The A-2-Z of business blog writing: M is for Moderating comments

business,blog,writing,blogging,moderating,comments,Suzan St Maur

Even an aggressive comment
sometimes can help you make a point

Welcome to our first business blog writing post of 2014! And today we continue with this series…

What do you do if you get a comment on your blog that says you’re wrong? Calls you an idiot? Trashes your reasoning?

Dump it into the trash box, of course. But … wait a minute…

Negative comments can be quite useful

OK, if the comment turns out to be a rant from someone who’s in need of a personality transplant, there really isn’t much you can do other than trash it.

But some negative comments can give you the opportunity to turn the criticism around through reasoned argument and show the commenter – and your readers how, and why, the commenter’s assumptions were erroneous.

I have to admit I don’t often get negative comments but when I do, I don’t trash them unless they’re abusive or stupid, because I like to use them to make a point in the way I have just described.

Nobody is obliged to think you’re perfect and everyone is entitled to disagree with you as long as they’re doing it for the right reasons. If nothing else, a comment that disagrees with what you have posted is a good starting point for a lively discussion among you and your readers. There’s nothing like a bit of dissent (as long as it doesn’t get nasty or rude) to spark off people’s ideas and creativity.

So if you do get a negative comment, don’t be in any hurry to delete it. And when you respond, be polite and respectful. Your blog is not the place for a slanging match.

Spammy comments

If you’re using a WordPress or Blogger site, or another that’s well structured, you’ll have a spam Rottweiler built into the site that will gonzo all obvious spam, so you don’t need to worry about it.

But sometimes you get borderline posts that may contain a link to something else, but nonetheless add value to the conversation you’ve started.

Tip: don’t be annoyed that someone has posted a comment with an external link in it. This does not necessarily mean your readers will be sidetracked to some seedy site selling Viagra clones and porn videos.

Check the link out, by all means. And if it’s a relevant article or blog post, comment on that yourself with a link back to your own site. After all, that’s what social media is about – conversations, and conversations across more than one platform.

Nice-but-bland comments

Never ignore them. Respect the fact that someone has taken the trouble to comment on your post, even if it is just to say “hey, I enjoyed this” (unless they come from a URL that’s selling Viagra!)

Depending on which blog system you use, you’ll soon learn how to tell the genuine comments from the phony, spammy ones that manage to get through your filters – and some still do.

With genuine commenters, the very least you can do is to thank them for calling by your site and ask them to keep in touch.

I always try to mention their first names in my responses, too. It may seem trite but somehow that creates a more substantial connection: if you just say “thanks for your comment,” people may think it’s a robotic reply and you couldn’t really care less. If you call them by name they know for sure that it’s genuinely coming from you.

How do you handle comments on your blogsite?

blog,writing,news,blogging,Suzan St Maur,,how to write betterPlease share your views (even if they’re negative!)

photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc




  1. I tend to reject comments that say something along the lines of ‘Great Post’ because I feel they are just link dumping. Quite likely using a bot to make the comment as well.
    The thing about those types of comment are that they add no value to other readers of my sites. If anything, they reduce the value of it.
    Now I’ll be quite open and state that one of the reasons that I do comment on other sites is that I can include a link. I’m also well aware that it will normally be nofollow and the search engines will ignore it. Sometimes though people who see the comment are sufficiently interested in what I have written to click through to my site.

  2. Totally agree about the link dumpers, Ian. Usually my Akismet spam cruncher gets to those before I do…and it’s easy enough to tell from their URL whether they’re dumpers or genuine commenters who have merely liked the post for its own sake. Equally I agree that we should have no problem with commenters who a) make a valid point and b) share a link that’s relevant and adds to the discussion. Thanks for commenting here!