How to Boost Traffic Using Comment Settings, Author Links & Commentluv

girl comment bubble

Photo: Barrett Kowalski

How we customize our Comments Settings affects how our readers feel about our Blog.  What? Yes.  It’s true. And our Comments Settings also influence how people feel about US, as Blog owners.  Really? Absolutely.

Comments sections are often seen as a cross between a total pain in the neck and an optional extra we might (or might not), offer our readers. Many site owners also see the Comments section of their blog as a honey-pot attraction for unwanted Spam Comments.

Of course the Comments section of your website can be all of those things, but they don’t have to be.  It all depends on how we customise the Settings of our Comments section, and how we protect our Blog against Spam with effective Anti Spam Plugins.

So I’d like to offer an alternative point of view: Your Comments section of your blog or website is…an OPPORTUNITY!  Yes!  Controversial I know, but very true.

OK. Allowing Comments on your articles can attract Spam. This is true.  But… you can block these Evil Spammers with a combination of WordPress Discussion Settings, and some hefty Anti-spam Plugin ‘Bouncers’, guarding your Blog’s front door.

How you set up your WordPress Dashboard Discussion Settings and how you customize Anti Spam Plugins to keep out the scum, was covered in How To Customize Comment Discussion Settings.

So Why Is Our Comments Section an Opportunity?

Why do I love Comments?…let me count the ways. Smile  First, you have already blocked the Evil Spammers at the front door (see How To Customize Comments Discussion Settings & Plugins). But the real value of Comments, is that Comments made on our blogs are made by people.  And these people are not just anyone.  These lovely people are SPECIAL people because…..

  • they have visited my blog
  • they have probably read at least one of my articles
  • they have taken the trouble to leave a genuine (non spam) comment

In fact, only readers who Subscribe to my Newsletter are even-more-loved-by-me than these lovely Comment writing people. [Steady on, Carol…..  OK, fair point]

Readers who leave Comments are exactly the sort of people we want to encourage: we want them to feel wanted, and appreciated, and yes – loved, and to come back time and again to read the articles on our blog.  We want to ATTRACT these people, not restrict their opportunity to interact with us, and with other readers.

Psychology Rule No 1: If people like us, they are more likely to Trust us, and are more likely to buy our stuff……uh?  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  [Settle down Carol….oh, alright.]

How To Use Our Comments To Encourage Loyal Readers & Attract More Visitors

How best to do that?

  Leave the Front Door Open for Comments.

It’s OK. Don’t panic. We have our big beefy bouncers (anti-spam plugins) guarding our front door, so only the good guys get through.  And leaving the front door open does not just mean that we ‘allow’ Comments the ‘privilege’ of leaving Comments on our Articles.

It means allowing our readers to leave a Comment Link back to their own blogs or websites by letting them embed a Link (nofollow or dofollow) in their Name when uploading a Comment.  Yes! An Open front door AND a Welcome Mat.

I know from my own experience that I am much, much more likely to leave a Comment on a blog where I am also given the opportunity to leave a link (even a nofollow link) back to this blog embedded in my Comment on the other site.

Bloggers are busy people, and we are all looking, all the time, for ways to promote our own blogs.  We are not going to ‘waste’ our time making Brilliant Comments on someone else’s website unless there is ‘something in it for us’.  Don’t you agree?

I am no Spammer, but really, if you are trying to build up traffic on your blog, what is the point of making Comments on a website where I cannot also leave a link back to my own blog? We don’t do it.  Well…I can’t remember ever doing it, myself.  If you disagree, please leave a Comment!

So, if we want to attract high quality Comments to our Blogs, and make our readers ‘feel good’ about us, and keep coming back for more, we must leave the front door open PLUS a Welcome Mat.  This Welcome Mat means: Allow Author and Website Links in our Comments.

How To Customize WordPress Comments to Allow Author Links & Website Links.

Go to: WordPress Dashboard>Settings>Discussions:

WP Discussion Settings

Notice that although I have my Front Door open: (Allow links, pingbacks etc), I also have a second line of defense in place: An administrator must always approve a Comment.

This means that if a Spam Comment ever gets past my Spam Free WordPress Plugin and my Akismet Plugin (yes, you can get Akismet for free), I will be notified by email.  In fact, with these Settings, I am notified of all Comments (genuine and spam), that get through, past the anti spam plugins.   And no Comment ever appears on this blog unless, and until I approve it.

Only a very small number of the Comments that get over the Threshold are Spam Commnents – and it’s an easy job to put them in the Spam folder where they belong.

Next:    Spam Free WordPress Plugin Settings to allow Author Links & Website URL Links:

spam free wordpress

Again, don’t worry about these Open Door Settings.  The Combination of Spam Free WordPress and Akismet Plugin will block 99% of Spam Comments, even with these ‘open’ settings.  That is what has happened on this blog, and I have allowed these ‘Open’ settings.

These Settings allow Commenters to leave a nofollow Link embedded in their Comments.  This is a real ‘pull factor’ for boosting Site Traffic.  And the low down Scumbag Spammers still don’t get through, past those Anti Spam Plugins.

How to Allow Avatars & Gravatars in Comments That Spread The Love – and Authority

Scroll down the Dashboard>Settings>Discussion: until you get to Avatars.

Here you can see that I have allowed Avatars; I have restricted the Rating to G: suitable for all audiences; and I have not checked the Hover Gravatar option. I don’t think this is a major point.

It’s just that I don’t want the Comments I make, or the Comments that other people make, being linked back to a large photo of me – or the person who commented on my blog.  Why would I? The little one is big enough, and I don’t want my readers wandering off to investigate people’s Gravatars when they should be marveling at the brilliance of my articles…and Comments. Smile

OK, so this again is an OPPORTUNITY.  Comment Replies with no avatars are dead boring.  No one can ‘identify’ with Comments, or a Commenter, that has no avatar. And the default Grey Man silhouette avatar is boring too, Yes.

But a Grey Man avatar also damages the impression you make online. Why? Using the generic Grey Man avatar tells the world that you are ‘an amateur’ or (horror!) a casual surfer – definitely not a serious professional, Big Time, Big-Cheese-Blogger like us!  What?  We can all dream…. and dreams are free….I think I feel a song coming on[Carol! Focus! OK, will do]

If you are not sure how to get your own you-beaut Gravatar, check out How to Add Your Photo Gravatar to Your Online Comments.

 Alright, so far we have covered: how to leave the Welcome Mat at our Open Front door, but barred Evil Spammers from entering. [How to Customize Comment Settings & Anti Spam Plugins]  We have also encouraged our Readers to make Brilliant Comments at the end of our Articles by allowing a nofollow link in their Comment, together with their Personal Gravatar.  That just leaves the Commentluv plugin.

Commentluv Allows Do Follow Links!  Yes – Do Follow Links!

I will be writing more articles to come on the marketing and traffic building advantages of installing the Commentluv Plugin and the Do Follow Links it offers to Commenters.  In the meantime, these are the Settings I currently have for my Commentluv Plugin.  These Commentluv settings work, and  do not interfere with any of the other Comment-related Settings or Plugins.

Commentluv settings

You will see that these settings mean that people who Register with this blog get extra privileges!  If you Register at this Blog, you will have the chance to add a Dofollow Link with your Comment – but only if it is not a Spam Comment.  Spam Comments include such things as ‘Nice Blog’ or ‘This helps me a lot’. You have to do better than that!

Update: I have changed the Settings for my Commentluv settings.  After the recent Panda and Penguin Google Updates, it was clear that Google was focusing it’s eagle eyes on Links, especially Dofollow Links.  So, I’ve changed my Settings for Commentluv.  They are that you now get Nofollow links. But… if you Register for this site, you get to choose a nofollow link from a selection of your latest Articles.

Maybe you can’t always Write Brilliant Comments, but that is what you should aim for.  I give, only if you give.

I think that’s fair. It’s not difficult to Register with My Second Million, and these settings give you extra motivation! Yes!.

Your Commentluv options looks like this:

this is a screenshot of a link to an article on my Addiction Rehab Now website.  You can see the text that you see when you make a Comment via Commentluv, and how you will get the extra choice of linking to any of your Latest 10 Articles if you Register on this site.

commentluv message

Also if you are interested in seeing a real life example of how to ‘spread the love’ with your use of your Comment Replies set up, and the use of the Commentluv Plugin, see How Ana Hoffman Uses Comment Replies to Boost Traffic & Spread the Love. Alright!

Now we have our Comments on our Blog set up in just the way…. I like it.  Hey, it ‘s my Blog!  You can do the same on your own Blog if you wish.  I can tell you that my visitor numbers have increased since sorting out the tangle that was my Comments section up until a few days ago.

And….I have not been hit with an avalanche of Evil Spammers either.  These Settings have been a win-win for me.

OK – with this article, and the 2 previous articles, all the Comment-related-bases have been covered.  Time for some well earned chips!

[Disclaimer: chips or no-chips is a personal choice for which I am not liable or responsible.  Me? I like the low fat oven-fried variety: fat content is 0.5% – and what’s not to like about that? ….Get them while they’re hot! ……Yum! ]

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Comments

How to Boost Traffic Using Comment Settings, Author Links & Commentluv — 34 Comments

  1. Pingback: How To Customize Comments Settings: Attract Good Guys & Block Spam

  2. Love the articles and I’m learning a lot. On the subscribe in commentluv, where do you subscribe so that it will show 10 posts to choose from when I leave a comment? Not sure if that’s in another article.

    Aloha,

    Karen

    • Hi there Karen, thanks for asking me about Registration at my site. It made me go and check out my settings, plus I’ve been doing a lot of research about Users vs Subscribers. When I’ve got a good understanding of how to use each type of User/Subscriber, I will write a post about it.

      I have now changed my WordPress settings to allow people to register here again. I had shut that option a few days ago to see how it affected my Subscribe to our Newsletter Subscribers.

      So, you should now be able to Register at My Second Million from the Commentluv Form when you make a Comment. That should allow you to leave a link and choose from your 10 latest articles.

      And while you are here, why not Subscribe to my Newsletters via my Subscribe Form (blue form top right of page) or the one in the Footer. 🙂

  3. Hi,
    I came across your article while doing some research about the CommentLuv plugin and I must thank you for these tips. It does seem to me like a very valuable tool to use as a blogger but what I am gathering from what I have read so far on many blogs and forums is that this is a WordPress plugin. My challenge is my blog is Blogger Powered. Is there any way this plugin can be customised to work with blogger. My blog is less than one month old.
    Thanks,
    Evans

  4. Does this just increase spam though? I get so much spam already even though I use a spam filter. Are there settings to filter out the “ugg boot” spammers?

    • Hi Candice, I haven’t had any increase in Spam since installing Commentluv and opening the front door settings. I do have Spam Free wordpress and the Akismet plugins installed – both free.

      Interestingly your Comment landed in my WordPress Spam folder – maybe because you had Ugg boot in the text? But it’s easy to check your Spam Folder every couple of days to make sure that Akismet hasn’t erred on the side of safety. I find the combination of these 2 Spam Filters works well.

  5. Pingback: First Steps With Wordpress: How To Install & Set Up

    • Hi Subhajit, It’s a great plugin isn’t it – the number of people Registering at my site has really taken off since I installed it. I checked out your website – it has a very nice clean design…and is very new. Good luck with it – I’m sure you will find that your tech skills will be useful.

  6. I have another problem, because i`am using blogger to blog, is there any spam free plug in to use like in wordpress.

  7. Pingback: Backlinks, Authority, Page Rank & Traffic: How To Get Them!

    • Thanks Tom – adding the Commentluv plugin will probably increase the number of Comments you will get, and also your traffic.

      I recently stopped giving Registered users an automatic Dofollow link with their Comments. That was because of the Google Penguin and Panda updates concerning relevant linking. But Registered Users still get the option to choose which of their 10 most recent articles they wish to link to.

      And surprisingly, I don’t think that changing those settings has made any difference to the number, or quality of Comments that I get.

  8. hey there, nice article and great to see you go in to detail about the comment settings. Have you looked at GASP for helping to defeat spam bots?

    I’ll share this on the commentluv fanpage..

    • Hi there Andy! Fancy seeing you here – welcome! For anyone who doesn’t know it, Andrew Bailey is the head geek/Big Cheese, Clever Clogs Genius of Commentluv. We are truly honored.

      I haven’t tried GASP because I don’t seem to need it – touch wood. I have Akismet, and Spam Free WordPress plugins and they do a good job between them. I would certainly use GASP if I ever need extra spam protection in the future – or.. I could even splash out on Commentluv Premium and get GASP included plus all the Premium version’s extra goodies.

      Ha! You noticed the detail – that’s what I do. Short articles? Not so much. I do try to go through every single step to explain in detail how to do everything in my ‘How To’ articles. I cater especially for beginners – but even experienced bloggers seem to find the detail useful.

      Thanks for the share on your Fan Page. It’s appreciated.

  9. Yes i am starting to use this now too and thanks for the write up by the way found it very useful.

  10. Thank you for this insightful article.

    Just over 4 weeks ago I installed All In One SEO on my site. But have now removed it as it took my google ranking from the top of googles second page to the middle of the third page.

    Installing that plugin and tweaking the settings a bit is the only thing that changed so I can only attribute it to that.

  11. Thank you for this great post! Writers and creators of niche sites often underestimate the value of comments on their pages. This is definitely something that I try to take advantage of on my sites, and try to help others with as well.
    Thanks again!

    • Hi Michael, comments are an important way to get backlinks. But you have to write a non-spam comment, like yours, or else you will end up in the Spam or Trash folder.

  12. Yeah, I had turned off my pingbacks once, and my traffic dropped. Pingbacks are very important.

  13. Excellent post to know that how can boost traffic through customizing comment settings. The Commentluv Plugin is a great choice for commenting because it offer great way to connect with other relevant sites and their followers.

  14. It’s so true that a genuine comment system can easily boost website traffic.
    I think, the best comment system for boosting traffic is commentluv. Because the readers will be able to promote their blog posts besides their comments.
    So both the webmaster and the reader will get profits.
    I think that’s the rule. We have to give sometime to get.

  15. Thanks Carol, Seriously it’s an Awesome Article.It’ll really help me a lot to increase traffic on my website. well, i just build a one website so for that, your article will help me a lot.and especially i am trying to focus on Comments, yeah i was knowing that all things but not deeply, but after reading your article i cleared all the things!

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