You’re a blogger, perhaps you do it for your company or perhaps you do it for yourself. Unlike most writing, blogging as a type of prose affords those of us with the opportunity to have an opinion. Depending on the specific outlet, often the opinion is backed by nothing more than your feelings or experiences which guide the content.
Nonetheless you write to inspire; sometimes action, other times reflection. When done well, a blog post can provide its audience a new perspective, a new idea, or a drive to action that will make them long ingratiated to you for the value you added to their world.
While there is no shortage of me too bloggers in every subject, one of the things that often makes certain bloggers stand out is their willingness to take a side, and not necessarily the popular position. Well guess what…when you take the risks of having a position, an opinion, or decide to profess expertise at or above your pay grade you run the risk of serious backlash. This most specifically will come in the form of negative commentary which can often spawn a plethora of negativity especially when the right ringleader comes in and swings the old axe.
Well, when you lie there in the face of the proverbial axe you, as the creator, need to make a decision as to how you respond to the negativity. Do you stand up and fight, or do you take the avoidance route? Or, do you take some other avenue? (I hear some companies just make up fake aliases to write positive commentary in light of treacherous PR or incredibly stupid commentary.) There are many ways to skin this cat, however one wrong move and you could be this girl.
So here are 5 ways to handle blogger backlash. My suggestion, choose wisely!
1. The Aggressor – Jump all over them and shout from the rooftops why they are wrong. Of course you must do this with eloquence in a Shakesparian gaffe to make sure that the commenter knows that you mean business and that you aren’t going to take this $#IT from anyone.
2. Humble Pie – Every so often someone comes along and shows you something you don’t know. If you are wrong, and you know you are wrong then eat your humble pie. Show gratitude, appreciation, and empathy for your misguided views and make it hard for the negativity to continue. It is only the worst of the worst type of people that will keep kicking you when you are already down.
3. Back That View Up – Sometimes for the sake of not riddling your readers with tons of citings and other credentials you throw out some vitals without backup. I, for instance, often find that readers like shorter posts and less facts because the facts are easy to find. They come for the unique perspective we bring as a blogger. However when your expert status is put into question sometimes you have to back that view up with some of the facts. If you have the credentials and the details to derail the backlash, now is the time to bust it out.
4. Agree to Disagree – Views won’t always line up and when you put yourself out there you are opening both sides to plead their case. The more tenuous the subject, the more extreme the backlash may be. In some cases you are best off to respond with appreciation for their feedback and the desire to agree to disagree. With many of these opposing views there is not going to be movement toward middle ground so a professional appreciative response like this keeps you as the professional.
5. Ignor(amous) – Perhaps you write controversy all of the time. Then I offer two thoughts. One, you probably don’t need this advice, and two, you probably have grown some pretty thick skin by this point. Now you just ignore it because you really don’t care what people think or at the very least you have become an expert in faking that belief.
When you bring the heat by blogging against the grain, you have to expect the reward and the punishment that will go with it. You will get the eyeballs that you want and the shares that can take your content viral, but you can’t always count on it being for the right reason.
Having said that, the world (sometimes) appreciates a different view. Other times not so much, at least not the ones that stop to comment. Perhaps nobody knows this better than I do. I’ve been called a moron, an idiot, a buffoon, and even some names that are too politically incorrect to include here (E-mail me for details).
However that hasn’t changed a thing for me. When I write, I bring it every time and sometimes the subjects I tackle come back to tackle me. But it doesn’t keep me down for long because with every comment there is an opportunity to respond intelligently and keep the content alive. But the key is in choosing the “Intelligent” response.
So keep writing and keep bringing YOUR viewpoint. The world doesn’t pay attention to “me too,” they pay attention to “why you” and that is why we write in the first place.