Every blogger loves comments. We communicators relish the responses our messages cause, and blogging allows this to happen instantaneously. But not all messages are always worth equal response. So how do you know?
If you have a blog, you will encounter all kinds of different people who leave comments on your blog.
Here are seven types of blog comments and how to respond to them:
1. The Spammer
This commenter enters 50 links to “London Escorts” services and dog food sales. These comments are the easiest to respond to: Use Akismet and forget about them.
2. The Long-Winded
This person writes really, really long comments. 200 words is a long blog comment. 500 words is beyond long. 1000 words or more is epic. But you occasionally get those.
Generally, these comments are from people who are new to the blogging world and don’t know about the unspoken rule that comments should be short and sweet (50 words is pushing the comment length limit).
How to deal with them?
First, be gentle. Remember, these are generally (but not always) people who are new to the blogging world.
Second, congratulate them on their well-thought out comment. Tell them they raise good points and clearly have something to say. Invite them (nicely) to start their own blog to say it. If they already have a blog, tell them that their comment would make a great response post.
This is not only tactful, but wise, as it's a great way to get an inbound link to your site.
3. The Nonsensical
You read their comment, and the first thing you say is, “Uhh. What?” The words form a sentence, but not one that makes any sense.
How do you respond to such comments? With exactly what went through your head: “Uhh. What?” Sometimes, they will return and clarify. Most often not, in which case, they might have actually been spammers that sneaked through Akismet.
4. The Non-Reader
This person clearly didn’t read anything past the title. Bloggers often write controversial titles in order to get people to read the post, but sometimes people respond to the title, rather than to the actual content.
All you can do is laugh, and tell them to read the post. The truth is, if they didn’t take the time to read it the first time, they probably won't check back to see if you responded to their comment.
5. The Self-Promoter
This person has one agenda: to promote their own blog. They make some loose connection to your post with something they wrote on their blog, and then post a link to it.
How should you respond? Truthfully, I don’t mind this so much. Blogging requires a little self-promotion every now and then. There are subtle ways of promoting your blog besides posting a link inside a comment, but if that’s the way some roll, so be it.
I usually respond with a generic “Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out!” and then, I actually do, leaving a comment with a link to my post. Turnabout's fair play.
6. The Generic
I don’t really understand these comments. The person will say something like “Interesting post! Thanks for writing it.”
Maybe this type of commenter is self-promoting through the link that is attached to their name, or maybe they are a non-reader, or maybe they just visit a thousand blogs a day and post the same comment, in which case they are a spammer.
I used to delete these generic comments, but found that many of them checked back on the post, saw their comment was deleted, and then sent me an email asking why. So I no longer do that.
Instead, the best way to respond to a generic comment is with a generic reply. “Thanks for reading!” is sufficient.
7. The Truly Interested
These are the best and deserve your full and careful attention. The comment is 100 words or less, and shows true interaction with the content of your post. They either add to the idea, or ask a thoughtful question.
You should respond in kind. Reward these commenters with a weekly or monthly “Top commenters” post, or a widget on the sidebar showing top commenters. They deserve to get some love from your blog for the comments they post.
These commenters drive your blog traffic. Treat them like the royalty they are. Visit their blogs, leave comments, and subscribe.
Other than these seven, what types of blog comments have you found, and how do you respond to them?