As your blog posts grow in popularity something you should almost always encourage is for people to leave feedback and comments on your posts. This is a great way to get returning visitors and keep people engaged on your website or blog.
You will sadly however, eventually come across the odd unconstructive commenter. The bigger your online presence the more tactful you have to be when dealing with negative comments. Huge corporations have a number of “what happens if…” crisis management policies in place for even the most far-fetched interpretations of any media related appearances.
I’m not saying you should put together a red button plan, but being able to deal with these comments in a well-mannered way can actually have an overwhelmingly positive impact on you or your business’ public persona.
Firstly, you’ll be able to spot the comments that have little value straight away. Anything along the lines of “This is…[insert colourful phrase]” without offering anything constructive to the topic, or something that is a direct attack on you personally – don’t lose any sleep over. Delete and move on.
Dealing With Negativity Constructively
Many of us find criticism hard to accept, particularly if it is on something we’ve invested time in. However, remembering that not everyone will share your opinion of everything is perhaps the most valuable tool in your arsenal. Once you can accept this you can start to understand people are very quick to tell you if they don’t like something or don’t agree with something. After all, it’s always easier to complain about the fly in your soup then praise the chef on a great meal (although that may be a British thing).
If you’ve managed to get to the point where you have regular readers, they’ll soon feel like they know you. Even if they don’t 100% agree with what you’ve written in an article they will often understand your angle and appreciate your point of view. If a loyal readers will be more than happy to defend your content. This is a great stroke of your ego, and you should enjoy the fact that despite the negativity of the minority, the majority enjoy and appreciate your content.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
A lot of people struggle with communication, particularly when it’s the sharing of ideas and opinions, I’d happily include myself in that bracket from time to time.
If someone has written a shorter, less comprehensive statement that you interpret as malicious, ask for clarification. I’d suggest even doing this off blog in an email. The commentator will be impressed that you’ve taken the time to respond, and may even be shocked at how their comment was interpreted – unless they were just being mean. Once you have this information you’re in a much stronger position to respond publicly on the comment thread. You can address the problem, make any corrections to the misinterpreted content, or offer an alternative opinion. Often just acknowledging the comment and appreciating the difference of opinion is enough. Something along the lines of “I see your point, and can understand why you feel that way. This article was written from my experience of XYZ, and that is the reason I feel this way about it”.
Filter out the Impulse Commenters
People that lash out struggle to justify their point based on fact or experiences rather than just sudden emotion. If you ask people to elaborate, they may well find it difficult, in essence killing their own point.
Despite this I think something that is often forgotten when hiding behind the anonymity of a screen is what such a beautiful tool the world wide web is. It allows us to share and discuss opinions and experiences of people with a huge range of cultural backgrounds, whose opinions will often be different from our own.
So, keep sharing your ideas online and deal with comments (good and bad) in a professional way and you’ll be getting more visitors to your blog than you may have anticipated. We can do this for you as part of a bespoke SEO package – get in touch to find out more.