Once your blog starts getting some steady traffic you’re going to start seeing some criticism. Your readers might leave negative comments, other bloggers might negatively review your blog or somebody might trash-talk you on Facebook. It’s inevitable and it helps if you’re prepared for it. Here are some tips for responding to blogging criticism that might save you some heartache.
Always Take A Deep Breath First
Before you do anything, take a deep breath. If possible, step away from your computer for a few minutes and force yourself to think about something else. If necessary, don’t respond until the next day and give yourself some time to sleep on it. Never respond while you’re angry or hurt because you’ll probably say something you’ll regret. And if you say it online, it’s going to be visible forever.
Could They Be Right?
Once you’ve calmed down, take a close look at what they’re saying and ask yourself if there’s some validity in their criticism. Sure, maybe they were a little harsh in the way they said it, but some people are just more polite and considerate and others. Overlook they tone and look at the underlying message. It’s hard, but maybe there’s something here for you to learn.
Should You Respond?
Not all criticisms require a response and sometimes you’ll only make things worse no matter what you say or how you say it. If the critique is just a malicious attempt to draw you into an online argument, it might be best to ignore it instead of fanning the flames. I know that’s easier said than done, but remember, those online arguments stay online forever. And they have a tendency to go viral.
Never argue online with someone who’s reviewing your product or blog. A few years ago a blogger who did book reviews had one of his posts go viral. His review was polite and professional, but negative, and the author jumped into his comments to give him a good thrashing. All of the blogger’s loyal readers jumped in to defend him and the author ended up looking like a total fool, all over the Internet.
I know I’ve been tempted a time or two to respond with sarcasm and really cut that other person off at the knees. But that’s sometimes more trouble than it’s worth. You have to be careful that you don’t offend your other readers and at the same time you have to carefully word your come-back so you don’t leave yourself exposed to even more flaming.
I’ve had much better results when I simply thank the commentor for his critique and remind him that there are other people reading my blog who might think his language or comment is inappropriate and invite him to contact me privately.
What If It’s Another Blogger?
Here’s how I look at it… Any blogger worth his salt won’t call you out personally and try to annihilate you and your blog. He may criticize a particular post or comment, he may trash your blog without revealing the name, but he won’t completely throw you under the bus – it’s just not professional. Any blogger who would do this probably doesn’t have much of a following anyway and that’s why he’s doing it – for the attention. The best way to handle this type of blogging criticism is just to ignore it.