Using Your Blog to Address a Reader’s Negative Feedback

negative feedback

At some point, every blogger is going to have to deal with negative feedback. The fact that someone is going to respond negatively to a thing you’ve published isn’t that big a deal. It’s the Internet. People are offended by everything on the Internet.

What matters is how you respond to that negativity. Remember, how you respond to criticism has just as much an effect on your online reputation as what you might have done or said to incite that criticism in the first place.

Step One: Evaluate the Negative Feedback

Is it something obviously trollish such as “ur ugly n ur hed is 2 big”?

If it’s obviously just some jerk trying to incite a reaction, the best thing you can do is ignore it.   The sign in the image says it all!

If the comments are well thought out and have merit, though, that is a different story.

Step Two: Respond

If the negative feedback was left in a public space, like your comments section, use that same public space for your initial response. Thank the commenter for his feedback and for speaking up when he found something irritating or for figuring out your mistake.

If the comment points out a mistake you’ve made and that you actually need to fix, promise to fix it (and then actually figure out how to fix it).

If the comments are just a general disagreement, tell him that you respect his opinion and, if you like, you can leave it at that.

Step Three: Fix Problems and Mistakes

If your negative feedback addresses a specific problem or a mistake you’ve made and it is something that actually needs fixing, work hard to fix it. If you aren’t sure how to fix the problem, ask the person who pointed it out for suggestions. It’s perfectly okay to send a (friendly and polite) email to the pointer-outter saying that you’re trying to fix the problem but you’re stuck and asking if he has any specific ideas for fixing it or improving things. He may or may not respond. If he responds, take his suggestions seriously and figure out whether or not they can be implemented.

Either way, you are proving to the person that you take him seriously and he will (hopefully) appreciate your appreciation.

Step Four: Go Public

When the problem is fixed, talk about it on your blog. You can say that a problem was pointed out and that you worked with the person who noticed it to fix it.  Ask the person who left the negative feedback if you can mention him by name and if he has a site of his own to which you can link. Use the information he gives you. If he doesn’t want to be mentioned, keep it vague and personal-pronoun-free.

How you say it isn’t as important. What matters is that you say it publicly!

Still, thank the person (even if you can only say, “Thank you, commenter!”), talk about the fixes you’ve made (give credit to whoever came up with the fix), and remind your readers that you appreciate their feedback.

Remember that the only actions you can control are your own. There isn’t a lot you can do to stop someone from trolling you or from continuing to pick on you. You can, however, choose how to respond, and remember: Kind, positive, and constructive will always win the day. The nicer you are and the more positively you handle the situation, the more respect you will earn from your audience.

Good luck!

About katrinarobinson

Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer and editor who covers a wide variety of topics ranging from online reputation management on behalf of Reputation.com to best blogging practices. You can connect with her at https://www.facebook.com/calliopewriting or on Twitter @katrinarobin

Comments

  1. Most people melt Katrina when you kill them with kindness.

    Others are stymied, expecting a fight, and have no clue to respond.

    Learn to gauge feedback. If you made a mistake, correct it through the feedback.

    If not, simply ignore the individual. Sometimes bloggers get caught up in trying to be right, or trying to please everybody, that they let trolls get into their head and they do things from a place of fearing criticism and of course, this destroys your blogging creativity.

    Thanks for sharing the awesome tips!!

  2. every blogger facing negative feedback once in a day. i hope these tips help to sort it out
    thanx a lot for these tips

  3. Negative feedback is good only if It is genuine. I used to get such comments and I am working on that, I think your tips would be beneficial to get me out of this problem.

  4. Evaluating the feedback is really important. Humans, specially those with short-tempers have a habit of hitting back whenever they get a negative feedback, without even evaluating and thinking about the feedback.
    This creates a bigger negative impact. Actually I do it sometimes, that’s why I mentioned it.

    Your tips will definitely help to tackle any such negative feedback.

  5. First step we have to accept what our mistakes are? If any and rectify them as soon as possible and encourage the person who left feedback to evaluate the blog and thank him or her for letting you know the mistakes. This way you are interacting with a real reader and showing them how active you are on your blog.

  6. Hi Katrina! This is a great process for addressing negative feedback. After all, negative feedback isn’t always bad — sometimes it’s constructive and can actually make us better at what we do if we allow it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Good tips here for the bloggers as well as other writers too. First of all don’t irritated upon a negative one, instead check it with these tips. I am sure things can surely fix it. I encountered many such occasions. Best Regards

  8. isabella johnson says:

    Very useful tips especially for beginners. But when t is negative feedback means you have some work that you need to revise your work. It’s often something constructive! Txhx for sharing!

  9. When getting that negative comment do not respond directly. Take a step away from your computer and really think through what is the best action. Answering directly will most likely result in a negative and angry answer which will only make you look stupid.

  10. Great tips. If you make mistakes then you have to accept it. Thanks for it!

  11. Hello Katrina, and welcome to Keisha’s blog.
    You know, negative comments really do build a blogger moral and make them know that people still love them :) .
    I love your last point where you said “Go public”. all points are great and truly loved it. Thanks

  12. When you’re on internet interacting with the people , you can’t really trust them as you can’t predict what they might post and what might be their reaction . An experienced guy (facing the criticism in the form of negative comment) would simply ignore it or try to check out if the comment can improve his future posts or not.

    Regards,
    Pramod

  13. When the problem is fixed, talk about it on your blog. You can say that a problem was pointed out and that you worked with the person who noticed it to fix it. I really love this tips.

  14. A large number of brands are already using blogs to get feedback about their services, and products. Even, there are many people who are using blogs to bring more customer to their products using more dynamic tools and compatibility of blogs.

  15. In short handle the commentator positively. Give him respect and learn from his feedback as the best way of learning is to change your mistakes into your qualities that the other points.

  16. To be truth, I’ve got too many spam messages of other languages especially for kanji of Japan :(
    It’s really annoying you know eventhough I’ve installed spam plugin.
    Your suggestions would be useful for me in the future …. :)

  17. A very commendable post,must read for every blogger.Who wishes to achieve success in the field of blogging.
    Thanks for showing the positive approach.

  18. I think those people always leave email address and once contacting them is a better option and then final step is to take action like you referred in your post.

  19. All points are really true. I think When you start any blog and its starting grow you will also face this kind of Feedbacks. But Remember ” IF there is no bad, there is no Good also”.

  20. I totally agree with writer’s idea of addressing negative feedback. But I guess we’ll have to constraint ourselves to addressing negativity that indicates a flaw. Otherwise haters are everywhere and some will comment downers just for the hell of it.

    Again, I am glad that someone did put up something like this.

    Cheers.

  21. Negative feedback is part of the game and one should take it positively to improve upon…… A good collection of points to address the matter…. Thanks for the share…….

  22. Go public is a good idea. It is definitely important to use the feedback for discussion. I find that sometimes the best blog posts come from feedback.

  23. Hi Katrina,

    This post is simple, nice with a warm tone. Thumb up!.
    Yes, there are hard times when people criticize you and your reaction is important. I am a kind of “tough” critic myself. I like to say what I think, honest and direct.

    Usually I get an answer. However, when the post author is new in the blogging world, I noticed they choose to ignore critique. In this case people may think I am right (even if I am actually wrong). I think it’s the post author’s duty to respond to negative feedback, even when they believe the commentator is stupid.

    Have a nice day

  24. I have always believed that confronting the abusers is the best way to tackle this situation but after reading this post, I have changed my mind :)

  25. Good idea. I’ve never thought about doing that before. Haven’t received much negativity yet on my blog so I’m not sure how I would’ve dealt with it. And the troll feeding image was perfect for this post. lol

  26. Negative publicity is an opportunity to really empower your brand that should not be wasted. It not only gets you mentions that help with SEO, it also helps you in terms of finding the right product features. Chase those who tried you and found it useless, solve their problems, make it easy for the next person trying your services.

  27. Hi,

    Genuine Article, in my opinion Negative feedback is good for me if It is genuine. Actually whatever i work and suppose i do mistake then those people get realize that i have some mistakes then i correct of that mistake. and if no one will tell me about my mistake then i how will i improve of that mistake. so some negative feedback is beneficial for me. so don’t be ignore and thanks a lot for sharing genuine post.

  28. I never thought that someone can write an article on this topic. It’s really unique and i like liked every bit of it. It inspired me to think different before writing any post. Thanks for this encouraging post about negative feedback on posts.

  29. I agree that one has to be careful how to respond to negative feedback, that’s if you decide to respond at all. I always feel that it’s everyone’s right to disagree with any opinion, so what’s the point in arguing, unless that’s the whole purpose of the blog. I’ve seen some very unexpected comments to blogs, many negative. In a lot of cases, the reader can get the complete wrong end of the stick or take the whole thing out of context. In those cases, it’s true, one has to be extremely careful what you say if you decide to challenge their points or reply to them. Personally, I wouldn’t tend to bother, but we’re all individuals. Is it worth getting angry or upset about negative comments? Definitely not! Very thought provoking article, I really enjoyed it.

  30. hello

    thanks for sharing I totally agree with writer’s idea of addressing negative feedback. But I guess we’ll have to constraint ourselves to addressing negativity

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