Previously in Content strategy and the art of syndication, part 1 we discussed the different kinds of content, creation of relevant content and tailoring your tone to suit your audience and reflect your businesses core identity. Content creation is also a great place to get creative and find new ways to promote your brand. Next on our list – blog comments.

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Adding a comments section

No matter what, the mere mention of a comments section is fraught with controversy. There is no straight answer as the whether or not you should enable the comments section of your blog. At least we can give you a few important facts to consider before you leap into the underbelly of the blog world.
Firstly, allowing people to comment on your blog is a great way to see how your content is being received and to give users the opportunity give feedback. It can often be very useful, not only to other users but also to the blogger who will be able to takes cues from the blog for improvements and new articles.
Comments are a great way to perpetuate discussion and slowly build a rapport with your visitors, thereby investing in potential clients. The discussions and arguments (when they are constructive) make for especially engaging content which slowly builds an online community.

Of course the biggest issue with comments is the trolling and the bullies.

I just cringe when I think of the awful things people say to each other in the comments section of a blog. Sadly until we live in a utopian wonderland you will have to moderate the comments of your blog, especially because once the trolls have gained entry so does the spam. It’s easier said than done though, like trying to get sleep when you have a new-born, the comments will stop for no one, if you have other things demanding your attention, good luck. The opposite can be equally deadly to your site, no comments may make your blog appear irrelevant and unread.
One more downside to moderation, other than time spent, is that any filtering delays will undoubtedly interrupt possible meaningful conversation. There’s also the impending possibility that a dodgy or even spammy post might weasel its way through undetected, in such situations the credibility of your blog is inevitably downgraded.
A great way to curb the horror of spam and trolls is via the ever disliked captcha. Additional options include compulsory sign-ins or sharing via social media. The social media share is a great way to prevent trolls from hiding behind the veil of anonymity provided by unprotected comments sections.
Ultimately if you have the time and the extra energy to add and moderate the comments section on your blog, it will bear some great fruit in the form of user created content.

This is the kind of content that becomes a testimonial to the success of your website. That said, all that work will go to waste if you haven’t already assessed your reasons for enabling users to comment. If your aim is simply to create content, it may be unnecessary. If you aim to create a community – go ahead.
Content has actually turned out to be a vast topic, so we decided not to skimp on the info.

In part 3 we will talk about:

Using templates
Testing your content
Optimising your content