Everyone wants their blog posts to draw as much attention as possible, but what happens when that attention is not exactly flattering? How well do you handle criticism? How will you handle the usually unavoidable, eventual occasion of someone who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with you on a given topic? If you keep a few simple guidelines in mind, you can use negative feedback as an opportunity to grow and strengthen your messaging.
First of all, we’re not talking about abusive, foul, loud-mouthed belligerent trolls who, unfortunately, populate the online world all too frequently. What we’re focused on instead are those people who challenge your views, criticize your positions, or offer feedback that might be a little too pointed for your taste.
Criticism is not something to fear. It’s an opportunity to either defend, and therefore strengthen your own understanding of what you’re putting out or it can also serve to highlight areas or aspects of something you have written that perhaps needs more refinement. It’s a chance to grow.
Another bright side to criticism is that it indicates people are listening (or reading, as it were)! This is ENGAGEMENT, that holy grail of social media we all aspire to encourage, and if you handle it right, you can forge strong relationships out of it and develop something of a “brand loyalty” among your blog readers. If you take the time to reflect and respond in a civil fashion that shows you are truly listening to what your readers say, that will go a long way toward encouraging them to return and continue the dialogue.
How you handle criticism is a key point. Don’t take it personally: People are, above all, individuals, and they have their own opinions and ideas. Be flattered that someone took the time to put together their thoughts in a meaningful way to express their own take on what you’re saying.
There’s an old adage that says: Acquaintances will tell you what you want to hear, but real friends will tell you the truth. How do you currently handle public criticism and how does it help your business grow?