When you run a blog, you are going to comments. That is, after all, the point of having a blog in the first place. You can’t always respond to every comment, but how should you reply to comments when you do? For the most part, people who leave blog comments tend to be supportive. This is not to say that you won’t attract some negative comments. Part of running a blog is understanding how to reply to comments, both positive and negative.
You probably won’t be able to respond to every comment if you are running a blog, especially if you have other things to do during the day. You should, however, acknowledge comments. Take time to read your comments. If you notice a common theme, make a general comment acknowledging what is being said in those comments. Even a general comment saying something like “Your comments are appreciated and I will respond as soon as I can” lets your readers know that you are paying attention to comments. Blog followers like to know that their comments are being read. Blogs, by nature, are engaging. If you simply ignore all comments, you’ll soon find followers leaving your blog for one that is more interactive.
Establish a No Spam Policy
When running a blog, it is best to establish a policy regarding spam. The general recommendation is to delete anything that appears to be spam. Spam postings only clutter your blog and make it less appealing to new followers. It’s a good idea to post a statement saying that anything that appears to be spam will be deleted. This won’t necessarily deter all spam from landing on your blog, but it will let your followers know why certain posts are being deleted.
Delete Old Comments
Try to keep your blog comments relevant. The general rule of thumb is that once blog comments are more than a year old, they should be deleted. A good way to do this is to delete all blog comments at the start of each year. If there are certain comments you think are worth keeping, create an archive section on your blog where you can place certain “keeper” comments. Another option is to incorporate your favorite blog comments into your blog, just make sure you give credit to the person who posted the comment.
A blog is going to attract some negative comments. This is just a fact of online life. People tend to be bolder online since they aren’t held accountable for what they say. This means you could find yourself dealing with some negative comments now and then. First, don’t take it personal. Realize that most people wouldn’t really say some of the things they say online in person. Second, understand that some comments that appear negative may just be constructive criticism. Carefully read your comments before reacting. If a follower is correcting information, spelling or grammar, verify that their correction is correct. If it is, thank them for helping to make your blog better.
When to Delete
Other than removing old comments, there are few cases where you would want to delete a blog comment. If a comment is especially nasty, it is best to delete it. If you receive multiple comments of this nature from the same person, make a statement that you won’t allow blogs with certain language or comments. On the other hand, if you shouldn’t delete all negative comments. Some negative comments fall under the constructive criticism category. You may not always appreciate criticism, but leaving some of these comments actually shows that you are willing to accept all types of comments, within reason. This tends to make your blog more appealing.
Regardless of the nature of blog comments, don’t take them personally. You are likely to receive supportive comments, but you’ll also get some negative comments. If the negative comments are especially nasty, you should delete these. You don’t want to provide a forum for a battleground between some of your followers. You should also delete comments that veer too far off topic. This makes it more difficult for followers to know what your blog topic is. Finally, whatever comments you get, take the time to respond either as a general acknowledgment or to selected comments. Remember, the purpose of a blog is to interact with those who take to the time to read it and follow what you post.
About The Author
Ken Lyons writes for Brainloop, a company specializing in creating a highly secure workspace through secure online document sharing, information rights management, and other document protection services to ensure secure documents .