Posted on August 23, 2015
Have you ever had the experience of commenting on an interesting post, leaving and then wondering if the blog author or other visitors will agree, disagree or add to what you said?
The only way you may have been able to find out is to remember the url for that particular post and to periodically return to it to see if or what anyone else added to the conversation.
That works if you only visit a few blogs now and then. But once you start visiting a lot of them and leaving lots of comments (which you will want to do to help get more readers) it becomes unmanageable and impractical.
Blogging is very much an interactive and social phenomenon. Communities can form around a blog based on the discussions that take place in the comments section. For this reason you want to make it as easy as possible for your blog visitors to leave comments and to participate in the discussion.
There are a number of plugins that make this easier. Today I want to talk about one of those: Subscribe
Why use the Subscribe to Comments plugin?
With this plugin people can get emails sent to them with any additional comments that were left at the post they left a comment at. They can stay updated on the conversation making it more likely that they will return to your blog and participate even more!
How it works
Its quite simple – there’s a check box that appears right after the comments text box that visitors just check before they leave their comment if they are interested in getting the additional comments sent to them.
This plugin is especially easy to install – there is just one file you need to upload into the ‘plugins’ directory.
Customizing and Features
In your dashboard under ‘settings’ – ‘Subscribe to Comments’ there are several options you can set:
- The from name that shows up in the emails sent
- The email address used to send them
- The text you want to show up for 1) visitors who are not subscribed; 2) Those who are and 3) for you, the author of the post
It also allows you to use a custom style for the Subscription Manager if you want to do so. Other feature include letting subscribers change their email address and subscribing without leaving a comment.
A cool thing I just discovered about it is if you are the author of a post you can click on the ‘Manage Subscriptions’ link under the comment form and it will a list of all the people who have subscribed to comments on your blog, how many comments they have subscribed to and the top subscribed to posts!
I was excited to see how many people had subscribed to something but a little disappointed that some posts hadn’t gotten more people subscribed. Personally, I subscribe to most posts I comment at unless I either just forget or expect it will be one of those posts with dozens more people leaving comments.
A link is also included that lists all subscribers email addresses in a text box that you could use to send them all a bulk email. Pretty cool, but I can’t see myself using that feature and I can imagine how it could be abused.