Bright Tips for Beginning Bloggers [+ Beyond]: Why I Switched to Disqus

While I’m including this in my Beginning Bloggers series, I think this is a great read for any blogger who is looking to grow their audience and better connect with their readers.

What Is Disqus?

Disqus is basically a 3rd party widget that you can install on your blog to administer the commenting on your blog.  You can read more details about it here. I use the Blogger platform but it’s compatible with WordPress as well.

Why I Switched

Commenting is such an important tool in your blogger belt.  It’s a way to interact with your readers and get to know them better.  It’s also a great way to gain insight from and build connections with other bloggers.  The interaction of commenting really cements the blogging community together.  But when your readers don’t come back to read your follow-up comments, your missing out on that bond building.
For the first year of my blog, I always replied to comments via the actual comment function provided by blogger.  I’d click on the comments, and just go down the row, replying.  I liked this option better than just replying via emailing because people could see both sides of the conversation that was going on.  
Then, the more blogs I read, and the more I commented, I realized that my replies probably weren’t being read.  Why? Because to get a notification that there was a reply, you have to take the extra step to check the box, or click to subscribe and then confirm that follow via email. I would always forget to check the box, or not click through the confirmation email.  And I know if I wasn’t doing it, others probably weren’t doing it either.
As I mentioned above, I always wasn’t a big fan of responding via email because of the lack of actual discussion your reader could see.  So I started thinking about other options, and kept coming back to Disqus.  Several of my blogging friends had Disqus, so I already had an account where I was commenting on their blogs.  And I noticed more and more bloggers were adopting it.  After a couple of weeks of discussion, I decided to hop on the bandwagon and I’ve never looked back!

So How Do I Like It?

I absolutely love Disqus!  Replying is a breeze!  I get an email notification when a comment is left on a post.  There are 3 ways you can reply:
          1. I can click directly through that email to reply back to the comment on my page.
          2. I can just go to my blog and scroll down to comments to reply.  
          3. I can go to the Disqus website and check my inbox to reply.
Seriously, it’s that easy!  Then the original commenter gets a notification that I’ve responded.  
Also, I stay super busy–I work 40+ hour weeks and have a 2 year old and a husband–so sometimes it takes me a little while to reply back to my comments.  No problem, because regardless of how long it takes me to reply, they get the notification that I’ve done so and can hop back into the conversation.  So they don’t have to worry about coming back to my page to check for a follow-up comment because Disqus has their back.  
Since using Disqus, I’ve noticed a rise in the number of comments that I get on each post, and a rise in the dialogue going on in the comments.  I feel like I’m connecting with everyone on the next level now, whereas I felt like I was snail-mailing it before.

Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that I don’t have to keep re-entering my information to comment on different blogs (you know–name, email, and website). This actually facilitates commenting because it’s so easy.

HOW DO YOU GET DISQUS ON YOUR BLOG?

Just head over to disqus.com to get started!  You set up an account, and then follow the instructions to add it to your page.  I also migrated over all of my old comments (warning: once done, this cannot be undone).  I believe it says on their site that this can take up to 24 hours, but mine was done fairly quickly.  I do suggest, however, if you’re going to make the switch, do it more than 24 hours after your last post and more than 24 hours before your next post, just in case they’re issues. I also highly recommend fully researching the service before making the switch so that you are fully informed before doing so and to make sure that it is a change that you will be happy with.  THIS POST IS JUST INTENDED TO BE AN OVERVIEW.
Have you made the switch? If so, what’s been your experience?  If not, have you thought about it?  “Disqus” below:)

This is the 2nd post in my Bright Tips for Beginning Bloggers series.  You can find the 1st post about how to start a blog here
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