Often, when we’re setting up a new blog for a business owner or professional practitioner, the topic of comments comes up. Should readers be invited to post comments? Initially at least, most Say It For You clients are afraid to allow for comments on their blog. Why? They fear those comments might be negative or critical.
When, just the other day, I received my copy of Steve & Jack’s Home News (from my friend Steve Rupp, the Keller-Williams real estate consultant), I thought about this dilemma of whether it’s good to allow readers to comment on your business blog. The newsletter started out with a story called “Good Luck, Bad Luck.” This farmer’s stallion runs off, and neighbors comment on what bad luck that was. Farmer says, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” A series of bad/good events follows: The stallion returns with a herd of wild mare; the farmer’s son, while training one of the mares, is thrown off the horse and breaks his leg. Because of the broken leg, soldiers do not seize this son for military service. The moral of the story is that all luck, both good and bad is fleeting.
Same thing with blog comments: Blogs need to be available not only for reading, but for acting and interacting. Just the way that even bad reviews help ticket sales for plays, even when a posts a negative or critical comment about your product or service, you’re still getting “bang for your blog” from the search engines.
The “bad luck” side of the coin, of course, is that spam comment attacks tend to plague newly created blog pages. That spam typically shows itself in three forms:
- Total nonsense, with links to sites the writer is promoting
- Totally unrelated to the topic of the blog
- Blatant advertising for web services
There is no definitive way to stop SPAM comments as Jeremy Politt of the ITeam admits. There are a few steps business owners and practitioners can take when setting up the blog platform, including:
- Don’t automatically accept comments – reserve the right to review them and decide whether to publish them. (This is how I handle comments on this Say It For You blog.)
- Include a “Captcha” so that readers must prove they’re human, not a digital SPAM machine gun.
Like the stallion running off and the farmer’s son’s broken leg, negative comments on a business blog are “good luck, bad luck – who knows?