy for people to comment on your articles, don’t you? There is no good reason to restrict who can register…remember, you will be able to moderate the comment before it is shown.

Users must be registered and logged in to comment: You don’t want to check this box because unless you are running a membership site or some other exclusive site, you wouldn’t want to put a comment creator to such effort. Don’t do it.

New user default: Here is where you CAN get into some real trouble! I know, first hand, what can happen here. I had chosen the new default user to be “Author”, not “Contributor”. I wanted it to be easy for people to comment on my work. I also, like many bloggers, was naive and I let them post without my moderation first.

This worked fine for about a year or so until one day I visited my insurance blog to find some of the most disgusting, pornographic pictures I have seen. What a way to make a great impression on your readers. I don’t have any idea how many hundreds of people must have seen those pictures.

It was interesting how they accomplished it. Robots were employed to find blogs that were susceptible to placing comments. They register as a user without posting anything at all. . .a week later or so, then you get the “motherlode” of porn.

I went in and deleted the “comments” and banned those spammers from ever “contributing” to my blog again. Make sure you change the new default user to contributor – not author. Read farther to see what else I had to do.

Email me whenever anyone posts a comment. I want to know if I have received a comment. If it is a good comment, I want to approve it immediately. If it is trash, I would like to know, too.

Another reason for wanting to be emailed is so that you can click on their comment and it will take you to their website from within WordPress.

I make every effort to return the favor of a comment to anyone who comments on my work. That is a good habit to follow. You will make some quick friends and get people posting more comments. In a sense, you are building a community.

Before a comment appears an administrator must always approve a comment. This may be the most important control you have. The spammers have stayed away from my blog since they cannot get their trash published.

By the way, you can set up a blacklist in that same area where you ban certain words, urls, email address, IP addresses and the lot. You must TEST your settings

Yes, I know, you think that you did it right. But did you? The best way to test it is to have a friend visit your blog and ask them to create a comment. If they can enter a comment, not being an administrator or logged in, then anyone can do it.

I am working on a Camtasia video to help you see how these settings are changed. The video is the best way to learn this detailed information, but some people just need to see it written down.

What stories do you have? Did you get spammed? Did you understand the significance of the settings you chose? Let me know your thoughts.

Source by Richard Day

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