4 Plugins That Will Make the Most of Your Blog Comments

4 Plugins That Will Make the Most of Your Blog Comments

Blog comments. We all love them. They are one of blogging’s defining features. It could be argued that the concept of blog commenting kick-started the web 2.0 revolution.

The benefits of blog comments are numerous. Not only do we get real time feedback on our content, we can also get a good idea of what our visitors want, simply by paying attention to what they say.

But you can get so much more out of blog comments. If someone has taken the time to comment on a post of yours, you should take that as ample evidence that they will be far more interested than the average visitor in seeing more of your blog. If you are keen on optimizing your WordPress blog, you should make the most of the opportunities that each blog comment offers. And as I often like to say, there is a plugin for that. Actually, four in this case!

1. Comments Plus

Comments PlusI couldn’t ignore WMPU Dev’s very own Comments Plus. In my opinion, it really is the best way of ensuring that your blog comments receive maximum exposure.

The plugin gives your visitors the option to comment using any of the following services:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • WordPress
If a comment is made via Facebook or Twitter, it is also posted to the commenter’s respective account on their chosen social media outlet. Free exposure for your blog, all from a humble comment!

2. Newsletter Sign-up

Newsletter
If only your newsletter was this awesome.

Simple yet effective, this plugin gives your visitors the opportunity to sign up to your email list when they leave a comment.

I’m not going to delve into the intricacies of marketing psychology here, but to make the most of this plugin, you must consider what your commenter wants, and word the sign-up blurb accordingly. The effectiveness of this plugin is dictated solely by the words you use to entice the commenter into checking the box.

Having said that, a commenter will be far more likely to sign up to your email list than the average Joe, so install this plugin and take advantage of that.

If you are an AWeber user, you may prefer to install their bespoke webform plugin, which includes much of the functionality of Newsletter Sign-up.

3. Redirect After Comment

RedirectThis one is a doozy (that’s right – I love turn of the Century slang). When someone has just commented on a blog post, they are in a highly-engaged state. So what better time is there to immediately redirect them to a conversion page? It could be anything – a newsletter sign up form, a link to your Facebook page, or a product. The key is to give them their next step, so they don’t go wandering off your site.

And that is where Redirect After Comment comes in. The plugin is extremely simple to implement – just type your desired URL in the settings screen, enable the plugin, and you’re off and running.

4. Comment Reply Notification

Comment Reply
Hopefully both your comments and replies will be slightly more engaging than this...

Last but by no means least, we have a means by which you can provoke complete interaction with your blog’s commenters.

Blog comments, in the web 2.0 mould, allow for commenters to interact with the blog post’s author and with each other. The problem is, a lot of people will post a comment and never come back to your blog. If you respond to their comment in an insightful and engaging way, they may never read it. And that can potentially be the difference between a new adoring fan, and someone who never revisits your blog.

The best way to interact with your blog commenters is to let them know that you have responded to their comment. And that is what Comment Reply Notification can do for you. It is very simple – if you respond to a comment, the original author will be emailed and notified of it.

What Do YOU Do To Make The Most Of Your Blog’s Comments?

I have listed above the four plugins that I think are great for increasing engagement on your blog via the comments. However, I do not consider this to be a complete list. What do you do?

Creative Commons images courtesy of Rob Boudon, Steve Snodgrass and dkalo