Writing a blog can get pretty lonely when, after you’ve worked hard to share your thoughts with the world, you hear nothing but the echoing chirp of crickets. Developing a decent following and starting a real conversation through comments can be extremely rewarding; as your blog grows, however, these comments might not always be high fives and pats on the back.
Less-than-stellar blog comments are bound to pop up every now and then – ones from people who may disagree with your post or who simply don’t have anything nice to say. You could take the easy way out and delete them, which is perfectly acceptable for comments that are just plain offensive or spammy. But responding to these comments can also add another layer to the conversation. And what if it’s a comment on a guest blog post, which you have no control over? Ignoring the comment could affect your credibility as a blogger.
Here are some tips for responding to negative blog comments.
Remember – your readers are watching, and your response will reflect heavily on you and your blog. Be polite and thank the commenter for his input. Think of your blog as a space in which you invite readers to feel at home. You don’t want to be rude to your guests, do you?
Believe it or not, just because someone disagrees with you, doesn’t necessarily mean he is wrong. Keep an open mind about what your readers have to say, and learn from their comments.
If a reader is questioning a point you make in your post or asking for further information, be sure to answer. For example, if he is looking for a source to back up your tips for metal fabrication safety, give it to him. This is an opportunity to really give your content more weight and to defend your position. However, don’t get too defensive – this is a conversation, not a debate.
Admit your mistakes
Sometimes, you’re wrong. It happens. Whether a commenter is attacking your typos or disproving your explanation for how credit card payment gateways work, if you’ve made a mistake, you really have to own up to it. Apologize for the misinformation, update your post as needed, and take this as an opportunity to improve.
This is especially important if you write a company blog, where many readers expect a certain level of customer service. If a customer expresses a complaint in his comment, be sure to address it promptly and offer a solution to fix the problem.
Don’t take it personally
When you write your thoughts and opinions on the Internet, you’ve opened the door to criticism and feedback that won’t always be encouraging. Just keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to satisfy everyone, and that negative comments aren’t attack on you personally. It’s all about an exchange of ideas. If your post can get people thinking and talking, then it’s already a step in the right direction.