How To Turn Negative Comments to Your Advantage

John Chow said you need a skin like a rhino to survive as a professional blogger. I’ve blogger since GeoCities (now defunct) in the late 90s. Since then I’ve worked on dozen of web projects. Some were more successful than others. One trend we noticed was that sites with a strong identify drew the most viewers.

An Intense Attempt to Escape
Creative Commons License photo credit: Alma Salvaje
Everyone has an opinion, right? What makes one blog more interesting that another? It’s different things. Style. Tone, Knowledge. And Opinion.
Look at the A List Bloggers. They all have opinions. Strong opinions. That’s part of the appeal. You want to hear what they’ve to say. And see the reaction from others.
But here’s the catch.
If you want your blog to move up a notch, you too need to make a stand or take a strong position. This means move away from the comfort zone and committing to what you believe in.

How to Change Your Attitude Towards Negative Comments

John Chow said you need a skin like a rhino to survive as a professional blogger.
I’ve blogger since GeoCities (now defunct) in the late 90s.
That was the first community site with semi-decent blogging tools. I ran a little blog about being… ‘left-handed’.
It was a little gathering place for lefties to come together and bemoan their faith in a right-handed world.
Some comments were terrible. Really harsh.
This was a real wake up call for me. It’s hard to have a site as inoffensive as ‘left-handedness’ but…
Since then I’ve worked on dozen of web projects. Some were more successful than others. One trend we noticed was that sites with a strong identify drew the most viewers.
They also got the most abuse.
When your site has a strong identify, two things happen:

  1. You’ll attract followers – some cosmic law ensures that there are leaders and followers. The more you lead, the more others follow. Having a strong opinion is the quickest way to do this.And please try it before you say, ‘No it’s not’! It really does work.
  2. You’ll attract abuse – another cosmic law says that there will also be trolls sniping from the sidelines, undermining your efforts and second-guessing your moves. Trolls want attention. Even negative attention works for them.

Lessons Learned

Today I run eleven sites and sell products such as the Instant Business Letter Kit, Sales and Marketing Toolkits and Project Management Methodology Suite
Some get 1000s of visitors every day, with lots of comments coming in though the forums, email newsletters, and of Social Media channels.
Do I still get abuse?
Yes.
Do I like it?
Hardly.
But, here’s the point I want to share.
You can’t please all the people all the time.
There will always be folks who want to cut you down to size, highlight that typo you made, and second guess every move you make.
and that’s fine with me because… that’s the role in life.
I don’t want to be that person and I’m sure neither do you.
So, the next time you get some negative comments, just sit back and think, ‘thank god, I’m not that guy.’
These people won’t change but we can change our reaction to them.
What do you think?
PS – thanks to Yaro for covering this in his recent Blog Blueprints forum.

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