Comments are a big part of online marketing success. They affect how your site is ranked by Google, and how you are perceived by your viewers as well as other site owners. Comments are about engagement and networking, which are two brass rings in the quest for online success. The holy grail is quality content that sparks the comment fire in the first place. Here’s what you need to know to be a successful giver and receiver of comments.
Be a Giver
One of the best ways that you can begin to network online and draw the attention of other successful site owners (and their followers) is to leave comments on their posts. Dana Lynn Smith (aka The Savvy Book Marketer) has a wonderful guest post on BookBuzzr with tips for The Right (and Wrong) Way to Comment on Blogs.
Get Proper Credit
Most blogs that you will comment on incorporate commenting systems that show a thumbnail of you and connects to your online profile. That can lead folks directly back to your site, especially if you leave a particularly helpful comment.
But, there are so many commenting systems in use that you will need several accounts to ensure you are properly credited on all of them. Here’s a list with links to help you get started.
If you really want to keep things simple for yourself,
use the same email address for all of these accounts.
Google Account – https://www.google.com/accounts/ – This is also a widely accepted online profile, and there’s so much else you can do with a Google Account. See my post on how to create or update an account with the new Google Profile. The read Free Google Account Must Haves for Site Owners and Why Every Website Owner Needs a Google Account to ensure you max out on all the free and useful tools Google offers.
Disqus – http://disqus.com/ – This was one of the first enhanced commenting systems offered and is still going strong on many sites. When you click the Sign Up button, look to the right for a link to create a commenter account. You’ll then be asked to connect with either your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account. Then, look up in the right corner, hover over your name, and update your profile.
LiveFrye – http://livefyre.com/ – This is one of the newest systems on the block and is getting picked up quickly because it integrates all of your online presences. To get started, click the Sign Up link in the upper right. If you’re using the same email address for all of these, it will find you! But you can edit your profile anyway. Look for the Settings link in the top right after you get your account. (No idea why they didn’t put this under Profile.)
Comment Systems for Your Site
If you want more comments, make it easy for others to leave them. There are several comment systems for WordPress and each has it’s pro and con.
Standard – While the standard comment system that’s loaded by default with WordPress doesn’t have many whistles and bells, it is very easy for others to use by logging in with either their Gravatar or Google account. And, all of the comments are stored on your site’s database, which is a real plus for backing up and securing.
CommentLuv – http://comluv.com/ – This became one of the most popular comment systems because folks can sign in easily and it encourages more comments because each person is rewarded with a link back to the last post they made on their blog. Kristi Hines has a super post titled CommentLuv 2.9 – Guide for Blog Owners & Commenters on the benefits, and latest features with the most recent version of this system, plus how to set it up. CommentLuv is available as a WordPress plugin.
Disqus – It’s relatively easy to set up this comment system, and it does have a WordPress plugin available. It allows folks to sign in using their Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, or Yahoo accounts. And, it has extra widgets to display comments on your sidebar too. The one con is that the comments are stored on the Disqus system. If it becomes temporarily unavailable, so do your comments. And, if you switch to another comment system later, you’ll need a special plugin or tool to migrate comments to the new system. There are lots of tools available to migrate your current comments into Disqus.
LiveFrye – This new system just came out of beta testing in March, but it is catching on quickly with some heavily trafficked sites that have a very active community of commenters. There is a LiveFrye plugin for WordPress and is tauted as being super simple to configure. But, the drawback of that is, you can’t make it look or act much differently than the way it comes out of the box. Commenters can share their posts on their Facebook and Twitter accounts too. But, if they don’t have a LiveFrye account, they’ll have to allow access to their Facebook, Twitter, Google or Linkedin account with your site, which may turn folks off for a while yet.
Facebook – Yes, Facebook has it’s own comment system that fully integrates with Facebook profiles, but the reason that it hasn’t caught fire is because it doesn’t play well with others. You run it and it alone, or have a dual comment system. Not cool.
How are You Handling Comments?
Do you have a special comment system on your site? How’s it working for you? As a commenter, do you skip leaving a comment if there are too many sign-in barriers?