If you have been blogging for any amount of time, I am sure you have come across a negative comment, or a hundred. So, how do we deal with negative feedback? There is no right answer or magic formula, it’s situational. What I do may not be for you and vice-versa. Let me drive this point home…this is MY opinion on the matter and MY way of dealing with negative feedback on a post.
First, why this topic? Easy…I received negative feedback! DUH! No big long story to go along with it, just a simple comment questioning the value of a post and a “this is lame” flag. OUCH! Yes, it stung when I read it and yes I felt myself blush a little. I attribute that to social acceptance. We all want to be liked and “voted up.” so when that doesn’t happen, we immediately feel the gut punch. Guess what? It’s okay. It really is. We don’t all agree 100% of the time and we all interpret things differently. We also all our at different levels of our blogging careers. So, here are the “it’s” of how I dealt with it and will continue to do so in the future when it happens, and it will happen. It’s just a fact of life and in order to succeed, you must learn from it and handle “yo bizness.”
- Read it. You read it once, now read it again..and again. Was this person right in their analysis? Were there valid points in their argument? We are assuming here that the comment was not a blatant attack on you or a defamatory remark. We are assuming this comment was FEEDBACK and provided an argument to back up the statement. I read the comment at least 10X, but then again I am a little obsessive! However, I determined they had some valid points.
- Address it. Do not wimp out and run away from it. Consider the possibility it was valid and respond. I stress here that you must not respond if you are angry. Only respond when you are able to calmly address the issue. Being rude only solidifies their argument and makes you look like an unprofessional ninny. I responded back thanking them for the feedback and gave my side of the story-briefly. Bottom line is if you post something, stand behind it.
- Learn it. This comment in particular presented valid points about my post. My job is to learn from it and build upon this for the future. If your posts don’t answer the question you ask, you are failing your readers. I left questions unanswered in my post and this reader had a right to the answers because I said I would give it to them. So really, choose your titles carefully!!
- Build it. The relationship. Hopefully, they have read your response, respect your ability to defend yourself and can continue to engage with you. This will provide you with another positive relationship in the blogging community. This, after all, is should be your goal. If the relationship ends after you respond to the comment, so be it. Don’t nag the person and try and push your way in their face for God sake! you can be glad in knowing you handled it with dignity and learned something in the process.
We can all learn from each other here as far as I am concerned. As in “real life,” we are not going to always agree. Our virtual space is no different. In this day and age, one must have virtual manners too. Oh, and don’t go around to other bloggers trash talkin about the person either! That’s my 2 cents on the matter. I would love to hear your experiences with negative feedback. How did you handle it? Did you learn anything from the comments?