If you’re a blogger, you want engagement from readers. If you’re your visitors are not engaging with your content, then you’re not getting all you can out of your blog. And if you have a more engaged audience, then it’s easier to monetize and you’ll receive the satisfaction of knowing your blog matters to more than just you.
Good blog posts usually lead to good discussion, which is why you need a way for readers to leave comments. You have two choices when it comes to commenting platforms — default comment mechanisms or third party commenting platforms.
Default or in-built comment systems have a few advantages compared to third party ones. First off, they blend well with the theme of your blog, and we know viewers return to blogs that look nice. Only needing an email address to leave a comment is another advantage. A big one might be that since it’s hosted by your website, it’s not dependent on another server like third party platforms are which can be slow.
However, many big name companies and bloggers use third party platforms. Below are four of the more popular ones used.
Disqus likes to think of itself as the web’s community that brings people worldwide together. It allows users to easily post a comment with an email, login name from a social networking site or anonymously. It’s also integrated with YouTube and Flickr, making it easy to attach or upload videos and photos. Comments are shown in real time, and you receive email notifications from follow-up comments and can reply to those if you choose by just replying to that email, all of which help with engaging readers. Disqus is also made to work with mobile devices so your readers can comment from anywhere.
If that isn’t enough to get you on board, just know that CNN, Fox News and Time Magazine are a few of the bigger-name companies that use Disqus.
Livefyre wants to build “engaging real-time conversations” for you. Besides its appealing interface, this third party platform provides many ways to create engagement. Livefyre is integrated so well with social networks that you can tag friends from Facebook or Twitter that will essentially bring more people into a conversation. It allows users to rate comments and create their own Livefyre profile. As the owner of your blog, you might also like that their comments are SEO-friendly, which helps increase your page rank and make it more easily available to new viewers.
And not to name drop, but The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, GQ and Marvel are just some of their 550 enterprise customers.
IntenseDebate claims it will take your comments to the next level, so if that’s what you want, maybe you should check this one out. This platform lets users have their own profiles and still integrate with social networking sites, or they can just comment as a guest. You are able to use blacklists or whitelists, moderate comments and assign other admins to a specific task. It allows for email notifications, replying by email and nested comments. IntenseDebate is also supported on WordPress, Blogger, tumblr., as well as some other services.
Facebook Comments Box Plugin
Let’s be honest, nearly everyone you know is on Facebook. According to the site, they had an average of 727 million daily active users during September 2013. This third party platform lets you share comments on Facebook (obviously), but Facebook is a worldwide social network that can drive engagement to your blog. It also sorts through your comments based on their relevance and those that receive preference from your friends or friends of friends are put at the top. This plugin also hides comments marked as spam and allows for grammar filters.
While the Facebook Comments Box plugin isn’t as fancy or have all the features of the above mentioned platforms, you can see that millions of people are on Facebook so they’ll know how to use this one.
So depending on the type of blog you have and your personal preference, one of these blog commenting platforms is a surefire way to create engagement on your blog.