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To Be a Successful Blogger You Need to Be Thick Skinned

Keller Hawthorne | May 7, 2010 | 23 Comments
Blogging 101
To Be a Successful Blogger You Need to Be Thick Skinned

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” A slogan I used to use as a kid. But for many it’s not true. Words can hurt. People can be very cruel. Many hope you fail and they want to see you fail and one way to get at you is via their feedback and comments.

One important aspect of being a blogger that many people seem to underestimate is the ability to withstand harsh comments and, in some cases, personal attacks. Everyone has to deal with trolls sometimes, so if you are the type of person to get your feelings hurt easily, you really need to prepare yourself for mean comments and how you are going to react.

Not everyone will agree on what “negative comments” are as bloggers all have different levels of tolerance in regards to their feelings. Some only feel a bit upset if a troll leaves a mean comment just for the sake of leaving one. Others actually get their feelings hurt a great deal just because another blogger gives them constructive criticism.

Most bloggers can agree that a comment filled with vile or racist language is tasteless and should be immediately deleted. Some trolls even go as far as calling the blogger or other commenters nasty personal names! The best way to deal with this type of person, obviously, is to ignore them and delete their comment.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “don’t feed the trolls”; this saying was invented for a reason! Unfortunately, many bloggers tend to respond to the trolls anyway. If you feel the need to respond to a negative comment, keep in mind that the person who left it will probably never come back anyway, so you could be simply wasting your time.

Only recently I personally received comments saying I was an “idiot” and “boring”. By the way, I have removed the swear words.

Someone also commented on one of my videos saying, “You’re wearing a bad shirt, you have a bad haircut and you are giving bad advice. And what’s worse, you are more wooden than a pencil.”

Nice! Especially as I was wearing my favorite shirt and had spent hours in front of the mirror making sure my hair was perfect.

Over the years, I have learned to ignore and laugh these types of comments off. But to some, those comments could really hurt.

Some bloggers don’t respond OR delete – they simply leave the comment up and don’t bother doing anything with it. They usually do this because they don’t want to have to censor anything. Even if they’re upset or annoyed, they don’t want to delete anything on their blog out of respect for freedom of speech. The obvious downside to taking this approach is that, even if you ignore the comment, your readers might not do so. Before you know it, you could have a “comment-war” on your hands!

Another reason why it’s important for you to have thick skin is because you’ll need to deal with constructive criticism and differences of opinion in a professional way. If somebody leaves you a comment informing you that they disagree with you, you shouldn’t take the post as a personal attack. You need to accept it as nothing more than differences in opinion. If you leave a sarcastic response, visitors may form a negative opinion of you. Just ask the individual for ideas on how to improve your blog. For all you know, he or she could be a very nice person.

Whenever you feel upset or angry over a not-so-positive comment, you need to remember that everyone expresses their opinions in different ways. Unless a commenter is flat out calling you names, he or she is probably just disagreeing with your opinions, and that’s nothing to get too worked up over.

The most important thing you can do if you get any negative or hurtful comments is to not give up on blogging. If you do, you’re letting the trolls win. In fact, you should turn the negativity into motivation and work even harder to create a good blog! In time, your skin will grow thicker, and dealing with the downside of blogging will become easier for you.

Have you received negative, rude comments? How did you deal with them?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrew Rondeau is the author of the free guide “The Income Blogging Blueprint“. You can grab your complimentary copy of his blogging guide at http://www.webuildyourblog.com today.
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    To Be a Successful Blogger You Need to Be Thick Skinned…

    “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” A slogan I used to use as a kid. But for many it’s not true. Words can hurt. People can be very cruel. Many hope you fail and they want to see you fail and one way to get at you is v…

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  • http://www.OptimisticJourney.com/ Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey

    I totally agree. It's important to realize also that when we get “trolls” they're just people who really envy you. They're people who despise you because you're doing something that they can't do. When we get trolled we should really get joyful because that's an indication that we're doing something right.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • http://www.realbloggingadvice.com/ Real Blogging Advice

    Yeah… we must be thick skinned especially in our early days of marketing our blog.

    Thanks for the post.

  • http://www.fazreen.com Fazreen

    This is great article.. totally agree with you. When people leave bad comment for you that's mean, you have succeed ..People always envy with you.

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com/ Andrew Rondeau

    Jarrod

    I like that approach – “When we get trolled we should really get joyful because that's an indication that we're doing something right.”

    that's the spirit, I like!

    Andrew

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com/ Andrew Rondeau

    I do think that a lot of people take any negative feedback, very personally.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Andrew

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com/ Andrew Rondeau

    Jarrod

    I like that approach – “When we get trolled we should really get joyful because that's an indication that we're doing something right.”

    that's the spirit, I like!

    Andrew

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com/ Andrew Rondeau

    I do think that a lot of people take any negative feedback, very personally.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Andrew

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com/ Andrew Rondeau

    Fazreen

    You are right. Many take a lot of pleasure in trying to upset you with their comments and feedback.

    Andrew

  • http://twitter.com/Jen_Syrk Jen Syrkiewicz

    This is great advice. I used to write articles for Suite 101 and I still get a barrage of comments most days telling me how bad my articles are! I think you soon learn to laugh them off, although I still am confused why people would spend time logging in and reading an article, just to hurl abuse at the end! At first I used to respond, now I just delete them. Dooce has a great way of dealing with negative feedback – Heather Armstrong just showcases it periodically in one long post, and then laughs her way through it all!

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com/ Andrew Rondeau

    Hey Jen – nice to see you over here!

    I recently 'show0cased' some odd comments on my blog as well – it does make a nice blog post!

    Andrew

  • http://blogtechguy.com/ Joel Williams

    Generally people are nice, respectful and thoughtful. Unfortunately those who are not are the ones who also let you know about it. Just check out the comments on any YouTube video and the benefit that anonymity brings people. Personally I try not to say anything in text that I wouldn't say to someone's face. I did say “try”….

  • Kristoffer Sandven

    I have been lucky enough to avoid getting negative comments on my blog. My readers are really nice people :)

    There has been some attacks on third parties, though. My policy on this is to delete the comment – and in some cases contact the commenter to explain my reason for doing so.
    I won't let my blog be a forum for negativity.

  • http://www.searchengineoptimization.co.uk Mike

    I like this comment, very popular saying…”If people start saying bad about you, think that you are going towards success”

    It happens in general life also and our day to day life as well……

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com/ Andrew Rondeau

    Joel,

    You are right – most people are nice, respectful and thoughtful. However there are some and you have to be prepared and not allow any negative comments get you down.

    Andrew

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com/ Andrew Rondeau

    Kristoffer

    That's a good approach. How would you feel if you did get some negative comments?

    Andrew

  • http://www.seoconsult.co.uk Jack

    Exactly………..very real life example and apply on each business as well as personally

  • http://hairlosstreatmentsolutions.com/ josh

    what is the meaning of thick skin ? i dont get it

  • http://www.naturalk9supplies.com/Dog-Supplements/homeopet-skin-and-itch-relief.aspx homeopet skin and itch relief

    It is a good idea, I like it.

  • http://www.searchengineoptimisation.com Phil

    you are absolutely right Andrew.As i think we meet only a few nice and respective people daily and as Joil said that Just check out the comments on any YouTube video.The clarification will be in front of you.
    It really helps if we are nice,respective and thoughtful.

  • Brad

    Good bloggers have blogs that get lots of repeated traffic. People love the content that they come back for more.

  • David

    I like it. Thank You for sharing important thing, great article.

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