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Dealing with Negative Blog Comments

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Dealing with Negative Blog Comments

If you want comments on your blog, then you must be prepared for both positive and negative comments. The more popular your blog gets, the more negative comments you're bound to earn. A comment, positive or negative, is someone's opinion on your opinion as expressed in your blog. So take negative comments in your stride and don't let it affect you as a person or your blog.

1. DO NOT RESPOND IMMEDIATELY

Take time to cool off when you read a comment that angers or hurts you. Resist the impulse to respond immediately. The extra time will help you come up with a strategy to put the negative comment to good use. It might also help you view the comment from a different perspective.

2. STEP BACK AND SEE IF YOUR OTHER READERS RESPOND

If you have a bunch of dedicated readers, wait to see how they respond to the negative comment. If you've worked hard to build a fan following, it's likely that some, if not all your readers will defend you. People who slam bloggers regularly are playing with their own reputations in the blogging community. You don't have much to lose either way.

3. DON'T TAKE THE BAIT

You can choose to completely ignore a really negative comment, or just reply to it briefly. If all your commenter wanted was your acknowledgement, then the brief reply should suffice. Indicate that you will not get into a debate so that the commenter is not encouraged to post more comments.

4. SHAME THE COMMENTER

Always begin your comment response with a "Thank you for your comment". Then proceed to politely and considerately enquire as to why the commenter seems upset. Your polite response will work to shame the commenter. Even if this does not happen, your reputation will go up while your readers and the community will look askance at the commenter.

5. CLARIFY COMMENTER'S INTENTIONS OFFLINE

Write an offline email to the commenter asking for clarification. In this way, it might be possible to open them up. You might get to know why they wrote what they did, and whether they meant offense. Perhaps the commenter wasn't aware that their tone was bad. Anything is possible. By responding offline, you indicate that you respect the commenter, while indicating that you don't want a mud-slinging competition on your blog.

6. REFUSE TO APPROVE OR DELETE THE COMMENT

If your blog comments show up without being moderated and approved by you, you need to fix this right now. If your site requires that you approve comments before they're published, just don't approve them at all. In case they're published without approval, don't delete them. Let the comment remain there along with all the good ones so that people know you're not bothered by it.


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