Blogging is a fun, rewarding endeavor. For an hour or so every day, you get to pour your heart and soul into WordPress or Tumblr drafts, hit the post button, and allow the world to witness your latest writing creation. It feels incredibly rewarding when your followers comment on how intriguing your blog posts are. I know firsthand how great it felt when I’d have random strangers leaving comments on my food blog saying much they enjoyed my work. When I was at the University of Texas, I helped run a small food blog with a few friends. It wasn’t much of anything when we started, but it turned into something greater than any of us ever expected. In the midst of our blog’s growing popularity, however, I started to notice that the comments being left on our blog were becoming increasingly hostile, rude, and aggressive. It can be difficult to know how to handle negative blog comments, especially when you’re just getting your feet wet as a blogger. For those of you who have received hostile, nasty comments on your blog entries, here are four appropriate methods that will most likely handle the problem..
Ignore the Comment
Although it can feel like a huge sting when someone leaves you a nasty comment on your blog, sometimes the best course of action is to simply ignore the rude comment. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but keep in mind, if the commenter had the motivation to say something nasty the first time around, they won’t be afraid to say something much nastier the second time around. In fact, pretending something doesn’t bother you is often the best course of action in stopping an unwanted aggression. So, as difficult as it may sound, always try to ignore rude blog comments.<
Delete the Comment
If the comment is extremely rude, disturbing, volatile, or profane, then it’s probably best to go ahead and delete it. Not only will it bother you to see these comments on your blog, it will probably bother fellow readers as well. Within your blog, there should be administrator controls and settings that allow you to delete comments. If you find your blog is constantly being bombarded with hostile, profane comments, you can also choose to disable the commentary section entirely. I strongly suggest against this move, as readers do love to leave comments on blogs.
I used to have people leave comments on my blog stating things that simply weren’t true. Since I ran a food blog, a lot of the things I wrote about pertained to health and nutrition, so you can just imagine all of the colorful commentary I would get when I’d blog about topics like “How to Lose Weight at Your Office Desk.” If I ever saw a comment run across my blog that proved to be misleading, over-stated, or untrue, I would calmly engage with the commenter and point to evidence that proved my statements were true. Surprisingly, most of the time the commenter would agree with my statements and retract their comment. Calmly engaging is a good idea only if you are confident that the commenter is a rational, competent person. If you sense that they might snap back at you with something nasty, I’d stick with option one and just ignore them.
Allow other Readers to Come to Your Defense
If you have a faithful following of readers, chances are you won’t have to defend your blog entries if somebody says something harsh about them. I learned very quickly that my readers were very protective of my work, and if anyone ever said something negative about my blog, my readers would often do the arguing for me. I’d have to watch how volatile the arguments got, of course, but most of the time the arguing was kept to a minimum. Unless you feel absolutely justified, I’d say it’s probably best to avoid reasoning with someone that says something hurtful about you or your blog. Chances are they’re probably just a mean-spirited person who just wants to ruin someone’s day, so don’t let it get to you.
I had to learn when I was just a young university student how to handle negative, hostile blog comments. For those of you who are just getting your first taste of negative commentary, these are the four best things you can do in order to rectify the situation.
Katheryn Rivas is a prolific freelance writer and professional blogger who frequently contributes to onlineuniversities.com as well as other education and technology sites. If you have any comments or questions, drop Katheryn a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.