How to Respond to Negative Comments on Your Blog

Unfortunately, no matter how committed you are to providing excellent blog content on a regular basis, you will never be able to please absolutely everyone. On occasion, even the best blogs will receive negative comments ranging from constructive criticism to outright trolling or disruptive spam. In other situations, someone may post negative comments about your blog on another website or social network, which can be even more troublesome, since you likely won’t have any control over what they are saying about you. Sadly, the infamous Internet troll is very much alive and active in the digital world – such individuals thrive on inciting drama for no apparent reason. How you deal with a negative comment entirely depends on its nature, but dealing with it in a constructive and thoughtful way rather than a reactionary one is essential for your success and earning respect among the community surrounding your blog.

Dealing with Spam Comments

Spam comments are among the easiest to deal with, in spite of the fact that they are so numerous. Fortunately, blogging platforms such as WordPress include highly effective spam filters which should prevent the vast majority of spam comments from ever getting published in the first place. However, no spam filter is absolutely perfect, and spammers themselves are always finding new ways to work around them. Needless to say, the more popular your blog is, the more spam comments it will receive, and keeping an eye out for spam which gets past the filters can become quite a chore. Nonetheless, you should remove such comments as soon as you notice them, lest your readers start getting frustrated.

Dealing with Constructive Criticism

It can sometimes be difficult to define constructive criticism, particularly if it states something that you firmly believe not to be true. However, unless the comment is deliberately offensive, you should always respond diplomatically. If you feel that a commenter is being unfair, getting the wrong idea or jumping to the wrong conclusion regarding your company, blog or an individual post, you should immediately reply and present them with the correct information without being too defensive. After all, nothing is more effective at starting a flame war than getting on the defensive. Instead, be polite and thank people for their feedback, even if it is negative. Your readers will appreciate your response and may even come to your defence on your behalf. A big part of blogging is engaging your target audience, which involves admitting your mistakes and fixing them while addressing the concerns of your readers directly.

Dealing with Trolls

The unpleasant individuals who hide behind their anonymity and use the opportunity to incite drama are popularly known as trolls. Such people are deliberately cruel and never seem to have anything pleasant to say about anyone or anything, and you simply cannot win an argument with them. In some cases, there may seem to be a fine line between constructive criticism and trolling, but if you are in any doubt, you should treat it as the former at first to give the individual a second chance and show your readers that you are mature enough to deal with it responsibly. Take it no further if they do not respond in kind. Blog comments which are completely off-topic, offensive or deliberately controversial should also be dealt with appropriately. As the saying goes in the online world, ‘don’t feed the troll’. On the other hand, ignoring such comments can be counterproductive. Instead, just delete them if they have nothing of value to offer you or your readers.

No one likes having to deal with negative feedback, but it is an inescapable part of blogging, and dealing with each negative comment individually and thoughtfully will help to keep your community growing and your readers appreciative of all your hard work.

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