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How to Handle Negative Blog Comments

No matter what you blog about, who your audience is, or even how often you post, the singular truth about blogging is that, eventually, you will face negative blog comments. Since we in the pet blogging community are sharing our real life experiences with our real life pets, we open ourselves up to criticism about how we care for our animals. Sometimes the criticism can sting, especially when it’s an attack on your pet parenting.

How to Handle Negative Blog Comments

It’s hard not to feel defensive or to become reactive; however, those approaches are never productive. Since negativity will happen to you eventually, here are three steps to handle negative blog comments:

First, kindly acknowledge the comment.

To foster positive engagement, replying to comments is a must… even if they’re negative. It can be as simple as thanking the person for taking the time to share their opinion. That said, feel entitled to delete offensive, mean, bullying comments. Those do not warrant a reply unless you want to say something like, “I will be deleting this comment because it violates my comment policy.” (You do have a comment policy, right?) Wait a minute so that comment subscribers see your reply, then take action.

Second, check in with yourself.

Here’s where you decide whether or not to click the “reply” button with your simple acknowledgement from step one or if you should add more information.

This is the hardest of the three steps. Take a long, honest look at the comment. Could there be anything constructive in that negative comment? Are you reacting negatively because it’s a dissenting opinion? You’ve already acknowledged the comment, so check your gut: Do you feel compelled to add to it? It’s unproductive to go on the defensive or try to counter their points unless you’re confident that it can be a kind, level-headed discussion (as in, no name calling or bullying). Remember: As blog owner, you’re the master of comments, and you set the tone for how others respond. Stay positive and productive.

Third, move on.

Negative Nellies are out there. The internet gives them all a voice. I’ve talked to many bloggers who feel down about negative comments. The truth is, no matter what you write, there will be someone somewhere who will take issue. My suggestion? Take it as a massive compliment! Your writing is good enough to fire people up, to get them to invest their precious, limited time to craft a comment. Even if it is negative, you have readers and you have people who care enough about what you have to say to give up a slice of their life to share their thoughts.

How to Handle Negative Blog Comments FB

Read it, acknowledge it, move on.

And, if at the end of dealing with negative comments you still feel icky (it happens, especially if they all pile on at once), go scritch your cat’s ears, head out for a walk with your dog, leave a super positive comment on someone else’s blog, or read something positive like 3 Reasons Your Blog WILL Succeed.

Have you dealt with negative comments? How did you handle it? Any tips for those who haven’t yet experienced negativity? How can we, as a community, help foster positivity? 

Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws senior editor. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com

Images: Aspen Photo/Shutterstock.com and takayuki/Shutterstock.com

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