If you follow the right tips on building your blog, it will grow, attract more people and as the masses of visitors rise, so do the comments, and some of them may not always be positive. At times you will have to deal with negative comments.
- At times they can be constructive, challenging and insightful.
- But other times, they can be rude, pointless or just horrible to read.
And it’s normal to feel intimidated when you get that first negative comment on your site.
I’ve had it and having approved and read thousands of comments over the years on this blog, I have come to find constructive ways of dealing with the negative ones that have so far been quite successful.
Here are 8 ways to deal with negative comments on your blog:
- Always be polite to whoever is negatively commenting on your blog.
- Make sure to state you respect opposing points of views and you welcome them.
- Be open minded and admit when you are wrong. Humility tends to attract empathy and respect.
- Stay calm and never write a retort emotionally (you’re more likely to write foolish things).
- Trash the comment if it isn’t helpful (For example, if there’s name calling or no real points are being stated).
- Stick to your position if you really believe you are right.
- Don’t appease commenters who try to bully you.
- Always know that others will read your comments and the more positive one will win.
I have found these tips usually work quite well in dealing with negative comments and while you’ll never appease everyone, you have to be able to distinguish which positive and negative comments to approve or trash because sometimes it isn’t so simple to figure out and you may have situations where you’ll even have to delete positive comments.
How can you tell when to do what? Well this is what I’ll get into now:
How to deal with positive comments (When to approve them and when to delete them):
1) My first basic rule is this: Does the comment offer value?
For example, if I have a comment from someone who says “Nice site!”, or something along those lines, even though it is positive, I tend to not approve those because they are said too often, and they don’t really offer me any value. I may approve one or two comments on a blog post which say this, but it doesn’t make sense to approve dozens of comments that say the same thing, even if it’s positive.
2) Comments which are positive and have links pointing back to their site are situations where I go in 1 of 2 directions:
I remove the link but approve the comment if and only if it offers value. I don’t allow linking on my site. I am against this approach personally because there are a lot of people who purposely do this in order to get backlinks to their page so they’ll go on different sites, leave a positive response not to add value, but to improve upon their site.
This is shameless in my opinion.
3) Comments that ask questions and are polite will usually get approved.
This is straight forward.
4) Comment that are positive but are grammatically messed up won’t.
Sometimes I get comments from people who truly want to say positive things, but reading it is more difficult than I can begin to explain, so if I can’t make the necessary corrections to a comment that makes no sense, I won’t bother and will erase it, because if I can’t understand, my readers won’t either.
More specifics on dealing with negative comments:
It’s going to happen so be prepared when it does.
1) Negative comments are things I rarely approve unless again they offer value.
You can absolutely expect to get negative comments especially when you review things that are popular. For example, a lot of people disagree with my positions on MLM programs. There is one clear example which is a program called Nerium.
While some choose to have a discussion with me, there are those who like to point fingers and say I don’t know anything, or much worse. I am always for things like:
2) Debate negative commentators if there’s value in it.
If you do not agree with my position on something, by all means make your opinion known but in a polite way.
If you make good points and comment to have a debate with me, I will approve the comment and respond to you as well. Always make sure that if this happens, that you are polite in your response and not putting the person down. People who see this will more likely also post their responses if they are you are friendly and respectful.
However things that do often happen like: Swearing, name calling, threats (yes these happen too) and whatever else you can fit into this topic are things I will almost never approve.
If we can’t have an intelligent discussion on a topic, then we really can’t have it at all. Besides when you plug in the value argument, there really isn’t any. It just becomes a primitive finger pointing contest.
This can also work both ways. There have been rare times where I’ve approved a very negative comment because it was easy to refute the person. This shows you have a backbone and are ready to stand up for your beliefs which is also good for people who visit your site. It adds more trust and respect.
Plus think of it this way: There are always those with skepticism who read your content. Most won’t bother commenting but the few that do may represent those people so by proving your point/s, you can actually turn those skeptics around.
The point is that negative comments will happen. You will never have everyone agree with you. You will always have those that disagree just because that’s who they are. The ones which are overly negative and even threaten you are ones you should ignore.
3) A negative comment may not always be wrong. Sometimes it’s you.
You’ll have people call you out for stuff. I do, especially with my reviews and if I’m wrong, or you’re wrong, you’ll have to admit it.
I’ve made a couple of mistakes on product reviews I’ve done before and it was through comments that pointed this out that I added/edited the content to make it accurate. I did admit my mistake and moved on. This is also good because:
- It shows that you’re not too stubborn to admit you’re wrong.
- By making the proper changes to your blogs, you improve it’s content quality, the reader’s experience and more.
Don’t be so stubborn that you delete comments that put you on the spot and prove you wrong. That’s not a good way to do business.
My final thoughts:
Don’t be afraid of negative comments and don’t be too quick to approve positive comments as well. Read them all, see if they offer your site and your readers value and base your decisions from that point of view. This is how I do it.
Always be welcoming and polite to your readers. Never talk back at them, at least not in a rude way. Make your points clear and easy to understand.
And you should also encourage people to comment on your blog. This helps it grow. Here is everything you need to know about comments.
Now I’d like to hear from you! If you are a blogger and have dealt with both good and bad comments, what sort of policy do you follow in these situations?