Feb 9 2008

Dealing with Negative Criticism of Your Blog

Luckily most of our criticism or critiques have been manageable, I know the weaknesses of Blog about your Blog better than anyone. I can always take the bad with the good.

What about when it’s all bad?

Negative Criticism

What I like most about Entrecard is the shop. I’ve even turned into a shopaholic. I’ve been able to get several links as well as permanent links from reviews. I’ve been very happy and impressed on the quality I’ve gotten just for a few entrecard credits. However, our last review, didn’t go as well.

Recently I purchased a review from Nothing of Particular Interest (their website is no longer available, I wonder why?). I can’t seem to find the cost it was, but it had to be only a few 100 credits. I was drawn to it by first of the page rank and second of the low alexa score.

Yesterday before the review was published I received a message.

“Hi! Your blog review is done, but I will say, it is overwhelmingly negative. Having said that, if you would like me to pull the review, I will be happy to give you a full refund. I wouldn’t want you paying for a review you’re not happy with.”

I said it was fine and to go ahead and publish. It couldn’t be that negative, could it?

Well, it was. Everything from the quality of our site, to our grammar was called into question.

I was given advice that really didn’t matter for our blog. Moving our entrecard widget isn’t a necessity and it does just fine in its spot. Our entrecard price is twice of NOPI’s. Why move it?

I was also criticized about our Project Wonderful price of having a ‘minimum’ bid.

On the subject of Project Wonderful, I noticed he has no ads there. A more in-depth investigation (read: clicking the link) shows that his default price is $0.50. That’s a BIG no-no in advertising.

Our current advertiser is paying $1+ per day. Their’s? 10 cents.

I’m not saying there weren’t valid points, because there were. However, going in open minded, the review turned negative and our blog never was given one compliment. Being in ‘business’ for a year, 10,000+ visitors per month, and almost 600 RSS readers, I have never received a critique that harsh.

So what?

That’s only one person with a blog. The best thing we can do with that, is take it the best way we can. Improve our quality, our posts, and our blog. That way, the next person to read and visit our blog won’t think that way. All I could do was really address the issues of the review, thank them for their input and time. Then move on.

You have to remember, try not to be negative as well. It only makes you and your blog look worse. I have received several mean or rude comments at Blogging Zoom. With that I’ve tried my best to be as civil and professional as can be. Getting into a name calling match is not only unprofessional but stupid as well.

Ignore It

Another method to a bad review or criticism is just to ignore it completely. Why not? If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all.

I Will Always Hate You Negative Comment

Many of the bigger blogs or websites take this method for two reasons. Any press is good press. Secondly, it’s impossible to address every comment. The worst thing someone can do, in my opinion, is respond negatively back.

“I hate you and your blog.” Okay, I hate you too, your blank blank *insert bad name*. Sounds childish doesn’t it? “Thank you for your comment, we will try to improve.” Sounds a lot better.

Any comment, good or bad, is essentially good. It means at least someone is reading!

How do you deal with negative comments on or about your blog?

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33 Comments on this post

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  1. bloggingzoom.com wrote:

    Dealing with Negative Criticism of Your Blog…

    Ok I know that most of you will be LYAO since this has to be the most ironic sh*&^ you folks have seen. Me of all people submitting a post on Dealing with Negative Criticism LMAO and yes the floor is open. But I am trying to take a chill pill and m…

    February 12th, 2008 at 6:49 pm
  2. What being kicked through the air taught me about blogging - When your blog is attacked wrote:

    [...] Dealing with Negative Criticism of Your Blog [...]

    March 12th, 2008 at 7:19 am
  3. The Law of Pro-action IN Action - When people denigrate you, here’s how to respond » Barbara Ling wrote:

    [...] Dealing with Negative Criticism of Your Blog [...]

    August 15th, 2008 at 5:10 pm
  1. Emma said:

    Wow, that was a harsh review. But I think I figured out the problem, Never Trust a Meercat to review your blog. :smile:

    February 9th, 2008 at 4:44 pm
  2. Ian said:

    Right – I agree with Emma. Farm animals are a much better choice..:-)

    Honestly – the reviewer seemed more bent on a personal attack than a constructive critique, and a bit more mean spirited than expected. ( commenting on your grammatical proficiency in the comments themselves – well, that’s when you know the slippery slope into abyss of animosity has begun!) Kudos on keeping it above the fray in your response(s).

    February 9th, 2008 at 4:54 pm
  3. Matthew Henrickson said:

    lol, yeah after i noticed it was a meercat review I wasn’t as offended! lol.

    Thanks for the comments. Sometimes if you really don’t like a site in a review it is hard to be positive. So if you ask for it, ya gotta take it!

    February 9th, 2008 at 4:56 pm
  4. Julie said:

    Geez…that review was beyond mean-spirited! It would be one thing if there was some balance and they found both the good and the bad, but this person obviously forgot to take their “happy pill” for the day. Keep up the good work Matthew :)

    February 9th, 2008 at 5:11 pm
  5. Matthew Henrickson said:

    haha thank you Julie. All of your comments are making me feel better.

    I made my GF read this post and the review to make sure I was in-line lol

    February 9th, 2008 at 5:37 pm
  6. RandomThinker said:

    I know that my blog is somewhat unattractive and I also know that I’m not a great writer, so I will just choose to ignore any negative feedback that I receive. I enjoy blogging and at this point, negative attention is still attention. A good “blogfight” makes for some great entertainment and may work in your favor, even if you are the apparent victim of some mean-spirited words. We have to keep in mind that some people are just mean and won’t ever say anything nice.

    P.S. I like your blog!

    February 9th, 2008 at 6:23 pm
  7. Jylan Wynne said:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your experience, I’ll make sure that I don’t use them if I need a review.

    I don’t mind if someone gives me some constructive critisicm along with some praise, but an all out putdown is really bad :(

    February 9th, 2008 at 6:32 pm
  8. ryan said:

    I read that review yesterday, and it was totally rude and uncalled for. Hopefully, you got your credits back. I love this theme. ;)

    February 9th, 2008 at 6:43 pm
  9. Matthew Henrickson said:

    No I paid for a review and thats what I got :-p

    February 9th, 2008 at 6:52 pm
  10. Tay - Super Blogging said:

    I think the review was a bit harsh and most things mentioned were unnecessary. It seemed biased and personal instead of professional. Most of the comments made throughout the review really bothered me a lot. And your theme was called ugly. Personally, I believe your theme is a lot more attractive than the one on the reviewer’s site, but I’m not a fan of fluid themes, so.. Sorry your review wasn’t more positive, but I think you’re doing a great job so keep it up! :)

    February 9th, 2008 at 7:29 pm
  11. Mark said:

    Matthew,

    You touched on something that can, indeed, be very difficult to deal with at times. When someone posts a comment on my blog, they should be respectful. They don’t have to agree with my opinions. That’s not what I’m about, but they do have to show some respect in delivering their message. Otherwise, it’s my house, my rules — and my rules say I’ll delete a a comment that’s disrespectful.

    To get the kind of feedback you received (I haven’t read the post, just working from the comments I’ve read so far here), that’s simply not necessary to be so negative. Somebody can get that same point across without being ugly. It’s just a matter of them either not possessing the writing skills needed to do that, or simply not choosing to do so.

    What I question is that if it was negative and that blog offered you the chance to have them pull it, the least they could have done is show it to you first. But I have to give them credit for at least offering you your credits back.

    Anywho, just take it with a grain of salt. You have a great blog here and a great community. In the grand scheme of things, not too many blogs can say one of those things, let a long both of them. :)

    February 9th, 2008 at 9:06 pm
  12. The Freelance Writer's Blog said:

    Regarding your question about what I do about negative comments on my blog, two things:

    i) try to address, in the most professional manner possible, nonpersonal criticism. I take the opportunity to try “put the shoe on the other foot so to speak;” understand the reader’s point of view (no matter how much the criticism may sting; and

    ii) ignore simple rants or “I don’t like your blog comments” that don’t leave a reason as to why.

    Great blogy question by the way.

    Sincerely,
    Yuwanda Black, SEO Content Provider

    February 9th, 2008 at 11:06 pm
  13. Rodney Olsen said:

    So he doesn’t like the way your blog looks. I’ve got to be honest and say it’s not a theme that I’d choose but then there are probably not a lot of people who would choose the theme I’ve created. I guess that’s the heart of the issue. Many things are purely subjective.

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with the look of your blog. It’s not ugly or hard to read and while I wouldn’t choose it for myself, it is an attractive and professional look.

    By the sounds of it you got more of someone’s personal taste than a real review of function and usability.

    As one of your daily readers I must say that I won’t be cancelling my subscription because someone who I don’t read doesn’t like your blog.

    February 10th, 2008 at 4:18 am
  14. Graham Smith said:

    Wowzer. Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at his review. Or more specifically, laugh at him and His site.

    Not to be taken seriously at all in my most humblest of mild opinions.

    He should take some of his own unique advice RE site design.

    I can say for sure you come out of this little excerise better than he does, so that is good publicity whatever way you look at it. I think it’s called ‘egg on your face’. :0)

    Im a new’ish visitor to your site but already subscribed and also paying for a Scratchback listing which I use and think is a bloody great idea, not so much to make money, more to spread your links about in a fun but worthwhile way. I’m getting on to blogs that I would otherwise never have got a link on, this is good right?

    Keep it up, your doing just swimmingly. And I like your banner illustration, that for me makes your site, along with the content of course. It’s cool.

    Best
    Graham
    ImJustCreative
    “On: Web & Blog Ramblings from the Gutter”

    February 10th, 2008 at 5:23 am
  15. gLf said:

    My opinion? A quick way to earn 100 EC. Nothing more. Don’t worry :-)

    February 10th, 2008 at 11:08 am
  16. Katy said:

    Don’t let them get you down. Your blog is great, I enjoy reading it and if they don’t… well, they don’t have to come and visit. Plain and simple.

    I wasn’t able to read the review (their server is down) but it doesn’t matter anyway. There’s not a lot to say that’s negative about BAYB, so forget it.

    You’ve got a strong community here, loyal readers, and a great subscriber base. To me that shows your success.

    February 10th, 2008 at 12:28 pm
  17. Fat Man said:

    just try and improve as best you can.

    February 10th, 2008 at 2:31 pm
  18. Matthew Henrickson said:

    Yeah I thought it was classy to send a message about it being negative. I wanted to make sure to include that.

    I know our theme needs work, but a complete makeover isn’t realistic right now so we’ll just have to patch and tweak the best we can.

    Thanks for everyones input and thoughts I appreciate it

    February 10th, 2008 at 5:25 pm
  19. Graham Smith said:

    Can I just confirm that this review is infact meant to be utterly serious? I just feel that I am missing out on something here?

    On one hand, everything this chap says he is guilty of, and worse himself, from one of the ugliest sites going, to pretty poor sentence construction… “easy on the leader dots my reviewer friend.”

    Then there is the title/description of the Blog, which leaves you wondering.

    It’s just a case of paying your money knowing you will get a poor review with an abundance of sarcasm, which in itself could be fun if you just know what you are getting is nothing to be offended about.

    From the moment that this chap opens his mouth, you can’t take anything he say ’seriously.

    It really is not meant to be a serious ‘review’ is it? If I am missing the point here, then things ARE getting bad. This is just a blatant attempt to take ‘good’ money for a poor link listing and even more derogatory slating.

    Surely it must be just a ‘tongue in cheek’ gimmick? Surely??? :0)

    Anywho, I’m getting worked up here. Time to cut down on coffee this morning.

    As I said, I love your site, your content. As the most popular saying say’s “no one is perfect”. You have great content and a distinctive brand. What else do you want…

    Graham
    ImJustCreative
    “On: Web & Blog Ramblings from the Gutter”

    February 11th, 2008 at 1:55 am
  20. Graham Smith said:

    Just posted a article on this myself as I actually feel quite strongly about this whole taking of a 100 notes for something that really should be free of at a most, $10.

    Some genuine people seeking a ‘constructive’ review may miss the fact that this whole set-up is just nonsense. So parting with $100 is quite an issue if then what you get is just egg on your face.

    Im all up for fun novelty things, but when it is hard to tell if it’s genuine or just utter crap, then it has to be looked into.

    100 notes is a lot of money in this case for what you get. Either he needs to make it clear, the review will be typically negative from the start or just offer it for free.

    Still need to keep off the coffee.

    Graham
    ImJustCreative
    “On: Web & Blog Ramblings from the Gutter”

    February 11th, 2008 at 2:17 am
  21. Not John Chow said:

    Success is the best reward. Negative or not the question is “Are you meeting your goals?”

    If your goal is popularity, maybe not. If your goal is monetary, maybe?

    In the end, comments about your blog or your activities depends on your perspective.

    If someone hates you, hating them just makes them feel better and even more justified in their position.

    Ignoring them often takes the wind from their sail.

    February 11th, 2008 at 6:03 am
  22. mc2w said:

    The review may have been a bit harsh, bit I think the theme makeover point was more than valid. This theme may be fine for website owners or long time readers, but what about the casual surfer?

    This applies as much to the online world as it does the real world: looks sell. I know of another Entrecarder that’s 19 years old, experienced in webdesign, and is selling themes for $100, here’s a link to her order page, you might just want to order one from her: http://www.qforquack.com/order-a-design/

    February 11th, 2008 at 8:29 pm
  23. Anthony said:

    The review called me “some random guy”! I’m not really sure why you purchased a review on that blog – it really does suck! That guy should take some of his own advice and put it to good use on his own work.

    P.S – if i had known that a review was coming I would of written something better than “Taking Wordpress to a Whole new Level”

    February 12th, 2008 at 3:21 am
  24. KDye Vertical Leap said:

    This is really interesting that they decided to go for the all out negative attitude. Even if they didn’t like this blog, it’s unusual to find someone who doesn’t search for at least one positive. It’s something one does all the time for customers :-)

    February 12th, 2008 at 8:27 am
  25. Jenny said:

    I deal with negative comments by deleting them or just letting my other readers take them on. It’s funny to watch the offenders get ripped a new one.

    February 12th, 2008 at 8:45 am
  26. Matthew Henrickson said:

    Well anyone who left a comment should check out their “counter” post :)

    http://nopi.exofire.net/content/index.php?itemid=249#nucleus_cf

    February 12th, 2008 at 9:58 am
  27. Graham Smith said:

    Interesting. Read the reply. Think this time I will limit my input…

    These things come to ‘test’ us I guess. Tested me that’s for sure. Lesson’s learn’t which is a relatively positive thing for me.

    Well, people have had their word, whether bad, good, justified or not. I had mine and regretted it, utter lack of judgment on my part. Apologized and now I guess move on. There are still aspects of it that puzzle me but ‘hey ho’, live for another day and another controversy.

    Graham

    February 12th, 2008 at 11:00 am
  28. Court said:

    Negative comments are definitely part of the business! Sometimes they can teach you a lot more about your business than the positive ones can so I try to always take it in stride.

    February 13th, 2008 at 1:44 pm
  29. Elliott said:

    Great article about this topic. That is one of the things that we all face. I agree that you have to take it in stride, and each of us could find something that we don’t personally like about each others sites/blogs.

    We are each entitled to an opinion. Doesn’t mean mine is better than yours, but unique in it’s own way.

    Keep your head up, you’ve got another reader here too!

    February 13th, 2008 at 7:43 pm
  30. Yoshi Thin said:

    I’d love to hear what people think of my blog but I’m pretty much ready to hear some harsh things being that my weight loss blog invite people with eating disorders. I just feel people are going to do what they’re gonna do and there is no point kicking a person when they’re already down. When it comes to pro-ana/mia people their problems have nothing to do with weight but weight is just easier to deal with so if people can’t show these girls love then just let them be. All they want to be is light as a feather and as thin as a rail.

    February 15th, 2008 at 9:22 am

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