Do you want to encourage interaction on your blog? Do you want readers to get excited about engaging in a conversation with you? Who doesn’t!
Then don’t do this.
Funny, right? Yes! Funny when it happens to you, just for trying to read someone’s blog? Not as much.
What if I made you solve this captcha to read this post?
Would you want to read the blog more? Or less?
Would you scream at the monitor and move on to the next blog?
Look. In the blogosphere and social media world, you’re vying for the limited attention of potential readers. You’re competing with seemingly limitless supply of articles, tweets, posts, webinars, Twitter chats, blog posts, podcasts, email campaigns.
So, so many blogs require “passing” complicated captchas to comment on a post. How many times have you passed on a sign-up form, comment box, or anything, just because of the ridiculously jumbled captcha?
Don’t make your reader work to interact with you. I understand, you don’t want spam. That’s fine. I get it. But instead of putting the burden of proof on your reader, why don’t you take it upon yourself? Try setting up your blog preferences to require your approval before posting if you’re really concerned about it. Make sure you’re checking your notifications often, so the conversation is more real-time than once-weekly.
If you’re using WordPress, try installing the Alpha & Omega Captcha plugin. I use it on some of my blogs, and it consists of simple, quick, and easy-to-read captchas that won’t annoy anyone.
But truly, do what you can to encourage interaction. I don’t require my readers to pass any sort of test on any of my blogs, and if yours does, I’m immediately irritated–at least a little. The more comments I try to leave, the more irritated I get. The more I want to ask you, “Why don’t you just let me speak to you?!”
Remember: you’re competing for demand in a overly saturated market. Don’t jack up your price! In this market, time is money. Stay competitive. Provide a great product. They will come.