It doesn’t matter who you are or what you put out there — If your blog content is making any impact, you will encounter negative comments. The first thing to realize is that it is a GOOD thing. But how you respond matters.
Let’s explore the best ways to deal with negative blog comments.
In technical markets, practitioner content marketing content is scrutinized even before the page is fully loaded. Often, a reader will want to respond with something pointed just because of the author or the title. This is because techies are religious about their tech stack and best practices. If a post merely appears to attack those ideals, “it’s on.” So it’s no big surprise that even the best tech blogs will receive feedback that doesn’t give warm fuzzies.
But the fact that you are getting comments at all is a good thing! It takes significant traffic, search ranking or backlinks for a post to get enough visibility to reach a small percentage of the readership that will say anything. Most people don’t consider commenting — so any comment that’s not spam is great. This realization is the first step to addressing negativity in a useful way. After you’ve read a direct comment, the following are the recommended steps:
- Respond. Don’t just ignore it. Someone needs to respond, because a lack of response gives the impression you aren’t interested in your readership. Not responding is also a huge missed opportunity to get a conversation going.
- Always respond taking the high ground, but never apologize. Ironically, those who are willing to comment on others’ content are more often than not too afraid to create content themselves, because they know that no matter what they say, there is a potential critic in waiting. In response, you should simply address the concern with a technical resolution if they are incorrect, or a polite thank you. No apologies necessary.
- The response should come from the original author. This is why we recommend all blog posts be authored (versus non-authored by a company or ghostwritten). When responding to challenging comments, authenticity is crucial.
- Don’t send commenters somewhere else. Do not ask them to email you directly, or push them to click on a support link. They publicly expressed their opinion, and you need to publicly respond.
If the feedback appears on social media:
- Again, respond. Respond on whatever social media forum the comment appears on. Participate in the thread so there is not a continued conversation without you involved.
- Request that they put the comment on the blog directly. Then, respond.
If you have content on your blog that is receiving charged comments, then you are doing something right. Keep it up. Good practitioner blogs will have both encouraging and discouraging comments. It’s all good! Just make sure you’re fully engaged with your readers and responding to the comments they contribute, whether they’re positive or negative.