Handling blog comments

Handling Blog CommentsMost webmasters will know, wherever and whenever we have a website or blog that allows comment input from the public, we get three types of input…

Good comments, bad comments and spam comments!

Let’s go into how you deal with each!

Good comments

Do we have to deal with good comments, you’d ask? Oh yes! I’d use this critically important phrase once again.. blogs are about creating conversations. Recently Blog Republic posted about An Entire Generation of Commenters are Gone… and one of the comments to that post in reply to “What do you think happens to blog commenters who fall off?” is this:

The blogger never replies to comments or e-mail (if you bother to e-mail) as if the reader is not important enough to receive a response, or the blogger is just much too popular to care if they lose one reader.

So, you need to respond to good comments. You need to say “thanks”, you need to appreciate people for their effort in commenting. You may not do this in your blog itself, but maybe in an email, or if you have that person in you Skype or MSN list, just drop a note to say thanks.

The feeling of commenting and not receiving a reply is like sending an email and it doesn’t gets replied… basically knocking on a door of a home with lights on, but no one is there to answer to the door. 🙁

Negative comments

Of course, ideally everybody is happy with everything and everybody responds happily saying “hey, wonderful post!”, and stuff like that. BUT (and its a very big but here!), you can’t please everyone!

If you sell ice-cream and someone is licking your ice-cream and tumbles into an open manhole, guess what? They blame your ice-cream! :mrgreen: *nah… just joking*

The point is, someone, somewhere will have something not so nice to say about you, your blog, your product or whatever.

Mark White has a good post about negative comments and why negative comments are good. Andy Wibbels also has one on handling blog negative comments.

I love the three points that Mark put forward in his post

  • Firstly, it costs much more, both in terms of time and money, to find new clients than it does to keep your current ones.
  • Secondly, customers with negative experiences are more likely to tell people about them than customers with positive experiences. However, customers who have had a negative experience which has been solved tend to be the most vocal;
  • Thirdly, it costs more to fix a problem than to prevent it in the first place.

Nicely done. Suppressing negative comments on your blog only does harm. If “delete comment” seals their mouth physically in the real world, that may be useful, but unfortunately it does not! :mrgreen: So address those concerns and who knows, your most vocal negative commenter will be your most vocal evangelist!

Spam comments

Spam comments are useful! They show you how popular your site is! The more spam you have, it only means that you are on the right track to publicising your blog! 😉

Of course, you need to handle those comments and keep them in the spam box.

The best solution is of course to get a spam filter, or enable a CAPTCHA challenge. I’ve noticed through experience though, that CAPTCHAs can be hacked through.

BlogHelper has two nifty posts on handling spam in WordPress and in MovableType.

Alrighty! Any comments for me? Give me a some comments, whether its a good comment or bad comment. No no no… spam comments are staying in my spam box!


  1. I definitely agree about replying to comments. I tend to not come back to a blog where the author obviously doesn’t care about his/her readers.

    But on the flip side, replying on a blog with a large number of comments is pretty difficult. Plus some comments aren’t really ‘reply-worthy’, if you catch my drift 🙂

  2. First, thanks for your comments! 🙂

    My take to this is that… if you are a full time and professional blogger and you kinda “need” visitors to your blog, then yeah, you need to reply!

    But if you blog is a personal one and its just a casual conversation, then maybe you can excuse yourself from the trouble sometimes… but I’d agree that some comments aren’t “reply worthy” 😉 Good point!