Anyone who has blogged for any length of time has no doubt been criticized, publicly, privately, or both.
Let’s face it; we all prefer to be praised rather than criticized, but how we respond to criticism goes a long way in our success as bloggers.
Tips for Handling the Criticism of Your Blog
1. Consider whether or not the criticism of your blog post is even a little valid.
People criticize blog posts for many reasons, and some of them are just plain nutty. The person may just not like you for some crazy reason, may be jealous of your success, or may be mentally unstable. Others criticize just because they are so inclined, and may or may not know what they are talking about. Still others may offer good, sound criticism.
Regardless of what category someone falls into, it’s always helpful to brush off your pride and consider if there is at least a small kernel of truth in the criticism. Even the abrasive person may say something that has at least a little value, and if you truly want to grow and improve your blog, it’s best to at least briefly consider if there is anything for you to learn from the criticism.
2. Determine whether or not to respond to the criticism.
There are times when it may be important or even essential to respond to the criticism of your blog. For example, if you’ve been accused of plagiarism or some other really inappropriate behavior, it’s important to set the record straight, because silence in such a case may give the impression that you are indeed guilty of the accusation.
Other times the criticism of your blog may best be ignored, particularly if the person criticizing your blog is a regular critic who only seems to be motivated to criticize more, the more you respond.
3. Take your time before responding to the criticism of your blog.
Words spoken or written in haste cannot be taken back. Even if you apologize later, harsh words leave a lasting impact. Because of this, it is good to take your time before responding.
Pay attention to the level of emotion you feel when you first read the criticism. If your emotions are strong, chances are that you’ll respond in a way that you’ll later regret.
Even so, it may be therapeutic to quickly write your initial thoughts to the criticism in an uncensored way. Just don’t publish it! To keep yourself from accidentally publishing something that you’ve written in haste, instead of composing it in the body of an email or other place where it could inadvertently be published, instead open up Notepad or a Word document and type your response there.
Alternatively, if you choose to compose your response to the criticism of your blog in an email, remove the person’s email address from the “to” field so that you can’t accidentally send it before you soften it a bit.
Later, once your emotions have subsided, go back and read the criticism of your blog and determine whether or not you need to soften it or just delete it.
4. Let other people respond to the criticism of your blog.
In the same way that every blog has critics, every blog also has fans. There are times when it is more effective for others to respond to the criticism of your blog than if you do it yourself.
It doesn’t hurt at all to have a small group of friends and fellow bloggers who read your blog regularly who can jump in and post a response to a negative comment. Just be sure to return the favor to people who support you in that way by also commenting on their blogs.
How do you respond to the criticism of your blog? Are you ever thankful when your blog is criticized?