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Why I am saying yes to blog comments again

I know. I keep adjusting my strategy. I keep going back to what things used to be like. You might think that what I’m doing is all wrong, and you might be right. But, at the moment I’m going with my gut feeling. I told you, just a few weeks ago that I was testing a new direction in blogging. Basically, what I was doing was that I closed the comments on my blog.

The reason I closed the comments was that I just couldn’t keep up. I had tested many different commenting systems, and ended up using Disqus, because of all the spam I was receiving. First, I spent weeks removing bad backlinks in the comments (more than 1600), then I was looking at the old comments, and I the quality of many of the comments was really low. I had accepted all comments, it was all my fault, but it did something to me.

I got tired. It made me don’t want to spend as much time removing and adjusting. I just want to keep moving towards my goals. I want to do things that makes me happy.

Why yes and why so soon?

First, when I announced that I was closing the comments on my blog, I received several messages on social media, with questions to why. Then, after many discussions, most people told me that it was great that I was doing the thing that felt right for me.

I told people that this was just a test, that I was going to keep doing it for what was left of 2014. I thought that doing this for more than a month would be enough to understand if it was worth continuing with. But, just a few days later, I started receiving more e-mail than usual. I am using SaneBox, so email is not a big issue anymore. But, I was receiving questions and feedback based on what I had been writing – more than usual.

The feedback made me think. I was doing things because I was tired of removing broken links and bad backlinks. I had closed the comments because of “old” low quality comments. I realized that I wanted to focus more on creating good content and build relationships. That’s it. Removing all the negative things from my blog was a big issue to me, and making decisions when I’ve been working all day and night, is not a good idea.

Now what?

I have opened the comments, and I have re-installed CommenLuv Premium. I’m checking for broken links every week, and I’m not accepting every comment anymore. I’m still here, doing my best to answer every question, because I believe in building strong relationships and to always look for opportunities to help others.



13 responses to “Why I am saying yes to blog comments again”

  1. Tim Bonner says:

    Hey Jens

    We often have similar thoughts on things. I haven’t brought back CommentLuv Premium but I went back to the native WordPress commenting system.

    Over the few months I had Disqus installed, lots of people contacted me to say that the Disqus circle just kept going round and they couldn’t comment. I’m definitely not going back to CommentLuv but for now I’ll stick with the native commenting system so people can at least leave a comment!

    I also decided to remove my sidebar as well. Great minds think alike! I love your new design. It’s just right.

    • Hey Tim,

      That’s very interesting. It seems that we’re doing what works for us without actually talking or looking at each others blogs, but ends up doing more or less the same things 🙂

      I’m not sure if I’ll be using CommentLuv Premium or not, I just reinstalled it because I wanted my blog comments up and running fast without any spam. And, that was the option I had any experience with.

      I’ve been looking at many other plugins as well, and Akismet is one Simple comments is another one. I’d be very interested to find out what works best for you.

      – Jens

    • Josh says:

      I haven’t had any complaints about DISQUS which has been a nice change. I still like CommentLuv but that really seems to be one of the primary sources of my bad links/comments. If it didn’t lead to so much work for me I’d probably go back to it because it really did help increase the number of comments I received.

      OTOTH I noticed that DISQUS has been good at helping to increase pageviews for me. Many people seem to move from one post to the next because of it.

      • I’ve just switched from CommentLuv. Like you Josh, it was my primary source of bad links/comments, and I’m now using Akismet and the wordpress default commenting system.

        I did see an increase in pageviews from DISQUS as well, but I still received a lot of emails about it and my content, so switching wasn’t a hard decision really. I want the discussions to be on my blog and not on email.

  2. Silke says:

    Hi Jens, I read the original article a few weeks ago and I’m not surprised that you started accepting comments again. Like you said, running a blog is all about building relationships and you can’t do that without interaction/conversation.

    On my own blog and our customers sites we use a plug-in called wp-optimize that cleans up spam comments, among other things, and optimizes database tables.

    Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays and a successful New Year!

    • Hi Silke,

      It took me a few weeks to decide what to do, but I had to bring back the comments again.

      I am also using wp-optimize and it’s a great plugin.

      Happy Holidays and a successful New Year to you as well.

      -Jens

  3. Don Purdum says:

    Hi Jens,

    It’s awesome to see you opened the comments back up. I do understand your thought process completely as to why you closed the comments. It’s really interesting that you basically exchanged the workload from your blog to your email.

    That tells me your audience is really involved and really cares what you have to say. Kudos to you!!!! That is absolutely amazing!!!!!!

    Relationships are the key to success and I think it’s commendable that you are finding the best way to pursue those relationships as possible that will help your blog and business.

    I’m looking forward to engaging with you more and getting to know you through your blog!

    Have a great weekend.

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Hi Don,

      Yes, I didn’t expect that to happen at all. It took me a lot of time to answer the emails, but at the same time I had an awesome time doing it. I really enjoy having conversations with people, and that’s exactly what I want to keep doing.

      Now that the comments are back up, I hope to see you here all the time 🙂

      Thanks for your feedback Don, and I hope you’ve had an awesome weekend.

      -Jens

  4. Brenda Lee says:

    Yeah! I’m glad to see you brought the comments back. I do think comments are great for networking right on our blogs. Makes it that much easier. However, I also understand the backlink issue and spammers. I hope you can find a happy medium to your madness.

    Nothing against Andy Bailey and CommentLuv but do you think CL will solve your issues?

    Whatever you do is fine with me. You have to do what works best for YOU imo.

    • Hey Brenda,

      I hope I’m done with spending hours every week removing backlinks and spammers, that was the big issue for me. I just want to focus on writing and helping and improving.

      I have just removed CommentLuv, nothing against it really, it just didn’t help me the last time. The reason I installed it again was because I just wanted to activate my blog comments as soon as possible.

      -Jens

  5. Hi Jens,

    Thanks for letting us know that you’ve opened up comments again and reinstalled CommentLuv. It’s always a good idea to test things. Monitoring comments (especially with do-follow links) is so time intensive. Whenever I do it, my mind keeps racing back to things that I’d rather be doing. Cleaning up comments just doesn’t make me feel productive. However, we both know it’s the price we pay to keeping in good standing with Google.

    I’ve always believed that commenting is a critical part of engaging with other bloggers. It keeps the conversation open in a very public venue. I’m glad to hear that you’ve come back to allowing it on your blog. Good luck and let the relationship building continue. 🙂

    • Hi Sherryl,

      It has taken up so much of my time, so I just had to do something about it. On the other hand, like you pointed out, commenting is a critical part of engaging with other bloggers, so it was very hard to not have comments on my blog.

      I am always testing, and I’m always listening to other bloggers to find out what works for them. Hopefully I’ve found what I’ll be doing for the next months to keep spammers away.

      Thank you for your feedback. It’s much appreciated.

  6. Peter Kanayo says:

    Jens great to see you bring the comment back. As you said sometimes its so difficult managing streams of spam comments and it can be upsetting sometimes. Haven’t been on your blog in a long while. Got here through Danny Browns retweet of Tim’s tweet. If the English is even correct.
    Hope you are able to get more quality conversation and fewer broken links.

    Do have a nice day

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