In case you missed the previous posts in this “Blog” series, you can check them out here:
- The 5 W’S You Need to Ask Yourself Before You Start
- Which Blog Host is Right for Me?
- The Importance of the First Impression
- Planning Your Content & Editorial Calendar
- Growing Your Blog Through Social Media
- Why You Need a Media Kit (and What Should Go On It!)
Today we’re talking about negativity. It’s easy to talk about the fun and positive things that come from blogging, it’s NOT easy to talk about the tough parts. This is a tough topic to tackle because it’s very personal and everyone handles these things differently.
And, I’ll be the first to admit that this is STILL tough for me after all these years. I’m an admittedly sensitive person and I’m a people pleaser – so negativity is often hard for me to handle.
However, I have learned that there are a few things you can put in place to help make this tough part of blogging a little bit easier…
Let’s quickly address the different types of negativity that you might encounter when you start to blog:
First, negativity from friends and family.
This one can often be the hardest because you want the ones you love to support and encourage you on your blogging journey. This might especially be prevalent in the early days of getting your blog going. And who knows, you might not encounter this at all, but it’s something to be prepared for.
In the early days of our marriage, John wasn’t really sure why I spent so much time on my blog. Not that he was being critical at all… he just wasn’t as supportive at first as I had hoped he’d be. However, after we talked about it and after he saw how passionate I was about it, he jumped on board and now he’s my biggest fan.
The biggest advice I can offer when it comes to handling negativity coming from those you love is to tell them how you feel and show them your passion for what you’re doing. Show them you’re committed, show them how hard you’re working, and explain to them WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. Sooner or later, they’ll come around.
Second, negative comments.
This is the one you’re likely to encounter most often. I have to say, I absolutely LOVE that the community of readers I’ve grown over the years is one of the most encouraging, supportive, and kind community EVER. I realize I’m biased, but I really do feel so blessed to have some of the best readers who are always so awesome.
However, I do still get negative comments every now and then – and they can be tough to deal with. I won’t ever forget the first truly negative comment I got and it crushed me! I was so upset about it.
And let me be clear, there’s a difference between negativity and constructive criticism. We’re talking pure negativity here.
That first negative comment can really be a blow. Trust me. I’ve been there. But there are a few things you can put in place to protect yourself and your readers.
Develop a comment policy.
This is something I wish I had done earlier in my blogging days, and honestly, once I put my commenting policy in place, I had a MUCH easier time dealing with comments (and a lot of the negativity dwindled!)
Here is what my commenting policy says:
still being [molly] is an open and welcoming blog. I LOVE reading your comments – they aren’t just appreciated, they’re encouraged. However, there are some cases where I will remove a comment. Comments that are deemed inappropriate, offensive, hateful, and downright nasty will be removed. Please refrain from using ANY profanity in your comments – I don’t use profanity here and neither should you. It’s just not necessary. While I love constructive criticism and differing opinions, any comments that attack me, my family, friends, personal beliefs, or personal appearance will be deleted. Because that just ain’t right.
*If you’d like, feel FREE to copy this policy and make any adjustments you want to and use it on your blog!
A commenting policy protects you and your readers. It gives you a baseline of the kind of comments that you will allow and the kind of comments that will be deleted. If a comment doesn’t fall in line with my guidelines, I delete it. No questions. If it is constructive criticism, awesome. I totally allow it and love the discussion it can bring! It’s when things get hostile, negative, derogatory, inflammatory, etc. that I draw the line.
Anonymous Critics vs. Named Critics
One thing I’ve learned is to let the “anonymous” criticism and negativity roll off my back. It can be REALLY tough to do that, but it’s a lot easier to be critical and mean when you’re remaining anonymous… If someone uses their email and name, it’s much easier for me to at least engage in discussion with that person.
Be Confident & Own Your Space
At the end of the day, it’s your day and it’s your space. Own it. Love it. Be proud of it. Understand that not everyone is going to like your blog and be okay with that!
And stay “above the fray.” Don’t stoop to the level of the “bad eggs” and be hostile and negative. The internet can be a dangerous place for that to happen… handle all the negativity with grace, class, and style! 🙂
What do you think? How do YOU deal with negativity?