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Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Getting More Commenters (and Killing CAPTHA)

A few months ago I lamented the fact that I had many followers, but few commenters. Quite appropriately, several days later I read a blog that gave a list of several things to do to increase your commenters. I decided to give it a whirl. And it worked! I wish I had the link to the blog, but I don't. So, let me just summarize what I learned from it.

1) Comment on other's blogs. Especially if they are already commenting on yours! When people comment on my blog, I feel validated, noticed, appreciated, cared about, and all the silly things that I thought only mattered to me in high school. Well, it's not just me. Everyone feels that way. So take the time to say hello to other people. Sometimes all we have time to do is read and walk away. But if you can say something, it will invite people to wander over to your blog and say something back.

2) Ask a question. Give your readers something to think about and respond to. It will help make them feel like they aren't just listening to you, but you are listening to them.

Along those lines...

3) Comment in your comments! Your commenters are talking to you. They don't really care if other bloggers read their comments, but they want to know you did. So say something back! Responding back in the comments will help it not be a one-sided conversation.

And finally, the biggest thing for me:

4) Make it easy to leave comments. Recognize this?

This little splattering of letters annoys the heck out of me. Are we really afraid of spammers, or do we just not know how to turn it off? I can't tell you how many times I've posted a comment on someone's blog and hit 'post,' then closed the screen--just in time to see a little box pop up wanting me to enter in those lovely letters. Oops. Too late. I closed it. Do you think I take the time to go back to that blog and retype my comment? I never have. I just groan, feel frustrated that my important thoughts won't be read, and move on.


So, in case you didn't know about those little letters, here's how to turn it off: Click "Customize" up at the top of your blog. Click "Setting". Click "comments". Where it says "Show word verification for comments", select 'no.' You might not even know you have it on, because it doesn't show up to the blog owner. (And readers, if mine ever defaults back somehow, please please tell me!) Don't forget to save your settings!


Well, now you're all set! Let the commenting begin!

Did I forget anything important? Maybe some of you read the blog I did. Anything else?


Nano count: missed about five days. playing catch-up. 29,801

24 comments:

David J. West said...

I had been meaning to get rid of the box but kept forgetting.

All of this was great Tamara, thanks now if only I didn't have utterly reprehensible content people would comment at mine too.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

David, you're hilarious.

KarenG said...

Oh yeah I hate those stupid letters! Thanks for the tip on how to turn them off! I'm going to do it right now!

KarenG said...

Ha! I just did it, thanks Tamara!

Cindy said...

Good tips. I had the word verification on for spam purposes but I don't really see anyone else having a problem with this so I've chosen to take it off for now. Comments rule!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

whoo-hoo, Karen! you're my new hero! :)

Heather Sunseri said...

I get a little spam from time to time. I still don't use word verification, but I did check the box for moderation after 14 days. Most of the spam I get is for earlier posts, so if someone comments on a post longer than 14 days ago, I get see the comment before it posts.

Annie McMahon said...

I took off my annoying little letters too. Now it will be your fault if my blog is full of comments from spammers. haha!

Great post, Tamara! And thanks for commenting on my blog. See, it works! Now I'm commenting on yours. :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Excellent post! Thanks for the tips!

Mireyah Wolfe said...

I set up an awesome commenting system--Intense Debate--that allows me to reply directly to each comment I receive. It takes a little bit to add it to the blog, but it is well worth the time. =)

Simon C. Larter said...

I turned captcha off a while back. I don't much like it on other blogs, so until I start getting spam comments, I'll leave it off. (Though I did just delete my first spam commenter today, so who knows how long it'll last.)

Plus, the blog-comment conversations are fun, aren't they?

LMJ said...

Yes, please get rid of the CAPCHA!!!!

=)

M. Gray said...

Thanks, Tamara! Turned mine off!

Elle Strauss said...

Great tip! Thanks for posting. I'll turn mine off too.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

oooooooooo good luck with turning off the box! I tried that a while back (on a different, non-writing related blog) and got spammed out the wazoo!!!

I need to work on responding to comments on my blog. I read and love every single one of them but I'm always off on my favorite blogs (yours included) commenting there instead! But one of my 2010 resolutions was to be better about it... So I will be!

Elisa said...

had no idea the spam box bugged so many people. Guess I better turn mine off...

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

ya'll are awesome! Mireyah, I have got to check out that program. Sara, I spend a lot of time checking comments and responding. I could do this all day!

Heather, I have mine sent to moderate comments after a certain time too. Otherwise I might never know if someone comments on an older post.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Simon, doesn't CAPTCHA just make you think, like, "Gotcha!"

Voidwalker said...

All of those are very valid points to help increase commenting. I think #1 happens to be the gateway which brings the readers over, while #2 really puts the post into the reader's hands. They have an opportunity to participate. I usually try to end my posts with some sort of relative feedback, mostly because I want to know what my readers think. If I'm going to take the time to post a bunch of stuff online, I'd really like to think that someone took something from it. Enter Comment. :)

Leslee said...

Okay, I have a question? Do commenters on blogs come back to see if you commented on what they have said. Or is there someway to have your comment emailed to them. I have totally not figured this part out about blogging and I'd really like to know.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Good question, Leslee! I'm going to talk about this a little bit in today's post. There is a way to get responses emailed to you, you have to click the little box before you post your comment. I usually just go back and check the post multiple times. But there might be a better way! Stay tuned...

arlee bird said...

I've seen a few posts like you've described and even I have been posting about this over the past couple months (some readers may think I've been obsessing on it). I've gotten a lot of visitors by visiting other blogs and even going so far as asking them to look at mine and comment and even to follow (I hope you will reciprocate with me since I'm now following yours -- am I too crass?) I am definitely going to turn that anti-spam box off to see what happens. I too have written long masterful comments that have vanished never to be recreated -- so frustrating.
Thanks for the info.
Lee
http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/

arlee bird said...

And an apology -- I see my blog already on your list so I should have been following you already! Now I am.
Lee

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I found your blog before you found mine! Cool, huh?

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