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55

Argument ~ Would you hire Virtual Assistants to reply to comments on your blog?

Last week, I posted an argument on this blog about taking down comments on blog posts. As I went through the argument, reading different opinions from different contributors, I got another idea which led to this post.

One of the reasons some big blogs took down comments on their blogs is the fact that they get hundreds of comments to deal with daily.

Now, this really is a huge lump to swallow if you have to reply to hundreds of daily comments. If your comments are as long as those Adrienne Smith and most of my friends get, you understand what it means to go through them and leave reasonable replies.

There are 3 options to choose from;

  1. Not reply to those comments at all
  2. Completely disable comments (share your views on this argument)
  3. Hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) to help reply to those comments

In this blog post, we want to argue on point 3 – hiring VAs to respond in your place.

I know people hire VAs to drop comments on other blogs and link back to theirs. This has been a successful strategy some bloggers have used over the years to gain some traction for their properties.

BUT…

Would you also hire those VAs to RESPOND to comments on your own blog?

virtual assistant

I stepped out to MyBlogU and met some experts with this same question. I got 8 of them who shared their different views. Check out what they had to say:

Q. Would you hire Virtual Assistants to Reply to comments on your blog?

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

The short answer is, “no”.  As a general rule, I don’t delegate relationship-building, whether it is with my daughters or with my blog readers. I just can’t see myself doing it under present circumstances.  However, if the blog grows too big, then I don’t see myself being the only author, and I would expect each author to respond to comments on his/her posts.

If the blog is a corporate blog (rather than an individual blogger), then I would see hiring a virtual assistant as ideal.  In fact, that’s the time to hire a ghostwriter to write, publish and manage the whole blog, so that the entrepreneur can get on with the business of tool rental, real estate or whatever he/she does best.

A. Phil Turner (The 5 Currencies Guy)

I would never hire anyone to answer blog comments. Though that is easy for me to say at this stage when the numbers are small enough for me to handdle. I value each meaningful comment and it would be discourteous of me not to answer it myself.

I know people do hire VAs but that doesn’t make it right

A. Abacus Marketing (Abacus Marketing)

It’s quite a hard one to call. I guess it depends on the site or even the blog. Virtual assistants may be great for more generic or common sense comment replies. However, what happens if the blog is quite complex or technical – they may not be able to answer the comments in a constructive manner that reflects well on a brand.

Additionally, how do you ensure quality control? I guess you’d need to create a set of guidelines for answering comments and also monitor initially at least. In some cases it’s fine, but personally we’d be wary.

A. Steve Counsell (Mr)

As with all of the content that is produced in your name, it needs to be in the correct “voice”. A voice that matches the persona of your business. If that can be acheived then it’s fine to have someone else to answer coimments and reply to other elemets like Twitter, facebook and even email.

The big question is, can you find someone that will get it right all of the time?

I doubt it… However, if you find a person or people who can get it right most of the time then it’s going to make your life a lot easier and you’ll only have to deal with the odd mistake.

A. Gary Dek

Leveraging a Virtual Assistant (VA) to respond to comments on your blog is a great way to increase productivity, while maintaining a personal touch and strong sense of community. Continuing to have an intimate relationship with your audience members even when your blog has grown substantially is one of the cornerstones of building a loyal readership. However, the most important part of executing this properly is to teach your VA how to respond to comments like you would. It shouldn’t be obvious that someone else is responding on your behalf; otherwise, you will look disingenuous and potentially hurt your reputation.

A. FlowerGuy

Our websites have grown to the point of requiring virtual assistants.  When our company was small with only a single site, it was easy to handle the inflow of comments and research manually; however, as anyone who develops sites know “Time is Money”.  Our main site, CastingMaster.com, aggregates audition information for television shows.  We use our virtual assistants to parse through all the comments and submissions.  After they validate the show exists with legitimate information, they also complete a form that places all the information in a standardized format that one of our writers can quickly convert to the content that appears on our site.  We’ve found that our writers far prefer to work from a predefined format.

A. MAKONE (Make Money Blogging)

Hiring a Virtual assistant who is actually devoted to his work is really challenging these days. I prefer to reply to all comments on my blog myself.

what if we get hundreds of comments everyday?

Well in this case my answer is Yes. We have to hire a virtual assiatant to reply on comments. But to hire someone we need to have proper commenting guidelines which a virtual assiatant should follow and also need to keep an eye on what he do on your precious blog. You do not want to risk your blog by hiring some unethical commentor.

Comments and their eplies should add value to readers, help them find more suitable information and engage them with content.

So when I hire someone, I like to keep my mind and eyes open to test if the virtual assiatnt is capable of maing valuable replie on comments or not.

A. Dev (WPKube)

Hiring a virtual assistant to reply to blog comments is never a good idea. IMHO, it is always best to reply yourself, and if you don’t have time, just reply to the important ones. But, if you still want to hire someone, start looking for people who are already engaging (commenting, sharing your posts) on your blog.


And you, What do you think?

I have included the speakol Argument widget here below so feel free to use it to express your opinion. I’ll also be excited to have your comments on the comment form


Feel free to share this post on social media let’s hear what your friends have to say.

Img src: freedigitalphotos.net

Enstine Muki
 

Blogging Coach, Certified Cryptocurrency Expert and Serial Entrepreneur

michael chudi ejekam

just so long as the person you’re hiring isn’t a complete moron, it shouldn’t be a problem. Just Vet your VA properly. Ask him/her a thousand questions and the stupid will surface- I guarantee it.

Ryan Down

Thank you very much for this post, indeed that Virtual staff could be a great help in your online business. I found this great virtual staff here and he is very good in SEO, Social Media, Internet Marketing and some website stuff. I highly recommend him. this is his website https://www.virtualstaff4u.com/

Adam Jardine

Nice arguments on hiring a virtual assistant for blog commenting. I think to respond on daily hundreds of comments for one blog and what if we have more than one blog then it will become very difficult and time consuming to respond all comments. So if we hire virtual assistant with proper guidelines, we can manage every blog with better way.

TonmoyParves

Hello Enstine, Thanks for discuss with this Topic. I am agree with others also. I will not hire a VA for my Blog to do reply comments. But, i would like to do when my Blog will be famous as your Blog 😀 I think, you should hire a VA. Keep Sharing your experience ”

Happy Weak End

Cheers

Jane Haston

I don’t think I will hire someone to answer to my blog’s comments because I want a more personalized approach to how I will be able to contribute to people’s knowledge. Chances are, my VA may not have a full grasp of the topic or how to properly answer an issue or question. We have individual differences, alright, and that’s what makes each of our blog unique. Establishing authority in your chosen niche should also extend to taking charge of your readers’ responses.

lynne

Hi, this is very interesting. When it comes to hiring a VA, I say yes and No, it depends, when I say yes, I need to make sure that the VA is really qualified to respond on my behalf, there are certain qualifications that needs to be met. No, because I prefer to give a personalize response to my readers, it is more heartfelt, it is my voice. Thanks for a very interesting discussion.

Adrienne

Hey Enstine,

Sorry I’m late getting by here but did want to pipe in as well. Thanks for the mention by the way and I know how hard it is to reply to a lot of comments, especially those over on my blog.

Would I ever hire a VA to respond or make them on my behalf? I can honestly say no. Even if I got to the place where they were so overwhelming I think that would be the one thing I would never hire out. No one can pretend to be me and that’s basically what a VA would be doing. Stepping in to take your place and deceive people into thinking it’s you.

I think that each individual has to do what’s best for them though. Maybe some day I will hire a VA to help me with some of my workload but commenting won’t be on that list of job duties.

Great conversation taking place Enstine, thanks for bringing it up.

~Adrienne

Salifu Junior

Comments play a major role in every blog be it for a blogger or a company. comments creates the interactions and leads to customer loyalty and as such, a blogger or the web page administer/writer should be very responsible to respond to them. Hiring a virtual assistant to manage your comments section can be dangerous to the success blog of the blog.
A writer know in depth of the a piece and will answer accordingly when people comments. But a virtual assistant might not have an in depth knowledge of a particular post and might try to respond to some comments and will end up naive.

Ogunrinola Adam Hiidee

This is a bad idea justr because the hired person wouldn’t be able to give the correct feedback to readers unless he is the one that wrote and publish the post.
Only the post owner would know the best reply to readers queries to satisfy them.
So I would just say its very very very bad doing so.

Nisha Pandey

Hi Enstine,

Hiring an assistant to reply to my blog comments is something I would never do personally.

I mean how would you feel if you want to talk to a friend and he just hire an assistant to answer your query? Not welcome right.

Replying to the comments is a highly important relationship building exercise and I don’t think I should or I can out source the job in anyway.

Thanks for sharing. Have a good day!

Sayantan Mahato

Hey Enstine,

You surely took an interesting topic up for debate. But what I think is like this:

If you want to build backlinks then you can hire Virtual Assistants, but if you want to build connection and relationships, you have to be yourself. By being yourself, you can express your views more freely and build connections with other bloggers.

Jen Gabbard

Interesting debate here for sure. I might hire a VA to help me with lots of things but responding to comments would never be one of them. Even if I had a blog that received so many comments it would be impossible for me to catch up responding to each I couldn’t see myself doing it. I’d much rather have a VA do things that feel less personal. Reading & responding to comments is one part of blogging I actually enjoy as well.

rahul

Hey Enstine,

Decent subject to verbal confrontation about. I think contracting a VA for remarking work is not a decent move, We ought to do it without anyone’s help. No other individual can have the same thinking as you and he/she won’t give have the capacity to give consideration as you.

Ron Killian

Great topic Enstine. Sure makes you think.

I am along the thoughts of what others have mentioned, using a VA to weed out the junk comments. That could save quite a bit of time and your left with only those that deserve replies.

But I can’s see how any VA would have your knowledge, your voice, your writing style or your personality. Could easily come off as “faked”.

I have yet to trust a VA for much of anything, can’t see them being used for comments. Would have to be to the point of out of control before I’d even think about it.

Andrew M. Warner

Hey Enstine,

Answer is no.

Something like comments is too personal to delegate to someone else. They can’t capture your emotions or what you want to truly say. I think it’s a bad idea. Plus .. if you’re delegating comments, aren’t you just cheating the system?

Who’s to say that you actually read the post. But then you’re leaving a comments to get a possible back link?

I’m against it. Comments help build relationships with other bloggers and that’s something that shouldn’t be given to someone else.

– Andrew

Maketta

Hello Enstine,

I don’t think I would because when people get to know you they know your personality. That’s something that no one can really do and that is be you. I think people will be able to tell that it’s not you. And it would become awkward on your blog. That’s just my opinion.

metz

Gary Dek caught me off guard. I agree with him that if you’ll hire a Virtual Assistant to reply to comments, then, it should not be obvious that someone else is responding on your behalf; otherwise, you will look disingenuous and potentially injure your reputation. I must that we cannot force others to hire or not. They have their own decisions about handling comments.

ikechi

Hi Enstine

This is an interesting discussion. I think hiring V.A depends on how you want to relate with your audience. If you goal is all about building relationships then it might be a wise choice to handle the comments otherwise you might hire V.A if you don’t want to bother yourself with handling comments.

Thanks for sharing.

issac paul

Hey enstine,
I won’t hire gigs to take care of comments ! Comments are like results of the work which i will be happy to read & engage with readers 🙂 ! will be glad to hear your descision 🙂 ! By the way great post 🙂

Regards,
Issac paul

Joy Healey

Hi Enstine

Gosh no – I could never let someone else reply to my comments. It would take far longer – because I couldn’t resist going through what they’d said and tweaking it to what I WOULD have said!

Possibly a VA to get rid of spam – if it ever got the the stage that I had a ton of it *which I don’t).

But no-one but “me” could say what I want to say.

Enjoy the rest of your week, Joy

Neamat Tawadrous

Hi Enstine,

Great discussion you have got here!!

To answer your question, I don’t think it is a good idea to hire a VA to answer your comments. The voice is different and the care is different. It’s like hiring a nanny for your child. The nanny will never be the mommy.

Our blogs are our real estate and we have to watch over them and respond to every visitor with our own voice and build that bond. It is risky to delegate your voice to someone else.
Just my 2 cents.

Thanks Enstine for raising such a great point!!! Enjoy your week ahead.

Be Blessed,

Neamat

Philip Verghese Ariel

Hi Enstine,
Yet another post for interaction with each other! LOL
Yes, I am not in a position to get such VA help at the present moment since my comment inflow is not that as much. I fully agree with the dear ones who said I will not go for a VA for sending feedback to the comments received,, yes, it is good to have a personal touch in the reply we give to our visitors, if we put that duty on someone else, i am sure they cannot stick to the level in which you maintain or you opt for, not only that we will not be doing justice to the one who come to our pages with some eagerness or enthusiasm, let us not discourage that. Of course at one go they may not be able to know who answered or attended their comments. LOL
So even if the flow increases as Carol Amato said, i will only part with the tweet, re-tweet and few other activities in relation to blogging not to comment replies.
Thanks Enstine for involving your readers in this discussion or as you put it Argument or debate or whatever, i will not allow anyone to be my duplicate LOL
Let us not be duplicators too!! Let us be originals whatever may be the situation !!! LOL
Very nice subject you brought out for argument!!!
Keep going.
Best
~ Phil

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Phil,
    It’s interesting to read your contribution and I can understand that you vote against VAs to respond to comments.

    Now, what happens by the time you start getting 100s of comments per day? Wont you change your position?

Carol Amato

Hi, Enstine,

Hope you’re having an awesome day so far.

The short answer is, No – I would not let someone else answer comments on my blog.

I do, however, have my VA help with retweet “thanks” messages that I have written that get posted. I personally answer my help desk as well.

Don’t think I’ll ever outsource this, although I will never say never because I’ve said in the past that I would never have a help desk. LOL It’s very personal and only me, and I answer within 24 hours, so it’s just a more organized way to scale my communication and response to readers/subscribers and customers.

Thanks for this thought-provoking topic!

Have a blessed day.
˜Carol

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Carol,
    So good to see you here and thanks for your answer.
    Now, what happens by the time you start getting 100s of comments and support tickets to handle daily? Isn’t there going to be need for VAs to handle those areas of your business?

      Carol Amato

      In the case of 100s of support tickets, by all means, I will have another agent answering COMMON questions that I HAVE pre-designed MY reply to already.

      The rest of the unique questions will go to me.

      I will spend the time to come up with answers as I see the common questions come in, so not all that difficult. It’s still my answers but not me sending it. 🙂

      Love the discussion!!!

      Ciao Ciao
      ˜Carol

Arinze Oparaugo

Hi enstine, it’s not a must to reply on every comment on your blog. So even if you’re getting 1000s comment, you can reply to those that adds more to your post.

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Arinze,
    Thanks for sharing your opinion bro 😉
    Hope you are having a wonderful week

Arinze oparaugo

Hello Entine, hiring a virtual Assistant depends on the size of your blog or website. But to my own opinion I don’t think it is a good idea, because he/she may might not be familiar with the topic or may make a bad comment which may distroy your reputation.
So I think it is wise to reply all comments on your own time.
Always
Arinze Oparaugo

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Arinze,
    Thanks for adding your voice buddy 😉
    What if you start getting 100s of daily comments ?

Sasidharan Muthusamy

Hey Muki!

That’s a great idea Muki! It will help all bloggers who get more comments in their blog. I will also give it a try. Thanks for the share.

Cheers!

    Enstine Muki

    Thanks for your input bro
    Are you ready to hire me or someone else to reply comments on your blog?
    Let me hear your thoughts on that

      Sasidharan Muthusamy

      yaa sure, maybe after 2 or 3 months, because now I am getting only 3 to 4 comments a week, which I can manage to reply easily. And I will be able to have direct contact with my readers! After I start getting more comments, I will surely Hire someone here!!!

      Thanks bro 🙂

Wong Chendong

There is no rules or laws that one should reply to every comment, so hiring a VA to help out in replying and commenting is not necessary at all. Just imagine you hire a VA to help you reply and do commenting, what if he or she say something wrong? Your reputation is at stake, would you risk it?
One law that I always stick to is “to be yourself” when it’s time for your to voice, you voice, when it’s time for you to write, you write and when it’s time for you to kiss, you kiss… would you hire someone else to kiss for you if there are thousands of pretty girls waiting for you?

    Enstine Muki

    hahaha I will kiss one after the other but if any of them is not pretty, I’ll outsource the kissing exercise 😉

    After all, you are right about voicing your voice. Your VA may misfire and that may require a lot to correct things.

    Thanks for your brilliant contribution bro

Brenda Lee

Great discussion, Enstine! I love what the others have said.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I can understand hundreds of comments on a post but if you’re looking to build a “community”, isn’t it best to share your own voice, versus that of an Assistant? It will never come across the same way. I think it’s fabulous that so many bloggers are having so many comments to even think of hiring a VA. Then, on the other hand, if it’s like a technical blog when the business is Q&A or sharing products, then I can see where a VA would come in handy. Most of the blogs I read are building relationships with their readers and a VA just wouldn’t “cut it” imo.

Just my 2 cents, Enstine. Gives someone a lot of room for thought on the subject.

B

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Brenda,
    Isn’t that a brilliant comment you made there?
    I love your insight dear and your willingness to support.

    You have faced it from different angles showing your understanding of the subject discussed. Impressive!

    I hope you are having a splendid weekend dear friend

Kuldeep

Hi Enstine,
Nice topic to debate about. I believe hiring a VA for commenting work is not a good move, We should do it ourselves. No other person can have the same thinking as you and he/she will not give be able to give attention as you.

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Kuldeep,
    Thanks for adding your voice here 😉
    It’s good to respond yourself especially when those comments are not too many

    By the time you get 100s per day, what do you do?

David Leonhardt

I am glad Devesh raised the point of responding only to some comments, as this has been overlooked in the rest of the discussion. Responding to comments is not an all-or-nothing affair. I know a lot of bloggers believe they should respond to every comment, for maximum engagement. But I have never taken that approach.

Some comments absolutely beg a comment, just because they raise new points or leave readers with a question.

Others really don’t require a comment at all, because they don’t really say much.

And there are many comments in between the two extremes – comments that could do with a response, but could also do without. As your blog grows and your time shrinks, you could simply do tighter triage on those comments.

    Enstine Muki

    Yes I read that point from Dev and think I have some comments on this blog that fall within the point you described. Some actually deserv replies and should be responded to.

    However, my overall opinion (for my blog to be more specific) is that I won’t let someone else speak to my readers. I’ll prefer to do it myself because comment replies is a relationship building exercise.

    Thanks Dave for contributing greatly and sharing this post.

    Hope you are having a wonderful week ahead

Craig

Enstine – Last week I left a comment on your post about shutting comments off on your blog. My short answer was hell no I would never turn them off. But your response to that comment got me thinking a bit. You asked if I would have that same answer if I was receiving 100’s of comments on every post.

Well now, look where this has taken us. Great idea for a blog post series, and I bet you weren’t even planning for this to happen.

To answer your question, would I hire a VA to help in responding to blog comments? Short answer yes, but there are a number of caveats:

1: I would have to be receiving a large number of comments from every post I publish (say greater than 60)
2. I would want to ensure I’ve established myself with my blog
3. The VA I hired would need to respond to comments in a similar manner to how I responded (I’m not going to hire just anyone)
4. At the end of the day, I’m still the one responsible for the responses to the comment, so I would still review those responses and edit as appropriate

If this would free up some of my time to work on other things related to my business, why wouldn’t I? I think it would be irresponsible of me as a business owner to not look into this approach.

Great idea for a post Enstine. Have a great week ahead.

Craig

    Enstine Muki

    Hi Craig,
    While waiting for your next blog post, thank you for being part of this series.

    Yes. In the beginning, I didn’t see it going this way. I however love the direction it’s taking . The responses from readers make me quite excited.

    I perfectly get your point in this comment and I think I would do same if I have 100s of daily comments. If my blog however generates full time income for me, I’ll be able to sit and respond to those comments.

    Thanks for your presence and comment buddy.
    Better days are ahead

I. C. Daniel

I didn’t have the chance to reply to hundreds of comments daily and cannot tell the time involved here but I can imagine is pretty huge.

Also to those commenting in popular blogs for backlinks, for link juice, backlinks are low quality if there’s hundreds of comments on the page, must be max 50 OBL, but for great value max 30 OBL. Still good for traffic. 🙂

I’ve tweeted this post for you bro’. 😛

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Dan what’s up and where have you been buddy?
    Thanks for your contribution and for tweeting for more exposure.

    Hope you are having a wonderful week

      I. C. Daniel

      I’m caught by other projects and the YpayZ.com project is smth I work on my spare time. Still a pleasure to visit you. Kind regards!

        Enstine Muki

        Hey Dan,
        Good luck to you on your YpayZ.com project man 😉

Adeel Sami

Hello Enstine,

Ahhh! Very cool discussion point! 🙂

I’ve posted my vote up already and again want to back it up here.

Comments play a very big role in operation of blog management whether its a small one or a bigger one; people feel good to leave their views as comments.

Turning it entirely off may or may not be a good option for any size of website. Take FB for example, you turn off the reply feature, it will be so difficult to understand how others took your status, photo, video, etc. it’s the replies who let us know how others felt of our actions.

So, it depends solely upon the size of the blog and when it is out of owner’s reach (if single-authored blog), must ask for external help.

To me, people tend to return and get the strong feeling of such blogs where their comments are replied.

~ Adeel Sami

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Sami,
    Thanks for the quick comment
    The question is would you hire or outsource the comment reply exercise to someone else?

      Adeel Sami

      Now, that’s the real question! 🙂

      Mix of both actually and depending on the requirement but I am more inclined towards outsourcing because of its advantages.

      ~ Adeel

Irene Anum

Hi Enstine, I would definitely use a VA for blog commenting if he/she has much knowledge of the subject[s] of the blog.

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Irene,
    so good to see you here and thanks for sharing your point 😉
    Hope to see you around again pretty soon 😉

Phil Turner

Thanks for this discussion Enstine. Although I came out against hiring a VA in the article, I can see that in some cases it is going to be the only way. The problem then becomes finding a VA who thinks like you do, can write as you do and is as responsible as you are . . . difficult unless you are prepared to pay top dollar.

    Enstine Muki

    Hey Phil,
    Thanks for your contributing to this post and stepping over here to drop a comment and engage 😉

    Almost impossible to get someone that’s your perfect copy isn’t it?

    Have a wonderful week ahead buddy

      Shreya

      Hi Enstine,
      Nice topic to debate about. I believe hiring a VA for commenting work is not a good move, We should do it ourselves. No other person can have the same thinking as you and he/she will not give be able to give attention as you.

Comments are closed