A blog is a place where you express your thoughts, opinions or provide tips, suggestions or editorials much like this article. Allowing readers (a.k.a your community) an opportunity to respond is vital since their voice should matter to you as the writer.
Although it is necessary for you to enable the ability for your blog community to have the option to participate in responding to your articles or not, the debatable question is often should you moderate comments on your blog?
My offered opinion on this topic in short is always, yes. However in long form here is why:
Your blog is still yours, and although you incorporate and value your community you still need to maintain the blog as you would a haircut.
In other words, not attending to your comments is much like not mowing your lawn; it looks messy and uncared for, leaving a perception you do not want or need since blogging takes effort.
With that said, you must try to not personalize the opinions within the comments as they will and often differ from the author’s viewpoint. You need to literally moderate like a moderator and allow comments that express different points of view through.
This can be a difficult task but in order to truly embrace your blogging community you need to separate your thoughts and opinions and instead, find a way to disconnect your personal feelings in order to connect with your community’s feelings.
This does not mean you need to approve every comment, instead weed out the trolling, promoting or non-related comments and the occasional spam comment that will by-pass your blogs spam filter. Focus solely on the comments that pertain to the article at hand and allow the voice of your audience be heard.
Equally as important is responding; the comments are sometimes questions, other times simply statements, either way each type of comment can provide you an opportunity to respond. You do not have to feel the need to reply to every comment since it is not always necessary but there is many times in which you should.
A blog must always have the intention to be more than a one-way conversation and the need to respect those who do comment is essential, for if no one reads your blog does it truly exist?
Sure, however it is not performing at an authoritative level, so take the time to moderate and respond accordingly to those who take the time to respond to your articles, enhance your blogging abilities by emphasizing the importance of the voices within your community.