Comment spam is the worst. It's simply a sleazy practice to post a comment to a blog, social media site, or online review site with the intention to drive traffic back to your site. I've disagreed with this practice since the days of LiveJournal even though SEO pros have built a living on providing this type of service for clients.
I wrote a Nugget back on February 8, 2012 titled "Jewelers Should Avoid Blog Comment Spam" where I explain that you should never attempt link building by randomly commenting on a blog. Ironically, that post continually attracts stupid link building spammers that post comments like "Good article" along with a link to their website.
At least 1 new comment is added to that post every month. All comments on the jwag.biz website need to be approved before they are published, so none of these have seen the light of day.
As you build your blogging presence online people will eventually post comments to your blog as well. You should always make sure to approve the comments before posting, especially if the commenter included a link back to their website. "Approving comments before posting" is a common setting within all blogging systems. Make sure that's turned on, and make sure the blog is set up to email you when new comments are made.
Another important setting for blog comments is called the "nofollow" link attribute. "Nofollow" is a hyperlink attribute created a few years ago specifically for blog comments. Search engines created this attribute so you could tell them that the link in the blog comment was from an untrustworthy person. In today's blogging world, all comments, trustworthy or not, should have the nofollow attribute.
So far I've mentioned a lot of the bad things that come with blogging comments, but there are many good things too. Blog comments are an amazing ego boost because the mere existence of one means someone is reading your blog.
Your blogging topics probably won't attract too much attention, or comments, but when they do you need to embrace them. Reply to them. Read the comment and write a thoughtful reply, or if a reply isn't needed then a simple "thank you." The commenter will appreciate anything you answer back and this shows other readers that you are approachable.
By the way, there's a word for this process of replying to comments. It's called "engagement." Never miss the opportunity to engage with your readers. They might comment directly on your website, or on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. No matter where the comments come from you should always comment back.
In tomorrow's Nugget I'll talk a little about how to use Facebook, Google+, and Twitter for engagements with your blog posts.