How To Deal With Spam Without Closing Comments On Your Blog Posts

SPAM! It’s something every blogger dislikes and something every blogger will have to deal with.

I’ve seen bloggers close comments off all their posts because of spam.

I’ve seen bloggers telling readers that they only accept email comments because of spam.

I’ve even witnessed bloggers telling readers only to leave comments on social media platforms because of spam.

In all these cases, spam triumphed.

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Don’t allow spam to stop your readers from leaving comments

When another blogger told me, ‘Closing comments off on your blog is like slamming the door in your readers’ faces,’ I had to rethink how to tackle handling spam.

What was I doing? I was closing comments off posts that attracted lots of spam but still attracted genuine comments.

It reminded me of another blogger who told her readers that she tackled spam by closing off comments on all her posts 14 days after publication because of spam. She told her readers that 14 days was enough time for them to read and comment on all her posts. I shook my head in disbelief.

Many bloggers close comments on blog posts that attract lots of spam. But there are ways of dealing with spam without closing comments off.

1. Reschedule the post

Rescheduling an existing blog post gives it a new lease of life, but it also provides the post with a new URL address, thus fooling the spammers.

How to reschedule a blog post on WordPress

  • Open the post you want to reschedule in ‘edit’ mode.
  • In the settings box of the post, click on the date and time link that the post was initially published.
Image highlighting when you reschedule a blog post on WordPress
Rescheduling a blog post
  • A calendar will open. Choose the new date and time you want the post to reschedule.
Image showing a rescheduling calendar on a blog post on WordPress
Choose a new date and time for rescheduling
  • Click the ‘Update’ button.
Image highlighting the Update button when rescheduling a blog post on WordPress
The Update Button
  • Your post will now republish on the date and time you chose.

Here are a few essential things to think about when rescheduling blog posts.

  • Your post will show up on the WordPress Reader list of your followers when it republishes.
  • WordPress does not send out a new email notification when a rescheduled post is published.
  • You won’t lose all the existing comments and ‘likes’ on a post that has been rescheduled.
  • Any links, pingbacks and trackbacks to the original post will become invalid, as will any previous shares of the post on social media. I recommend, therefore, that you only reschedule posts that are at least a year old.

Tip: Rescheduling a post is also an excellent chance to update it and fix any broken pingbacks before rescheduling it.

2. Rewrite the post and republish it as a new post.

If the post is over a year old and requires lots of updating, consider rewriting and publishing it as a new post.

You can do the same with posts that you have published on other blogging platforms but which you now want to publish on WordPress.

Here are a few essential things to consider.

  • All existing likes and comments will be lost.
  • All reblog links, pingbacks and links to the post will become invalid.
  • All links and shares on social media will become invalid.
  • Some readers may dislike reading duplicated content they have read on your blog before, so do consider how long ago the post was initially published.
  • Consider informing readers that it is a rewritten version of a previous post at the beginning of your post.
  • Remember to delete the post attracting too much spam once you’ve published the new post.
  • Give the new post a slightly different title. SEOs rank posts and blogs lower that contain too many duplicated blog post titles.

3. Delete the post

Every blogger should be excellent at keeping their blog up to date. Blog housekeeping is as important as writing and publishing new blog posts.

If you have blog posts attracting lots of spam, consider deleting them if the content is outdated and no longer worth keeping. That will put pay to the spambots attacking the post and causing you stress.

However, do remember that deleting a post will also mean that any likes, comments and shares will also be lost.

Final thoughts on spam

Don’t slam the door in the faces of visitors to your blog by allowing spam to stop them from leaving comments and joining discussions and conversations on any of your blog posts.

Remember that search engines will send visitors to your blog posts for as long as the post is live. If they find they can’t leave comments and join a discussion, they may not return.

Don’t ask visitors to leave comments they couldn’t leave on your other blog posts where comments remain open. That will only confuse visitors reading the comments sections.

Get into the habit of checking your WordPress spam folder every time you log into your blog.

Delete the spam, and mark any genuine comments as ‘Not Spam.’ You can do this by changing the view setting of the comments page of your blog’s dashboard to ‘Classic view.’ My blog post, ‘New: WordPress Screen Options Button – Where, Why And How To Use It,‘ gives more details.

Spam can also be ‘bulk’ deleted when in the ‘Default view’ setting.

Spam comments rarely have an image or photo in the gravatar area of the comment (see image below).

Images highlighting spam messages that contain no Gravatar images
Spam messages often contain no Gravatar image.

Bulk delete comments that do not contain an image or photo on the gravatar.

If you’re not sure a comment is spam, look at the web address of where the comment has come from. If it doesn’t look right, it’s spam.

Image highlighting the web address of a spam comment
If the website address of a comment doesn’t look right, it’s spam!

Don’t allow spam to win!

How do you deal with too many spam comments on your blog?

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Being A Member Of A Blogging Community?

What are blogging communities?

Are you a member of any blogging communities?

Are there any advantages and disadvantages of belonging to blogging communities?

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Do you belong to a blogging community?

When I started blogging, I had no idea that blogging communities existed, but it wasn’t long before I found myself a part of them.

What are blogging communities?

There are many different types of blogging communities. This post features my experiences with what has become known as ‘Facebook blogging communities’ – a name I recently discovered. You don’t need to have a Facebook account to belong to one of these communities.

How it all started

Within a few weeks of becoming a blogger, I was lucky enough to attend an online blogging course that WordPress ran. It was an online, live event rather than something you could do at your own pace.

Along with over 50 other new bloggers, I soon became a part of a blogging community that gradually built up. We helped each other out by reading, liking and commenting on each other’s blog posts.

Not everyone on the course became a member of the community. By the time the course finished, around 15 of us had kept in touch by reading, liking and commenting on each other’s posts.

It didn’t matter what we published or what comments we left for each other; the main thing was that all our posts got read.

During the first year, three things happened.

  • I built my own blogging community.
  • I became a member of other blogging communities.
  • Some people gradually dropped out of the first blogging community for various reasons.

What are the advantages of blogging communities?

The most significant advantage of being a blogging community member is that all my blog posts were getting read and commented on.

Apart from whoever first visited a newly published post, visitors saw my posts had ‘likes’ and comments.

I had an audience. I was not writing (speaking) to an empty auditorium.

I always found it sad reading excellent blog posts with no ‘likes’ or comments. But then I asked myself if the bloggers publishing the posts belonged to any blogging communities. Probably not!

However, regardless of what I was writing and publishing, my posts were all read and commented on. I was delighted!

Friendships formed with many of the members of my blogging community, and as more and more people joined, those friendships spread.

The same thing happened in other blogging communities. When we struggled, we all helped and supported each other. When things were going well, we all celebrated with each other. These communities were like brand new worlds outside of my everyday life.

My blogging community encouraged me to put my short stories and pieces of flash fiction into a book. If not for their support and encouragement, I’d never have self-published my books.

A few years later, I became one of the founding members of ‘The Bloggers Bash’ – an event where bloggers met up in person. Five events took place in London between 2015 and 2019, all a big success.

Photo of the bloggers who attended the Bloggers Bash 2015
The Bloggers Bash – 2015

I can’t express enough how delighted I am to have met many blogging friends at these events. I’d never have met these bloggers if it had not been for blogging communities.

Sadly, I’ve lost touch with some of the bloggers who attended those events. Some stopped blogging, while others moved away from WordPress into areas of blogging that were much more exciting. Some stopped responding to comments on their blogs, while others left blogging communities I belonged to.

Blogging communities are a big triumph.

They are places where you can talk, and people will listen (if that is what you want). They offer help, support, guidance, free advice and friendship.

I witnessed many blogging community members meeting up all over the world. These were all people who would otherwise never have formed friendships and met up had it not been for them to start a blog, many on WordPress.

When the pandemic struck in 2020, blogging communities were even more critical, especially for bloggers who lived alone.

Of course, not every blogger wants to be a part of blogging communities. It’s their choice, and I fully understand why they may not want to participate.

Are there any disadvantages to blogging communities?

Yes. But only if you create problems.

During the first years of blogging, reading, liking and commenting on each other’s blog posts helps propel you on your blogging journey.

However, as you become a member of more and more communities (and your community grows), you’ll find you have less time to read and leave comments.

As blogging communities become more extensive, they can eat away at the time you have put aside for everything else outside of blogging unless you stick to a strict rule of how much time you spend reading and commenting. Adhering to any limitations can also create problems.

I’ve seen many bloggers forced to change the comments they leave because of a lack of time to read posts. Instead of leaving genuine comments that offer feedback and discussion and prove they have read the post, lazy ‘Facebook’ type comments appear.

What do I mean by lazy, Facebook type comments?

Short one-line comments. Comments like ‘Great post’ or ‘Great story.’ Comments that never explain why it’s a great post or a great story. In other words, comments that lack any feedback. Comments containing nothing but emojis (something I am especially not a fan of) can also pop up.

I noticed (and this is where the Facebook blogging community name comes from) that the comments I was leaving became much shorter as I joined more blogging communities. My time to read and comment became even more minimal with the increasing size of some blogging communities.

My comments were of no value to the blogger I was leaving them for other than to say that I had visited their newly published post (although not necessary read all or some of it).

Rather than read all of the posts, I skimmed over them because I didn’t have enough time to read and comment on everyone’s posts.

I found myself leaving the types of comments seen on Facebook. Many bloggers refer to them as guilt-tripping comments because you feel guilty for not proving that you have visited the blog post if you don’t leave a comment (regardless of whether you’ve read the post or what the comment says).

Along with other bloggers, I began to find blogging become stressful. It made me feel guilty, and blogging burnout hit me because I could not keep up with reading and commenting on other community members’ blog posts. I was overwhelmed and wrote and published the following post.


Back to blogging communities.

It was not long before I realised that belonging to large blogging communities stopped other members and me from expanding our horizons by discovering new blogs and bloggers. We didn’t have the time to search. It usually happens when blogging communities reach a certain number of members.

I began to see community members’ blog posts lacking comments from new bloggers/followers. Instead, the comment sections of their blog posts were full of the same short comments from the same bloggers.

But it wasn’t always short comments. Sometimes, the comments section was full of longer comments, but always from the same bloggers. Rarely did comments from new readers appear.

You may think there is nothing wrong with that, but one blogger recently told me that close-knit blogging communities often look like uninviting scary places, so they never left comments. ‘It was like being a new kid on the block, where outsiders would not be welcomed’ — my heart sunk when I heard that.

Image showing tightly packed books on a book-shelve
Blogging communities with too many members can look over-crowded, scary and uninviting places to other bloggers.

Duplicated blog posts filled my WordPress Reader and email box because some community members keep reblogging each other’s blog posts.

Some of the blogs of close-knit communities had conversations in the comments section that had nothing to do with the blog post’s subject (usually something much better discussed offline or on Facebook).

When I realised that I was suffering from blogging burnout, I had to change how I was blogging. The most significant action I took was to step back from many blogging communities.

Instead of skim-reading and leaving lazy comments on every blog post of other community members, I selected which of the posts I was going to read and comment on.

If the blog post’s title was of no interest or did not entice me to click the ‘read more’ link, I did not read it.

If a community member published more than one post daily, I selected one or two of their posts weekly, although the titles had to be enticing enough to make me want to read them.

I stopped leaving comments on all posts I read. If I did not have anything of value to add, I clicked the ‘like’ button and moved on to the next post (although if I had enjoyed reading the post, I shared it on social media).

I stopped feeling guilty for not reading all the blog posts community members published.

I cut back on some blogging communities by leaving them – something I have never regretted.

Balancing writing with reading and commenting on blog posts should never be a problem.

Some blogging community members may feel frustrated or upset that you are not reading and leaving comments on all their blog posts (especially if they read and leave comments on all your blog posts). Never allow it to become your problem or make you feel obliged to read and comment on their posts. That’s not what blogging is about.

If any blogger realises you are not reading and commenting on all their posts and sees it as a problem (as a handful of community members have told me in the past), ask yourself if you should be following their blog.

Final thoughts on blogging communities.

Being a member of blogging communities offers many incentives. Many bloggers are happy to have the same readers leave the same comments week after week. Some won’t care about gaining new followers or promoting their writing elsewhere, especially if what they are doing gives them a lot of fun and enjoyment.

Some bloggers don’t care about feedback. They see their blog as a place where people can pop in and say the occasional ‘Hello.’

Some bloggers are happy with their close-knit blogging community and won’t care if nobody else joins in.

Yet, seeing the same short comments on all blog posts of a particular blog day after day doesn’t inspire me to want to leave comments, especially if it’s a close-knit blogging community.

Should you join blogging communities?

Yes! I recommend that every blogger be a member of at least a couple of blogging communities. However, everyone should beware of the pitfalls blogging communities can bring (if you allow those traps to open).

Stick to no more than a handful of blogging communities, otherwise, you’ll find you will need to spread your time thinly between them all.

Do you belong to any blogging communities? What are your experiences with blogging communities? What advantages and disadvantages have blogging communities bought you? Join the discussion by leaving your comments.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Are You One Of The Victims Of This Time-Wasting Blogging Trap?

Over the last eight years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve learned a lot about the blogging world, which I like to share and discuss. 

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Are you wasting time when blogging?

My recent post, ‘Blogging – Is It Everything You Want It To Be?‘ got lots of you talking. And I’m hoping this post will get you all talking again.

What Do You Not Like Talking About On Your Blog?

Many bloggers don’t particularly like talking about certain subjects, such as why they unfollow blogs or feel guilty about unfollowing a blog they’ve been following for years. 

Another subject that has occasionally come up in the comments sections of some of my posts is feeling obligated or obliged to continue following blogs. You usually have no interest in these blogs, but you return the favour because they read and comment on your posts.

There are many other subjects, but I’ll keep those for another day.

From the beginning 

When we first start blogging, most of us will follow many blogs simply because they followed us first. As time goes on, the number of blogs we follow grows, and before long, we find ourselves with a massive list of blog posts to read. 

When I first started blogging, following all the blogs that followed me was something I did. If another blogger left a comment on any of my posts, I’d heard it was common courtesy to read and comment on one of their posts. It was a big mistake!

As time went on, I soon felt guilty if I didn’t read and comment on all the blog posts of all the blogs that followed me. 

Although I was publishing much less, some of the blogs I followed published up to five posts a day. It wasn’t long before the reasons why I started to blog soon began to disappear.

The time-wasting blogging trap 

Some days I found myself reading and commenting all day long, with little time left to write any blog posts. Blogging soon lost its sparkle, became a chore, and made me feel guilty and stressed.

I soon realised that I was reading and commenting on blog posts I didn’t particularly find interesting. Why was I doing this? Was it because those bloggers always read and commented on my blog posts? 

The honest answer to the last question is ‘Yes.’ Because they were reading and leaving comments on my blog posts, I felt obligated and obliged to read and comment on their blog posts even if I didn’t find their posts interesting.

Do you feel guilty if you unfollow a blog? 

I then started worrying that the owners of blogs I unfollowed would get upset with me for unfollowing their blogs. But I needn’t have worried about that. I found out that WordPress does not give bloggers a list of those who have unfollowed their blogs. 

The only way somebody may know I have unfollowed their blog would be the sudden lack of hard to write comments I was leaving. 

I then realised how much time I’d be saving myself by unfollowing all the blogs I often felt obligated to read and comment on because they had followed my blog first or were reading and commenting on my posts. 

It wasn’t long before I cut the number of blogs I was following from just over 500 to 130! However, some of the decreases were down to unfollowing blogs that had remained dormant for over six months. There were lots of those too. And I also unfollowed some blogs for different reasons.

Are you one of these bloggers?  

I occasionally hear from bloggers who tell me they feel obligated to continue reading and commenting on blogs they don’t find interesting simply because those bloggers read and leave comments on their posts.

I’d feel so guilty unfollowing them,’ are the words I hear often.

It’s a situation that shouldn’t happen to anyone in the blogging world.

When I cut down on the number of blogs I followed, it wasn’t long before some of those I had unfollowed stopped leaving comments on my posts. They must have been in the same position as I had been, or had it simply been a tit-for-tat situation? In any case, I wasn’t going to allow it to make me feel guilty.

What did matter to me was that I had finally admitted how silly I had been by continuing to waste my time reading and commenting on blogs I had no interest in reading. 

What also mattered was that I had freed up much more time to write, read, and comment on the blogs that publish content I am interested in reading. 

Goodbye guilt and stress – Hello Fun and enjoyment

The overwhelming guilt and stress feelings I’d been experiencing soon disappeared, and the fun and enjoyment I got from blogging were back.

Don’t fall into the trap of following, reading and commenting on blogs that publish content you’re not interested in reading. And never feel obliged to read and comment on someone’s post because they’ve just left a comment on one of your posts. Only leave a comment if you’ve genuinely enjoyed reading a post. 

You’ll be surprised by just how many bloggers can spot ungenuine comments.

And finally

There are no rules in the blogging world that you have to read and leave a comment on every blog post a blogger you’re following publishes. Never feel guilty for missing their posts or not leaving a comment on every post they publish. Nobody cares if you miss some of their posts. If they do, then perhaps it’s time to ask yourself why you’re following them.

Do you feel under pressure to read and comment on blogs that you are not interested in reading or on the blogs of bloggers that read and leave comments on all your posts? Do you feel guilty if you don’t read and comment on all the blog posts of certain bloggers? If so, why? 

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