To be fair, I was warned this might happen.
This has been a weird month. On several occasions, I have been met with mean comments, rude remarks and tons and tons of spam!
When blogging, you need to have thick skin (something I don’t have). You’re putting content out there for the world to see and welcoming criticism and scrutiny. The more successful your blog, the more frequently you’ll receive hate.
Outside of my blog, I work full time in marketing and communications. Years ago I was trained on how to properly respond to comments online. This can be tricky, and it’s tempting to respond to every harsh comment with explanations so your customers don’t think the worst of you. Unfortunately, many businesses do this, and turn around and ignore the kind comments from loyal customers. This feeds into negativity, and discourages your fans from supporting you. Not good!
Responding to haters takes balance and composure. It is crucial to respond without emotion. No, that doesn’t mean emotionless – you don’t want to be a robot! But you also don’t want a long rant starting with, “OK, FIRST OF ALL….” Instead, step back, collect your thoughts, and read their comment aloud in an extremely pleasant voice. Often times, you read in a negative tone and assume that’s how they typed it out, which can escalate the situation and cause misunderstandings.
How to respond to: The critic
This person questions your sources, argues with your points, and points out your flaws. At first, you hate them. But ask yourself, “If I remove all emotion from this comment, both mine and theirs, is there truth to what they’re saying?” This takes asking yourself if you could have done a better job. If the answer is yes (which honestly, it probably is), admit your faults and thank them for keeping you honest. Critics are often a bloggers best friend. They push you to do a better job the next go around and encourage you to look at your own work through a different lens.
How to respond to: The troll
Before claiming you have been “trolled,” think, ‘Does this comment add anything to the conversation? Are they keeping the dialogue going?’ If not, it’s a troll. Trolls feed off of attention and live for the shock value. They are working hard to rile you up, they want you to respond. As difficult as it is, your best response is to ignore. Others will see this person for what they are, giving in to negativity will only diminish your reputation.
How to respond to: The grammar Nazi
You know the type. They comment with one word: *you’re. Now you’re humiliated. You realize you’ve made a silly grammatical blogging error and their comment is forever stamped on your post announcing to the world that you suck at writing. Fix your post, move on. Don’t sweat it. A simple, “Nice catch,” is a fine response.
How to respond to: The potty mouth
You put in so much effort to keep your blogging clean and you’re met with a comment that’s littered with foul language and crude remarks. You panic. Your first thought is, ‘My grandma might be reading this!’ Deleting inappropriate comments is absolutely acceptable. You are not required to leave comments on your page if they offend you. Deleting comments isn’t wrong. It’s your page, you manage the content.
How to respond to: The self promoter
They aren’t there to support you, they’re just commenting to fill their quota. This is most commonly seen on Instagram and comes in the form of, “Love it!” “Great pic!” and “Check out my page!” These people are harmless. In their perfect world, you’d follow their page and engage in their content. In the blogging world, you do not need to respond to their comments with, “Thanks!” Just let the self promoters self promote.
When I receive a mean comment, I try to remember to handle it with kindness. One of my favorite quotes is, “When you have a bad day, a really bad day, try and treat the world better than it treated you.”
Chin up, my friend, it’s one person’s opinion. That is not the way that others see you.
How have you responded to hate while blogging? Have you ever been tempted to take a break from your blog due to the hateful things someone has said? Sometimes, I have to remind myself that I am writing for me, and not for the validation of others.
Thanks for reading,