While most commenters are nice and polite, you can’t take for granted that all of them are so. There are some who can be pretty obnoxious. For a new blogger (and quite often seasoned bloggers too), these comments can be disheartening. A few bloggers that I know of had even called it quits after receiving far too many of such negative comments while some decided to privatise their blogs.
But what if your blog is your source of income? You can’t just shut it down. It’ll take too much effort and time to rebuild everything again. It won’t solve this negative commenters issue either. Plus there are things that you can’t replace like reputation and trust. Privatizing your blog? Totally out of the question.
Why Are There Negative Comments?
Well, here are some reasons that I can think of:
- Sorry to burst your bubble but nasty people do exist out there and they seemed bent on making your life miserable.
- Perhaps they misunderstood your post or ideas?
- Attention seeking especially if yours is a popular blog.
- They needed a place to rant and yours just happened to be the blog they arrive at.
- They didn’t realise that they were being unkind. These commenters would usually apologise once you confront them.
So what can you do? Well, here are some tips on how you can better handle these negative comments like what some successful blogger do!
Dealing With Negative Comments
Ignore These Comments
If these negative comments are invalid, then by all means, ignore them. I mean, how do you talk sense to someone who doesn’t? Such comments should be dealt with the silent treatment. By replying to them, you are only drawing your readers’ attention to these comments. And this could bring more harm. If they are encouraged, these commenters would continue their assault. And this is the last thing you want.
There are also bad comments that are spams. If so, you can always delete them. They have nothing to do with your blog or posts so taking them off are perfectly alright. Just thought you like to know, WordPress has built-in spam protection feature and you can also add an anti-spam plugin.
Clear The Misunderstanding
Sometimes negative comments arise when the reader misunderstood your post. It could be that they did not fully comprehend what you were trying to say or mistaken you for another blogger or perhaps your post was not clear enough. Whichever reason it is, you will need to address these comments by highlighting the correct facts – politely. Your commenter would appreciate it. And so will your other readers.
Love Your Enemies
Not everyone agrees with what you have to say. If they do, the World would become a dull place to live in. So why not love your enemies? You don’t need to go down as low as some mean commenters. Maintain your dignity and you’ll be surprised at what it can do to your blog.
Take for example this Singaporean blogger that goes by the name of Xiaxue. She was embroiled in war of words in her blog and Facebook recently. According to this report, she was criticized for supporting the “wrong” political party. But instead of quietly ignoring the whole matter, she chose to speak up and speak up she did.
Sure, she made enemies but at the same time, she made more friends and admirers who praise her for being brave enough to stand up for what she believes. And needless to say, her blog traffic shot up and she even had to reject advertisers.
A caution here though. It can lead to stress for some but then, which worth fighting cause is stress-free, right? Remember to get your facts right and half the battle is won.
How Should You Reply
Wait! Before you post your reply, do consider the following tips first.
Don’t get all agitated over the bad comments. Replying when you are fuming only make things worse. Remember that the comments are on your blog so always think ahead on how you can turn the tables around on these unkind remarks.
Put yourself in the commenter’s shoes
Sometimes, you will need to step out of being a blog owner and think like these commenters. Why did they say the things that they did? Listen and understand them. They may after all, have valid reasons for doing so. Find them out and address them.
Be positive and sensitive to your readers when making clarifications. Maintain good rapport. And be brave enough to admit it if you were wrong. Promise to take action, if needed.
Preventing / Minimizing Negative Comments
Is there any way to prevent or minimize negative comments from happening? Yes, there are.
- Review your posts before hitting publish. Make sure they make sense to you and that readers won’t misunderstand your intention. Check your grammar and spelling too.
- Build reputation and a strong relationship with your readers. This would have them rally behind you when you are faced with a particularly rude and obnoxious commenter.
- Handle existing negative comments with witty and positive remarks and it will win you admiration from your readers and may even keep potential bad commenters away.
Whether you like it or not, there will be those who will disagree with you, from rocket scientist to idiots and everyone in between. So take a step back and re-look at the situation. What can you do to make the best out of the whole thing? How you handle the situation is more important than what these bad commenters say.
Don’t fret the next time you get a negative comment on your blog. Re-read the above suggested ways and put into action the one that fits your situation. Remember to bookmark this page then 🙂
Image Credit: Ben Heine