Should you moderate comments on your blog?


Should you moderate comments on your blog

A blog is a place where you express your thoughts, opinions or provide tips, suggestions or editorials much like this article. Allowing readers (a.k.a your community) an opportunity to respond is vital since their voice should matter to you as the writer.

Although it is necessary for you to enable the ability for your blog community to have the option to participate in responding to your articles or not, the debatable question is often should you moderate comments on your blog?

My offered opinion on this topic in short is always, yes. However in long form here is why:

Your blog is still yours, and although you incorporate and value your community you still need to maintain the blog as you would a haircut.

In other words, not attending to your comments is much like not mowing your lawn; it looks messy and uncared for, leaving a perception you do not want or need since blogging takes effort.

With that said, you must try to not personalize the opinions within the comments as they will and often differ from the author’s viewpoint. You need to literally moderate like a moderator and allow comments that express different points of view through.

This can be a difficult task but in order to truly embrace your blogging community you need to separate your thoughts and opinions and instead, find a way to disconnect your personal feelings in order to connect with your community’s feelings.

This does not mean you need to approve every comment, instead weed out the trolling, promoting or non-related comments and the occasional spam comment that will by-pass your blogs spam filter. Focus solely on the comments that pertain to the article at hand and allow the voice of your audience be heard.

Equally as important is responding; the comments are sometimes questions, other times simply statements, either way each type of comment can provide you an opportunity to respond. You do not have to feel the need to reply to every comment since it is not always necessary but there is many times in which you should.

A blog must always have the intention to be more than a one-way conversation and the need to respect those who do comment is essential, for if no one reads your blog does it truly exist?

Sure, however it is not performing at an authoritative level, so take the time to moderate and respond accordingly to those who take the time to respond to your articles, enhance your blogging abilities by emphasizing the importance of the voices within your community.

comment image via Shutterstock

  1. Great article Erin. I sometimes feel like I should respond to all the comments left on my blog with at least a, “Thank you”. Most times it’s like I’m repeating the same comment reply again and again. What’s you’re thoughts on this?

    1. Hi Peter!
      Thanks, I appreciate your feedback 🙂 I don’t think it is necessary to respond to every comment although I completely relate to wanting to say thank you for them at least taking to the time to say something.

      However, I think responding with more than just a thank you is best, if it is something a person agrees or disagrees with. I like the positive attitude for gratitude though. I would also offer a suggestion to use a plugin (if you use WordPress) that auto sends out an e-mail thanking the person and also letting them know that if they asked a question that it will be answered in a timely manner. Thanks for the great question Peter!

      Socially Yours,
      Erin Ryan

  2. Thank you for writing this! I’ve never thought that I would moderate comments on my small, personal blog, but a year of blogging has started bringing in more search engine traffic, plus I’ve been promoting more on Twitter. It’s a double edge sword because while I do enjoy having new readers and opinions, it’s bringing in trolls, people who are obviously skimming posts and writing out of emotion (when it’s like a review on a coffee maker, which is apparently VERY personally offensive).
    I feel like it’s ruining the community that I’ve built up. I love expanding it, but people just dropping in to stir things up because they’re looking to pick a fight it draining.
    I finally decided to moderate comments today, which was a hard decision for me. I decided to Google, of course, though, to see what other people think about comment moderation. I really like your approach. I use disqus and am trying to “whitelist” regulars, so I don’t have to approve them. I just feel kind of yucky about deleting comments after they’re posted, so I guess pre-moderation is the way to go!

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