In the world of blogging, the comment thread is one of the places where the most activity occurs. It’s where the most vocal readers of your blog gather to pass judgment, to offer their opinions, and to interact with your blog posts. Because this community can ebb and flow based on the quality of the content, it’s actually very important to keep your commenters pleased. They are the vocal minority, certainly, but as such they can really influence the feel of your blog.
Moderate Your Comments Threads
Take, for example, an unmoderated blog versus a moderated blog. The unmoderated blog comments section will be quite a bit harder to read through and navigate, and because of this it could turn off some potential readers, especially if the comments are rude or worse. Moderated comments, however, tend to be a bit tidier; however, moderation cuts out commenters freedom to say what is on their mind. It’s a give and take, naturally, so you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable with the decision you make at the end of the day. I personally think it’s better to moderate comments than leave them open, as you can also control spam better that way.
Interact with Commenters
Blog commenters love to be addressed and recognized as contributing members to a blogging community; because of this, it would be in your interest to interact with your commenters on a regular basis. Reply to their comments, field their questions, and respond to emails. If you present yourself as a blogger who not only welcomes but also responds to commenters in many different ways, then you’ll please your readers and your reputation will grow.
Offer Prizes and Run Contests
Another way to please your commenters is to reward them for participating in your blog. You can do this a number of ways, of course, but one of the most popular ways is to hold contests and offer prizes to your commenters. As long as the prize you offer is no great expense to you, you can really turn up the fun factor on your blog and get even more readers to participate as commenters. Give away ad space, a guest post, or free products; all of these things can get more activity on your blog and keep your readers interested in what you have to say.
Be a Commenter Yourself
Finally, one way to show that you identify with commenters is to be a commenter yourself. Think of it this way: most every commenter you’ll interact with has a blog of his or her own that he or she works tirelessly on. You should take a moment to visit these other blogs and comment on them. This will show them that you appreciate what they do beyond your blog for the better of the blogging community.