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Blog Disagreements: You Should Stir The Pot Because Of These 4 Things

Steven 2 responses Blogging
4

Over the years I’ve deleted many comments but not for the reasons you think.

I can handle a disagreement or constructive criticism, but the comments I delete are typically just rude and offensive, sometimes even hateful.

They add no value whatsoever and they’d only make my valued readers feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

But some negative comments can actually add value to your blog.

Here are four reasons you should embrace some of those negative comments.

They make you a better writer

When I get negative comments I always look back over the post. Did I say what I really meant to say? Did I make it clear enough for my readers? Did I present both sides of the issue fairly and give the reason for my opinion?

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If you’re just going to toss off a quit rant or controversial post then you’re bound to ruffle some feathers. But those negative comments teach you to pay closer attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it so you don’t offend your readers. Learn to use language that invites constructive dialog.

They make your readers think

Everyone’s entitled to an opinion and wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we all shared the same one. If nobody ever disagreed we’d all still think the world was flat. Disagreement is vital to progress. Deleting comments simply because a reader disagrees with you tells your readers that you don’t really care about their opinion. Encourage your readers to think for themselves and you’ll build a stronger community.

They make for better conversations

Like I said, wouldn’t the world be a boring place if everyone agreed on everything? Part of the attraction of blogging is all the new people you get to meet and the new ideas you get to share. A one-sided conversation is boring for you, but it’s even worse for your readers. Nobody likes to be preached to.

They increase reader engagement

Those dissenting comments you allow show your readers that you’re open to new ideas and you’re willing to listen to their opinions. By publishing them for all the world to see you’re encouraging your readers to chime in, join the conversation and share their own viewpoint. Suddenly, your blog is the place where people of all viewpoints can gather and safely share ideas.

Encourage dissenting comments because they add value for your readers. But it’s important to remember that negative comments directed towards you are one thing, if they’re directed toward your readers they’re another. Your main objective with comments is to open up a new avenue for conversation and encourage your readers to engage with you and each other. They won’t do that if they feel threatened or offended.

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2 Comments

  1. Shari

    Excellent post. Perhaps in jest but I hear writers frequently discuss the unwritten rule of ignoring comments. If true, this defeats the whole purpose of striking a clear and concise chord with the audience.

  2. Keith Matthews

    What about a post on how to WRITE a negative/dissenting comment? Done properly, negative comments can help launch a “character” of sorts, an individual who can be counted on to intelligently and consistently offer a countering POV. You know the type, one which when readers see the name, an instant “oh-ohhh” reaction occurs?

    For example, I have a friend who blogs on political issues from a deeply conservative bent. Most of his readership who write in are in agreement with his POV, which makes for “rah-rah!” reading. As you know, “rah-rah” is nice, but after while, can be extremely dull.

    So…

    Of course, being the good friend that I am, I deliberately write in with an opposing viewpoint, which, of course, fires up his base, and gives them something to look forward to. He lists me on his blogroll (which reminds me, I have to edit my new blogroll to include this site), making it a win-win for both of us!