Blog Maintenance Checklist #2: Moderate Your Comments

blog commentComment moderation is not only an important part of maintain your blog, but a highly time sensitive one. If you want to maintain a strong relationship between you and your bloggers, you need to moderate your blog comments quickly. People should never feel like they’re being ignored, especially after spending a lot of time to write out a thoughtful comment.

Try to moderate your comments at least every 24 hours, if not every 3, 8 or 12 hours. Never, ever let real comments sit unmoderated for more than 48 hours, or you’re either going to lose that reader for good, or they’ll stop commenting and become a passive participant.

If you are using WordPress you have some different options when it comes to moderation.

  1. Turn off comment moderation completely. I don’t recommend doing this.  This leaves your comment area open to spam.  You don’t want your readers to see that.
  2. Commenter must be a user on the blog and logged in before leaving a comment.  I don’t recommend this either.  You don’t want to limit who can or can’t leave a comment.  Unless you have a good reason or are running a large community, using this option can alienate possible readers.
  3. Every comment must be approved.  The only downside to this option is that it can be very time consuming.  Often if people don’t see comments they won’t comment.  So if are not able to immediately approve comments, you may miss out on even more comments.
  4. Comment author must have a previously approved comment.  This is the best option in my opinion.  It allows you to conform that the commenter is not a spammer and also cuts down on moderation time since you will only have to approve their comments once.

However you decide to handle comments on your blog just make sure that the real comments get shown and the spam comments get trashed.