Good blogging tips – #1: moderate your comments!

The fastest way to ruin the good work you put into your business blog is to not moderate comments

Many people start blogs with the idea that they must join the blogging revolution in order to build a social media presence and create online rapport with their customers and prospects. Well, it’s a great, low cost way of doing this. A blog (whether self-hosted or provided by WordPress.com, Blogger.com or similar) is a user-friendly way of generating interest in your business. It offers you an inexpensive way to explore and learn about ‘search engine optimisation’ yourself – without paying expensive consultants.

Blogging can be quick, easy and remarkably powerful for a newcomer. It can also be a minefield for the unwary. Blogging will put your content into Google and sometimes right up there in the search engine results, no problem. But if you put the wrong stuff out there, you’re stuck with it – and before long, that’s what everyone will find when they go looking for your name, your products or your business. Some people seem to lose sight of this fact, choosing to rant and rave on their blog with views that come back to haunt them later on as prospects start doing their ‘due diligence’.

There are many ways to shoot yourself in the foot when you rush to join the social media revolution and get your business blogging. One of the most painful is let your blog fill up with comment spam. These are comments that pretend to be about your content but which, in reality, are just attempts to link from your site to their viagra / porn / fake watches site.

Typical comment spam looks like a vague attempt to massage the writer’s ego:

“Great blog, man. You really got to the heart of this issue in a way that few people do. I’m going to bookmark your site and recommend it to my friends” is a typical comment – designed to stroke your ego without actually saying anything about the post – because, of course, they’ve not actually read it.

More damaging, perhaps, than letting the occasional bit of spam through is the tendency of many new business bloggers to completely miss the ‘moderate comments before publishing’ option in their blog settings. When this is unchecked, the piles of porn / medication spam will build up on your site, and pretty soon it will look like the urine-soaked, rubbish strewn doorway of a shop in the high street that’s gone out of business. You get the picture.

There’s nothing that says “jumped on the social media bandwagon to broadcast my stuff but can’t actually be bothered to engage with it” better than missing that single, tiny check-box. Don’t make that mistake – set comment moderation ON from the start.

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