How to Deal With Nasty Comments on Your Blog Posts
If you can’t handle criticism, don’t write online, period.
As your audience grows, the trolling only gets worse. If you ever build a massive audience, trolls and naysayers will come at you non-stop, relentlessly, every single day.
I’ve been called all sorts of names and been told I’m a charlatan more times than I can count. People try to tear my ideas to shreds daily.
Negative comments hurt. Sure, I feel them. I felt them much more strongly in the past.
But I never gave a fuck about them.
It never once crossed my mind that I should abandon my goals as a writer just because some random people on the internet said some mean things to me.
It seems like this does cross the minds of my students and people in my audience, so let me address it for you all today.
Understand Who’s Talking to You
“You want praise from people who kick themselves every fifteen minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves. (Is it a sign of self-respect to regret nearly everything you do?)”
If you want to learn how to deal with a troll, first get inside the mind of a troll.
Imagine taking the time out of your day, precious time out of a short life, to tear another human being down on the internet.
These people are losers. They know they’re losers. They lash out to get your attention because they crave validation and acceptance — two things they’re not getting in their lives.
I pity them. I couldn’t imagine being so lame of a person that I’d take time to publicly take shots at anyone without a really good reason for it.
I got shit to do. These people don’t.
If you believe in your words, stand on them. Anyone can portray any image they want online, but at the end of the day, they have to be themselves in real life.
Most trolls who puff up their chest and try to tear you down have to go back to a miserable existence as soon as they close their laptop or put down their phone.
When people negatively comment on my posts, I understand this about them so I know I’ll get the last laugh because I love my life and they hate theirs.
I don’t automatically call everyone who disagrees with me a troll or a naysayer, though. People fit into different buckets. Let’s talk about my rule book when it comes to responding to blog post comments that critique my work.
You’re All Allowed to Disagree With Me
Sometimes I’m just…wrong.
I’m just sharing the truth as I see it at the time. I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. Every once in a while, someone will disagree with me and I’ll realize their right. When that happens, I’ll address it publicly.
The world gets better for all of us when we’re allowed to disagree with each other in public. So if you think something I wrote is wrong, feel free to tell me. I’ll engage and be cordial, under these conditions.
- You’re respectful: Name-calling either gets you ignored, blocked or the occasional nasty response from yours truly
- You’re debating the argument itself: I encourage people to disagree with the content of my words, but if you start making ad hominem attacks, where you attack me instead of the argument, I either won’t respond or I’ll troll you.
- Your objection actually makes sense: A lot of people literally don’t know how to read and their reading comprehension skills are low. People will sometimes argue points I didn’t make because…they can’t read.
If I don’t see any of these red flags, I might engage with you. I say might because I have a lot of shit to do and I default to not responding to comments at all because there are so many.
If you’re new and trying to make a name for yourself online, it’s smart to reply to every single comment. You can use these rules to decide when, if, and how you’ll respond to them.
How I Choose to Respond to Critics, Trolls and Naysayers, If At All
Nine times out of ten I just ignore them.
They’re trolling you because they want you to respond. So even if you send them a clever response back, you’re still giving them what they want.
“The best revenge is not to be like that.” Marcus Aurelius
The best revenge against trolls is to keep winning and totally ignore them. These people are miserable, best to keep winning and let them seethe.
So many people have taken shots at people like Tim Denning. And he just keeps plowing along getting richer and more influential every single day. They hate it. I love it. It’s hilarious to watch. Run up the score in public and let them hate you all they want.
Say what you want. We’re never gonna stop.
Sometimes, I’ll respond with kindness. Gary Vee does that a ton. People will write entire hit pieces on him and he will reply sincerely saying how much he’s trying to help and that if it comes across the wrong way, he’s sorry.
Somebody wrote a hit piece on me a while back saying my ideas were shit. I responded by saying I welcome the challenge of getting better and competing with the rest of the writers on Medium.
He backpedaled and tried to praise me because he knew he fucked up. I’ll never work with him or help him in any way, but I hold no ill will toward him. Also, responding positively in public brings people to your cause because you show you’re above it all.
Sometimes, if I see a similar critique across the board from a bunch of comments on a blog post I wrote, I’ll know the actual idea missed the mark, so I’ll address all of them.
If I want to make the time, I’ll address random individual critiques. Usually. I respond to the ones that say they liked some things about the piece and didn’t like others. That’s a sincere and honest comment, which provides actual feedback I can use.
Last, every once in a while, I talk shit back because I’m feeling frisky.
Mainly, I just ignore it.
How to Deal With Naysayers In General
Most people will never accomplish anything of consequence in their entire lives.
When you have the audacity to go after your dream, you become a mirror that reflects people’s own inadequacies back at them. If you understand this about people you can have empathy for them. They’re in pain and they’re taking it out on you. Deal with it however you want to, but don’t let them stop you.
It’s the price you have to pay for becoming great.
Focus on becoming the best version of yourself, creating the best work you can make, and doing your best to help others with your writing. If you’re doing that, then you shouldn’t worry about what other people say.
I’m not perfect. Neither are you. The point isn’t to be perfect, it’s to share what you honestly believe, consequences be damned. Don’t pull punches or pretend to be something you’re not for the approval of the crowd.
Naysayers will weigh on your mind in the beginning, but you care less and less over time.
After nearly eight years in the game, I’ve seen it all. Nothing surprises me anymore and I know negative comments are inevitable. I choose to think about the people I’ve helped over the years. The ones I’ve inspired. The ones I’ve made stop and think. Those are the people I’m writing for, to begin with.
Who cares about some random trolls on a computer screen?
You shouldn’t either.