Take a look at the comments on any post in your blog: do they look plain and boring? Is there anything about them that actually furthers the mission of your blog? Probably not! Let’s fix that, shall we? In this post I’m going to share with you five juicy tips for spicing up your Headway-powered blog’s comment section. Implementing these could make your blog comments a more lively place to be and increase comments on your posts.
Change the Default Comment Text
In Headway you have total control over the text people click on to jump down to the comments. At the top of each post, by default it simply says X Comments, where “x” is the number of comments.
By editing the post meta information you can change this. Here’s how:
Step 1: In the Headway Visual Editor, click on the Content blog options button found at the top-right of the block. See picture below:
Step 2: When you click this the bottom panel will update to show what you can work with. Click on Meta. You will see an item that says “Comment Format—0 Comments” and the text in the field is “%num% Comment.” The %num% is a variable that will be replaced by the number of comments on the post. The word “Comments” is just text—text you can change. For example, you could have it say “%num% Awesome Comments” or “%num% Comments so far. Have your say!”
Step 3: You also have to change the text for when there is only one comment (because, depending, it will either say “Comment” or “Comments”). Change it in the same way you changed the one for multiple comments if you like, or say something different. It’s up to you.
Format & Style Your Comments Section
The easiest way to get to where you can format comments is to navigate to a post with comments on it in your blog and then activate the Visual Editor. Make sure you’re in Design Mode.
In the bottom panel, go to Blocks > Content and then in the third column you will see a number of comment-related elements you can style:
- Comments Area
- Comments Area Headings
- Comment Author
- Comment Meta
- Comment Body
- Comment Reply Link
- Comment Form Input Label
Use the CommentLuv Plugin
The CommentLuv plugin will automatically check the commenter’s site URL and load up a link to their latest post. Anyone who also has a free CommentLuv account will have the option to choose from out of ten of their recent blog posts. Using this plugin gives readers more of an incentive to comment, since many blog commenters are also bloggers themselves. I find the people who leave the best comments also have the best links from CommentLuv: I’ve never had to worry about people abusing this self-promotional aspect of using CommentLuv, but your mileage of course may vary.
Allow Commenters to Sign Up for Your Email List as They Leave a Comment
Use the Newsletter Sign-Up WordPress Plugin to make it easier for commenters to add themselves to your mailing list. This turns your comments into a powerful tool for increasing newsletter sign-ups without being obnoxious or intrusive.
Use a Third Party Commenting System
You could just scrap altogether using WordPress’s default comments and replace them with a third party commenting service such as Disqus, IntenseDebate, or Livefyre. They all have their slight differences but for the most part here’s how they work and what they can do for your comment section:
- Replaces your comments with a much nicer-looking commenting system that still allows the comments to live on your blog (so if you drop or switch to a different service later you still have all your comments).
- Allows commenters to cross-post their comments to their favorite social networks, giving your blog post increased exposure and definitely getting more action for your comments!
- Increases comment interactions by making it easier to respond to comments via email instead of visiting the site or your WordPress dashboard.
It’s Up to You
There you have it: five ways to spice up your comments section in Headway 3. Don’t let yourself be stuck with bland and dead comments on your blog. Spice things up!
Have any ideas of your own? Have anything to say about these methods? Leave a comment below and let’s talk!