Creating content for the world to see via your blog or social media can be open up a world of connection, relationships, growth and opportunities. I have made friends and started businesses over my Instagram and Twitter feeds. However, those same awesome channels can also open you up to criticism by people you may or may not know.
Not everyone who blogs will face criticism about their online content, but many will. It doesn’t matter what you blog about, how many readers you have, critics are out there and it is important to remember that its not the criticism you face, but how you deal with it that defines you. We have some of our top tips for dealing with negativity with style.
Is It Justified?
Its really easy to write off negativity as trolling behaviour, but sometimes it can be justified. One of the first steps in dealing with negativity online is to ask yourself if there is a nugget of truth underneath the criticism. Everyone makes mistakes and it is always better to put your hands up and admit that you have misstepped. In the long run, it does more to build a strong brand to admit that you were wrong than to try to hide it. Even if you personally don’t feel the comments were justified, they could be highlighting a weakness in how you are communicating. Create an open dialogue about the situation, rather than just deleting the comments. Not only could you improve your own work, but it shows that you are listening to your readers.
Keep It Contained
If you are going to respond to critism, remember that it is almost always best to keep it between you and your critic. Big public spats or name and shame blog posts rarely reflect well on anyone involved. Where possibly, keep communication direct and out of the public sphere.
Its Probably Not The End of The World
My first ever book review on Amazon was a negative one. It happened to be from some one who didn’t like the cover and had nothing to do with the content at all (she hadn’t bought the book). Ironically, it was this very possibility that had kept me awake at night for weeks in the lead up to publication…and then it happened. While upsetting, it wasn’t the end of the world that I predicted it to be. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep some perspective.
Haters Gonna Hate
Taylor Swift is right about so many things, but on the issue of facing critics, she is particularly wise. Sometimes people are just going to be negative. Trolling has become the universal term for abuse online and if the negativity is unjustified, then its probably just a troll looking for a rise out of you. As they say, don’t feed the troll! It is better to walk away and NOT get into a lengthy discussion with them.