How To Manage Your Business Blog

No matter how hard you try, blogging always slips down to bottom of the priority list. You tell yourself it’s because more urgent things came up, or that you simply didn’t have time.

But really, it’s because it’s a chore. You’re procrastinating, and you know it. When a flash of inspiration strikes, it’s great; the words just seem to flow and you can get an article written in a couple of hours. But the rest of the time, it’s a struggle. Sitting down to that blank page feels akin to reinventing the wheel.

It doesn’t help that your thoughts and ideas are all over the place – on scraps of paper, in emails to yourself, in notes on your phone. You’ve got no system. Is it any wonder that you can’t blog consistently when you feel so disorganised?

And it’s not just the writing – that’s hard enough – it’s all the extra techie stuff to get it published and put it out to the world. You know your blogs could go further – reach more people, drive more traffic – if only you were doing all the right things when it comes to SEO and social media.

The frustrating thing is, you can see the opportunities. Nobody else in your niche is blogging. If only you could create a plan and stick to it, the results would speak for themselves …


Any of this sound familiar?

If it does, the time has come. You need procedures on how to manage your business blog.

To capitalise on the vast opportunities that blogging presents for your business, you’ll need to approach it strategically and methodically. With a documented process to follow, you will soon find that content creation becomes easier, faster and more efficient. And by completing all the steps to publish and promote your blogs effectively, you’ll start to generate results that would motivate anyone to keep going!

Not only will a system help you become more organised and consistent now, but it will enable you to delegate parts of the process to someone else in the future.

“That’s all very well, Yva, but how the heck do I go about creating procedures to manage my blog?”

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

Below are the 7 procedures you need to manage your business blog successfully. Take them, run with them, and don’t look back!

Follow the links below to jump straight to the relevant section:

  1. Planning and research
  2. Drafting
  3. Editing
  4. Graphics
  5. Publishing
  6. Promotion
  7. Review

Section 1. Planning and research

1. Planning and research

First off, planning and research. Here’s an overview of the steps I take to develop and validate my blog ideas:

  1. Develop buyer persona and blog strategy
  2. Generate blog ideas using Big 5 method
  3. Capture ideas on-the-go in Evernote
  4. Validate ideas by Google/social search
  5. Research best keywords for each topic using
  6. Populate editorial calendar with article titles and info
  7. Write bullet outlines for each article
  8. Conduct research for article content, e.g. stats, sources, facts, news, opinions


Let’s look at these in more detail:

Develop buyer persona and blog strategy

For a blog post to be successful, it must tap into an existing problem, challenge or need, and one for which people are seeking answers or solutions.

For this to happen, you first need to understand your customer. So before you even put pen to paper, start by creating your buyer persona – a profile of your ideal client (and, by extension, your ideal blog reader).

The buyer persona forms part of your overall blog strategy, which should provide answers to these key questions:

  • Why are you blogging?
  • Who are you blogging for (your ideal customer)?
  • Where are you going to blog?
  • When are you going to blog?
  • What are you going to blog about?
  • Who will be involved in the blogging process?

Armed with this information, you’re ready to start brainstorming!

Idea generation and capture

There are lots of ways you can generate ideas for your blog. Always start by answering your customers’ FAQs – what do they ask about your product or service before they buy?

Once these are exhausted, you can go further by anticipating what they want to know (or what they should want to know!). I like to use the Big 5 method, developed by Marcus Sheridan. This involves generating ideas around the 5 topics that are proven to drive sales: ‘cost’, ‘problems’, ‘reviews’, ‘comparisons’, and ‘best’. Learn more about the Big 5 method here.

But not every blog idea will come about from a sit-down brainstorming session. Very often our best ideas will come from our day-to-day experiences; from witnessing a problem first hand, having a passing thought in the shower or from overhearing a conversation.

For these situations, we need a method for capturing our ideas on-the-go. Choose one which allows you to organise them into topics or categories, and which you can use whenever and wherever you are. My favourite is Evernote, as it syncs across all devices and allows you to create notes in a variety of formats.

Idea validation and keyword research

So you’ve got a great idea, but is anyone actually looking for that information?

A good way to validate your blog post idea is to open an incognito browser window (to exclude the bias of your previous search history), search for the topic, and see what content already exists.

Ideally, you’ll want to hit on a topic where relevant content does already exist, as this proves the demand for the information. But if it returns thousands or millions of results, then you might need to be more specific with your topic, or find a unique angle.

You could also run a search on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, as these are all search engines in their own right.

The next step is to define a focus keyword for your blog post – one which you want Google to rank your website for. Use a keyword planning tool to test different wordings and phrases, and get suggestions for alternatives that may be closer to what your ideal customer is searching for. I like, which allows you to run 3 keyword searches per day for free.

With a bit of trial and error, you can find the sweet spot – an article headline that resonates with your target audience, which people are actively searching for, and which will rank well in Google.

Populate your editorial calendar

Once you have finalised your ideas, it’s time to populate your editorial calendar. It doesn’t need to be fancy – it could be a simple spreadsheet, with columns for:

  • Theme/category
  • Blog title
  • Keyword
  • Author
  • Publish date

You could use the same spreadsheet to keep track of the status of each article, by including columns which can be checked off at every stage, for example, ‘Drafted’, ‘Edited’, ‘Published’ and ‘Promoted’.

Alternatively, you could manage your editorial calendar using an app like Trello – our tool of choice at Boost. Using individual cards to manage each blog, you can capture all the information about the post in once place, and easily collaborate with other team members.

We use it to manage the whole blog production process, and have even built-in our procedures as checklists to ensure consistency.

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Write a bullet outline

For every idea in your plan, I would highly recommend writing a bullet outline of the article. I’d suggest doing this as soon after the original idea generation process as possible, so that you don’t lose your train of thought and forget the key points you wanted to put across.

It doesn’t have to be detailed – just listing your sub-headings will be enough to jog your memory when you sit down to write.

Research your content

You may then want to go the extra step of researching your actual blog post content, so that you have all the information you need to draft the article.

This may help you to get into “flow” when writing, as undertaking research during the drafting process may lead you down rabbit holes of distraction!

This research might include key stats and facts to back up your points and sources you want to reference, perhaps pertinent news, or contrasting opinions to bring balance to your article.

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2. Drafting

2. Drafting

Once you’ve done all that prep, you might think the actual drafting of the blog post shouldn’t need much of a procedure – and you’d be right!

But there are a couple of key steps that are worth documenting as a procedure:

  1. Draft blog content using standard template – refer to bullet outline and research notes
  2. Complete draft by [insert day] each week and upload to [file location]


Use a blog post template

When you’re writing, you want the freedom to get all your thoughts down on the page, so trying to rigidly adhere to a procedure would likely be counterproductive. However, “blank page syndrome” can also be a barrier, so a loose structure to facilitate the writing process is often helpful.

A simple template with prompts to help you write each section – introduction, main body and conclusion – should be enough to keep you on track. If you regularly produce blog posts of a similar format, create a template based on that structure for faster reproduction.

Plan your deadline

The key thing to document in your drafting process is when you’re actually going to do the writing. When do you want the post to be published? And, therefore, what is your deadline for completing the draft, in order that it can be edited and prepared in good time?

This is especially important when you are collaborating with others on the blog production process, as you need to make sure they have sufficient time to do their work, without feeling rushed.

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3. Editing

3. Editing

The benefits of working with a procedure really start to become apparent the editing stage, where the goal is to methodically review the content for clarity and consistency.

Here’s an example procedure:

  1. Check writing tone and style against brand guidelines and style sheet
  2. Refine headline and introduction for maximum engagement
  3. Review content for clarity and flow
  4. Check article structure and paragraphing – descriptive sub-headings, short paragraphs
  5. Check occurrence of keywords and synonyms
  6. Proofread for typos, spelling and grammar errors
  7. Make notes for the publisher throughout – formatting, links, embedded media, etc.


Check writing style and tone

It’s important to keep a consistent tone and style in your writing, so that customers can get to know your ‘brand voice‘ and build a connection with your content. If you have brand guidelines, these will help you make decisions about how to portray the personality of your business through your blog. Again, refer closely to your buyer persona and put yourself in their shoes.

I’d also recommend creating a style sheet, which you, or any other blog contributors, can refer to. Your style sheet documents your word and format preferences, and helps to standardise things like spelling, capitalisation, sentence and paragraph length, etc.

Refine the headline and introduction

At the planning stage, we refine the headline based on what works best for search engines, but at the editing stage we want to make sure it’s attractive to our ideal customers.

Is your headline emotionally engaging? Does the introduction frame the problem from the customer’s perspective?

CoSchedule have developed a great headline analyzer tool that provides useful insights into the strength of your headline. Don’t take the results as gospel (it’s just a robot, after all!), but use it as an indicator.

Review content for clarity and flow

Next, read through the content with a fresh pair of eyes – does it all make sense? Are the points clear and concise? Does each point flow naturally into the next? I regularly find myself re-ordering points to improve the flow at the editing stage.

Remember that your readers may not be well-versed in industry jargon and buzz-words, so keep it simple and use their language.  

Check the structure and paragraphing

A blog post that follows a clear and logical structure is easier to read and understand. This encourages readers to stay on the page for longer and explore other pages on your website, reducing your bounce rate. It also increases the likelihood of converting them to a mailing list subscriber.

Needless to say, structure is important!

Make sure the various sections of your article are clearly signposted with sub-headings. Make them as descriptive as possible and include your focus keywords, as Google checks your heading tags when it’s ranking you.

Also, keep your paragraphs relatively short – mine are generally no more than 4 lines – and your sentences concise. This makes the blog post easier to scan, and the information easier to absorb.

Check the occurrence of keywords

How often does your focus keyword phrase occur in the blog article? Ideally, it should appear at least 2-3 times across the first paragraph, sub-headings and body text in order to rank for that keyword in search. Remember to use synonyms and alternative wordings as well.

But don’t be tempted to stuff in keywords just to hit a target – your blog should always be written for humans first, and Google second. The keywords should be so natural and seamless within the text that a reader wouldn’t even notice.

Proofread for typos, spelling and grammar errors

Next, check the article for typos, spelling and grammar errors. It’s always advisable to ask someone else to proofread your blogs for you, as your eyes tend to gloss over mistakes after a while.

But you could try reading it aloud, reading it from bottom-to-top or printing it out in order to catch any sneaky errors! John Espirian has some great proofreading tips in this blog.

Make notes for the publisher

It might also be useful to agree a “key” with whoever will publish the blog post, so that you can easily annotate the article with instructions for formatting and layout. I find the comments function in Google Docs especially handy for this. 

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4. Graphics

4. Graphics

  1. Refer to photography style and image sources
  2. Document image requirements for each blog – feature, in-post, promotional
  3. Create standard templates and design guidelines


Define your photography style and approved image sources

The imagery that you choose to accompany your blog posts (and your other marketing materials) is an extension of your brand. Just as you have defined your brand colours, fonts and tone of voice, you should also define your photography style. This will be useful regardless of whether you are using stock photography or taking your own.

When it comes to stock photography, based on your chosen style, you may come to prefer particular sources of images over others. There are loads of websites where you can download high-quality stock images for free, in exchange for image credit, and an option to donate to the photographer. Col Gray from Pixels Ink has curated a fantastic list of free stock image sources here.

Document image requirements for each blog post

Every blog should have a feature image, which hooks in the reader and makes them want to read the full article. It’s especially important now that links are presented visually on all social media platforms – you’ve got to catch their eye and stand out in the newsfeed.

But have you also thought about in-post images? These are an effective way to break up your text and guide the reader through the article. By using screenshots, quote images and infographics to supplement your content, you can greatly enhance the reader experience and encourage engagement.

Lastly, you should consider promotional images. The major platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, will automatically pull through your feature image with the link to your blog post. But what about images for Instagram and Pinterest? If you’re preparing an accompanying YouTube video, what about the thumbnail?

Each platform has its own requirements for dimensions and resolution. Think about how many images you’re going to need for each blog post, the design variations and image specifications – then document it.

Create standard templates and design guidelines

Once you’ve documented your photography style and image requirements, you can produce templates for each image type to ensure consistency and speed up production. Again, refer to your brand guidelines and make sure your images are recognisably YOU.

Canva is a brilliant free tool for creating graphics and developing standard templates, and if you subscribe to the paid version, Canva for Work, it will even automatically resize your designs for different dimensions – very handy if you are catering for several platforms!

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5. Publishing

5. Publishing

Now we need to get your blog post live and kicking on your website! This is where it gets a bit techie, so hold tight.

Here is an overview of a standard blog publishing procedure:

  1. Check structure and formatting – add H1/H2/H3 tags to sub-headings
  2. Insert internal/external links within the text
  3. Embed images/media – add image titles, descriptions and alt-text
  4. Complete the post metadata – use SEO plugin
  5. Add post category and tags – include keywords and synonyms
  6. Insert call-to-action – embed opt-in forms
  7. Preview and schedule


Check the structure and formatting

Sometimes paragraphing and formatting can get lost in transit when copied from a Word or Google document into the WordPress editor. Go through it methodically and ensure the text is displayed as you intended.

The crucial thing is to make sure you have formatted all headings with “Heading” tags. The title of your blog will have a Heading 1 (H1) tag by default, so your main sub-headings throughout the article should be H2, and sub-sub-headings H3.

Insert internal and external links

Embedding of links within your blog post is an important factor in ensuring Google finds and ranks your content for relevant searches. Be sure to link to at least 2 of your previous blog posts or website pages within the post, and at least 2 reputable external websites (e.g. sources of stats or facts, or further information on a point). Don’t just paste the URL though, link the blog text itself, ideally with keywords related to the destination content.

Remember you’re not just doing this for Google. Linking to other content to support your points enhances the experience for your reader, and adds credibility to the information you are providing.  

Embed images and media

Another way to enhance the reader’s experience is to embed images and media throughout. This breaks up the text and makes your content more interactive, easier to absorb and increases the likelihood of engagement.

When you’re embedding images, at the back-end, be sure to give them a title, description and alt-text that includes your focus keyword phrase. This is another element which Google uses to rank your content in search.  

Complete the metadata for the post

Next, you should give the blog post a meta title and description. This is what appears in Google search results, and what potential readers will judge your article on before they click through. Again, make sure your keywords are in there, front and centre.

But also remember that this is your main opportunity to sell your content – let the reader know what they’re going to get from it.

The easiest way to complete your metadata is to use an SEO plugin for WordPress, such as Yoast. This adds a handy box below the main text editor and even gives you a traffic light system to make sure you’ve done everything possible to optimise your content.

Add a post category and tags

Have you set up categories for your blog posts? Make sure you allocate every post to an appropriate category, so that both humans and Google can easily find what they’re looking for.

You should also add relevant tags to the post, which include the various keywords and synonyms that you’ve been focused on throughout the blog production process.

Insert a call-to-action

Every blog post that you publish should have a clear call-to-action. What do you want the reader to do, now they’ve read your article?

It could be as simple as adding “What do you think? Leave a comment!” at the end, or you might have a freebie to give away in exchange for their email address (known as a lead magnet, or content upgrade).

If it’s the latter, you’ll need to add a widget or some code to the end of your blog post (usually grabbed from within your email marketing software), so that it displays a web form allowing the reader to opt in, and receive the content upgrade by email. If you’re not sure what you’re doing with this, ask your web developer for help.

Preview and schedule

The last step is to preview your post to check how it displays on the page – a good opportunity to do a final proofread and check the formatting.

If everything looks a-ok then you’re ready to schedule the post to be published! *High five!*

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6. Promotion

6. Promotion

Up to this point, we’ve only done half the work. Promoting your new blog post takes just as much time and effort as creating it.

After all, your content won’t be of much value to your business if no one reads it!

Here’s a sample promotion procedure:

  1. Send an email to mailing list
  2. Send personal emails to featured people/companies and relevant contacts
  3. Schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles and pages
  4. Share to personal social media profiles
  5. Share image on Instagram
  6. Pin image to relevant Pinterest boards
  7. Update Snapchat and Instagram Stories
  8. Do live broadcast on Periscope/Facebook/Instagram
  9. Share in Facebook and LinkedIn groups (according to group rules)
  10. Share in online membership communities (according to community rules)
  11. Add to social bookmarking sites – StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit
  12. Repurpose article for LinkedIn Pulse and Medium (wait 7 days after original blog is published)
  13. Reach out to curators of lists, collections or roundups
  14. Set up paid advert (Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram) to boost reach
  15. Repurpose for other media formats – video, podcast, Slideshare, infographic, etc.


Send an email to your mailing list

The first people who should know about your content are the people who have subscribed to your mailing list. They have actively demonstrated that they want to hear from you, and read your content. So give it to them!

Using your email marketing platform of choice (e.g. ConvertKit, MailChimp, AWeber), send a brief message to your subscribers with an introduction to the blog topic, a link to the post, a call-to-action and a brief sign-off. Job done 🙂

Send personal emails

It’s also worthwhile sending personal emails to any people or companies that you’ve featured in the blog. They’ll often be extremely flattered to have been included and may even share the content with their own audience.

And what about sending a personal email to a few contacts who would find the article helpful, just because? This can be a great way to follow up with someone you’ve met at a networking event, or someone who has shown an interest in working with you.

Schedule posts for the major social media platforms

It goes without saying that you need to promote your post on the major social media platforms, namely Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (at this point, I’d still include Google+ – it can’t hurt!).

How often you should promote your latest blog on social media depends on the platform. For Twitter, I would say 3-4 times per day, for roughly a week. Facebook, once when the post goes live, and maybe a second time later in the week. LinkedIn and Google+, just once.

Use a social media management tool (e.g. Buffer) to schedule these in advance. And remember to continue promoting your old content in rotation, as part of your ongoing social media activity.  

Share to your personal social media profiles

You might think that your friends and family don’t want to read your business content, but you’d be surprised how curious people are, and how willing to show their support, through likes and shares, they will be.

This can be a great way to kick-start the engagement for your post, which in turn encourages the platform algorithms to push it out to a wider audience. So don’t be shy – share the posts you made to your business page with your personal audience.

Share on Instagram and pin to Pinterest boards

In the past, image-based social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have been overlooked by small businesses (unless their core audience is female). However, they can be extremely effective for promoting blog content and are worth including in your promotion procedure, regardless of your audience demographic.

You should have your promotional images ready (as per the graphics procedure), so share them to your Instagram profile (remember to update your bio link), pin them to your own Pinterest boards and seek out relevant group boards to pin to as well.

Share in your Snapchat or Instagram story

Sharing behind-the-scenes through Snapchat and Instagram Stories (and now WhatsApp Status) is an increasingly popular way for businesses to be more “human” and grow their audience.

Use this format for blog promotion by talking about your latest post before, during and after it has gone live, and let them know where they can find it. Try uploading a designed promotional image to really catch their attention!

Do live broadcasts on Facebook, Periscope or Instagram

As a medium, live streaming is getting a lot of attention at the moment. This is an easy way to bring your blog content to life through video, without the hassle of editing and production.

Start a live stream on Facebook, Periscope or Instagram (or all three!) to talk through the key points of your article, and answer questions from viewers as they come in. You could then download the video, upload it to YouTube and embed it within the blog on your website!

Share in online groups and communities

Are you a member of any Facebook or LinkedIn groups who would benefit from your content? This could be a great way to gain new readers. However, many groups will have rules around promoting your own content or services, so make sure you follow the guidelines of the administrator.

Equally, you might be part of one, or several, online membership communities for your industry or local area. Personally, I’m a member of Youpreneur and the Content Marketing Academy, both of which allow members to share their content and happen to be in my target audience of “ambitious entrepreneurs”. Therefore, it makes sense to include them as part of my promotion procedure.

Add to social bookmarking sites

Social bookmarking sites are websites dedicated to storing and sharing links to web pages, categorised by topic. Each platform has its own unique community, which means some are easier to use for blog promotion than others.

StumbleUpon and Digg are two of the largest social bookmarking sites – they act as discovery engines, providing content to users based on their interests. To add your blog to these platforms, you simply need to submit the link. That’s it. However, to generate serious traffic from these sites, as with any social media platform, you’ll need to spend time doing the “social” part.

Others, like Reddit, have a particular etiquette and require a more thoughtful approach. If you’re just getting started, I’d recommend giving StumbleUpon and Digg a go.

Here is a handy list of some of the most popular social bookmarking sites.

Boost the reach with paid advertising

If you have budget to spend on getting your content out to a wider audience then you could consider paid advertising on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

This might be particularly useful if you are in the early stages of building your audience and only have a small following on your social media pages. Social advertising can be highly targeted and therefore highly cost-effective, when done correctly.

Want to find out more? Check out this beginner’s guide to Facebook Ads from Gavin Bell.

Reach out to curators of content lists and collections

Are there blogs in your industry or niche who regularly curate lists or collections of content which they promote to their audience?

If you’re not sure, do a bit of research. Reach out to them, let them know what you do and establish a relationship. Being listed in round-up posts on other blogs could open up your content to a whole new audience.

Repurpose for LinkedIn Pulse and Medium

Once your blog has been live on your own website for 7 days (to allow Google to index you as the original source), you can repurpose it for third-party publishing platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. 

It may seem counterintuitive to publish your content elsewhere – “doesn’t this mean you lose out on web traffic?” Well, perhaps. But people are actively consuming content on these platforms and may not come across your content any other way. Isn’t it better that these people – these potential customers – read your content, than not?

For an extra SEO boost, adapt the article title and introduction slightly, to make it unique for these platforms.

Repurpose for other media formats

Remember that one idea isn’t limited to one blog post. You can repurpose the same content into multiple media formats to capture the different audiences that hang out on each platform.

Video is a key one – we consume one billion hours of video every day on YouTube alone. Then you’ve got graphics – what about turning your blog post into an infographic or Slideshare? Or perhaps a podcast episode? The opportunities are endless.

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7. Review

7. Review

Lastly, and crucially, we need to measure the results of all this hard work. Here’s a brief procedure for reviewing the success of your blogs:

  1. Review key analytics data at the end of each month
  2. Update strategy and content plan based on performance


Review analytics data

After your post has gone live, it’s time to review the analytics data – I like to do this at the end of each month.

You should be tracking your website traffic using Google Analytics or similar, as well as social media metrics. Most platforms now have a built-in insights or analytics page, otherwise you can gather this data from your social media management tool.

But what should you look for? Here are some key metrics to monitor over time:

  • Unique visitors – how people visited your blog/website?
  • Traffic sources – where did they come from?
  • Bounce rate/average time on page – how many people stayed and for how long?
  • Top viewed posts – which posts gained most traffic?
  • Average views per post – is there a trend over time?
  • Average comments per post – how engaged are the readers with the content?
  • Social shares per post – did people share it on social media?
  • New subscribers – how many new opt-ins did you gain?
  • Leads and customers – how many enquiries and customers did you get?

Update strategy and content plan

Monitoring the data is all very well, but what does it mean for your blog strategy and content plan?

Growth in unique visitors and post views over time indicates that you are doing the right things when it comes to SEO and promotion, because people are finding your content. But the best sources of traffic might surprise you – perhaps you need to adjust your social media focus to capitalise on this further?

If your bounce rate is high, and average time on page low, then you should consider why. Are your blog titles and meta-descriptions misleading? How do people know they’ve arrived at the right place? Could the structure and appearance of your content be putting them off? What can you do to get them to stay longer?

Comments and social shares are a strong signal that you are building a core audience. Not only have these people landed on your content and read it, but also they have actively engaged. How can you nurture these relationships?

Lastly, subscriber opt-ins are an indication that your content is helping people to move along the buyer journey. Which lead magnets have been most effective? How many of these subscribers have turned into real enquiries, or even customers?

Make a habit of updating your strategy and content plan based on the data, and your blog will go from strength to strength.

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There you have it. 7 procedures to help you manage your business blog. Want to grab these as a handy PDF? Sign up below!

Download 7 Procedures For Success

Want to grab these 7 procedures for blog management success as a handy PDF checklist? Sign up below!

Powered by ConvertKit

1 Comment

  1. Wow, Yva, this is an awesome post! There’s so much value here I’m gonna bookmark it and read it again later when I’ve made time to actually implement it all too 🙂

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