Increase User Engagement while getting free targeted backlinks
Its 8:00am and before the scent of coffee is in the air. Yesterday you published a post you put a ton of effort into and you excitedly check to see how many new comments you got overnight. 2. Thats right, two comments. Not only that, but they’re both spam. Sound familiar? In the following article I discuss how you can increase user engagement & blog comments with a slick plugin called LiveFyre.
As we all know, blogs are a great outlet to publish your ideas and thoughts to the world and receive feedback and discussion on the topic. People no longer have to rely on bias news stations in order to learn about the world. Instead, you get to choose who we get to follow for our news source with countless topics. You get to engage and provide our own opinions and talk to the writer. The two-way communication allows readers to explore the topic more and hear about exactly what they want to hear about. This article is about LiveFyre, and how it does a phenomenal job at maximizing your blog’s reader engagement.
First, lets examine two other powerful commenting systems which can add a lot of value to your blog. I’ve examined many commenting systems in the past and looked out for the one that’s most ideal for clients and myself.
Disqus was one of the neatest commenting plugins that came out, and it came out before the other big name commenting integrations. However, at the time when I discovered it, it was quite clunky and seemed very complex. As avant-garde as it was when it was released, it alienated readers and it was hard to simply send a comment in as a guest. Now it’s much more streamlined, easy to use, minimalistic, and provides stats. Another hot feature is it integrates with your social media profiles quite nicely. Another bonus is that you can customize how it looks. Have a look at the features. Unfortunately, the price is quite steep to fully take advantage of Disqus’ advanced features. $299/month. Ouch? Yes, Ouch.
Here’s what makes Disqus groovy:
- Realtime Commenting
- Social Media Login Integration
- Has a “Most Active Members” box
- In-depth analytics (for premium versions)
- Easy Media Embedding
- You can “Like” comments and have nested comments
- Restrict certain words and blacklist users
- Customizable theme
- Integrates with many platforms – WordPress, Drupal, Tumblr, Blogger, and even non-CMS sites
…and what’s ungroovy about Disqus:
- Advanced features requires a deep wallet – more targeted at companies than individuals
- Doesn’t have the advanced social media features that LiveFyre has
CommentLuv is a fabulous idea to encourage people to comment on your blog by rewarding them with DoFollow links. Commenters received a link back to their latest post too, which helps their traffic out. When I used CommentLuv, I found a lot of people only commented just to get a link out of it. However, the creator, Andy Bailey found a solution to that. With CommentLuv Premium, you receive control over who gets the dofollow links. You can setup rules to allow dofollow for users who do something such as tweet your post, share it on Facebook, or after adding X number of comments on your blog. This helps your Social Media immensely. The problem is that its target is only other bloggers. What about the general public and people that don’t have a blog? Rewarding your readers is a great thing indeed, but the motive of commenting on a blog to receive a link is something that won’t captivate people to comment because they’re genuinely engaged in your article. Maybe they are, but you will always get people that are doing it exclusively for their own promotion. On the flip side, the price is right for CommentLuv Premium. For $87 you get a multi-site license and get lifetime updates amongst other cool features.
What Makes CommentLuv Groovy:
- Great, unique ways to reward readers with Dofollow links
- Increase your Social Media “Likes”, “Shares”, etc by rewarding readers if they share your content
- Trackback Validation
- Free version available, and inexpensive, one-time payment for the Premium Version
- Allows users to leave their Twitter profile link
- Has a keyword field so users can leave their names as well as their keywords for their SEO strategy
What’s ungroovy about CommentLuv:
- Benefits readers that are also bloggers…but not anyone else
- Commentors should be able to share if they genuinely want to share, not have to compromise in order to win a dofollow link
- Very basic features compared to Disqus and Lifefyre
After trying the above plugins and continued to explore, I discovered LiveFyre. With Feedburner and now LiveFyre installed, my blog feels like an oven! Colleen Taylor (@loyalelectron) wrote about how LiveFyre landed another 4.5 million dollars to take on Facebook’s commenting integration. Wow, I didn’t know commenting platforms even cost anywhere near that for development. But now every time I hear “LiveFyre” I put on my goofy geeky smile (one that I haven’t put on since the days I played D&D nearly a decade ago). LiveFyre burns up Disqus by offering most of their features for free plus their newest feature – SocialStream.
Imagine gathering discussions about your blog post from Twitter and Facebook and publishing it back into your blog. LiveFyre’s SocialStream lets you do this. On top of that, you can tag your facebook friends and twitter followers in the comment field itself. And then notify them that they were tagged. Cool? It’s hella cool in my books!
Building a community has never been better with this plugin. It targets any average user (whether blogger or not), as well as Facebook and Twitter users. It’s just so easy to use and super versatile.
Why you should consider getting LiveFyre:
- Realtime Commenting
- Sign in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, and OpenID
- SocialStream allows you to tag people from Facebook and Twitter, and then notify them they were tagged
- SocialStream imports conversations about the post from Twitter & Facebook
- Clean Interface
- It’s free for now!
- Nested Comments + Like buttons
- Users get “points” to show how influential they are based on # of comments. Similar to Disqus’ “Ranks”
- Ability to ban users
- User-powered comment flagging
Drawbacks for LiveFyre?
- Doesn’t have media-embedding capabilities that Disqus does
I’m excited to see how these evolve in the future and where it will go next. Dino Dogan suggests the future of 3rd party commenting will be a mix of Disqus and LiveFyre, while having an option to sort comments based on activity. Chronological isn’t the most logical way for comments to appear anyway – influence is. So I tend to agree with him!
But for now, LiveFyre surely takes the cake for the best commenting system.