One quality that make good bloggers into great bloggers is the ability to handle critical feedback. Reviewing the tips below, you should be able to seize the opportunity that is found in negative blog comments. Negative comments often carry on a few similar monikers such as hate-mail, complaints, critical feedback, opportunity to improve, etc. Generally, the old theory is that negative comments are bad comments — Not any more …
The underpinnings of blogging is the factor of a conversation and honesty. If you want a one-way conversation, go ahead and use a billboard. Two-way conversations with a vast audience will result in differing opinions, that’s a fact. Providing the ability to give feedback and comments is one thing; maintaining the conversation while remaining professional is another story.
Most blog feedback can be classified in seven main categories:
- Positive – Agreement with your perspective
- Negative – Disagreement with your perspective
- Positive – Enjoyed your presentation
- Negative – Displeased with your presentation
- Positive – Enjoys your agenda/purpose
- Negative – Dislikes your agenda/purpose
- Neutral – General questions about your content
So, how does a blogger balance the positive, neutral and negative commentary on their website? The keyword is balance. A blogger must be able to handle all feedback equally, without censorship. Censoring comments will only infuriate your audience more and your trust is gone.
Tips to Respond to Negative Feedback:
- Thank them — Thank the commenter for their time to share their thoughts. Not often do blog authors acknowledge comments from their upset audience. Thanking them shows sincerity that you take feedback seriously.
- Engage them — After you thanked them, make an attempt to engage them in the conversation. This can be done either just in the comment dialogue or in an entirely new blog entry responding to their comments. Be careful not to intimidate them, you are trying to engage them in a discussion.
- Learn from them — What are they trying to say besides “you suck?” Take a moment to read between the lines and find out their arguement.
- Correct your mistakes — The biggest one. If you make a mistake, let your readers know about it. This can easily be done by using the Strikethrough tag to “cross out” lines of text you made an error. Then add why you made the changes. This coincides with thanking your critics for credit and acknowledgement.
- Acknowledge a mass quantity of comments — Do a lot of people hate your blog entry? Well, take a moment to summarize them and make a new blog entry discussing them. Don’t get rude or obnoxious, rather take a moment to consider this a great blogging opportunity.
These tips will help you at engaging your audience even further. However, these tips aren’t complete since it will vary based on your audience.
A helpful tip is to moderate (remove) comments according to a set of guidelines. Make the guidelines clear, but flexible. You only should be remove comments that are spam or have an intent to disrupt others (like racist comments). Enforce your blogging comment rules, otherwise readers won’t respect the guidelines. The goal is to balance negative comments, not to silence them. Having negative comments is good because you can attract a wider audience and thus, more page views, uniques, and potentially more revenue.
What blog commenting tips do you have to share? Share your thoughts in the comments below!