How to make your blog comment friendly

This is not a new post.  But it’s a good one, especially for blog newbies.

When I first ran this post, commenting on other’s blogs changed DRAMATICALLY. Gone were the word verifications and emails were finally linked up to comments. It was like magic.

To date, the original post, shown Nov 2010  has received 167 comments. You can read them HERE.

So this one’s for the newbies. Welcome and happy reading!

And tweaking. :)

Has the presence of word verification ever stopped you from commenting on another’s blog?

How about the good ol’ noreply when you email another?

 As a weekend host of a fairly large linkup event, I visit a lot of blogs. It’s been really fun getting to know more and more of you!

However, some visits require jumping through hoops to get my comment of gratitude to you. Or even an email. And most of you aren’t even aware of it.

Let’s look at it this way.  Have you ever answered your door to a guest, only to immediately hand them a dish cloth, requesting they do your dishes before you can visit? Silly scenario, isn’t it? Well, some blog default settings sort of do the same thing to your blog visitors. The settings make your guests work in order to leave a comment.

The problem?

Default settings

 When you start a new blog, there are default settings in place. With a few minor tweaks, your blog can immediately become more visitor friendly!

Having our visitors feel welcome is critical for blog success. And making it easy to leave comments and emails back to all is even more imperative if you wish for those comments. Trust me, I use to use all these safety gadgets in my earlier days of blogging. But today, I’ve found better ways around the issues. So, allow me to help your blog become more visitor friendly this very instant!

 
Word verification

What it does:

 When a visitor makes a comment, a funky or sometimes scrambled word comes up, where they must type it out in order to have the comment go through. This keeps spammers from leaving comments on your blog.

Lecture

This is not only a spam deterrent, it can also be a comment deterrent. :) At times, it’s a 3 step process to leave a comment. First you comment, then do word verification, then sometimes a third to verify. (I don’t know why this is!)  I miss the 3rd step nearly every time, as I have to manually scroll to read whether the comment took or not.  And if I don’t verify, my comment will not be there. Which happens to LOTS of my comments. And I don’t go back to enter again.

So what about the spam issue then? Some of us will get hit, and then you have a reason to put it back on. However there ARE other ways to deal with the spam. I use email notification to keep track of where it goes. And with the new blogger templates, there’s now an auto spam filter that catches most of it.

So, I vote remove word verification TODAY and let’s ease the pain of 2 or 3 clicks it takes to leave a comment on your blog.  

99% of you don’t know you have it activated. Guaranteed. :) Check it out.

How to deactivate (or activate) word verification

dashboard
settings
comments
scroll down to: Show word verification for comments?
please select NO. :)
click save settings


Comment notification

What it does:

Every time someone comments on your blog, you’ll get an email which makes it soooo easy to reply back to your visitors! (IF they have comment notification enabled as well)

Lecture

You know how much work it is to hunt for someone’s blog in order to find their email to comment back. This makes it a breeze! Just do it and thank me later. This is also how I gauge spam.

How to activate comment notification

dashboard
settings
comments
scroll down to: Comment Notification Email
fill in your email
click save settings


Comment moderation

What it does:

 When someone comments, you have a chance to moderate the comment before allowing it to be published on your blog. The comment will not appear until it is approved by the blog owner.

Lecture

 I honestly LIKE seeing my comment publish right away on your blog. I like to check for spelling errors and if I sounded like a dork or not and may wish to redo it. :)

Ask yourself why you’re still moderating comments. 99.9% of them are super nice! And now you have comment notification on so you’d get an email on where to locate it in order to delete it if desired anyway. Same with spam. So go ahead. Live dangerously. Deactivate this one. It’ll save you work and offer your guests instant gratification.

How to activate/deactivate comment moderation

dashboard
settings
comments
scroll down to: Comment moderation
select NEVER … I mean, if you want :)

click save settings

 Activate your profile / email

What it does

If your profile is activated, this provides a means in which we can #1 email you IF you activate email, and #2 – you’ll show up in other’s email notifications. Which is truly what you want. Trust me.

Lecture

Let’s say you leave me a comment and I want to write you back. If I need to go hunt down your blog (which one, anyway? many of you have more than one), then leave a comment on some non applicable post in order to reach you, chances are I won’t do it.

How do I KNOW you don’t have your email or profile activated? Because when I go try and email you, your email address shows up as noreply. Which really means NO REPLY. Which means I can send it but it won’t get to you.

Leery on having a profile for security reasons? Leave your profile blank but at least activate a new hotmail email account you can later delete if going public isn’t working for you. However, if you’re public with a blog, you really ought to go public with an email. It’s good PR for your visitors.

How to activate your profile and email

#1. CREATE a profile if you don’t have one already. This is somewhere in your initial blog settings.

#2. Once created, you need to activate it.

dashboard
look to the upper left
select edit profile

under privacy - 
select – show my profile
select – show my email address

under identity -
ADD – your desired online email address

click save profile

Embedding comments under post


What it does

If embedding is chosen, your comments will show up underneath your blog post in one long scrolling page after you click your home page. No popup boxes or separate pages applicable.


Lecture

Ever wish to comment but wish you could scroll up to take a gander at the post while you do so? My comments are MUCH shorter if I must rely on the memory of what your post just showed me.

But this option does more. When someone clicks on your post, they don’t have to select COMMENT in order to make one. The comment window is just there and open and ready for you.

I also don’t care for the little popup box that jumps up at me when commenting. #1, they’re too small and I feel like I’m typing inside a postage stamp and I must manually grab and enlarge it if I want it bigger, and #2, if I click on your post to scroll, the comment box disappears. Just not as user friendly as embedding.

How to activate embedding comments under post

dashboard
settings
comments
scroll down to: Comment Form Placement
select Embedded below post
click save settings

then sign out of your blog, and go and try and comment to make sure it works.

 Contact Me Button

What it does

A properly functioning contact button on your blogface allows visitors to email you through one click. The feature automatically opens up their email account so it cuts down on additional steps.

Lecture

I personally don’t love them because it opens up a weird more simplified email box area on my mac. However it’s alot easier than cutting and pasting someone’s email into your own email which requires extra steps. This is quick and easy.

Tip: if you right click a contact me button done right, it’ll give you the option to simply COPY the email address if you so desire which is very handy!

 How to create a Contact Me button

1. Choose your blog button (picture) of choice.

(creating blog buttons needs to be in a post by itself… one day I shall)

2. Upload your image to any image hosting website.

(I use Photobucket)

Once uploaded, html codes of all kinds will be attributed to your image. Keep all those fancy codes handy. You’ll need the image one. (starting with http and ending with jpg, png or whatever)

3. Go back to blogger, and go to 

dashboard, 
design, 
page elements, 
add a gadget, 
scroll down to the 6th that reads HTML

4. Enter this code as is except for tweaking in your own applicable info:

red – your email

teal – your image code
magenta - center coding

You won’t be able to cut and paste the above code as it’s displayed as a ‘picture’. There’s a lot of work and learning in making codes show up in blog posts correctly, so for now click HERE  where you can cut and paste the code from. It works! Just remember to replace the applicable info with YOUR email and YOUR image info.

Want the button to center? Add the center info before and behind the code (as above) like I did which wasn’t included in that website.

5. Save changes, position where you desire and you’re done! Test it out to ensure it’s working.

 

Music

What it does

Some blogs have added a playlist of music. When you enter a blog, you’re either greeted to music automatically (which you can deactivate by FINDING it first) or you have the option to activate the play yourself.


Lecture

What it REALLY does is scare the daylights outta me when I late night blog hop. :)

Other than that, this feature slows down dial up computers, causes my high speed connection to slow down and run glitchy, and encourages me to exit quicker than I may have originally wished to.  Where it’s true you can mute,  I don’t want to each time music hits me at random. I vote to at the very least, disable it and leave it as an option for visitors, not a mandatory feature. Or leave it off altogether. Your visitors really don’t like it even if you do. :)

Commenting back

What it does

When someone comments on your blog, many of us love to comment back as a blog courtesy.

Lecture

I get emailed a fair bit asking what I personally do. And then I email others and ask what they do. ‘Round and round we go!

In a nutshell, you need to do what’s right for you.

Are you wishing you had the time to comment back to each comment you get? Me too. There was a day when I did just that. And at times I still do. But if some post receives 80 comments, and my son needs to be fed, you can guess which comes first.

This is my feeling. If I give someone a kudos, while it’s nice to get an answer back, I don’t expect it unless I asked a question. We all have busy lives. If you feel you can comment back, by all means, do so! But to put that pressure on yourself that you MUST to each and every one is in my belief, somewhat self inflicted. It’s easy to do in the early days of blogging but gets increasingly difficult as your blog grows.

I suggest:

- respond back if you can. I believe interaction creates bonds that are not soon forgotten. If you can’t, at least address ALL the questions.

- Answer questions within your comments (for the benefit of all) AND emailing them back as well. Remember, not all (if any) will actually return to your post a 2nd time to read possible comments from you. I do it for the benefit of new commenters.

- Fire up a Facebook account and ask/answer questions there. It’s a breeze (and very fun!) to communicate with all! Join us! FJI Facebook is a chatty and fun group!

Follow FunkyJunkDonna on Twitter

- It pays to check it out and play around on Twitter and see what you think. It’s so universal and is similar to a live chat when you land at the same time as others. Loads of opportunity happens there. And you’ll get to know your fav bloggers on a more personal level. :)

I’ll be creating a post about facebook and twitter at some point too so I can share why I think they’re BOTH very important.

ID yourself with your blog url 
in emails and comments

What it does:

A blog url is your blog’s home page address. If you click on your header, this is your blog’s url. Mine reads as http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/


Lecture on emails

I get emailed a lot to check out someone’s blog. Or a specific post. I just weeded through 70ish emails today so can you imagine how much is on the go when this transpires? :)

Please look into your email settings and at the very least, add an active blog link as an automatic signature so you don’t have to do it every time you email someone. This helps to identify you as well as making you easily found! I don’t consider it spam. I consider it good blog biz. Maybe I WANT to check you out, ya know? :)

Want me to spec out a specific post? Please include the url for THAT post too. I’d rather help 5 of you than just one of you in the same amount of time. Thanks!

Lecture on blog posts

Got more than one blog? You may even wish to leave your direct URL under your name in your comments to other blogs. I do that at times so one doesn’t have to search all my blogs to find the ‘real one.’  If you comment on a blog, many times they follow your comment back to you. Make it easy for them!

Homework

I totally suggest to sign out of your blogger account, then go make an attempt to comment on your blog. See for yourself all the hoops that must be taken in order to do so. Then go ahead and tweak to your heart’s content. You now know how. :)

And by all means, please share this blog link to whomever you feel could use a little blog savvy help. I thank you in advance! :)

What do you think?


Did I mention any pet peeves of yours?


Have any suggestions on doing something better than above?


Feel free to share!


Like blog tips? Click HERE for a whole list of them.

These settings apply to the blue dashboard. If you’re on the new orange one, you’re ahead of me! :)

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Categories: Blog, Blogging Tips
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  1. I have the comment approve link ON, because if I don’t approve it first, I find I miss half of the comments, which makes me feel less interactive, it is so different from blogger to wordpress though :) I love your blog…thanks for the info!!

  2. Wow. Talk about Vulcan Mind Meld. You read my mind! I was just moaning today about how I can’t reply to some comments on my blog due to the “no reply-comment” mess. Then I have to go to their blog (if they have one) and they don’t have any link to contact them there either. Gah! Thank you so much for this post!

  3. Thank you for sharing this info … I hope I got everything right. My blog is new … I hope I didn’t miss out on comments because of word verification :( I think it’s fixed now. Thanks again for the help, Francine

  4. I did a post like this with some of the same gripes! I am so with you on every one of these, you were way more thorough, there were things that annoy the heck out of me, that I had become so used to. #1, word verification, #2, MUSIC, augh!!!!!, #3, no reply. That is the strangest of all. If you don’t want people contacting you, then…..why do you have yourself out there in the blogosphere. Kind of like inviting people over to your home for a party, then not giving them address and just letting them guess where you live. Strange.

  5. I completed up to “comments embedded below post”. I’ll try for the rest tomorrow. My eyes are about to fall out. I have been on my computer all day! Thanks so much for all the wonderful tips. This major newbie appreciates it. I look forward to being a super savvy blogger girl one day =)

  6. You covered them all Donna. THANK YOU…this is a great post and great tip for the newbies. Please please listen:) I host that newbie party every Monday and I can’t tell you how tripped up I get when going to comment. In fact, I do believe some gals do not even receive them because I have left the building too soon, probably because I typed the wrong stinkin letters!~ Thanks Donna!

  7. I would like to mention my pet peeve about blogs:

    Why do folks center their text? It makes it very hard to read. Sometimes I can’t finish reading posts because my eyes can’t find their normal resting place on the left.

  8. something changed w/blogger commenting – so annoying! one has to ‘sign out,’ then comment again & verify! what’s up w/ that? i hope you can give me an answer on this. i’m just not techy enough to figure it out! mine used to come up as Esther at fleurcottage, now i have to select a profile. if there’s no ‘annonymous’ i don’t comment & if there’s an ‘annonymous’ i comment but have to add my name. either choice is still annoying! Esther @ fleurcottage

  9. Thank you for reposting. It gave me some things to think about (and I took my playlist off of my blog)!

    I had wondered what some of the settings were for, so thank you very much!

  10. I am one of those that prefer not to listen to playlists on blogs. Most times I just have my volume turned off anyway so I don’t hear it, but it does slow down speed.

    I am one of those that would prefer responders come to my blog and leave a response instead of an email. I guess that’s because I have so VERY few people that visit my blog as it is. LOL!

    I “think” I have most of the options you’ve suggested on my blog, except the comment box thing.

  11. I’m not crazy about the Blogger commenting platform. I wish there were a way to respond directly to comments and to notify the commenter by email. I *never* go back to check on any of my comments, because I got burned out by checking and checking and never seeing any replies. So now, unless it’s a blogger that I “know well” and I know that s/he usually responds, I don’t bother going back at all. I installed Intense Debate on my blogger blog for comments. Is it perfect? No. I sometimes wonder if it deters people from commenting. But at least people can have conversations and reply to one another now.

  12. The verification never stops me from commenting… it’s usually typing less than 15 letters… no biggie, really.
    There are blogs I no longer make comments on cause the blogger never responds to my comments [often a question], and there are blogs that I no longer read cause they are less about what they are doing and sharing ideas [sharing means back and forth] and more about ‘LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME’ and the blogs that claim to be written by Christians when their actions clearly are not in keeping with being Christian? Dropped.

    I blog cause I think I have good ideas and I want to share those ideas if they would be helpful to others…
    I read blogs to get ideas and to also use those ideas, meaning I might need to ask a question and get a response. When I do not get that from a blog, I move on.

  13. This has been a fabulous post. I was doing a lot of the right things but backing up my blog…NOT. So I did that this morning and the embedded comments. I have tried this several times when I was using IE and it wouldn’t work. Now that I have Firefox…not a problem. I am working on the rest of your tips…like centering my HTML’s. Thanks and a big hug from a beginner nerd!

  14. YOU SO ShMART DONNA!!!I didn’t misspell that either. That is how I said it. If I ever get a blog I will know who to contact for good info.
    Thanks for making it easier to comment on some of these blogs.

  15. #31 Late Bloomer, you don’t have your email connected to your profile but I’m gonna hunt ya down anyway because I want you to know this! :) Do the extra steps and you’ll get more comments. Guaranteed.

    Donna

  16. #34 Elsie, I hope you come back to read this. I know you don’t have a blog but there’s something really funky strange about your link back to you. It takes me to google search! :)

    You are so kind and comment often but I’d love to email you back when you do. We need to get you set up right. Please hop through the steps in blogger so bloggers can respond back to you through comment notification. If you need help, please email me.

    Donna
    signmakergirl@hotmail.com

  17. Thanks for the wonderful tips. I needed to change a couple of mine. How do you connect your Facebook page to your blog? I think I need to do that too. I’ll stay tuned in on Wednesdays!

  18. Hi, this post has been sooooo helpful for me! Some I already did (yay) & some I have no clue about :( need to get that contact me button & blog button….the process scares me as I’m NO computer genious! Thanks so much for sharing & look forward to following you! Visiting from crafterminds chat recap

  19. I think I read this when you posted it the first time, and have implemented many of your suggestions. Word verifications are my biggest pet peeve. If it’s a blog of a friend, I’ll jump through the hoops, but mostly I skip them.

    You are so very right about comments from people who have multiple blogs. I never know which one is the right one. I like your idea of inserting the blog url in the comments. Something I used to do all the time was to change the “Comment as …” and instead of Marti (Google), select the “Name/URL” option. It helped the blog owner know who I was, and I also had the benefit of seeing what traffic was coming to my blog from the comment – something hard to tell with the first choice. But that was also a time when I was participating in a lot of “parties”.

    While it’s nice to receive a reply via email, for those of us with few comments on our blogs, a return comment is even better.

    I need to get a contact me button next. Thanks for a great post.

    The Next Fifty Years

    p.s. Just had to delete my first comment so I could correct the url I left – so your advice there is spot on.

  20. Wow-Thanks for all the help…here is my one problem.(Well at least for now):) I can’t seem to link up my e-mail up on my blog …When you click on it pops up page not found. I have no idea what to do…I copied and pasted the code, changed it to my e-mail and used a button from Shabby Blogs.???
    Denise

  21. Thanks Donna! I checked to see what my report card was and I got one bad mark, so I changed the comment pop up box to embedded below post. YOu rock~and that is why you are one of three blogs I subscribe to~I never want to miss something I can learn from. I feel like you are my big sister, even though I am older!!

  22. Well, Donna, I’ve had to slog thru the new version of blogger. Finally accomplished to de-activating word verification and embedded comment and will see about no music.
    I hope all these ‘fixes’ have taken effect when it check it next time.
    Thanks for the suggestions
    I’ll go back and check every point you made.
    hugs
    Gerry

  23. Thanks for posting these blogging tipps. It’ makes me go check out my settings. I have missed several of those word verifications after the comment post and I don’t go back to repost.

  24. oh my gosh. i’m such a nerd. i had word verification on mine too. i totally hate it when other blogs have it. I’M MY OWN PET PEEVE! ah! thanks to you, now its gone!!! loved this post :) i’ve been really in to your blog lately! keep up the great work!!!!!!

  25. Done! Thank you so much for these. I wasn’t too shabby on what I already had right, but I corrected what I had done wrong per your advice. Hopefully my blog is a little more friendly now! Thanks again!

  26. Oh, Donna, as a new blogger, I am loving posts like yours. I went right away (switched back to the original Blogger format) and made some changes to Sassafras Salvation right away. What a blessing that so many bloggy friends have an open door policy on what works and what doesn’t. It’s all about helping everyone succeed, right? Thanks so much!

  27. Thank you Donna! I just learned so much. Embedded my comments and I think got my auto signature going on my emails. I also sent a link to this post to a sweet new blogger that was a no reply blogger. And when my PC World writing baby brother gets back in the country I can’t wait to share this with him! He is finally having fun and started his blog “A Southerner in San Francisco” But I was laughing all the way to informing him he was a no reply blogger! (I can still pick on him) I mean, he works with Nike and Google among others but had no clue about no reply and he also has word verification. He will appreciate your post for sure. Thanks Donna!

  28. Your timing couldn’t have been more perfect! I just had left a comment to get in touch with another blogger, who in turn let me know that I was having the comment “no reply” problem. I ask her if she knew how to fix it, as I had no idea it was even showing that way. Her response was…”check out what was in my IN box”…this post! Thank you so much!

  29. Great post. I can’t stand it when someone leaves an awesome comment or asks a great question but then is a no reply blogger. I feel guilty that I can’t respond even though it’s not my fault. I wish that wasn’t an option at all in blogger.
    Gina (formerly 3 Ring Cottage; I did a blog makeover and have a new name)

  30. Great post. I don’t have my own blog but am an avid follower of many. I do wish people would get the message about music. It’s my #1 turn off & I’ve even stopped following blogs for that reason alone.

  31. Fabulous tips – I also agree about the music, I immediately leave their site, so I don’t get a chance to read their blog!
    One question, can you do a future post on how to insert/embed a file in a post – attach a pattern that readers can download.
    Keep up the good work, we are all certainly learning to be better bloggers, thanks to you
    Judy

  32. Agree about the music…do NOT like blogs that force that one me and I don’t visit them.

    About word verification. I removed it from my blog for a while (and I have very little traffic) and I was bombarded with spam comments, so I had to reactivate it. Didn’t know what else to do.

  33. I can’t remember if I commented on this post but didn’t see it ~
    Girl I am LOVING it !! Word verification drives me bonkers and not being able to write back to people bugs me too!
    I am thinking I am going to do a post to come read your post with a BIG please attached to it :)

  34. I have never used word verification since I started blogging in March, but have noticed just recently that I’m getting spam. I receive the comment notification emails that are spam, but when I go to the post that it says the (spam) comment is on, it’s not there. How does that even work?

  35. Great tips! I started a blog for my up and coming business and been looking for some good tips. I’m kind of a newbie to blogging so I’m thankful for all the help I can get. Contemplating if I wanna hire an seo company to do it for me or if I should just follow your tips and do it myself… Thanks a lot for posting!

  36. Oh, my goodness! I would have said every bit of that myself! I am on WordPress, but you can bet that I went really fast to make sure I wasn’t having some freakiness going on. I want it to be easy to contact me and easy to contact someone back….if my grandchild isn’t hungry…ha. Love that point! That is reality, after all. This is virtual. By the way, do not feel it necessary to respond…hahahahaha. Great post. I am tweeting it….pinning it…..Facebooking it…..stumbling it…. Oh yea…..music freaks me out too. Startling, when you are trying to be quiet, late at night or in the middle of Dexter.

  37. Ha, ha- sleepless night again tonight- just saw: Like blog tips? Click HERE for a whole list of them. And so far it’s been already 4hours with 8tabs open. So many things to learn that I didn’t see time flying:) Thank you

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