AskPat 438 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 438 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. We have a great question today from Todd, and probably the cutest question I have ever been asked, and you'll get an idea of what that means in a second.
But, before I get to Todd's question, I do wanna thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, which is an amazing piece of software that allows us to easily keep track of our business finances. They help serve over 3 million small businesses, including my own. It just makes it very easy for us to manage our incomes, our expenses, and our invoicing. So, check it out. You can actually check it out for 30 days for free by going to GetFreshBooks.com and by entering “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter “AskPat.”
Here's today's question from Todd, and others.
Joshua: Hello, I'm Joshua from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jenna: Hi, I'm Jenna from Cincinnati, Ohio. We listen to AskPat on the way to school, and my daddy has a question. Take it away, daddy.
Todd: Hi, Pat. I just have a question about comment sections. It looks like you use Disqus, and I was wondering what your thoughts are about using Disqus versus other types of comment platforms. Thanks so much for what you do for all of us. Have a great day. Bye-bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey there, Jenna. Joshua as well. Thank you so much for introducing your dad and his question. I think that's really awesome. Thank you so much for listening to the show. Both of you, let me know, just send an email to [email protected] We're gonna hook you and your dad up with an AskPat t-shirt for having all three of you featured in this episode. Thank you for that. We'll get those to you as soon as you email us. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
All right, Todd. Your kids are awesome, but here we go. Your question. Using Disqus. Disqus, for those of you who are listening to this, is a WordPress, or actually any sort of website commenting platform solution, which allows people to be able to leave comments, reply. There are threaded comments. It allows people to like and up-vote comments as well. There are other solutions that are similar, like one called Livefyre, and that's another popular one. I think Cliff Ravenscraft from PodcastAnswserman.com uses that one as well. And, of course, there's the traditional, if you're using a WordPress website, the traditional WordPress built-in comments platform, which do allow threaded comments and there are plugins to include a lot of the same features, as well.
Why do we use Disqus? Well, the initial move to Disqus from WordPress, because I had the WordPress commenting platform before, just the built-in one, was because of spam. Mostly because of spam. I was getting so much spam in the comments section. It was getting ridiculous. There are plugins out there that allow you to reduce that spam. There's one called the Akismet, which for some reason just did not like me, because it would even count my own comments as spam, which of course is not good. So, when I tried replying, it would just put those in a spam folder in the back-end of WordPress, and that was never good. I had to manually take those out. I did that for about six months, which was insane and really bothersome. So, we switched over to Disqus for that.
There are other plugins as well that allow you to reduce spam comments. One of the most common kind of comments you get on WordPress are ones that come from bots. These are automated systems that other people use to try and put links in comments into your own comments system, and it's all done automatically. So a person just fires up a button or with his program, and it does its job, finding where online can it leave this comment. A lot of times, it finds our sites when it does that. Well, there's other plugins out there that can stop this kind of comment. There's one plugin called GrowMap Anti-Spam plugin. GASP is the . . . “Gasp,” I guess you could say, is the acronym.
So, GrowMap, all one word. GrowMap Anti-Spambot plugin. What this does is . . . it's very simple . . . it just places a checkmark underneath the comments section that people have to click on in order to proceed with submitting a comment. So, they can't automatically click on this checkbox. So all those comments that they put in, they just never come through. So, again, this is really smart because it's not very hard for people, and annoying for people, to just click a checkmark and say, “Yes, I am a human being.” As opposed to other things like CAPTCHAs, where people have to type in letters. Sometimes those letters and numbers aren't legible and it becomes a headache. Again, that plugin is GrowMap Anti-Spambot plugin.
If you are continuing to use WordPress's default commenting platform and you just wanna get rid of those bot comments, that actually reduced my comments by about 95 percent, when I had initially included that, but a lot were still coming through. And, I was upset with the Akismet because my own comments were getting caught as spam. So, I decided to move to Disqus. The reason I use Disqus as opposed to Livefyre is that . . . Honestly, I haven't followed up on the new features that are involved with each. Those are the two competitors out there. Disqus. I always say it incorrectly. I say, “Disqus,” but it's Disqus, like you're discussing, having a conversation, which makes sense of course. Then, Livefyre. They both essentially do the same thing, but when I switched to Disqus, it was the fact that you could leave a comment as a guest. Now, when people leave comments on either of these, they have the option to log in, and that also helps reduce spam because people have to log in with Facebook or Twitter. It makes sure that legit people are leaving comments.
Now, I will say that I had a massive reduction of the number of comments when I included Disqus on my website, and it's happened for a couple of reasons. One, the spam was reduced, which was fine, but moreso because a lot of people didn't want to take the time to log in or authenticate with one of these other web properties in order to leave a comment. Now, at first I was really scared about this. I said to myself, “Whoa, whoa. My comments are being reduced by 30, 40, sometimes percent normally on posts, and this is not good.” But, then I looked at the kinds of comments I was getting in the past, and most of the comments I was getting were from people who were just saying, “Great post, Pat.” “Good job, I like this.” “I think I'm going to use this in the future.” That's it. Those were three separate, different comments, and they each would have the ability to include a link to their websites as well. That's another thing that WordPress allows you to do, which is, when you leave a comment, you put your name and then your URL, and then your message and your link will be linked to so people could click on it.
Disqus does to allow you to do that. Livefyre does not allow you to do that, as well. As a result of that, people don't wanna comment because people want the comment that has the link back to their website for obvious reasons. For traffic, for backlinks, although comment backlinks don't count anymore in terms of SEO. But you could see, you could still get traffic, and because of that, that turned a lot of people off from leaving comments. But, when you think about it, do you really want those people commenting just to leave a backlink or a link back to their website? And just to say, “Good job?” I mean, it feels good to get those every once in a while, but when you know the main reason why people are doing that is just to be first in line, to be . . . It's like whenever you see those people that just leave the comment that just says, “First.” That's not adding any value.
So, the biggest change I noticed was the reduction in comments, but as with most things, success comes from quality, not quantity. So, although my comments reduced in numbers, the quality of the comments seemed to increase. They seemed to be much longer, and the fact that people have to log in just means that they have something to say and add. A lot of times the comments sections are where the golden information lie within my blog posts. That's why I continue to keep comments on, and why I use Disqus as well.
So, I hope this answers your question Todd, and I wanna thank you again for asking it. I wanna thank Joshua and Jenna as well. You guys are awesome. Thank you for listening to the show, and like I said earlier, actually Jessica is going to reach out to you, Todd, and give you some links so that you can fill it in, in terms of where to send the t-shirts and what sizes and whatnot. You'll hear from Jessica in the next couple weeks, so don't even bother sending an email. We'll send an email to you. Thank you again, so much, for the questions. That's for everybody because this show obviously wouldn't exist without any questions. It would just be called “Pat,” and that's not that fun. AskPat, where you ask the questions, I follow up with my answer. Just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page, just hit the record button. Use any mic that you have. It doesn't matter what the sound quality is, as long as we can hear your question. Your sound quality doesn't matter, mine does, and hopefully this is great. I wanna thank you once again.
I also wanna thank FreshBooks for their sponsorship for this episode. One of the cool things about FreshBooks is that they have an award-winning mobile app. An award-winning mobile app. So, it makes it really easy for you to, on the go, check your financial status and just make sure that everything's going well. Plus, they have the ability to print out and easily export reports for your CPA or for yourself if you're doing taxes and all those sorts of things. It just makes your financial life so much easier, because it can be a major headache, especially once you start becoming successful. Like, once you start getting more income, once you start being affiliates for different products, it starts to become a real headache, and you don't want the financial stuff to stop your momentum. Go get hooked up with FreshBooks. All you have to do is head on over to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter AskPat.
All right, here's today's quote from Amelia Earhart to finish the show, and that is, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.”
Take care. I'll see you tomorrow. Bye.
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