Once you start blogging and building your audience, you might think that it is quite easy. However, when you will become popular you are going to face criticism sooner or later. The Internet is full of people: some of them will adore and some of them will dislike you. While it is completely normal, you still need to know how to deal with criticism and bad publicity, and that’s when the problems might start.
Not all of us know how to accept critics: some react in a normal way, but some get angry or upset and let their emotions take control. It is okay if you’re discussing this incident with your friends at home, but when you’re responding to criticism online it’s better to calm yourself before you start. Remember that you are a blogger and you can ruin your reputation if your response seems inadequate.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to ignore what others say about you: this can deal even more damage. When people offend you and you ignore them, others might start thinking that you do so only because your offenders are right. So what to do then? How to deal with bad publicity in an adequate way?
If a disaster has already happened
If you face criticism already, it’s better to read what critics say, take a deep breath, turn away from your computer and spend some time analyzing what they say. Why there are so offended? What can you do to calm them down? Are they really right or not? While you’ll probably be feeling a lot of emotions at the moment, it is important to clear your head a bit and turn to logic for help.
You should analyze their tone too. If a message addressed to you is angry and offensive and even written in all caps, it probably looks bad and inadequate not only to you but also to the others. In this case reply as calm as possible, apologize if necessary and move on. Try to finish this conversation as soon as possible as it won’t get you anywhere.
If a message addressed to you is calm and written in a normal way, you can have a longer, more polite conversation. Try to find out what exactly is wrong and are you able to fix it or not. Show this person that their opinion matters to you and that you’re willing to go far to make things better. Remember that other people read your conversations too: if they see that you accept criticism well and reply to people instead of turning your back on them, they’ll think better of you.
If a disaster hasn’t happened yet
If everything is fine at the moment, but you’re afraid this might change, think about the ways to improve your blog and blogging style. What scares you the most? Maybe you’re afraid that people will find you boring? Then work on making your posts more interesting. Maybe you fear that your audience will consider you cold and unsocial? Then try to talk to them more.
Some bloggers are afraid of bad publicity just because they worry too much; others are afraid because of real reasons. Either way, the best thing you can do to prevent a disaster happening is to work on your blog and your attitude towards your readers.
It’s good to keep in touch with your audience, to show that you are interested in them. Don’t be shy or afraid to ask their opinion at the end of your blog posts. Let them suggest some new topics to you, start some contests or giveaways, and so on.
The way you reply to their comments matters too. Don’t reply with an ordinary “Thank you” all the time: ask them questions, make compliments, give advice. Don’t think of your audience as of big faceless crowd that you only want to expand: treat each one of them as a personal and believe me – they feel that personal attitude.
You might think that’ll require a lot of your time, but actually, it won’t. Spend an hour or two once in two or three days to communicate with your readers and they’ll eventually turn into loyal subscribers.
Moreover, remember about your audience while you’re writing your blog posts. Some people start seeing blogging only as a business at some point, and this definitely shows. They write posts purely for SEO purposes, they put too many ads on their blog, they start advertising something bluntly thinking the readers won’t notice. The disappointing thing is they usually do and they don’t like it at all. So try not to overdo.
While bad publicity happens, it usually doesn’t ruin your reputation (even if it might seem so at first). Therefore, keep calm, deal with it wisely and everything will be okay!
Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed the sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Except writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin.