This Is How to Deal with Negative Blog Comments, 47 Ways

By: | December 18, 2016 | Tags: , | 27 comments

#Bloggers can deal with negative blog comments in 47 ways

Is there ever an appropriate time for a post on negativity?

In January, when the year is young, hopes are high, not then.

Writing your opinion on the Internet takes courage. This makes you vulnerable to people who disagree with you. They may not always word their rebuttals in the most delicate manner.

In the United States, the electoral college is meeting Monday to vote for a president. Whatever happens, emotions that may have calmed since the election will reignite

How will you handle them? Do you have a plan?

Even if you don’t blog about U.S. politics, you might read about them. People might reference them in their comments.

This post will arm you with tips for handling any negativity that comes your way as a blogger.

When I wrote 8 Types of People Who Should Not Be Blogging, a parody that fell flat, I was a new blogger not prepared for the barrage of negative comments I received.

My husband explained that you become vulnerable to criticisms when you “put yourself out there.”

Being thin-skinned, I was unprepared for what I perceived as an attack.

Would I be prepared now? Would you?

Being around negative people affects us adversely. In real time, we can choose to avoid them, but what happens when they bring their negativity to your blog? What is your recourse?

When is a good time to learn how to avoid negativity?

In January, when the year is new and bloggers are full of hope for a successful blog in the new year?

In December, when the holidays roll around and people are full of holiday cheer?

I chose the latter. Hopefully, you are so full of the spirit of your holiday, whatever it may be, you can take the suggestions in this post to fluff off the negativity.

Consider these comments made to an offended blogger:

“Sorry to say, but it’s an on-line diary. Nobody cares what you ate for lunch.”

“To be honest, I’m worried about the quality – the quality of the writing.”

“It’s for amateurs really, it’s not what we do.”

Most readers don’t want to hear about your kids.”

These comments were shared by a blogger who struggles with symptoms of mental illness:

This climate [the recent United States election] of inappropriate and inaccurate cause and effect impacted me so much I am only now able to write about it.

How Should You Deal With Negative Blog Comments?

  1. Have a thick skin.
  2. Diffuse it.
  3. Ignore some of the negative blog comments you receive.
  4. Don’t respond right away. You need time for your emotions to cool.
  5. Don’t respond to everyone. Pick your battles.
  6. Don’t respond with arrogance. Even if you have conviction your opinion is correct, no one likes someone who sounds like a “know it all”.
  7. If you do respond, consider the criticism. I read there will be at least 10% of truth in any criticism. If it has any merit at all, see what you can tweak.
  8. Respond by offering proof. Statistics and credible research will back up your position.
  9. When you respond, avoid using inflammatory words like”always” and “best.”
  10. Block the “troll” who criticized you.
  11. Use the Feel, felt, found technique. It’s called countering. When you counter, you admit the opposing argument. “I understand how you feel, but this is why you’re wrong.”
  12. Respond with humor. Content writer Dave Choate explains it works for him.
  13. Don’t argue. People may look at your blog as a safe place to vent. Be flattered.
  14. Stick with the facts. If you do choose to argue, your arguments will be a whole lot more credible (Janice, link) by stating fact such as statistics. Numbers are irrefutable.
  15. If you do choose to engage your negative reader, try to communicate instead of defending your position.
  16. Make your reader feel you understand him or her even if you disagree. Start sentences with “I am hearing you say…”
  17. Remember the bright side– controversy breeds high page views.
  18. Be happy about the negative comment— it makes the positive comments look credible.
  19. Keep the big picture in mind. Are you trying to win an argument, increase page views, or keep your blogging community intact?
  20. Ask yourself if a negative comment is better than no comment.
  21. Remember, “the customer is always right.” Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
  22. Admit you were just sharing your opinion; you didn’t mean to present it as fact.
  23. Look upon the negative experience as a learning experience. This is a chance to improve your blog.
  24. Dismiss them as a “troll,” the name assigned to online hecklers.
  25. Invite your critic to write a pro/con post with you. Take different sides of an issue you disagree on. I did in my joint post Are High Page Views the Greatest Thing in the World? I was completely outnumbered in my views, but it was fun. People should talk on a blog.
  26. To quote a Taylor Swift song, “Shake it Off,” and forget about it.
  27. Assess the situation and use this as a learning experience. If you had a do-over, would you have written whatever it was that provoked your critic?
  28. Stand up for yourself by defending yourself.
  29. Don’t let yourself feel victimized. Remind yourself you don’t know the critic in real-time off-line.
  30. Don’t sweat the small stuff. This IS small stuff.
  31. Remember your response will be read by your blogging community. Take the high road; be the bigger person.
  32. If you were wrong, and your mistake angered your commenter, admit your error. You don’t want other readers to network against you and have a mass exodus because you were too proud to admit you erred.
  33. If you made a mistake which provoked the situation, use the strikethrough key.
  34. If the comment was so inappropriate you don’t want your other readers to see it, delete it.
  35. Thank the writer for the comments even if they disagreed with your post.
  36. Argue. Your readers will take sides, and your page views will flow. That’s the stuff of a good blog.
  37. Don’t argue. Life is too short and you’ll only keep engaging your critic.
  38. Suggest you “take the matter outside” and write about it away from the blog in an email.
  39. Try to look at the situation from the critic’s point of view.
  40. Feel sorry for the critic. Some people need to “get a life”.
  41. Ignore your critics. You know you’re terrific.
  42. Set boundaries. How much of this are you going to take?
  43. Be respectful even if they didn’t make a respectful comment to you. Treat other the way you’d want to be treated.
  44. Question the critic as to the reason for the criticisms. They may have been trying to get under your skin. If they see you are genuinely interested in their viewpoint, a more civilized dialogue may ensue.
  45. Console yourself with the fact that you are not alone. You can not please all of the people all of the time. This happens to everyone. Everyone receives negative blog comments.
  46. Answer the most negative comment first. Get it out of the way.
  47. Save the best critical comment for last. End on a more positive note so you aren’t irritable.

Swearing

Sometimes when people get angry, they use swear words to express their emotion.

Should you swear in your response to them?

My immediate response would be absolutely not. You want to be seen as the bigger person, the calmer, level–headed person for your readers.

That all changed when I read Neil Patel’s article “What Effect Does Swearing Have On Your Brand?

According to Patel, swearing can actually convey confidence and authenticity depending on who your audience is.

My personal feeling is there are more downsides than reasons to swear. You could offend readers and hurt your relationships with them in the long-term. You could hurt your brand as well.

I agree with one of Patel’s commenters. If you are in doubt, don’t do it.

Takeaways

According to Inbound.org‘s moderator, negative comments will always be there because you can’t please everyone. V.A. Hauser, an Inbound user, agrees:

You WILL receive opposition. You WILL receive backlash. From someone, anyone. And that’s okay. You must be willing not only to read alternative opinions but also be willing to recognize that those other opinions may help to change your own. It’s possible. And if you deny that possibility, you are denying yourself growth.

There WILL be people who will go beyond civil critique and who will flat out ridicule you for your opinion. Ignore them. As a marketer, this is a sign of someone who is not and will never be your customer. Let them rant, and move on.

According to Inbound’s Kayle Simpson:

It is impossible to be a writer with an opinion without getting backlash, period.

[bctt tweet=”Negative comments are inevitable when you write online. #writers” username=””]

Clearly, your options for handling negativity on your blog vary greatly.

Whichever option you pick, keep in mind you are not alone. For example, when you are in your car, and another driver angers you, no one will hear you if you audibly vent frustration. On a blog, the world can hear you.

According to the International Bloggers Association, there are two types of bloggers– the ones that want you to succeed and the bloggers that don’t do to jealousy. Don’t let the latter group bring you down.

The bottom line is to remember to have fun because blogging is, and should remain, fun.

Readers, please share, so bloggers who are exposed to negative comments know their options for dealing with these criticisms.

Have you ever received negative comments? How did you handle them? I look forward to your answer in the comments section.

Related Posts

The Great Blogger Hoax

Sources

  • http://lab.getapp.com/turn-that-frown-upside-down-how-to-handle-negative-user-reviews/
  • http://storybookapothecary.com/how-to-deal-with-assholes-internet/
  • https://aneeshamonae.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/strategies-to-deal-with-toxic-people/
  • https://www.quill.com/blog/careers-advice/no-mr-customer-youre-absolutely-wrong-how-to-contradict-the-people-you-need-in-business.html

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  1. Sandy KS at 4:42 am

    When it comes to reading blogs, I try to open minded. As I know I will read things I disagree with or will seek answers through a different circle. I try to never leave a bad comment. I figure leaving comments is the same as making a comment in person. I try to do what my momma taught me, if I can’t something nice, I don’t say anything at all. I will view and move on.

  2. Donna DeGuglielmo at 6:27 am

    I like this post gives lots of feedback and support … I like a lot of them but #22″ Admit you were just sharing your opinion; you didn’t mean to present it as fact.” is something i need to remember to use if this happens. TY blessings

  3. John Doe at 9:43 am

    I’ve been trying to think of a word that describes this post one word and right now I can only say spectacular. And the reason why? Because this post not only pertains to blogging but it pertains to every day life. You’ve given a lot of food for thought just the normal conversations with people. Thank you for such a thorough description

  4. Melinda Mitchell at 10:40 am

    Thanks, BBFFJ, for the thoughtful, and thought provoking post. I love the way you present both sides of how to respond!
    I’ve had only 1 really negative comment. And my loyal readers chewed him up! I calmly (After taking a breather!) told him my reasons for writing what I did, and that it reflected MY personal experiences, and opinion.
    I don’t think he came back to read any more. But that’s okay! My peeps love me, and “get” me!
    Your BBFFM
    Melinda Mitchell recently posted…Bubba’s BirthdayMy Profile

  5. Kathi at 5:21 am

    I try to just shake it off when I get a negative comment – fortunately they don’t happen often – and I always try to take the high road, as you suggested. Thank you for all the suggestions!

  6. Anonymous at 8:48 am

    I wish I had seen this before I handled the negative (and very lengthy) reaction someone had on one of my how to articles. My solution was to correct them and I did, fabulously, by using tip #48 – hit the delete button…

    • Janice Wald at 9:16 am

      Hi,
      I laughed when I read your comment. It was the way you wrote it. I genuinely am sorry you had that bad experience. Keep my list so if it reoccurs, you have the list handy.
      Janice

  7. Leanne at 7:06 pm

    Negative comments were my biggest fear when I started blogging (I even turned the comments section off initially because I didn’t want to have my tender feelings crushed). What I’ve found so far (touch wood) is that EVERY comment I’ve received has been positive and encouraging. I write a very positive blog so I tend to attract that kind of reader and they respond in kind. I wouldn’t engage with negativity – my response would be to delete the comment and move forward. Negative people have issues and inflaming them or trying to reason with them often just escalates things. Great post (as usual) Janice 🙂
    Leanne recently posted…Five Things Friday ~ 5 Quotes on “Enough”My Profile

    • Janice Wald at 8:18 pm

      Hi Leanne,
      Thanks for commenting on my negativity article.
      I have “tender feelings” too. I understand sensitive.
      You do offer positivity on your blog. I offer blogging tips. So far, I have been pretty lucky. However, the few negative comments I’ve received seemed like a few too many. I just want to help people. Life is too short. However, sometimes it can be fun to engage. I think it depends whether it’s a difference of opinion, a constructive criticism, or a downright attack.
      Thanks for writing me.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald at 8:15 pm

      Hi Grammy,
      So great to see you here as well as Facebook lately. Happy New Year to you too.
      Regarding my post, I am so glad you liked my reference to Taylor Swift. I believe you’re the only one who has commented on it. I am such a fan I couldn’t resist but to incorporate her lyric into my article.
      Regarding “your comment is awaiting moderation,” as a commenter, I like to see my comment now! I am not the patient sort. However, you could be right. If you are, how sad. We just want to help readers. We shouldn’t have to worry about getting attacked.
      Thanks for writing. Fun to chat with you about this.
      Janice

  8. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle at 9:01 pm

    A good comprehensive look at responding to people who have expressed their negativity. You have come up with lots of good ideas. I like the ones where you don’t stoop to their level.

    I heard a blogger who really suffered from a barrage of negative comment from a seasoned troll. Her advice was to express regret that the commenter was feeling so low about herself that she had to attack others to feel better. Then she would add that the commenter could use her to attack if it made her feel better.

    • Janice Wald at 9:08 pm

      Hi Kathleen,
      I appreciate you commenting on my article. I am glad you liked the point about not stooping to their level.
      If I’m understanding correctly, the blogger you reference was willing to be a troll’s personal punching bag when it came to verbal attacks?
      In my opinion, that’s just sad. Blogging should be fun. She shouldn’t put herself in that position no matter how noble an idea it is.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…Blogger’s Pit Stop #55My Profile

  9. Menaka Bharathi at 7:10 am

    I have seen many people being trolled because of the opinions they had expressed in different forums. A recent troll against a woman made me really sad. Your points seem workable and genuine too.

    Trolls on women in particular are directed to towards their body and flesh, that is what makes her shy away. the recent troll I am speaking about was a politically driven one where people formed a separate group just to troll her. The words used can never be reproduced anywhere, the lady in question was strong enough to put it out in social media and now we have formed a forum to sort such problems.

  10. Fabiola Rodriguez at 8:29 am

    I normally don’t have a problem with negative comments. There’s nothing wrong with someone commenting that they have a different opinion or that they disagree. There’s also nothing wrong when someone makes some constructive criticism. However, there are people out there who take advantage of the anonymity on the web to make rude and offensive comments. If I see any of these, I simply delete the comment. There’s just no point in replying.

    Very useful post! I’m not surprised it was featured in this week’s Pit Stop 🙂

    • Janice Wald at 8:42 am

      Hi Fabi,
      Great to see you. Thank you for writing me.
      What kind words. Thank you. Thank you as well for sharing what you do when people take advantage and they are rude.
      Janince

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