It’s inevitable. If you put yourself out there on the web, you will eventually be the recipient of negative comments on your blog posts. Usually when you are least expecting it. So why allow negative comments on your blog post? A recent #Journchat discussion on Twitter had me really considering this issue.
Here are five things to think over before automatically clicking “delete” on a less-than-supportive comment:
1. Are they right? Do they have a valid point? Sure, you may not appreciate their tone or the way in which they said it, but sometimes a negative commenter may be making a logical point. Reexamine your blog post – did you leave something out? If so, thank the commenter for pointing out what you missed.
2. Can you Start a Conversation? I had an experience early on in the life of this blog where a commenter left a semi-rude negative comment. I did not delete it, but left it to stand and asked a few other writers what they thought. Wow! Did the conversation start!
3. What is the Potential for Engaging the Commenter? I have successfully turned negative comments into a guest post on the commenter’s blog by engaging them in a conversation. Sometimes that means following up with them on your response to their comment.
4. Does the Comment Add to the Post or to Your Blog? If someone leaves a comment on my blog and I feel it contributes something of value, then I will leave it. Even if I disagree with their particular decision.
5. Do you Need to Respond or Can you Leave it? Sometimes you make a stronger statement by allowing a negative comment just stand. Without a lot of knee-jerk response by you. It shows your confidence in your own point of view, and also allows your other readers to “come to your defense”. Much more effective than you seeming defensive.
Having said that, I don’t want anyone to think that this means I allow every comment submitted to my blog to stand. Far from it. Anonymous, porn, vulgar or profane comments are simply deleted without a second thought.
But negative comments? Well, I hover my curser over that delete button just a little longer and take a good, hard look at whether it’s really worth deleting or not. Sometimes even negative comments are of huge value to a blogger.