Thank Those First
One of the most valuable assets your blog possesses is a visitor that stops and takes a moment of their time to leave you a real comment.
That’s why its important that we put some special focus on these individuals in an attempt to improve their retention rate.
One common way of doing this is by redirecting the first-time commenter to a special page designed especially for them.
This can not only give them a chance to get to know you but help them find other interesting things on the blog. Equally important is that this page can help reassure them that there is no need to feel uneasy when their comment went into moderation.
First Comment Redirection for WordPress
WordPress.org (self hosted WordPress) is blessed to be able to access a wide variety of plugins and that’s what we’re going to do in this case!
Plugin Options For Redirecting First Time Commenters
1) Free – “Comment Redirect” – This is an older, but still stable, plugin by Joost de Valk (Yoast.com), that many sites use to handle this functionality.
2) Premium – You will also find a “First Comment Redirect” option built into the “ReplyMe” segment of the current version of CommentLuv Premium (which is what I use).
Both versions essentially do the same thing and do it very simply. Once you have created your thanks for commenting page (name it whatever you wish), you simply select it in the pages list within these plugins and click use/apply/save in order to set it. That’s it!
If you want to test it, you will need to sign out of your blog, and then leave a comment using an email address that has never been used to comment on your blog.
You’ll want to get creative with your thank you page as well as decide if you want to use a LONG one, a SHORT one, or a video based one. Everything is fine!
You can find my current “Thanks For Commenting” page here.
(I wanted my page to go full width, but it is having a mind of its own. I’ll wait to fix it until I move to Genesis soon.)
I went long format with mine (as you already know I’m gabby!) but some of the best ones I’ve seen use a SHORT video to build a little “face time” with the individual.
PS: I have a private message in to Yoast to find out the current status of the Comment Redirect plugin and if it’s going to get a “bump” to current or if he’s abandoned it.