Picture this. You visit an awesome website. The owner published a great new blog post. You have something to add so you take your time to craft an insightful comment. You hit “submit.” Then that’s it. You go about your busy week. Maybe something triggers your memory and you wonder if the author commented back. Hmm…which site was that again? You follow so many and leave comments to be involved in the discussion. You realize that there was no option when commenting to subscribe to the comments.
You have no way of knowing if the author–or anyone else–had anything to say to your comment. Sure, if it crosses your mind you can go on their website and scroll down the list of comments to see if the author responded to you. But who has the time to do that? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just check a little box? Then you’d just receive an e-mail letting you know if the author or another reader responded to your comment.
As a general rule, if we’re blogging we’re looking to build a community. We may have different reasons for it but it starts with building the readership. We may want to share our awesome knowledge with the world in order to help others. We may feel a need to connect people across the globe with our thoughts and ideas. Some of us may simply just want to make some money.
I blog because I like to help others and share what I know. I like the idea of having a community to share and support one another. I’ve found the virtual assistant community to be very open and giving. Of course, if some of those readers turn into clients then that’s not a bad thing either. The problem is that I’ve been visiting entirely too many blogs lately that don’t give the option to subscribe to the comments. These are blogs that I really enjoy reading, too.
As a blog owner, you not only want to respond to your reader’s comments but you want to make sure that your reader knows that you responded. This will bring them back. It will make them feel acknowledged. It will get them to check out other responses. They will become more involved and join your community. To see a great example of community just check out my friend Bill Dorman’s blog. Isn’t that what you want?
There are a couple of easy ways to fix this problem. It’s as simple as installing a plugin and you don’t have to be a techie to figure it out. There are two that I really like and recommend if you don’t have any experience with comment subscription.
- Subscribe to Comments: This plugin creates a simple check box under the comment. When they check the box they get an e-mail if anyone responds to that comment. It’s pretty simple. There are probably newer versions out by now for this plugin so you may want to do a little research for the latest update.
- CommentLuv: Unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you’ve heard of this plugin. Besides the ability to be notified when someone responds to your comment you can insert a link to your latest post–or any post you choose depending on the version of the plugin. This plugin seems to be updated all the time with tons of new features added. Again, I would recommend you do some research as there are free and paid versions available.
So, that’s about it. What are your thoughts on having a “subscribe to comments” option on your blog? Do you have plugins to add to these? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section–and don’t forget to check the box that you’d like to be notified of a response;)
3 thoughts on “Allowing Readers to Subscribe to Comments Will Increase Your Community”
Whew, I thought you were going to say my site was one of the offenders……..:). I think you can subscribe to comments at my site.
All the blogs I follow I have in my reader; I don’t subscribe because it was jamming up my e-mail. I yellow star the post and then come back. Of course, that backs up too because not every one responds promptly, and sometimes not at all. After about 3 days I will clear it out.
Thanks for the mention, nice post too; hope you have been well.
Sometimes when I come across a blog post where I’d like to respond to the article and the owner doesn’t have a way to subscribe to comments, I’ll ask them if they’ve considered adding that feature. Surprisingly, most of them immediately add it and say “thanks!” In some cases, this seems more of an oversight than anything else.
I’m using Subscribe to Comments Reloaded as it has some features the original STC doesn’t have. Like you say, having a way to foster engagement (if that’s what you’re after) is a must-have.
You bring up a great point! Maybe we just need to say something. They might not be aware of what’s out there or may not have even thought about this subject at all. I believe that I updated to Subscribe to Comments Reloaded upon your suggestion:) Thanks for stopping by!