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How to handle criticism as a blogger

As a blogger criticism is going to be a part and parcel of your everyday life. It can be because you really suck at what you do or think, or you simply represent a unique point of view that does not find resonance with many of your readers. Whatever is the reason, people are going to criticize you one way or the other and you will have to learn to handle criticism in a good way.

Why would people criticize you as a blogger?

Some people really mean well and some are simply trolls having nothing better to do, so you will need to differentiate. People who criticize you just for the sake of criticism are simply minor irritants although they can create a toxic environment for you and you may have to moderate their opinions, at least on your own blog (you cannot do anything about them if they bitch about you on other forums, blogs and social media profiles).

But people who criticize you because either you deserve criticism or they have a point view of their own need to be taken seriously and they deserve your attention. This is also because they are also taking your opinion seriously and going to extra lengths to engage you and trying to change your opinion (which further means that it matters to them that you change your opinion and see their point of view too).

This blog post on Problogger presents a practical guide to handling criticism as a blogger. In fact the same guidelines can be applied on various aspects of everyday life because you may encounter criticism anywhere. According to Darren you can handle criticism the following ways

  • Accept and embrace criticism as it is: Criticism is a reality and you cannot escape from it. As a blogger you are routinely expressing your opinion and whenever one expresses his or her opinion criticism is bound to be there because there are going to be many people who will have a different opinion than yours and would like it to be known to you vociferously. So just accept it.
  • Learn to differentiate between useful and useless criticism: As already mentioned above, some people mean well when they criticize you, some people don’t mean well, and some criticize simply because they want to annoy you. The last category shouldn’t be taken seriously but the previous two should be considered with some thought and responded to accordingly.
  • Make positive use of criticism: Since not all criticism is bad you can use criticism as a constructive feedback (no matter how it is represented). Use negative comments to improve your blog. Try to think from the perspective of people who were throwing criticism at you. After all they are taking pains to point out what you should do in order to better your understanding and consequently, your blog content.

You can read the remaining comments on the blog.

First most, never take criticism personally because it can be very hurting and even discourage you from working on your blog. On the Internet there are no personal enmities (in 99% of the cases) and people are being nasty simply because it is easier to be nasty on the Internet. So whenever people criticize you, put your emotions aside and then go through the comments.