WHAT I DO TO NEGATIVE COMMENTS
Remember I said I would be sharing posts to help fellow bloggers, under my ‘Ask Tosin‘ segment, well this post is part of it. Read the previous topics HERE if you missed them!
Today’s topic is one bloggers rarely address, We all like to create the impression that everyone likes our blog and every thing we share is excellently written with no opposition feedback. But I tell you, as your blog becomes more popular you will receive more comments, meaning more people and more opinions. In other words, if you don’t receive at least one negative comment, that could mean your blog may only be read by friends and families, which is not good for growth.
Understand that comments are great! in fact all forms of feedback are awesome traffic building tools, so it’s worth encouraging them. Shares-reposts-retweets-referrals-likes and the rest, they are great.
In my four years of blogging I’ve learnt that the anonymity of the Internet gives people freedom to say what they feel either constructive or not . Especially as internet is void of social restrictions and direct consequences of communication in the real world. i.e People are safer/prefer talking negatively behind a computer.
Truthfully, I seldom receive negative comments, may be because I’m not as huge as Perez Hilton or LIB. However, when I do it could hurt. Especially if it’s a misinterpretation of my intention. Putting yourself out to there exposes you to a lot but most importantly teaches you to grow a thick skin, disregard ignorance and learn to respond intelligently when the need arises.
There are different types of negative commenters, I’ve decided to categorize them based on my experience.
- The Pure haters :The leave purely hateful comments, e.g “I hate christians”, or “your friend should lose weight, she’s really fat”.
- The spammers: They leave comments that have little or no relation to your blog post, I actually find this set of people hilarious. E.g. I publish a post on food, and I receive a comment like “I don’t care about this, I’m making average £2000 a month. There is tricky method I found on the web. If you want to learn it too, just type xxx betting system on google” Thankfully my blogging platform automatically sends this to my Spam folder.
- The unjustly Antagonistic: These are the ones that didn’t take out time to read the post , but proceed to drop comments that would have made absolute sense if the author didn’t already address their viewpoint. When I get comments like this, I sometimes approve and simply wait for other commenters to put the person on check. I try not to re-emphasize the point I already clarified in the post. On days I feel like indulging, I reply the comment with the excerpt of the blog countering the claim.
- Outrightly Negative but with a sound argument: This is common with faith-based posts and everything in between, mostly on my Instagram. When it comes to sensitive discuss, people always have a filled day expressing sentiment. The people in this category usually have valid arguments but defeat it with their approach. They get unecessarily rude and begin word-fights under my post, often with other commenters. In this case I delete their comment. No matter how apt your point is, the moment you get insultive or condescending to a fellow reader/commenter, I quickly send your comment to trash. I have zero tolerance for such behavior.
- Constructive: These are comments that make me see things differently and have a rethink about the entire post. The commenter does not agree with you but states their critique in the most constructive manner. For example. I did a food video on Efo-riro, and I was taught to blanche the vegetables with hot water first before cooking. I got a comment which said ” Lovely video, looks so yummy! but blanching the vegetables before cooking actually kills off all the nutrients, instead wash severally with cold water and add to pot to steam(when the other ingredients are almost done), the food remains fresh and preserves longer”. I thanked the commenter and changed my Blanching technique since that day.
Let me share another vivid experience: A while ago I did a video on the transition i.e Living in Lagos (WATCH HERE), it was a response video to emails I had gotten from Nigerians living abroad with the intention of moving back to Nigeria. I did my undergrad in Nigeria but moved to the UK mid 2013 and came back Finally in 2015 five months after the completion of my masters programme. In the video I shared tips like cargo companies to use for the move, internet service providers to patronise, finding a job, recruitment websites, and fun places to visit in Nigeria.
I later got a comment on the post which said “I love your blog and everything, but I don’t think you have a right to make a video on living abroad or settling in Lagos since you were only away for a short while”. Truthfully I was in awe LOL , I was like Ahh!, can this person read? The topics I shared in the video have nothing to with living abroad, it was even more about Life in Lagos and finding resources in Nigeria, where I was born and bred. Besides any one who has lived anywhere away from home for even just two months would know it could be tasking adjusting back. I also stated at the beginning of the video that it was particularly in response to emails I got by Nigerians weary of the move back to Lagos and this tweet below.
With such comments, you can take your time to further inform the commenter, but in the above scenario I chose to ignore and leave the comment pending. All the feedback on that video were great except that one comment. Readers expressed how informative it was, so the purpose had been fulfilled and I was pleased. One opposition comment is almost irrelevant.
In conclusion, As a blogger/PR executive you can decide to respond to non-constructive negative comments in four ways.
- Ignore (silence is golden).
- Respond privately: Most comments are linked to an email address, you can decide to send the commenter a private mail to respond to legitimate concerns. i.e if you feel the need to.
- Allow other commenters put the person straight.
- Delete comment.
At the end of the day you cannot afford to take every sentiment personal. If you know your blog is adding positive value to society, then negativity is nothing to worry about. Grow a thick skin, keep following your dreams and keep soaring.
Have something to say on this? kindly drop a comment, I’d love to hear from you……..
I love you and wish you the best in all your endeavour.