I Wouldn’t Have Commented If…

I love reading and commenting on other blogs. I know some people think it’s too time consuming to do, but I enjoy reading a lot of different types of things. I also love encouraging bloggers, as well as having an opinion on stuff; hey, look at how many articles I’ve written on all my blogs. 🙂

(64/365) Really really really ow...
Creative Commons License Sarah via Compfight

However, I have some rules for blogs I won’t comment on. One, if it takes my having to create some kind of account or having to put in a password or register, I’m not commenting; sometimes I won’t even read those blogs. This means if your blog uses Disqus, Livefyre, or something like that, or if it’s on some website that requires people to join, I’m not going to bother. Yeah, it’s kind of a picky thing, but there’s so many other blogs out there that are enjoyable and easy enough to comment on without having to deal with it. After all, I don’t have unlimited time.

Ah yes, let’s look at this “unlimited time” thing. You know, visiting blogs and leaving comments does take time. When I’m in the mode though, I don’t mind that. However, there’s something I do mind, and a lot of y’all are now doing it.

I hate going to a blog, commenting, and then immediately receiving your stupid email asking me to confirm that I want to subscribe to blog comments. Come on; are you kidding me?

When’s the last time someone left a “real” comment on your blog and didn’t want you, the writer, to respond to it? I’m not talking about those lousy one line comments or those that tell you how great a writer you are but never address the content. I mean real comments, those you know aren’t bad, even if they’re not great.

I know when… never!

When’s the last time someone left a comment on your blog that was pretty good, only for you to discover that they put someone else’s email in it so that, when you responded, you got an angry email from someone saying “Hey, I didn’t comment on your blog”?

I know when… never!

So then… what’s the purpose of this double opt-in process other than to clog up my inbox? Actually, I know it’s a trick by some folks because when I read the email it actually talks about subscribing to receiving a newsletter whenever you post something new; I hate that kind of bait and switch.

For the rest of you though… come on, what’s the point of this? I’m serious; I just don’t get it.

I know what some folks are going to say; don’t click in the box. There’s another little bugaboo I’m going to gripe about.

For most blogs, if you don’t click that little box, you’re not going to be notified if the writer or anyone else responds to your comment. My blog is like that, as I had to add the plugin because my theme is older, and at the time no one was getting notified that I was responding to them.

There are a few blogs where, by clicking in that box, you end up getting that email with the subscription message, but if you don’t click on it you still get notified when someone replies to your comment. That’s not the norm though.

If people actually click on the box, they want to get comments; trust me on this one. If they don’t… well, we never know who clicks on it and who doesn’t (at least I don’t), but if the comment is good enough and you care about your blog and “all” of your readers, you’re going to respond to the comment anyway right? RIGHT?!?!? 🙂

Please, for the love of chocolate, turn off that feature, whether you’re doing it for comments or trying to sneak through a subscription to a newsletter (if you are, you’re being kind of scummy). It’s unneeded… unless someone can give me a really good reason for doing it. Remember though, I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years, so it better be good!
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

3 Things You’re Probably Doing Wrong With Your Blog

I often talk about the need for businesses to have blogs. I talk about how they can help with search engine optimization, promoting one services and products, and giving the business of personal voice.

Who are YOU?
Ian Sane via Compfight

All that is good and well, but now it’s time to refine things just a bit more. I am seeing more small businesses getting into blogging, but there’s a few things that a lot of them need that would really help them to go further.

I thought about going for five points in this post, but I thought that I would just stick to three and make this a quick hitter instead. So let’s look at the top three things you’re probably doing wrong with your blog.

1. Is the name that showing on your posts “admin”?

If so, this means that you haven’t gone into your users area and changed the name that you want showing from admin to your name. If you’re writing your own posts, you want people to see your name associated with your post as opposed to someone else’s name, or admin. After all, you’re looking for name recognition.

If you have a blog that has multiple writers, each writer deserves to have their name associated with their post. By the way, if you have your name associated with your post you also have a way of setting up your name with Google so that if people find your blog through the Google search engines your name and possibly your picture, if you set one up to show up with your name, will come up as well. Google says they’ve killed this, yet I’ve noticed when I’m signed into Google that I still see some people’s images next to things I’m looking for.

2. Are you linking to other articles or other blog posts that are on your site or on your blog when you write your new posts?

This isn’t something you can probably do all the time, internal linking, but what this does is gives people an incentive to check out some of your other information that on your site, and keep them on your site a little longer. Studies have shown that the longer someone stays on your site the more apt they are partake of some of your services or buy some of your products. It’s a great advertising opportunity you shouldn’t miss.

3. Are you engaging your audience by responding to comments or asking questions within your articles?

I should have started this by saying that if you don’t have comments open you don’t really have a blog at all; you’re just talking to people. This is a bias of mine; so sue me. lol

If you are accepting comments, you need to make sure you take time to respond to them. You don’t necessarily have to respond to every single comment, but those comments that are really good you should respond to.

Every once in a while in your article you should ask a question. Did you notice that I asked some questions above? Asking questions helps get people engaged, even if they may not read a comment. If you can make people think, most of the time they will appreciate that and they’ll want more from you.

There you go, three things you should check to make sure you’re doing. Are you doing them? Let me know.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

Spam I Don’t Understand

I’ve written about spam around 125 times out of the almost 1,500 posts on the blog. I’ve talked about how much I hate it, ways to identify it, why it’s important to keep it off your blog and how to move more of it to go directly to your spam filter so that you don’t necessarily have to rush to your blog to remove it from going live as often as you might without putting certain things in place.

And yet, like the reason I have to wear this mask on my present consulting assignment right now (that’s another story) I don’t always understand the purpose of some of the spam. Back in the day most spam looked to be trying to sell something. Nowadays a lot of it is so nonsensical that the only thing you can believe they’re hoping to achieve is to get a link placed on your blog so that it goes back to their page. Obviously some of those folks got bad SEO advice of a different sort than the bad advice I mentioned in that post I just linked to.

What am I seeing? Let’s chronicle some of it:

1. The long, rambling post about nothing. I got a spam comment from someone calling himself “best gym supplements for muscle growth“, and other than occasionally trying to pop a link into it the spam comment was almost 100 lines of nothingness. Someone must have been told that writing a long spam comment gives it a better chance to be thought of as being legitimate; please!

2. The comment with lots of characters in it. What the heck is this type about? I got this mess: “ѕuρp&X6c;eme&X6E;ts mаy also re&X6e;еw the respira&X74;ory”. The thing is I get lots of these and I’m betting you do as well. It’s not even close to readable so why even bother? I’m of the opinion someone’s technology has gone haywire; I wonder if spammers can get their money back.

3. The short, incomplete and nonsensical spam comment. I can’t believe anyone even took the time to actually write this, so it must be some kind of randomizer: “Just file manufacture clear subject matter. What did you say? precisely I needed! I have been before browsing search engines like google the complete day for some correct clause such as this” That was it; didn’t even finish the sentence. Intelligence obviously belongs to other family members.

4. Spam that attaches itself to an image. This one is totally incomprehensible. It shows up at the blog with nowhere to go except spam because it thinks the image is the blog post. I hope the spammers didn’t spend too much money on this program because it’s a total loser, like the spammer.

5. The “good post” spam. That one’s been around forever, as well as calling you “webmaster” and asking you if you’re using a free theme. I’m always amazed when I visit a blog and I see the owner actually responding to those comments; well, at least they’re trying to be a good host. 🙂

6. Spam that shows up without any links whatsoever. Why did the owner even bother sending that one out? By now most blogs probably won’t accept posts without a link because those are usually trolls and what benefit is a spammer hoping to get from something like that?

7. Copying a previous comment as one’s new comment. I have to admit this one’s creative, and it can be easily missed. I’ve missed it a couple of times, even though the Spidey senses went off thinking it looked familiar. This one was actually a legitimate comment… the first time around anyway.

The first link I put up on this post links you to many posts where I’ve talked about ways to protect your blog from some of the spam. I hope you’re using the GASP plugin and, if it’s really bad, go ahead and use Akismet, even though some people run from it like it’s a bull chasing them. We own these blog spaces, not them; don’t let them get you down or chase you away.

That’s all I have. LOL
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Mitch Mitchell

6 Things I’ve Seen While Cleaning Up Old Comments

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been spending time here and there going back to clean up comments. This is a daunting task by the way. The blog is over 5 years old and there are nearly 26,000 comments. The reason I’m looking at comments isn’t to pick on anyone in particular. What I’m doing is taking care of some maintenance because of Google’s Panda and Penguin and also because I had to get rid of that Broken Link Checker plugin and the one I’m using right now isn’t quite as good; okay, it’s not even close.

Sadly Sarah's clone took a step back in development, so it looks like she needs a vacuuming lesson with our trainer vacuum (complete with mysteriously vanishing hose).
colorblindPICASO
via Compfight

With that said, as I’ve been going through some of the much older comments I’ve seen 6 different things, one that’s actually more a help to you if you decide to do the same type of thing than the others are. Let’s take a quick look shall we.

1. On WordPress blogs (I’m not sure about wordpress.com blogs but possibly), if you want to delete someone’s link you don’t have to go into edit or quick edit to do it. There’s an X right next to the link; just click that and it’s all gone. If you have CommentLuv it looks like it eliminates that as well, though you’ll still see it sitting there.

2. It’s amazing just how long some blogs and websites have been gone. While some blogs had totally disappeared, many blogs still existed somehow. By that, I mean there wasn’t anything new on those blog for 3 to 4 years, but most weren’t hooked to a website and weren’t on a free blogging site, so I wondered if the people paid for 5 years or more when they made their initial purchase.

3. I found that there have been some folks other than my buddy Sire who’ve been participants on this blog for a long time. Two of them, Rummuser and Ajith, have been coming by since 2009; thanks guys! Others have popped in here and there for the past 3 years; I thank you all.

4. There were some pretty good bloggers who have stopped by here and there over the years. I’ve looked at a lot of sites and some of them I decided to stop by and leave a quick comment on a recent post. It’s so cool seeing some old faces and I lament that we seemed to have drifted apart on the blogosphere. It kind of makes sense; how the heck could we all keep up with each other in the long run right?

5. There were a lot of bad sites as well. You know, when we first get going in blogging we just don’t pay much attention to the links that are coming into our sites, and as I was going through I was stunned by what I was seeing. Luckily I think BLC (see above) took care of lots of those links in some fashion but some of the rest… Folks, you need to make sure you take care of your blog by looking at some of the links people drop.

6. There were some old friends who’d stopped blogging for one reason or another. Out of three that I used to talk to all the time I know one stopped blogging because he got sick, another stopped blogging because she got a gig writing for her local newspaper, and the third… well, our bet is that he got sick and just up and disappeared because he had a pattern of doing that, and the previous time before this one he was laid up for 9 months. The rest… well, you just never know what someone’s circumstances might be, and as I think about it my belief is that one day it’s going to happen to most of us because I’m betting most of our spouses have no idea how to do anything with our blogs. So, one day there just won’t be any more posts, and unless we live close to a person we’ll never know what happens, only be left to suspect. Kind of sad isn’t it?

That’s all I’ve got. Any of you doing any maintenance on your sites? If so, what are you seeing?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Mitch Mitchell

Do You Hate Your Own Blog Posts Or The People Who Comment?

I’ve noticed an interesting trend with many blogs that have some popularity. It’s actually not something new, but it’s the first time I’ve had it bother me in some fashion.

Bright Eyes
Creative Commons License Jose Roberto V Moraes via Compfight

I’ve noticed that there are many bloggers who will respond to some blog comments… at least initially. If you catch them really early they might be good at responding. They may even respond to some comments for a couple of days. Yet at a certain point they’ll stop responding to comments, no matter how many time and no matter who it is that’s commenting.

I’m not going to call anyone specific out, but I’m betting you’ve seen the same thing happening. You get to a blog, see there are some comments on a particular post, sometimes a lot of comments on it, and you see that the blog owner responded to some of them. So you leave your comment, think it’s pretty good, then wait to see if you get a response.

Nope, nada, nothing. Now, it’s not all that often that I’ll go back to see if someone responded to my comment, but here and there I’ll do it. However, if I get to a post and see there’s a lot of comments, I look to see if the author has responded to them, and how many of them. And if I see they haven’t responded to anyone after the first few comments, I’m not wasting my time.

So what is it that makes these folks decide to ignore your comments? Are they bored with their own posts? Have they decided you’re not worth their time? Are they just too busy once their post has gone life to worry about it anymore? In essence, have they moved onto the next post, the next challenge, with no regard to their past?

How do you, the writer, justify this kind of treatment to your visitors? For that matter, how do you, the visitor, feel knowing that your great comment is going to be ignored because you weren’t fast enough to be one of the first to cross the finish line?

This particular blog keeps posts open for 2 years. Any comment I get during that two year period that I approve, I comment on. How many of these other bloggers are writing more than me? Some write as much, but are they more special than I am and verifying that by not replying to your comments? Are they busier than I am and thus can’t reply to your comments? Do you feel like they’re just mailing it in?

Am I being melodramatic? What’s your overall belief on this one? Go ahead, share your thoughts, or write an article about it on your blog because you know it’s true. Let’s hear it. 🙂
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell