I know a lot of bloggers who never monitor their comments. They just let anyone through. I even know a few bloggers who don’t allow comments at all, but that’s fodder for another post. I honestly couldn’t understand how these guys could do that, just letting all those comments through like that. I do now, and I’ll get into that in a minute. But let’s take a look at why you should try to make a good impression with your blog’s comments.
I read a wide variety of blogs and I enjoy leaving comments. However, I really hate trolls and flamers, and I really, really, REALLY hate drama queens. These are personal weaknesses that I’ve come to recognize and I realize not everyone feels the same way I do. But these little idiosyncrasies keep me from commenting on a few of the blogs I visit.
Personally, I look at my blog as a gathering place, like my living room or dining room table. My visitors are my guests and, as a good hostess, I’m concerned about their comfort. I want everyone who visits my blog to feel warm and welcome and secure.
To ensure that feeling of goodness and light, I strictly monitor my blog comments. I don’t like to see one commentor making fun of another or calling them out for something in public. It’s just not right. I wouldn’t allow it in my home and I don’t allow it on my blog. I know I don’t comment on blogs that have lots of hate and bullying going on and I don’t expect my readers to, either.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression. If a new visitor comes to your blog and really likes what they see, they’re going to be tempted to leave a comment. But it’s human nature to look at the comments that are already there, first. And when they see that you have bullies and trolls in the mix, they’re going to leave without joining in because nobody wants to purposely step into the path of a bully.
Now, I do write for one blog that has open comments with no moderation and I can tell you – you need to have very thick skin to participate. And you really need to know what you’re talking about. But when I publish on this blog I get more comments than I’ve had anywhere else in my blogging career.
Would this work on every blog? Probably. There are lots of mean, angry people in the world and when they can find a place to congregate they take advantage of it.
Would you want this on your blog? That’s up to you. Personally, I don’t. I’m the kind of person who always cheers for the underdog and when I see someone getting picked on in the comments then I start worrying about how they feel. And trust me, I have enough on my plate.
Just understand this: Once you turn your comments over to the haters you’ll never get those nice commentors back and your blog will have the reputation of being a hangout for flamers and trolls. But hey… as long you’re OK with that and you can monetize the traffic, haters and trolls are people, too.