Who Do You Listen to When Influential Bloggers Don’t Agree? #FridayFinds

by Sherryl Perry on August 9, 2014

Post image for Who Do You Listen to When Influential Bloggers Don’t Agree? #FridayFinds
Share Button

Have you heard that Chris Brogan is shutting down the comments on his blog? It seems that the dust has barely settled since CopyBlogger closed their comments. So, that debate will be stirred up again. (Mark Schaeffer is weighing in on this one too.) Speaking of debates, did you read Dan Shure’s views on the importance of comments to a blog success? And then read Marcus Sheridan’s opposing view?

Last week, we discussed how emotional headlines gain more shares (and took a look at a tool to analyze them).  This week, we’ll take another look at more analysis of effective headlines. We’ll also take a look at another epic post by Adam Connell where he shares tips on successful blogging that doesn’t rely on driving more traffic. All this and more in this week’s #FridayFinds.

Should You Close the Comments on your Blog?

I’m sure most of you remember when CopyBlogger shut down comments on their blog. Well, now it’s Chris Brogan turn to shut them down.

In both of these cases, one reason they cited was comment spam. In the case of CopyBlogger, Sonia Simone (their Chief Content Officer) blogged and shared her views in a podcast. The main points that she made at the time were:

  • In a little over 8 years, Copyblogger published more than 130,000 comments.
  • Those 130,000 comments represented only about 4% of the actual number of comments left on the site.
  • Approximately 96% of the comments left on Copyblogger were spam.

Sonia stressed that what it came down to was that they were spending a tremendous amount of time moderating comment. She also reported that the decision was made to move the conversation to social media.

Interestingly enough, Chris Brogan made a similar statement when he said:

“If you want to know what people are saying about your posts, you have to scan Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and everywhere else a conversation can be had.”

Note: I covered the CopyBlogger story in my post How Safe Are Your Backlinks back in April. (That article also gave you some insight into Google’s penalties for “unnatural” links and the potential harm of do-follow enabled CommentLuv links

The Comments or No Comment Debate:

Not only do I still value comments here, commenting on blogs is still a key part of my strategy for building awareness and developing mutually beneficial relationships with other bloggers. I have even embraced Dan Shure’s recent article (on Moz.com) where he proposed using the number of comments on your blog as a key metric as to whether or not your blog is successful. Dan’s article stirred up a lively discussion in the comments and also prompted Adrienne Smith to share a rebuttal to Dan Shure’s position by Marcus Sheridan (on TheSalesLion.com).

It’s interesting to read opposing viewpoints from successful bloggers. If you’re interested in reading how other readers here feel about that topic, check out the comments in last week’s #FridayFinds. (Please feel free to join the conversation too.)

What Does Mark Schaefer Have to Say About Comments?

Believe it or not, the post that I read this week that rekindled this discussion on comments is Monetizing blog comments: Why your blog is economic gold by Mark Schaeffer (on BusinessGrow.com). While Mark obviously respects Chris Brogan and refers to him as a “a pioneer in almost every aspect of blogging”, he goes on to tout the value of commenting and welcomes us to comment on his blog.

Mark reminds us that a post that he wrote in January received more than 700 comments. He also points out that those comments are still there but the social conversations are.

“The whisps of social media conversations about this topic are long-gone like feathers in a hurricane. You couldn’t even find them by digging deep on a search engine.”

Is Focusing on Website Traffic Keeping You from Success?

One of my favorite bloggers is Adam Connell (from BloggingWizard.com). You may remember that I featured one of his epic posts in my #FridayFinds article about ways to improve your content marketing strategy. (The article I featured from Adam in that #FridayFinds included 48 content marketing tools.)

Well, this week, Adams is sharing his guide of Smart Blogging Tips To Get Better Results With Less Traffic. Some of the highlights from his article include:

  • Identifying and Using Conversion Goals
  • Removing Distracting Elements
  • Using Social Proof to Build Trust
  • Building Your Email List
  • Using Landing Pages

As always, I highly recommend reading Adam’s article in full. One of the things that you will notice is that Adam also offers this article as a PDF (which you get via email). This is an exclusive piece of content that is available to you when you click on a link with a popup to sign up. This also is an example of Adam implementing two of his blogging tips (working toward a conversion goal and building his email list). As an added bonus, Adam shares the tools that he uses in his post (very clever Adam.)

Do Emotional Headlines Get More Shares?

Last week, I shared some blog tips on how to improve your website blog. One of the things that I shared with you was Garrett Moon’s article where he shared “conclusive proof” that emotional headlines get more social media shares.

Up until I had read Garrett’s post, I had been unaware of the EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) Headline Analyzer tool from the Advanced Marketing Institute. Some of you found the tool interesting and intend to use it. Others of you are skeptical. Since the tool is quick, easy and free, I’m giving it a test drive. (I’m always on the lookout for any tools or resources that can help me think more creatively when I’m writing my blog titles and headline tags.)

Do You Know These Tips for Writing Headlines?

The thing that attracted me to Garrett Moon’s article about the impact of emotional headlines was the fact that CoSchedule(a company that Garrett founded) had built a database of containing nearly a million headlines. With that amount of data to analyze, rest assured, I was interested.

So, when I came across the article We Analyzed Nearly 1 Million Headlines. Here’s What We Learned that Garrett wrote for OKDork.com, I was eager to learn more blog writing tips. As always in this series, I’m not going to delve into the details of Garrett’s article. Instead, here are some of the highlights of what he’s covered (just in case you too want to write better headlines):

  • The data set he used contained nearly a million headlines.
  • He broke the data into (English-only) posts that fell into 3quantities of shares on major social networks: less than 100 shares, more than 100 shares and more than 10k shares.
  • One of thefindings was that “89% of the content that is created is never shared more than 100 times!

In addition, Garrett also:

  • Lists the top 13 most common words/phrases used (in highly shared headlines).
  • Provides 6 takeaways that we can learn from (including 2 graphs depicting the networks the highest percentage of shares came from).
  • References CoSchedule’s analysis using the EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) Headline Analyzer tool.

BTW – This was my first time on OKDork.com but I was impressed by what I saw. It turns out that this site is the personal blog of Noah Kagan, (the chief “sumo” at AppSumo.com – one of the few blogs that I subscribe to email updates for).

Over To You:

What are your thoughts? As a blogger, are you more focused on driving traffic to your site or providing quality content? Are you surprised that Chris Brogan is shutting down comments on his blog? What do you think about Mark Schaeffer’s observation that social conversations from his post in January aren’t showing up in the search engines yet the 700+ comments left on his blog remain? We’d love to know.

You can connect with today’s featured authors on Google+ at Chris Brogan, Dan Shure, Marcus Sheridan, Adam ConnellGarrett Moon¸ Mark Schaeffer, and me.

Share Button

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

John Hunter
Twitter:
October 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I think blog comments are a big part of what make blogs – blogs. That interaction is essential to blogging.

But I can understand why bloggers block commenting when they are inundated with comments – especially low value comments. I hope I can get to the point I have that problem (tools can eliminate nearly all spam very efficiently so you don’t need to worry about it much). If commenting is closed I think the writing is still worthwhile but I am not sure it should be called a blog – it is just posting articles.
John Hunter recently posted..Going Nomad in SE AsiaMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry October 14, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Hi John,

I agree with you. Blog commenting is such an important part of connecting on a human level. We can all learn from each other and what better way than having a conversation in the comments.

There are tools that can help us control the amount of spam that we get and these big companies and influential bloggers that are closing their comment sections could find ways to manage it. They’re making choices and there is some allure to being so popular that you “have to” close your comments. I’m not buying it though. I enjoy these conversations.

Thanks so much for weighing in on this. I hope you’re having a wonderful week.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Security on My Mind: How To Successfully Evaluate and Protect Your Online Technology AssetsMy Profile

Reply

Karmakar
Twitter:
September 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

Hi Sherryl,

Hmm… I think the basic definition of BLOG is to share your thoughts with your readers and communicate with them on the same platform.

What Chris Brogan or other big names have done is they have transferred their personal blog to a business level service…

They do NOT have time for moderating the comments and one of the main reason is that they started providing other services to Fortune500 companies… Big money projects…

They do NOT want to hire someone to moderate the comments as that will be waste of resources…

After reading your post if I had query and I had to go to Twitter to post my concern with “@” and your Twitter handle to notify you… That is called Customer service using Social Media platform…

Moreover they are already established and have 1000s of Email lists… They do NOT bother about the comments by you and me as they know anyhow you and I will subscribe to their email ATM…

What say you?
Karmakar recently posted..CommentLuv Review: 10 solutions in 1 Blog Commenting ToolMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry September 18, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Hi Karmakar,

To be honest with you, I don’t follow Chris Brogan anymore. I used to follow him and he’s one of the bloggers who motivated me to join the “Third Tribe” (back in the day). In 2011, we followed each other on Twitter. Then, I was one of 131,000 Twitter followers that he unfollowed as part of “The Great Twitter Unfollow Experiment of 2011”.

Actually, that experiment worked out well for him. I was blogging about his experiment and I remember that about four days after he unfollowed all those people, an additional 60,000 people followed him. I can only imagine how the number of social media followers have increased since he stopped allowing comments. It is most likely working for him.

While I still respect Chris Blogger as a blogger, I don’t follow him or subscribe to his updates any more. I just don’t feel the personal connection with him that I once had. (As you pointed out, he’s moved from personal to business.)

I’ll still RT his content (if someone in my community has shared it) but I prefer to build relationships with bloggers who I feel a connection with. (Mark Schaeffer is the perfect example of an influencer who connects with his readers.)

Thanks so much for sharing your insight with us. Comments are always welcome here!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Big Companies Use Neuromarketing to Influence Buyers. Can You?My Profile

Reply

Karmakar
Twitter:
September 19, 2014 at 3:54 am

Hi Sherryl,

If you look at Neil Patel’s blog Quicksprout.com I think this blog is one of the most busiest blog at present.

Look at Neil, he replies to his every comment…

Moreover, to clarify a doubt just send him an email… you will get the reply within 6 hrs from him… I know because till date I have send him N-numbers of emails and got reply for everyone of them within 6 hrs…

How he is doing that as he is running 5 multi-millions dollar companies…

I think when it is coming to this topic of comments or no comments we all should take a look at Neil’s blog…

Regards…
Karmakar recently posted..CommentLuv Review: 10 solutions in 1 Blog Commenting ToolMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry September 19, 2014 at 11:31 am

Hi Karmakar,

I will take a closer look at Neil Patel’s blog. I was not aware that he responded to emails. I respect that. I only subscribe to a few blogs and Neil’s is not one of them but maybe it should be. Up until now, I’ve mainly accessed Neil’s blog when he’s featured in round-up posts from bloggers who I closely follow.

Thanks for the great suggestion!

Reply

Emebu
Twitter:
September 15, 2014 at 8:09 am

If they close their comment or not, i believe that blog commenting is still one best way to achieve uncommon success in blogging.
Emebu recently posted..9 Ways to Discover Your Passion to Become a Better BloggerMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry September 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Emebu,

I think most of us are in agreement that blog commenting is one of the best ways to achieve success in blogging. It’s a great way to build top-of-mind awareness, authority and community.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Can You Get Started With SEO? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Reply

Vernessa Taylor
Twitter:
September 9, 2014 at 3:57 am

Excellent set of Friday Finds, Sherryl! This debate is one I have in my head about every 5 or 6 months, usually in response to some of the posturing you’ve highlighted. (I say “in my head” because it’s rare that i enter into the “live” debates going on around the subject.)

Frankly, I think it’s silly to turn off comments entirely when there are numerous tools around to help you massively cut down on the spam. And most of the blog articles are written in a such a manner as to spark debate, or invite the readers to take up a position, or cover topics that are top-of-mind which means people have something to say about it.

We learn as much from the comments, in many cases, as we learn from blog posts. Sometimes I even get ideas for future articles based on what folk say in the comments.
Vernessa Taylor recently posted..Take Charge of Your Stats: Piwik Analytics vs. Google AnalyticsMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry September 9, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Hi Vernessa,

People certainly are passionate about commenting. There always seems to be someone writing about it lately.

I agree that there are many ways to handle comment spam. If you’re willing to aggressively manage it, you can virtually eliminate it.

The biggest problem that I see with listening to some of these influential bloggers is that they’re in a totally different place from the rest of us. If I were to shut down comments on my blog, I’m sure many readers here would go elsewhere. It would appear that I didn’t value their opinions and ideas.

We can all learn from each other and like you, I get great ideas for future articles from the comments.

It’s good to see you here again. I appreciate your dropping by and sharing your insight with us. I’ll be by your place soon. Have a great week!

~Sherryl
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can You Influence Consumers by Using Neuromarketing Techniques? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Reply

Carol Amato August 31, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Great article! I do feel very strongly about this topic.

I won’t consume the content on a website if their comments are not open. If they feel it’s a ONE-way street and don’t think enough of me and value their readers enough to allow them to voice their opinion, then I don’t think they should have the honor of my traffic and/or social share.

There are great commenting systems in place with awesome filters, and there is such a thing as hiring staff to deal with anything that would be time consuming…. Hello?

I know of top marketers in our industry who give very quick, one liner responses, which to me is a whole lot better than not responding at all, or worse yet, closing off communication.

The word “communication” indicates TWO parties with a continual conversation.

Initially one person listens to the communication of the first who starts the conversation. Then, they respond and keep it going only to end it at a logical place where thoughts are shared and opinions made known.

Without two-way communication, it’s a LECTURE, in my opinion. NO THANKS!

I think Chris Brogan is out of touch. To say scanning the social media to find out what people are saying is deliberately deciding to force content that should be on his site, his domain, owned by him – out to the social media giants. It would be there regardless, but he would also benefit by allowing comments.

They need to get over it. Time is precious for everyone. Every single individual on this planet has the same value, and I see multi-millionaires responding to comments all the time because they GET it. They are NOT bigger than their readers/subscribers. Wow. What a notion!

Sorry to go on such a rant, but I definitely feel very strongly about this. I respond to every single comment on my site and do my very best to visit my readers’ blogs and check out their content too and comment when possible.

If I value the relationship, I will do something to add value to the other person. Plain and simple. :-)

Thanks for the thought-inspiring content, Sherryl, I really appreciate it.

Have a great weekend.
- Carol
Carol Amato recently posted..Do You Keep A Back Scratcher In Your Pencil Holder?My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry September 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Wow Carol! I’m so glad that we finally discovered each other’s blogs. I always appreciate it when someone takes the time to join the conversation in such a meaningful way. Comments can add so much value to a blog that I can’t imagine ever not allowing them.

I often get emails from readers telling me that they read every comment and that they find the conversations valuable. That is so important to me. I never pretend to have all the answers. No one can do it all alone and we can all learn from each other.

Chris Brogan has reached the point (IMHO) that he’s no longer someone that I can relate to. When I was new to the blogging scene, Chris still replied to comments and followed people back. As a member of the Third Tribe, I actually felt a connection to him. Now, I no longer seek out his posts. If I see one of his articles that someone else has shared (and it piques my interest), I’ll read it but I never go to a social site and think I want to see what Chris Brogan has to say. There are so many other bloggers who are writing quality content (and want to engage in conversation with me) that I choose to spend my time there.

Rant on! Lots of us feel the same way. :)

You have a great weekend too. (Even though, yours is coming to an end while mine is just getting going.) Thanks so much for joining the conversation.

~Sherryl
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do You Comment for Backlinks on DoFollow Enabled CommentLuv Blogs?My Profile

Reply

Stacey Corrin
Twitter:
August 31, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Thanks for an incredibly insightful post. There’s plenty here for me to get my teeth into (and I definitely will) as well as some things to muse over.

Blog commenting for me, has always been a key part of my strategy when it comes to growing my community and I’ve found it’s the one thing that keeps people coming back to your blog, once the momentum of a new product or social media drive dies down a little.

When it comes down to it, people like to see that you’re human, that you’re a real person and just as vulnerable as they are – something which can be put across in the way you engage with them. Comments are the perfect place for this to happen, without having to think up a thoughtful answer on the fly, like you do on social media for example.

Thanks again for such a great post!

Stacey
Stacey Corrin recently posted..Can We Really Trust Copy Alone? 15 Visual Content Tools That RockMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry September 1, 2014 at 11:50 am

Hi Stacey,

I feel the same way that you do about commenting. It’s definitely best when it’s a two-way conversation. In the past, I’ve edited posts to include suggestions that readers have left in their comments (with credit of course). I also get some great ideas for new blog posts by reading comments.

Sometimes, my replies are mini-posts in themselves. So, what I often do is copy and paste the original comment into a Word document and then write my reply there. Then, (if I’m writing about a related topic), it’s easy to search that document for ideas from those conversations.

Thanks so much for letting me know that you found my post insightful. I’ll be over to read your post on 15 visual content tools soon. That sounds like an article that I need to read.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Big Companies Use Neuromarketing to Influence Buyers. Can You?My Profile

Reply

Ray August 28, 2014 at 5:58 am

I know people focused on driving traffic post something 2-3+ times per week. I would rather post less often and focus on quality myself. I read the frequent stuff and honestly a lot of it is just a waste of my time.

The recent post in my commentluv link took me several days to research and test. I don’t expect too much from it, but I put a lot of effort and testing into it. Most articles I read do not. It’s like the more they can crank out the better. I’m not into that kind of thing myself.

Doesn’t matter to me though if you want to post frequent articles go for it, or if you are like me and post less often that’s fine too. It’s just too bad there wasn’t a better ranking system that can really tell the difference between quality. I mean a ranking system based on backlinks is worthless in my opinion. It’s just a popularity contest. The most popular candidate is not necessarily the best choice. They just win because they are smooth talkers, and tell people what they want to hear. Not because they really care.
Ray recently posted..Cloud Storage Providers How Fast Are They Really?My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 28, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Hi Ray,
I go back and forth on publishing more often. It takes a lot of time to research and write my articles for this series. (As I’m sure you and other readers here recognize.) I see many well-known bloggers churning out a minimum of two articles a week. Some of them regularly get over a hundred comments per post. I could do that too but should I?

I don’t know the answer to that question. I know that people have commented that they’ often learn something new here but I can’t help thinking, maybe I should go back to writing what seems popular. (Another post on commenting perhaps?)

A ranking system that rewards quality . . . now that would be nice!

I just read your article and left a comment for you. Thanks for the research! I call myself a Geek/techie but your numbers made my head spin (just a little). So, thank you for posting less often and focusing on quality! You’re the only blogger that I know who has done that particular type of research. (I imagine they’re out there but I don’t need to find them because I know where to find you! :) )

Have a great week Ray!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Big Companies Use Neuromarketing to Influence Buyers. Can You?My Profile

Reply

Bren Lee
Twitter:
August 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Hi Sherryl!

I’m by far not a problogger but I don’t think preventing comments will help one network with one another. I’m sure they are networking on other avenues but I personally, like to keep my blog, my main hub for networking on my articles. Maybe I would feel different if I was receiving 85% spam comments but with all the fabulous tools available today, I believe some of that spam could have been “weeded” out.

Thank you for sharing the Headline analyzer. I checked a few of mine and got a mixture of good and bad. I’ll definitely be using it in the future to amp up my headlines! Thanks again!

B
Bren Lee recently posted..Put It In Your PocketMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 24, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Hi Bren,

In the case of Copyblogger, Sonia Simone stated that the decision was made to move the conversation to social media. In theory, that sounds find but we own our blogs. Putting all of our comments in the hands of a social behemoth like Facebook or Google sounds risky to me. As Mark Schaeffer pointed out in his post, comments will long outlive social conversations.

I’m so glad you like the headline analyzer! I’ve used it on my last two posts. I haven’t checked my analytics yet but I’m sure that those posts have been shared more than my articles usually are. It’s really noticeable. Statistics show that many people will share articles based purely on the headlines. So, using that free tool sounds like a no-brainer to me. All it really does is give us immediate feedback that we can take into consideration (if we want to).

Thanks so much for joining the conversation! I appreciate it.

~Sherryl
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Big Companies Use Neuromarketing to Influence Buyers. Can You?My Profile

Reply

donna merrill
Twitter:
August 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Hi Sherryl,

My take on this is that if you are going to have a blog, you are going to need comments and answer them. Comments to me are the backbone of our blogs. If I’m marketing to some unknown person, I know they are going to check me out. One of the first things they are going to do is go to my blog, hop around and see all those wonderful comments people are leaving and how I am answering them.

I just feel that if you don’t want comments, get a website! And not a Blog!! It’s is my personal feeling.

Now, on the other hand, if I was getting 3,000 comments, I would either have to hire someone to oversee the people who are coming in just to get backlinks, or those darn trouble makers seeing attention. It would have to be a business decision. So, that being said, I don’t know if I would have to not accept comments. Guess I would choose to have a website :)

Thanks for bringing up this topic!
-Donna
donna merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 24, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Hi Donna,

I love all these analogies people are making here! You refer to comments as the “backbone of our blogs” and Carolyn Nicander Mohr referred them as the “lifeblood”. I’d say we’re all in agreement here that our blogs can’t survive without them. It’s our connection to each other and definitely plays a crucial part to building our community.

I agree that if we were getting that number of comments, we would need help managing them but there definitely are alternatives to shutting down comments completely. Never say “never” but I can’t foresee doing that myself.

Thanks so much for weighing in on this!

Reply

Ammar Zeb
Twitter:
August 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Well, when there are good things, bad things or bad people are also there. Actually spammers I think normally don’t that they their spamming will give them short term benefit but the one who’s blog they are spamming on will get a long term loss so, I have always plugins and widgets to keep spammers away from my blog.

Thanks for the interesting post Sherryl, You are our inspiration ;)
Ammar Zeb recently posted..iSkysoft Free & Best Data Recovery Software For Windows & IPhoneMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 25, 2014 at 9:36 am

Hi Amar,
Thankfully, there are plenty of plugins to help prevent spam but it’s still a huge time waster managing it. It can be especially challenging for those of us with the CommentLuv plugin installed. It is a spam magnet (but worth it).

Thanks for taking the time to share your insight with us.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Blogging Tips Are You Missing?My Profile

Reply

Lisa
Twitter:
August 19, 2014 at 6:01 am

Hi Sherryl,
I can see why Chris is shutting down comments if time does not him time to reply to them but I think it’s a mistake. How will he interact with his readers and fans? Will it make it seem much less personable?
I do like listening to experts and learning something new. I just used that headline analyzer you mentioned in the above comment and LOVE it. Learned it from Razor Social. I hope it will make a difference with my headlines and social shares.
I think if we provide quality content – traffic will come. It is that simple. But one must be able to promote their own stuff, something I’ve been lacking in. And must work on.
Thanks for sharing the info on the comments of those bloggers Sherryl, very interesting topic!
Lisa recently posted..Disqus Comments vs. CommentLuv & Other Comment SystemsMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Hi Lisa,

Chris is so well known that shutting down comments probably won’t have a negative impact on his business but I don’t understand it. It’s great to have a following and interact with others on the major social networking sites but it’s just not the same. You’re helping the big guys build their brand. Whereas, when we build a community on our website, we’re reinforcing our brand and increasing its value. To me, it’s the same as buying a piece of clothing that’s clearly branded. Personally, I don’t walk around wearing advertising (unless someone wants to pay me that is).

I’m a fan of the EMV headline analyzer tool too. It’s helping me to be more creative. I don’t see any downside to using tit.

I agree with you about providing quality content. I too need to promote my posts more. I’ve read a few great articles on promotion lately. Now, I need to implement them!

Thanks so much for persevering and commenting on my site. For those of you who are reading this, both Lisa and Andrew Warner were unable to comment on my site. It turns out that the Sucuri CloudProxy firewall that I recently set up was blocking comments. After Sucuri unblocked them, I ran into another issue where the firewall was blocking the CommentLuv plugin! It seems it’s always something. Thankfully both Andrew and Lisa contacted me through Twitter – which is good because I just found out that Sucuri was blocking my contact form plugin too! Is it just me or does this stuff happen to you too?
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do you Brand Yourself, Your Company, or Your Product on Social Media Sites?My Profile

Reply

Andrew M. Warner
Twitter:
August 18, 2014 at 1:42 am

Hi Sherryl,

Finally got to read this post.

In regards to the comments, I certainly understand what they’re saying. The more popular your blog and brand become, the more you’ll start to receive spam comments and comments that add no value (just people trying to leach off your success). To follow Copyblogger’s strategy, it would make sense to bring the conversation more towards social media because no matter how hard we try, or how advanced out spam catchers are, they always find a way through.

I’m no where near the level that those bloggers are but I receive 50 spam messages each day, so multiply that by 10 (on top of the hundreds of legitimate comments) and I can see where the frustration comes in.

But it all comes down to the individual and what they want to do and what they feel is the most effective strategy to take on it. If they feel as though they’re spending more time moderating comments than anything else, then by all means take away the comment … but at least have some way to have reader engage. After all, that’s what it’s all about … having a conversation and engaging with others.

I read Adam’s article and it was excellent and he’s actually doing something I’ve been seeing people do. Which was offer up the PDF as a download in exchange for the email address. That’s a wonderful way to build the list. He was using LeadPages for that, which I didn’t want to use, but he offered a really good alternative that I’m seriously looking into.

All in all, great post here and I’m glad I got to read it. Will be sharing it shortly.

Have a great day.

- Andrew

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 18, 2014 at 10:38 am

Hi Andrew,
Thanks so much for being persistent in trying to leave me a comment and for alerting me to the issue that you were having. I had no idea that people were having issues commenting on this post. I thought I had found a solution to this issue yesterday and I see that your comment made it through. Then, this morning, I received a tweet from Lisa Buben that my site was unavailable when she tried to submit a comment.

My webhost is saying that there are no issues being logged. I’m now dealing with the company that I recently licensed a cloud proxy firewall with. I’ve shut that firewall down for now but I don’t know if the issues are still prevailing. Since it involves changing my DNS records, there could be a time lapse before all the servers populate.

As for commenting, I’m choosing to follow Mark Schaeffer’s lead. There’s a lot of speculation among bloggers that while Copyblogger and Chris Brogan are citing spam as the main issue that there are other motives in play here.

For those of us who are using CommentLuv Premium, Andy Bailey’s Anti Backlinker plugin is very effective against handling spam. You have to own your own license though. While those of us who own developer licenses are able to install CommentLuv on sites that we manage, we cannot install the ABL plugin.

What Adam is doing (offering the PDF version of his article as a download) is an excellent idea and one I hope to implement in the future. (First, I need to get busy rebuilding my site on a new webhost. These issues that I keep encountering are wasting my time and are detrimental to my blog.)

Thanks again for letting me know about my latest commenting issue and for being so persistent in trying to leave me a comment. I promise that I’ll be by your blog as soon as I can.

~Sherryl

Reply

supreeth bharadwaj
Twitter:
August 13, 2014 at 6:57 am

hey sheryl
i do prefer following people or experts who inspire me alot, and i learn something from them daily, i think probably we should follow who are the loyal leaders and good experienced ones,

well i actually i am new to this world so i connect with as many as people to learn something from them and make out good knowledge and succed in my life and blog

thanks for this inspiring post
supreeth
supreeth bharadwaj recently posted..5 Killer ideas to write blog headlines for seoMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Hi Supreeth,

I so agree with you! I always say that “we can all learn from each other”. There is something new and exciting to learn every day and it’s impossible for any one person to keep up with it all.

I really appreciate your taking the time to let me know that you found my article inspiring. I am leaving my office for the rest of the day but I promise that I will check out your blog post soon. I could use 5 killer ideas for writing blog headlines and I’m a little addicted to anything related to SEO.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Anyone Really Follow 131,000 People on Twitter?My Profile

Reply

Glenys
Twitter:
August 13, 2014 at 12:24 am

I actually enjoy reading through the comments that appear beneath a popular post. I have often clicked on a related title, picked up by CommentLuv, and branched off to read content that interests me.

Mark Schaeffer’s findings, regarding the longevity of comments as distinct from that of social conversations, are compelling in this debate.

I agree that comment spam is a huge problem, but I would be disappointed to see comments go.
Glenys recently posted..Low Competition Keywords with Top 10 Search Engine RankingMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Hi Glenys,

I do the same thing that you do. I often comment on a CommentLuv enabled blog and then proceed to visit other blogs from the links they’ve left. It’s a great way to discover new bloggers and also it’s easy to realize that I haven’t recently visited a blog that I enjoy. I sometimes spend hours doing this.

I can’t imagine most bloggers closing down comments and I was very pleased to see that Mark Schaeffer is keeping his comments open too. I got a kick out of his open invitation to Chris Brogan’s readers to come by his blog to comment. They’re welcome here too! :)

Thanks for joining the conversation. It’s good to hear how everyone feels about these topics.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Time To Tweak Your Strategy for Commenting on Blogs?My Profile

Reply

Leslie Denning
Twitter:
August 12, 2014 at 11:34 am

Hi Sheryl. This is my first time on your blog. I found you at Adrienne Smith.
C
I can understand why some of the ‘bigger’ blogs have no comments, but for people like me and you who aren’t spammers, it’s kind of a bummer. I like to leave comments.

CommentLuv has really cut down on spam for me, especially when I installed the Anti-Backlinker. I had about 200 spam comments a day, and then poof! Almost none.

I really don’t understand why spammers do what they do. Do they EVER get any results?

I plan to keep receiving comments and look forward to the day when I get as many as you. I set aside a block of time every day to respond to comments, and unless something goes wild in my life, I can keep up.

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

All the best,
Leslie
Leslie Denning recently posted..Marketing With Long-Tail KeywordsMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Hi Leslie,
Welcome and thanks for letting me know that you visited my blog from Adrienne’s site. That sort of information is so helpful. I can see the amount of referral traffic I get from Adrienne’s blog in Analytics but hearing from you directly makes it so much more personal.

I loved the Anti-Backlinker plugin but I disabled it after running into issues with GASP. A few months ago, someone contacted me because he was unable to leave a comment for me. Thankfully, he worked with me on the issue and I was able to track it down to an error code that was coming from GASP.

I have my share of plugin conflicts on my site. So, I’m confident that this is just a weird problem that I’m experiencing. Andy Bailey even replicated my database in his test environment and he couldn’t duplicate the error. Andy suggested that it could be related to my webhost. At some point, I’m going to be rebuilding my site with a new theme on a new host. So, hopefully, I’ll be able to go back to using both GASP and Anti-Backlinker.

Spam must work but it’s such a pain to deal with! I too will continue keeping comments open. As Carolyn Nicander Mohr says below, comments are the “lifeblood” of a blog.

I try to respond to comments daily too and visit as many blogs as I can. I’m on a very weird schedule though. I work from home and try to match my husband’s work schedule. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are our weekends and you can sometimes find me commenting at 2 am or later. (I’m not an early riser. I just sometimes work that late.)

So, I’m supposed to be “off” right now. I promise to be by your blog soon and also make sure that we’re connected on the major social networks. (I think we are but I want to double-check.) Have a great day and thanks for joining the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How Can You Get Started With SEO? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Reply

Ravi Chahar
Twitter:
August 12, 2014 at 6:44 am

Hi Sherryl,

Blog commenting is good for building a long lasting relationship.

There are may be some bloggers who don’t want their audience to connect with them via comments.

Checking loyalty can be seen through the shares at Facebook, Twitter & Google+.

It’s an amazing contradiction for comments. Having comments or not? is a question which should be asked to all.

In my opinion comment should be enabled at every blog.

Thanks Sherryl.

Be happy this weekend.:)

~Ravi
Ravi Chahar recently posted..How To Remove URL From Google Search Engine Using It’s Webmaster Tools?My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 12, 2014 at 11:59 am

Hi Ravi,
The whole closing down comments trend only makes sense to me in cases where managing them has become such a financial burden that it’s not cost effective.

I’m sure there must also be niches where the website visitors would make commenting unacceptable. For example, I’ve been on sites where some of the comments have been so nasty that people are actually fighting among themselves. I think it’s appropriate to close comments or not allow them at all in those cases.

For most of us, commenting is the “lifeblood” of our blogs. (Thanks to Carolyn Nicander Mohr for that quote.)

Thanks for adding your insight and I hope you have a great week!

Reply

Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Twitter:
August 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Hi Sherryl, I think of comments as the lifeblood of a blog. I get so much from my commenters. They add insight, add brilliant questions and make The Wonder of Tech a friendlier place. I can’t imagine being without comments.

I do close comments after a few weeks. I found that straggler commenters were 99.9% spammers so it’s not worth keeping the comments open.

I look forward to reading the article about headlines. They’re so important so the more we can learn about what works, the better.

Thanks for another great roundup, Sherryl!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently posted..The Exciting New Pinterest Feature “Follow Your Interests” and What It Means for You!My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 12, 2014 at 11:51 am

Carolyn,
I’ve never heard anyone refer to comments as the “lifeblood of a blog before”. That’s an excellent analogy. (I may quote you on that one!)

I never close comments on my posts and honestly I sometimes get a little frustrated when I come upon someone’s post and I want to join the conversation but can’t.

Writing blog post titles is a challenge for me and I’m rarely happy with them. So for me, the EMV analyzer tool is just one more thing that I can use to try to think more creatively.

Thanks so much joining the conversation. Your blog is one of my favorites. I don’t always find the time to comment but I do share. Your tip on pinning a tweet was so helpful to me. Without you, I probably still wouldn’t know about that one!

Reply

Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Twitter:
August 13, 2014 at 7:41 am

Thanks for your kind words, Sherryl. It does my heart good to know that The Wonder of Tech is so helpful to you!

I really do feel that way about comments. They do bring energy to a blog as well as inspiration. It’s funny, my brother didn’t want me to start a tech blog because of trolls leaving brutal comments. I have never had that problem, thank goodness. It’s not that I moderate them, I just don’t get troll comments. Yea!

But I have tried repeatedly to leave comments open for longer than a few weeks and it just doesn’t work. Suddenly, I’m flooded with dozens of spam comments within an hour. How do they know?

That headline article was amazing! It really changed my way of thinking about headlines. I also liked the statistic that 70% of social sharing of blog posts is on Pinterest. Whoa!

I’m glad you learned about pinning tweets, Sherryl. Happy pinning!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently posted..The Exciting New Pinterest Feature “Follow Your Interests” and What It Means for You!My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 13, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Hi Carolyn,
I never close comments but I don’t run into the same problem that you do. I’m much more apt to get spam on recently published articles than on older ones. It may just be that your topics are more attractive to spammers than mine. (Maybe they’re bored by SEO. :) )

You are fortunate that you don’t have trolls. I always think of trolls being more prominent on forums than on blogs but I could be wrong about that. (I’ve never done any research on trolls before. :) )

I’m glad you found my post helpful. I was amazed by that statistic too. Obviously, I should be paying more attention to Pinterest. I only dabble in it and haven’t really figured out how to use it for my blog. In the past, I’ve licensed images for one-time use on my blog. If I pin an article with one of those images, could that be perceived as a second use or is it the article (with the license) that’s pinned? That’s sort of a grey area to me and (truthfully) I haven’t looked into it. (I’ve just avoided pinning those posts.)

Thanks again! I hope you’re having a great week. I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday.

Reply

Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Twitter:
August 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Hi Sherryl, Thanks for being the inspiration for my latest post at The Wonder of Tech. I mostly use Flickr photos for my blog posts and I have been meaning to write an article on how to use Flickr efficiently.

I don’t license photos because I find so many great images on Flickr I can use for free!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently posted..How You Can Find Very Interesting Flickr Photos to Use for Free!My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 26, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Thanks Carolyn. I’ll check out your post as soon as I can get a chance. I’m sure it will be as helpful as usual.

Reply

Kate F Eaton
Twitter:
August 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Sherryl,
Lots to chew on in this post, will be reading it again and considering the tools/practices you’ve mentioned. Coming back on the blogging scene after a 2 1/2 year hiatus, I very much value building my connections with other bloggers. I believe the quickest way to do that is through commenting on other blogs and responding to comments on mine. Always amazed at the wealth of information to be found by clicking someone else’s avatar or commentluv link! Hope you don’t shut off yours!
Kate F Eaton recently posted..Rising Above – Ending Client RelationshipsMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 12, 2014 at 11:38 am

Hi Kate,
Welcome back to the world of blogging! When I read that you’ve been on a 2 ½ year hiatus, I thought to myself what have been the biggest changes.

I would have to say that the biggest changes have been Google’s algorithm changes and webspam actions. In light of that, it’s more important than ever to be very aware of backlinks to our sites as well as outgoing links to other sites.

As for building connections, that’s more important than ever. I just visited your blog (and followed you on Twitter). While I was on your blog, I noticed several friendly faces from the LinkedIn Bloggers Helping Bloggers group. I’m glad to see several of them have already visited your site. That sort of support can be invaluable.

Thanks for taking the time to drop by and join the conversation here
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What Blogging Tips Are You Missing?My Profile

Reply

Susan Cooper
Twitter:
August 11, 2014 at 8:02 am

Hi Sherryl , Interesting post. I am going to continue using commenting as part of my blogging strategy. I definitely see the value in it, as I’m using it to build relationships with my readers and have met some other great bloggers that way.

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 11, 2014 at 11:55 am

Hi Susan,
I’m going to continue keeping comments open too. :) I agree that it’s valuable to the majority of bloggers.

Copyblogger and Chris Brogan are exceptions. Honestly, I wasn’t even going to address shutting down comments again. Then, when I read Mark Schaeffer’s post (which was the I had even heard about Chris), I thought I would start the conversation again. :)

Thanks for weighing in on this.

Reply

Adrienne
Twitter:
August 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Hey Sherryl,

Well you know what I say, to each his own.

I was actually kind of hurt that I don’t see my comment on Marcus’ blog. Maybe it went to spam, I don’t know but I just agreed that just because you have a lot of comments doesn’t mean your blog is successful. I believe that it depends on what you’re trying to achieve with it. In my eyes though comments are social proof and it can only benefit me as far as what I’m trying to achieve. Is it right for everyone else? They’re the ones that have to be the judge of that. I see Marcus’ take on it though.

Blogs like CopyBlogger or Chris Brogan are probably overwhelmed with the amount of comments but I for one would definitely take advantage of that. They have “people” to handle that and we both know that with the right things in place that spam can be handled much better but again, it’s their blog and their decisions.

We aren’t at that level and we’re in this alone. I’m like Mark and I think that comments are the best way to build relationships with your readers and we all know that this is a people business. If you’re not taking advantage of doing commenting the right way then you probably should close them down and just concentrate your efforts elsewhere.

I don’t believe I’ve read Adam’s post yet but I do have that on my list. As you know I took some time off last week so I still have a few things to do. I’ll be sure to read it though, he does share great stuff.

I did comment on your last post as well about the headline analyzer and I think that Garrett’s post will be quite interesting. One more to add to the list I suppose.

Thanks for another great write up and for the mention. Always good to see my name anywhere! ;-)

Hope things are going well for you and you take care.

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted..How To Blog From Paradise Like Ryan BiddulphMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Hi Adrienne,

There’s definitely never a one-size-fits-all solution for any business strategy. The best we can do is be aware of what’s going on while focusing on our specific goals and tactics.

I would be hurt if I left a comment and it never showed up too. (I know we’re not supposed to take business personally but sometimes it’s hard not to.) I really think it was an honest mistake on his part. Since Marcus was taking Dan’s post to task, it would be hypocritical (IMHO) to selectively not approve comments that disagreed with his position. Besides, knowing you, your comment added value!

I too can see both sides of the coin on using comments as a metric. Since I’m a bit of a data junkie, I embrace the idea of weighing in the number of comments. Of course, you have to do your best to screen out worthless comments that just hike up the numbers. Including them would totally skew the value of measuring it at all.

You’re right about handling spam. There are ways to deal with it. Although, (as I mentioned in my reply to Mitch Miller), sometimes it reaches a point where financially it’s just not cost effective to continue investing in practices that have a negative ROI.

In my reply to Mitch, I shared my experience about working for a major non-profit and having to set a minimum donation amount for acknowledgements. Not sending a personalized thank-you letter to all donors was a major controversy but the numbers prevailed.

I can’t imagine either you or me stopping comments on our blogs. It was great to see Mark Schaeffer take the time to defend commenting. I got a kick out of his “Dear Chris Brogan blog reader:” invitation too. :)

I know you follow Adam Connell too. It’s hard sometimes to keep up with all the great content that’s out there. (A lot of bloggers are really stepping up their game.) I congratulate you on taking time off. I’ve been taking some off lately too. Late last night, I was replying to comments. When it got to be 1 am and I hadn’t replied to you, I decided to call it quits. Commenting and replying (thoughtfully) takes time but we both agree it’s worth it.

I put the headline analyzer tool to use on this post. I only wish I knew how to know whether it’s the headline that made someone click or if someone is visiting because they recently saw my name mentioned elsewhere and recognized me. We can’t underestimate the value of top-of-mind-awareness.

You take care too. I’ll be “seeing” you around.

~Sherryl

Reply

Shamsudeen Adeshokan
Twitter:
August 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Thanks Perry,

This issue of blog commenting is becoming an increasing worrisome debate. I however believe that first, it largely depends on your blogging motive.

Your main reason of blogging, if building community around your blog is your main priority, then removing comments on your blog would be like shooting oneself in the foot.

If making money from ads placements and some other monetization method is your main goal, well, you may better off with removing comments on your blog.

In the case of CB and Chris, these are expecional cases that I won’t use as a case studies for young aspiring blogger in any circumstances. These blogs and the bloggers have reached their peak and can do whatever they like and still get away with it.

What works for them might be a disaster for any of us who is looking up to them for advice.

I wrote a post in the past “why following in the footsteps of authority bloggers could be dangerous.” And this was after I read copyblogger remove comments section on their blog.

Another side of blog commenting that gives me serious trouble is, commenting reciprocal.

I still find this system of gaining comments on your post as not worth it. Though, this is a bit off topic, I have written a post on it and will publish it either tonight or early Monday morning.

Thanks Perry.
Shamsudeen Adeshokan recently posted..InfoGraphic – How to Improve Website User ExperienceMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 11, 2014 at 12:46 am

Hi Shamsudeen ,

It’s nice to meet you here. Commenting is definitely a hot topic and I blog about it quite often.

You raise several good points. It absolutely does depend upon what your strategies are. If you’re trying to build a community, you would be “shooting onself in the foot” to get rid of them. (I enjoyed your analogy a lot.)

CB and Chris are exceptional and I agree that it would be a disaster for most of us to follow suit. That’s why I wanted to share Mark Schaefer’s post. He’s an exceptional blogger too and he builds a case for keeping comments.

As for reciprocating comments, I just followed you on Twitter and I spotted your tweet to your post “What’s Your Take On Blog Commenting Reciprocate”. (It made me smile.)

I’m not the group manager that starts the weekly sharing discussions in the Bloggers Helping Bloggers group on LinkedIn but I have been a manager of that group for years. (As a side note, I’m the one who started those weekly discussions because I don’t believe that commenting on each others blogs should be the main goal of that group.)

You have not seen me in the sharing discussion in the BHB group because I don’t automatically reciprocate comments (any more). I did years ago when I had more time and before Google started penalizing sites for unnatural links.

Having a commenting strategy is essential to every blogger. I did not leave a comment on your post. It’s not because I didn’t want to and I will try to get back. The reason I didn’t comment is because (in my current blogging strategy) my top priority is to reply to every comment left here while adding as much value to the conversation as possible. As you can see, most readers appreciate that and in return leave valuable comments for me too (as you did).

Thanks for joining the conversation and I will be back to visit your blog soon.

~Sherryl
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

Reply

Shamsudeen Adeshokan
Twitter:
August 11, 2014 at 2:47 am

Thanks Perry,

After reading through your reply, I put up a very big smile; and thanks for the follow.

I’m so glad you get my point straight in the post (your take on blog commenting reciprocate), reciprocating comments shouldn’t be the priority of (in my opinion) any business blogger.

I see it like the “evil” link exchange program which is just design to manipulate the search engine.

Don’t want to start another debate here; thanks Perry and do have a nice day.
Shamsudeen Adeshokan recently posted..Web Hosting Coupon Discount: FREE 3 Months From WpEngineMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

You’re very welcome Shamsudeen. Comment reciprocation is definitely a topic of contention. I still believe it serves some bloggers well and I do still recommend joining the Bloggers Helping Bloggers group (especially to new bloggers). I am very grateful for some of the relationships that I’ve built there over the years.

I agree with you that a comment exchange program can be dangerous. I’ve warned group members of that on numerous occasions. (It may be time for me to revisit that conversation on LinkedIn.)

Feel free to weigh in here on any (relevant) topic. Conversations and debates can be very healthy. They also let me know what’s on everyone’s mind and can be fodder for another post! :)

Have a great week and thanks for your input.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Who Do You Listen to When Influential Bloggers Don’t Agree? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Reply

Don Purdum
Twitter:
August 10, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Thank you for your reply. The EMV tool sounds interesting. Has it been a real help to you?

I do think you should consider contributing more strategy articles. You’re good at it and you’re articles are easy to follow and implement your ideas.

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 10, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Hi Don,

When I was writing my post last week, I played with the EMV tool a little. (I had just discovered it.) This week, I experimented with it even more.

As I mentioned in my reply, when I tested this title, it came in at 54.55% which is about double (or more than last week’s). If I had been willing to eliminate my hashtag (#FridayFinds), it would have been 60%. (According to the Advanced Marketing Institute, that’s fairly high.)

There are so many different variables in play that it’s hard for me to say that the title is more effective. For example, I was recently featured on Enstine Muki’s blog plus your “Rewind Saturday” post. (Thank you again for that.) That sort of exposure drives traffic both directly and by building top-of-mind awareness.

So, does the title of this post entice people to click on my link? I don’t know but I did get positive feedback from Jeannette Paladino that she really liked it.:) I’m open to suggestions on how to measure the effectiveness of a title if anyone has any.

Thanks again Don. I’ll “see” you around this week! :)

Reply

Catarina
Twitter:
August 10, 2014 at 8:18 am

For my blog I stilll believe comments is a good idea.

However, for clients wanting to add a blog to their website to get higher up on Google’s SERP, Google’s constant change of algorithms could be a problem. Most industrialists leaving comments on a blog on a company website will not know that the website gets punished if they leave a generic comment. So for that kind of blogs/websites I believe it’s better not to have comments.
Catarina recently posted..Crowdsourcing – the way of the future?My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 10, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Catarina,
I agree that your blog is an excellent platform for comments. You always write such thought provoking articles that not being able to weigh in on the conversation would be a disservice to your readers.

Unnatural links and spammy comments can definitely result in being penalized by Google or (even worse) being de-indexed. Anyone who blogs needs to be aware of that and make it a part of their routine to moderate their comments and not approve comments that can potentially harm them.

Thanks for sharing your insight with us Catarina.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Manual Web Spam Action or Algorithm Change?My Profile

Reply

Ryan Biddulph
Twitter:
August 10, 2014 at 5:56 am

Hi Sherryl,

There are a few factors at play here. Chris and CB, both, have monster audiences. Sure he has intimate bonds with a few commentors but when being over run by spammers it makes sense to shut them off.

I just released my new eBook and I gotta say, it’s off and running, and I know one of the reasons is because of my comments. Chris Brogan himself endorsed me – which I was floored, honored and humbled by – and well, when folks see that on my sales/endorsements page, people are more likely to want to stop by and chat.

I know when I stop by Adrienne Smith’s page and see 100 or 150 comments I do a double take. If I’m a new reader, I gotta know what this woman is up to.

On another note, I do get that Chris Brogan doesn’t have the time to respond to comments, like I do, or like Adrienne does, and since he has to likely employ a small army to keep this spam under control, the pain in the butt far outweighs the rewards.

Like any strategy, some people will have wild success with comments off, and others, with comments on. I know myself that Facebook became the most popular site on earth because Mark Z had a brilliant idea, BUT, user generated comments create the content monster that is Facebook. Our status updates and comments each day, drive that monster site, and since I’m still receiving a ton of valued comments, I’m keeping them until – if I ever – get overrun by thousands of spam comments daily.

My plug in has done a fine job so far, and I have such positive real engagement, that I’d be an idiot to turn them off. So many folks noted in my comments already that they’ve purchased my eBook, and these are some awesome testimonials for me.

Thanks Sherryl, really good topic.

Tweeting through Triberr.

Ryan
Ryan Biddulph recently posted..9 Bloggers You Should Follow Who Helped Me Retire to ParadiseMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Hi Ryan,

“Monster audiences” – that is such an accurate description . I absolutely understand why Copyblogger and Chris Brogan closed down their comments. I totally relate to their logic. (In my reply to Mitch Mitchell, I relayed my past experience processing donations at a large non-profit. It actually was more cost effective to not thank donors for donations that fell into a specific category.)

I haven’t read your book yet but I bought it yesterday (from the link that Adrienne included in her interview with you). An endorsement from Chris Brogan is huge. That’s great.

Does anyone remember back in September of 2011 when Chris Brogan unfollowed all 131,000 of his Twitter followers? (He called it “The Great Twitter Unfollow Experiment of 2011”.) I blogged about it four days after he did that and he had reduced the number of people he was following to 376. (I was one of the ones he cut.) In those four days, he went from 131,000 followers to 191,000. Today, he’s following 471 people and has over 289,000 followers. Amazing!

Again, congratulations on your book and thanks for dropping by and joining the conversation Ryan!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Anyone Really Follow 131,000 People on Twitter?My Profile

Reply

Ryan Biddulph
Twitter:
August 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Oh yes I do recall that massive unfollow. The power of clarity! Right? CB is quite the dude.

I totally vibe with your non-profit experience, in a different way, with my eBook. I’m selling it through Selz now – working on Amazon – but anyway, Selz accepts debit cards and credit cards. So if you have a bank account, you’re set….and if you don’t have a debit or credit card, you can just get one, and buy it.

A few folks who are either afraid to use their debit or credit card, or in some cases, don’t have them, have asked about the Paypal option. Or have complained about it ;) I sent them the eBook through email and asked for payment through PP as a cool gesture, but it’s totally time-energy ineffective for me. It doesn’t make sense. It also has taught me that you can’t cater to everybody, with this project.

So going forward, you’ll just need a bank account, or a credit card or debit to buy my eBook. Not too hard, right? ;) If someone doesn’t have that information, I’ll just say to get a card, and no hurries….the selz link will be around for a while lol….

It’s also a great first lesson for people who intend to blog from paradise, or who want to become skilled bloggers at that….you’ll have to do TONS of uncomfortable stuff, including opening a bank account if you’re struggling financially, or getting that debit or credit card, if you even dream of rocking out the blogging bit. This PP thing will be the first hurdle for folks, to earn the right to buy the eBook.

Thanks Sherryl again for buying my eBook, and for starting a cool debate.

RB
Ryan Biddulph recently posted..9 Bloggers You Should Follow Who Helped Me Retire to ParadiseMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Hi Ryan,

I noticed that you were using Selz and it struck me because I’m not familiar with it (I noted it in my spreadsheet to take a look at it in the future.) I would have preferred the PayPal option myself only because their statements make it easier to track both my income and expenses for tax purposes. It’s not a big deal to me though. I thought that you may not be offering PP because of their cut.

Some people are definitely afraid to give out their credit card information. What amuses me is that lots of times, the same people are willing to give out that info over the phone or hand their card to someone in person to use in a transaction. Personally, I think there’s more risk there.

You’re welcome. I look forward to reading your book! I wouldn’t mind blogging in paradise. :) I’m glad you’re enjoying the discussion too.

~SP

Reply

Mitch Mitchell
Twitter:
August 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm

For me, if you’re not writing content that’s worthy then all the marketing you do to drive traffic to your site is worthless.

I expect to always have comments on my site, but I’ve also set things up so most bad comments go into the spam filter. Truthfully, I don’t see myself getting as big as Chris Brogan but one never knows; there’s always hope. As for Copyblogger, I understand why they went the route they did but it will be interesting to see if their content is enough to keep their traffic numbers high. People love to engage and very few people like being shut out of the conversation and just talked to.
Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Personality – Gauging Between Too Much And Too LittleMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Hi Mitch,
Absolutely. Drive all the traffic you want and just watch that bounce rate go through the roof if you don’t have quality content. End of story. :)

I can’t envision my blog ever getting enough comments to even consider closing them either. I enjoy the conversations here and appreciate how much value readers (like you) bring to my blog. I often receive emails from readers thanking me for fostering a “friendly” (their feedback not mine) environment where they can meet people who they can learn from. (As I always say, “we can all learn from each other”.)

I understand completely why Copyblogger closed their comments. It began too expensive for them not to. In a way, it reminds me of when I worked at the United Way of RI. We used to personally thank every donor regardless of their donation. In theory, that seems like the right thing to do. In reality, we were processing $1 donations that were being directed to three (or more) non-profit agencies. (Yep. That’s thirty three cents to each organization.)

It was costing us significantly more to process those transactions than the donation itself. While it was an unpopular decision, the board of directors finally granted us permission to not acknowledge those gifts. (We were printing and mailing personalized thank-you letters to them.) As bloggers, we too need to put on our “thinking caps” and look at what we’re doing from a business point of view.

As always, thanks for dropping by. I appreciate your insight.

Reply

Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
August 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Sherryl – excellent topics, as usual. I read Dan Shure’s post about the value of commenting as a metric. I definitely believe in the value of commenting and will continue that as part of my strategy. I don’t agree that you should abandon a blog because it doesn’t achieve his metrics after a certain number of posts.

For example, the audience for one of my clients is very senior corporate executives — the decision makers. They are not necessarily going to leave a comment because they’re too busy. However, my client has built up an archive of intellectual property on its blog. Visitors who read the blogs will see that the company is an authority in its field. Also, the blog provides an opportunity for their clients to write posts, or be part of a Q&A, or to be celebrated for an achievement. Last week, we wrote a post about the topping off of the client’s new world headquarters. We included a photo of my client and his client — a senior executive in one of the 5 largest banks in the country. This adds to my client’s authority.

We are starting to write posts in an industry they are going to focus on. The consultant can use this content in her outreach to potential clients.

Of course, it would be nice to receive a lot of comments but that’s not always the driving force for having a blog.
Jeannette Paladino recently posted..Are You Your Own Best Brand?My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Hi Jeannette,
I am so glad that you used your clients as an example of a niche reader who is rarely (if ever) going to leave a comment. That definitely needs to be a consideration. (It would be unrealistic to measure the success of their blog with that metric.)

I can see how your post about their new headquarters (along with a photo of their client) would be successful. That association would definitely reinforce your client’s authority! I’m guessing that post got a lot of social shares. (Am I right?)

Really great contribution to this discussion Jeannette! Thanks so much for sharing.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Who Do You Listen to When Influential Bloggers Don’t Agree? #FridayFindsMy Profile

Reply

Adam Connell
Twitter:
August 9, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Thanks for including my post and also, thanks for the kind words – I really appreciate it.

This comment thing is getting a bit crazy now.

Here’s my take:

Comments are a huge sign of engagement, but they’re not the only sign. Together, with all of the other metrics, they let us know if we are going in the right direction.

For larger sites, moderating is a huge time investment so I can see why larger sites are removing them – it makes good business sense.

Dan makes some valid points in his post on Moz but for the most part I disagree.

Here’s the thing – it all comes back to conversion goals and exactly what we want our readers to do. We can take steps that would significantly increase how many comments we receive, or we can nudge our readers to do something else (something ROI driven).

Everything we do has to be part of a cohesive strategy, for some comments are a large part of it, for others they won’t be – it’s essential to not take some of this comment advice out of context because one thing remains true, above all else….

… what works for one blog, won’t always work for another, we have different audiences and operate in slightly different niches – we’ve got to find what works and expand on that.

I might write a post about this soon!

Thanks for another great round up, Sherryl : )
Adam Connell recently posted..The Definitive Checklist For Effective Blog Post PromotionMy Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Hi Adam,
Thanks so much for hopping over here and sharing your insight with us.

I agree with you on all points. Comments are a sign but certainly not the only one. If we weren’t also promoting our posts and connecting with others who are sharing them, our blogs would be ghost towns.

I can’t imagine the day when I have so many comments that I can’t manage them. Although, there are days that even with the number I get, I have my hands full. It can be time consuming (but worth it).

You are right on with conversions and strategies. That would be great if you would write a post about this. (I’m thinking that I should write another post on commenting strategies too.) For now, I’ve been concentrating on these round-up posts. I’m finding some new bloggers and learning a lot. It also gives me the opportunity to feature bloggers like you who I’ve been following for a while!

Have a great weekend Adam and thanks again for the great content to share!

Reply

Don Purdum
Twitter:
August 9, 2014 at 9:37 am

Hi Sherryl,

Interesting post you wrote here.

I can certainly understand why Copyblogger and Christ Brogan are concerned about the time investment and cost of dealing with commenting spam. They are known commodities with large communities. So, for them to do that may not be nearly as big a deal as it is for you and I.

In fact, I would suggest for you and I we must keep them. I’ll be interested to read Mark Shaefer’s post.

It’s amazing to me how much people are focusing on what others are doing instead of focusing on what they need to do to grow their audience and communities. As I wrote a week or so ago, it’s time to stop listening to the experts. They are not where most of us are at and how they got to where they are is very different than how we need to get where we are going. The technology and communication methods have changed and so are the strategies we need to employ.

And, therein is the rub for me. Instead of just doing what others are doing we need to study and understand the technology in order to help our clients. I spend a lot of time working with my clients to create intentional strategies that have clear, measurable goals and objectives.

Each strategy guides us and helps us understand how to use the tools.

There may be many similar paths, but there is no one definitive path.

To me comments are critical and offer social validation on all medias. It’s what has earned me some top dollars of late, and I’m confident it will continue to do so in the future.

I don’t mean to not comment on the other articles, but this topic really got me thinking.

Great post Sherryl,
Don
Don Purdum recently posted..Rewind Saturday – Top Bloggers The Week of 8/2/14 – 8/8/14My Profile

Reply

Sherryl Perry August 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Hi Don,
Thanks for kicking off the comments! I definitely agree with you that Copyblogger and Chris Brogan are in leagues of their own. I wouldn’t dream of recommending not having comments to any blogger.

I include Mark Schaeffer in the same league as those two as far as being an influential and successful blogger. That’s why reading Mark’s post triggered me to address the commenting issue (again).

As for disagreements between influential bloggers, I was a little taken aback by Marcus Sheridan’s post in response to Dan Shure’s article. I think it was the title, “The Worst Article I’ve ever Read About Business Blogging and Comments” that struck me. Then again, it got my attention (which is what titles are supposed to do.)

As a side note, the title I used on this post was not even a contender at first but I was playing with the EMV Headline Analyzer tool. The titles that I tested ranged from 11.11% to 28.57%. When I tested this title, it came in at 54.55% (60% if I eliminated my hashtag). I really have no idea of how to accurately measure the effectiveness of a headline but it’s one more variable that I’ve thrown into the mix.

I have always included listening to the experts as part of my business strategy. True, their strategies and tactics aren’t necessarily applicable to us but I find it enlightening to read what they’re up to and be aware of the logic behind their actions.

I’d say that you and I think along the same lines when it comes to focusing on our needs (and those of our clients) when we develop and incorporate our business strategies. I’m glad this post got you thinking! I haven’t written a strategy post in a while. I should write another one! (This discussion got me thinking too. :) )
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Changes to Your Website Blog and Social Media StrategyMy Profile

Reply

Leave a Comment

 

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: