Are You Rewarding Your Blog Commenters?

I’m sure that if you’ve got kids you’re familiar with the concept of rewarding desired behavior.  It works so much better than other parenting strategies.  Have you thought about applying that in your business?  Are you taking the time to appreciate and thank those who take time to leave a comment on your blog or interact with you?

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you send handwritten cards to a few dozen (or hundreds) of people a month.  That’d be time consuming and costly.  Here are some easy ways you can show your appreciation.

Share Their Blog Posts

CommentLuv is a blog plugin that automatically adds a link below a comment to the person’s last blog post.  So you’re giving them some promotion and link love.

Encourage Search Engines to Follow Their Links

By default, WordPress adds something called “nofollow” to comment links which tells the search engines not to follow those links.  You can read more about it here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Nofollow.  But it’s much nicer to remove that so that by commenting your visitors are getting a helpful link back to their own websites.  You can use the plugin “Do Follow” to remove that.

Give Them More Visibility

By adding a comments widget to your sidebar you’re giving the comments more visibility.  This means the commenter has more opportunity to be noticed on your site.  You can setup a most recent comments widget (it’s built into WordPress so just check your available widgets) or a top commenters widget.

Respond to Their Thoughts & Engage With Them

I’ve been by more than one blog where the owner doesn’t bother to reply to comments, not even when the commenter asks a question about purchasing a product or service.  Now I totally get that some of us are busy.  But especially if someone wants to work with you, take time to answer them – or have your virtual assistant do it!

Reward those commenters with these four “gold star” strategies and you just might see more comments appearing on your blog!

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83 Comments

  1. Michelle, you have given some excellent advice. I am often skeptical of leaving comments when I feel the owner wont reply…. then what’s worse they have no contact information on the blog. That means having to find if they have a facebook or twitter account and then trying to contact them through there. That’s way too much work when one is very busy!

    Thanks for listing all these suggestions!
    Gwen
    Gwen Tanner recently posted… Making Your Ideas StickMy Profile

    1. Yes! Making contact info easy to find is another very important tip for website owners. Reminds me I need to make some little adjustments since my site makeover. :)

    2. @Gwen
      I was wondering why you didn’t return the love and leave a comment on my blog…LOL:)

      J
      The Cartoon Coach
      Carstarphen recently posted… How to Find a Niche in 3 Easy StepsMy Profile

  2. The other plugin that I like is Twitterlink Comments, which lets people add a link to their twitter profile on their comment. Good tips here. I need to add comentluv
    thanks
    Rob Britt recently posted… Home Fitness – I Got Your BackMy Profile

    1. Oh! That’s a great one. I didn’t think to include it in the list, so thank you for mentioning it. I love to be able to follow people on Twitter when they comment, and I often follow people when I’m reading comments on other blogs, too.

      1. Michelle, can one use something like CommentLuv (I use Livefyre myself) and Twitterlink at the same time? I wonder…
        Sue Kearney recently posted… Do you have a gratitude practice? I want to hear about it!My Profile

        1. Yes. And TwitterLink is built into the CommentLuv premium plugin. :)

  3. Hello from Montana:

    Your site is great! I will be coming back often.

    Also enjoyed your bio. You sound like one of my daughters that homeschools and raises dogs,horses, kids, goats, gardens etc. Her kids are so bright.

    Looking forward to getting to know you better on #blog30.

    Feel free to comment on http://www.cyberbullyinghelp.com

    Judy H. Wright
    Judy H Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author recently posted… Too Tired To Parent – Why Parenting Is So Hard NowMy Profile

    1. Thanks Judy. Your daughter sounds like someone I’d have much in common with. :) Though the extent of my animal adventures have been our cat, tortoise, fish, and walking stick bugs.

      Off to check out your blog. I’m really enjoying #blog30 and getting to know so many wonderful people.

  4. I’m so glad you posted this! This is very much needed. It’s so important to engage your readers and it really doesn’t take that much time to write one sentence in response to someone.
    Jeff recently posted… Teaching Youth Baseball Players to Hit ProperlyMy Profile

    1. Exactly! :) And it goes a long ways in building connections.

    2. Hey Jeff (Mr. Baseball) ~

      Would you please be kind enough to put a “Name/URL” option in your comments sign out choices? Nothing you have there applies to me or some of the other blog challenge members, as well.

      Thanks!!
      Melanie Kissell recently posted… Are You Up To Your Butt In Alligators?My Profile

  5. As a new blogger – I really appreciate these tips and will work on some of the widgets today! thanks so very much

    1. You’re welcome and have fun with the widgets!

  6. Rewards come in all different forms, don’t they Michelle?

    Your suggestions for rewarding blog commenters is fabulous. Everything you’ve shared would make any commenter want to re-visit your blog as often as possible! Who wouldn’t appreciate an elbow to the rib of search engines and more visibility?!

    I have to agree with you about blog owners/authors who don’t answer questions posed by commenters. I’ve seen this type of non-responsive behavior more times than I care to count. Kind of a shame, wouldn’t you say? Answering questions is an ideal opportunity to build a lasting (and rewarding!) relationship.

    So, guess what? I’ve got a question for you. :-)

    I’m having a dickens of a time with CommentLuv. Been using it (trouble-free) for a while and then about four days ago, my blog posts are not showing up when I post comments. :-( I’ve read every forum post, FAQ, etc. and followed every instruction to update my profile and nothing is working. Have any thoughts? Thanks!! The message I’m getting at the bottom of your comment box reads, “No last blog posts to return” ??

    Melanie
    #blog30

    1. Love the way you put that – “elbow to the rib of the search engines” LOL

      It is a shame. People who I know deliver quality products, too, and while I know they’re busier than I am, I also know they’ve got virtual assistants so someone should be monitoring those comments!

      I’ve had that happen with ComLuv from time to time. Does it give you the link by the error message? This page might help: http://comluv.com/news/what-to-do-if-commentluv-is-not-showing-the-latest-post/

      Or, do you have a profile setup with http://www.comluv.com and is the feed URL in there up to date? http://comluv.com/member/

      1. You’re a doll, Michelle! I just got this blinking problem figured out moments ago. For some strange reason, my URL was “banned”? Please don’t ask me to explain why — cause even I don’t understand it. Once I stopped beating my head against the wall, I went back (AGAIN for the 10th time) to the members area at CommentLuv. I went to the “urban” tab and re-entered my URL and the ban was “lifted”. Ugh. Hope this doesn’t happen again none too soon!
        Melanie Kissell recently posted… Are You Up To Your Butt In Alligators?My Profile

        1. Interesting – I’m glad it’s fixed and now I’ve got to go read what you wrote last… alligators caught my attention! lol

  7. Did I miss the twitterlink comments or did you just add that? : )
    Rob Britt recently posted… Home Fitness – I Got Your BackMy Profile

    1. It’s there, but I’m thinking I should tinker with my comments form and see if I can get it (and the commentluv) button up above the submit button so it’s easier to find. :)

  8. Michelle

    Another great post. I have comment luv and it is such a cool plugin where I can comment back on my readers as well as other readers who stop my blog can visit their site as well. Will be posting up the top commentators that is also a good plugin. So important to have that interface between blogger and readers.
    Jane recently posted… Audio Boo or Cinch Cast? You be the Judge. Check out the recordings.My Profile

    1. I just installed the top commentators one when I was researching for this post and I love it. :)

      It does help to build community like you mentioned when we can interact beyond just the comments box but easily visit their blogs and comment back, too.

  9. Michelle,

    Another great post – with information I’ll be implementing this weekend. Really, I do have a life. :)

    I wholeheartedly agree about commenting on, er, comments on your blog. It’s so important to acknowledge that someone took the time to say something they felt was important. This is especially true if they ask questions.

    Another plugin I really like (now that I have it) is the Subscribe to Comments (as you have below). This engenders real conversations between commenters as well as with me. I love that!

    1. That’s a good one, too! I often find myself pulled back to a blog I might not have visited again so soon because someone replied with a comment I want to reply to. Great way to build conversation between the readers.

  10. OK lady. Today was my last day at my piddly part-time retail job. Monday starts my new dedication to my online businesses. Here’s yet another new thing I have to learn. I should fly you down to Texas for a weekend cram session with me :-) lol
    Amy recently posted… Gregory likes being a starMy Profile

    1. Big step!! I’m excited for you!

      Texas is one of the states I haven’t visited yet. I think Arizona is the closest I’ve been, but that doesn’t really count since I barely left the Phoenix airport. LOL

      1. Obviously I fell flat on my face here. Broken finger (much worse than you can imagine a broken finger could be), move into new house (with broken finger), marriage and unexpected extra long R&R for hubby. The phrase “life gets in the way” dominated my summer….into early fall.
        Amy recently posted… Between me and the barnMy Profile

  11. Awesome post Michelle!
    Commentators are what bring our blogs to life! The least we can do is show them a little appreciation:) Thanks for this post.

    J
    The Cartoon Coach
    Carstarphen recently posted… How to Find a Niche in 3 Easy StepsMy Profile

    1. Thanks Jeremiah – and excellent post on finding a niche. Especially liked the title search tip on Google!

      1. Thanks Michelle!
        I’m glad you found it useful:) I will definitely be checking your blog often as a resource to help make my blog better:)
        Carstarphen recently posted… How to Find a Niche in 3 Easy StepsMy Profile

  12. Gwen
    Out of all your suggestions, which one is the most
    valuable. I’d like to take on one at a time!
    Ruthan Brodsky recently posted… Motivation,Setting Goals and PlanningMy Profile

    1. If I were going to install only one of the plugins, I’d install Comment Luv. If I were only going to take one step on the list though it’d be to monitor and respond to comments. :)

  13. I think replacing my WordPress comments with Disqus comments seems to help, but I haven’t tried the recent comment in the sidebar. Will have to try that.

    ~MJ
    MJ Schrader recently posted… Price too low, Price Yourself Out of BusinessMy Profile

    1. I haven’t tried Disqus yet but I know that one’s popular. What’s your favorite thing about Disqus? I’d love to hear more and maybe test it out.

      1. Sorry I have not made it back, 2 days later my grandmother died and things went crazy. But here is my post on why I changed to Disqus. http://rockstarguidebooks.com/changed-disqus-blog.html I am noticing more people using it. But my favorite thing is being able to click on someone’s name and see what else they have commented on… while some people randomly comment often the blogs are related. :)
        ~ MJ Schrader
        MJ Schrader recently posted… WordPress 30 Developer FeaturesMy Profile

  14. Thanks so much for this post! I always feel so grateful to everyone who posts a comment on my blog & try my best to respond to them individually. It’s so important to know that there’s someone out there, that you’re not writing in a vacuum!

    I just started using commentluv and I wish I had known about it sooner! People definitely do love being appreciated and love having their own stuff being promoted too!

    Can’t wait to get to read more of your posts!
    Annette Nack recently posted… Why The Little Red Welts On My Arms Are Not From An Allergic ReactionMy Profile

    1. Yep, it’s a win-win. :)

      I understand what you mean–I’ve been feeling thankful all day that this post was helpful and people took time to let me know.

  15. Hi Michelle,

    Great post. I also believe in rewarding commenters and I can see you do this very well. I’m glad to have found you… I saw your comment on Jeanne Kolenda’s blog, enjoyed your comment and came here to see more of what you have to say.

    Btw, I’ve been looking for the plugin for the Twitter link for commenters that will work on WP 2.92. Do you know if yours works with the current WP version?

    Best Wishes!
    Deb Augur recently posted… 1st Class Web Power Tool: AnalyticsMy Profile

    1. Hi Deb,

      Thanks for stopping by! And that’s exactly why Comment Luv rocks – I commented over there and you ended up over here. *grin*

      I’m running WP 2.92 and TwitterLink Comments 1.1 from http://comluv.com/download/twitterlink-comments/

  16. Hey Girl – Another great post. I just followed your recommendation on installing the “dofollow” plugin. You might have said this previously but is there an easy way to tell if someones site is still no follow?

    As always every time I read you something you wrote I learn something new. I have been really talking you up everywhere I go. You had better get a big staff of VA’s because I am sending you business.

    Thanks, Michele
    The Results Lady
    Michele Scism recently posted… How to Get Targeted Web Traffic to Your BlogMy Profile

    1. Aw, thanks Michele. :)

      I’ve got a post scheduled this week with tips on how to tell! Thanks for the idea.

  17. […] my recent post on rewarding your blog commenters I got several questions asking what “do follow” meant and how to tell if a blog has […]

  18. I love the idea of comment luv but I didn’t know how to do it :)

    Will try now…

    1. It’s a great plugin, hope you like it Marcia (and great to “see” you here!).

  19. Wow, what an informative blog post. I am a WordPress and WP Plugin fanatic, thus I love learning more about WordPress plugins. My new fav is WP Wall – where you can set up the equivalent to a Facebook wall on your sidebar.

    @SmallBizMuse, thank you for responding to my “Top Commenters” question on facebook!

    I’m off to explore your site.
    All the best,
    D’vorah

    1. You’re going to LOVE it here on Michelle’s blog, D’vorah! She’s got tons and tons of wonderful posts with wonderful tips and resources. So happy to have met Michelle during the current 30-day blogging challenge.

      WARNING: Once you’re here, it’s hard to exit. So be sure to pour a tall glass of your favorite beverage and grab a snack before your next visit.

      Melanie
      Melanie Kissell recently posted… Are Your Blog Posts End-to-End Thrills?My Profile

      1. Aw, thanks Melanie. *blush*

    2. Thanks D’vorah, I’ll check out that plugin. And you’re very welcome!

  20. Hi Michelle,
    Thank you for the information- as soon as I read it– I created the comment widget on the side:)
    Warmest,
    Sheri

    1. Awesome, glad this was helpful, Sheri. Appreciate the comment!

  21. I read recently that removing nofollow on comment links is actually beneficial for blog owners these days because Google now uses the amount of activity your site generates in order to determine where it ranks in the search engines. Seems like removing the nofollow attribute would increase activity and really help blog owners out!

    1. Sounds reasonable to me. :) And yes, I think it’s got benefits all around!

  22. […] Do Follow: Removes the “nofollow” from links to commenters.  This one is controversial, I suppose, but I like it.  My two cents is here. […]

  23. These are wonderful suggestions. I have been looking for a plugin to showcase people who leave a comment and I will certainly go check out ‘top commenters’.

    It is great to give back to those who give so much to us. I intend for it to be a top priority to show appreciation.. but then sometimes that intention falls through the cracks. The ideas you share here will help automate some of the ways that I can say thank you and appreciate people and that is an awesome and amazing thing!

    Thank you so much Michelle!! Your blog is over-flowing with great ideas and inspiration!!

    xoxo
    Helen
    Helen Raptoplous recently posted… Overcome Distractions – Your Calendar Is A Great ResourceMy Profile

  24. Nice :) Thanks Michell…

  25. These are some really great ideas Michelle, thanks! Having a great time with the blog challenge.
    Celene Harrelson

    1. It’s a blast, I always enjoy the challenges. :)

  26. Our blogs would be nothing without our readers and especially those who leave comments! Thanks for letting people know how they can be a team player!

  27. […] I also thought it would also make sense to implemented the advice shared by Michelle on her post “Are You Rewarding Your Blog Commenters?” I installed commentluv and added the Top Commenters widget which I called “People Who Love To […]

  28. Another great post filled with valuable information, Michelle.
    Rhonda Neely recently posted… Don’t Be Troubled With Date Night Ever AgainMy Profile

  29. Hi Michelle
    All good points, particularly like…

    “Respond to Their Thoughts & Engage With Them”

    Takes up your time but it’s the only way to build a community on your blog.

    If you want to see a great example, take a look here…

    http://www.virginbloggernotes.com/2010/08/25/12-reasons-why-bloggers-make-the-best-lovers/

    208 comments last time I looked!

    Still not sure about the DoFollow!
    Always has me in two minds.
    Keith Davis recently posted… Keep it short- keep it sharpMy Profile

  30. Thanks for the suggestions on rewarding commentors…I’m going to look into implementing these in my blog!
    Mary C. Nasser recently posted… New Work Wednesday: Red HillMy Profile

  31. This is an awesome post and very helpful for me. Some of the items aren so easy you wonder why everyone doesn’t do them. Some sites make it so difficult to leave a comment it isn’t worth the time. I have found that with many and although I want to leave a comment, after a few minutes of trying I give up. I find Commentluv to be a great feature and also the “Top Commenters” feature. Although maybe I am commenting too much!
    Robin Smith recently posted… 7 Essential Sites for Beginning BloggersMy Profile

  32. Michelle,
    I thought it was so generous of you to add a link to my latest blog when I commented on another post of yours.
    Thanks for these great tips. I’ve been too cautious about adding widgets, but I will give it a try–thanks to you.
    Barbara Bockman recently posted… Monday Metaphor: Anacoenosis: Don’t you see it my way?My Profile

  33. This is a great post Michelle! I am writing from India and have been reading your blog for the past few days . I have decided o follow it too. The blog positively demands it.! The tips that you have provided so generously come attached with a price-tag anywhere else. Bless your large heart…
    rinkoo wadhera recently posted… How to Read a PoemMy Profile

  34. Michele, my site uses DoFollow Premium CommentLuv to reward my commenters. As you know, CL gives the commenter a choice of articles to promote. And if they have the premium CL plugin, they get more choices! That’s like getting a free ad! Any idea what AdSense pays me for a click? Neither do I! Just kidding – they pay me handsomely, and that’s a gift of free advertising to a commenter.
    Astro Gremlin recently posted… Translate Your GiftMy Profile

    1. CommentLuv Premium is awesome! I don’t pay for many plugins but that one was undoubtedly worth the price.

  35. Michizzle,

    I actually just wrote an article about this very topic for Laura Roeder’s blog. With your permission I can post the link, if you’d like.

    Day 29!!!
    Delfin Joaquin Paris III recently posted… Sitting with Hard Feelings is ExhaustingMy Profile

    1. Relevant, helpful links are always welcome! :)

  36. Michelle,

    I’m going through some of your previous posts and discovered this one. Thanks so much for alerting us to the plug-ins that help us improve our blogs, especially by rewarding our visitors who take the time to leave thoughtful comments.
    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. recently posted… Writers, Is Pinterest in Your Marketing Bag?My Profile

  37. If I install Comment Luv and then change my mind later and remove it, will I lose all my comments?

    1. Nope, it would only remove the CommentLuv links that it added with the comments. :)

  38. I’m rewarding my users / commentors with keywordluv, commentluv and of course dofollow links, but I’m also strich on which comments that gets approved.

    But yesterday I tried something new for the first time, I was commenting on exstrem Johns blog where after my first comment got redirectet to a thank you page. That was a first for me, but it’s an idea I’m going to copy ;-)
    It’s going that exstra mile for them.!

    Hoping it’s ok to link to his blog, in case you want to see it for you self and might want to do the same. ;-)
    You can find his blog here. http://www.extremejohn.com

  39. Love this tips! I’ve been thinking of using CommentLuv for my own blog. Do you prefer CommentLuv over the Facebook comment plugin?

    1. I do. I really like the ability to see in a glance what my readers are blogging about, and easily click through to read/comment on their posts.

      1. That is a good idea. What do you think about plugins that automatically add commenters to your list?
        Gail Nott recently posted… Make a Mint from Your Book by Lisa SasevichMy Profile

  40. Hey Michelle,

    Thanks for this great information. I’ll be checking out CommentLuv (as soon as I’m done reading the other 10 articles of yours I have pulled up).

    Thanks for all the great content!

    Merry
    Merry recently posted… #1 Reason to Give in to Your Guilty PleasuresMy Profile

  41. This is great information, Michelle! I’d been wondering about the CommentLuv and the Do Follow Widget. Thanks!
    Deb Dutilh recently posted… When Being Too Nice For Your Own Good BackfiresMy Profile

  42. Hi Michelle,

    Really good valuable advice. If a person takes the time to read and comment on your blog (especially ask questions) it’s only good business to respond.

    When you don’t respond to your readers they eventually can’t be bothered to visit you.

    Thanks for the great read,

    Naomi
    Naomi recently posted… Boosting Your Confidence – Grow Faith in Yourself and your BusinessMy Profile

  43. What you share is so true Michelle!

    Unfortunately, there are some rather highly visible blogger/marketers, that apparently, taking the time or the effort to respond to your blog comments, be they questions or whatever, is simply beneath them!

    And it’s too bad! I’ve personally decided to simply no longer even open their emails, but rather than unsubscribe altogether, I still periodically visit their blog every so often, just to pick up a valid marketing idea and or concept.

    But they seem to be the textbook example of exactly what not to do in order to continually build and engage your audience!

    Thanks for always sharing your extremely sound and proven tips!
    Mark recently posted… How Do Extremely Low Prices Springboard You Into More Business And Even Bigger Profits?Part TwoMy Profile

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