I’ve had an extremely rare experience in the realm of blogging – in over a year of publishing posts here on TruthInjected, I haven’t encountered a single hater.
And yet, to my mild disappointment, no one has critiqued my blog. Not even my brief foray into politics, the home stadium of hatred, raised an eyebrow!
Sounds like a stupid thing to be annoyed about, right? Insulating yourself against so-called haters who want to “kill your vibe” has become a major priority for a lot of bloggers, and in some cases, the reason that they abandon their blogs altogether.
But your detractors are hugely important. If the criticism is valid, they are the ones that help you to improve. Without resistance, no improvement can happen. That’s why people who are more motivated than I am go to gyms to lift weights – the weight provides resistance to the muscle and enables it to grow stronger.
Your haters are your barbell.
Now, there is a distinct contrast between criticism and abuse. If you are getting threats, then those are not helpful, and should be dealt to by the appropriate authorities. And by the same token, they are criminals, not haters. Big difference.
What I am talking about is where people get messages that contrast with what they have said in their post, or even challenge the character of the blogger. Those are fair game.
“If you can’t ignore an insult, top it; if you can’t top it, laugh it off; and if you can’t laugh it off, it’s probably deserved.” -Russell Lynes
Or better yet, improve!
The closest thing to negativity that I have received on my blog is a few primate message comments on my uploading schedule. That’s okay – people are entitled to their opinion of why I don’t upload any new content for months and then spam 4 posts in a week. But their comment isn’t the important part.
The key is how you deal with it. To use the example above, I could react in a lot of different ways. I could ignore them, if I feel that my uploading schedule is fine, and it is just part of the way that I run TruthInjected. I could get angry and fire back an insult. Or I could take it on board and question whether they have a valid point.
But the worst thing that I could possibly do is retreat from my passion of writing because someone isn’t thrilled about my approach to X or Y.
Newsflash: If you are writing any content regularly on an open forum like the Internet, you are going to get some level of resistance sooner or later. It is just the way things work.
Even if you were to alter your content to fit some narrative that is accepted by the mainstream, you will still cop flak from those who don’t like it. So why change what you do, just because someone else doesn’t like it? You can’t make everyone’s day, and you will exhaust yourself and implode any progress you were building if you try to.
Now, in the case of my uploading schedule, there would definitely be some benefits in making things more consistent. Absolutely, without question.
If I were to upload on a consistent basis, people wouldn’t get bored of my unpredictable sabbaticals, or overwhelmed by my floods of inspiration. Search engines would probably rank me higher as well.
Will I make that change? Maybe. But if I do, my motivation for doing so is the opportunity to improve my content for readers, rather than to sheepishly appease someone who dislikes an aspect of my blog.
And do you see what happened? Even in this extremely tame example, a negative piece of feedback is turned into an improvement. If I had ignored the comment or gotten angry, I would have missed that opportunity. I would certainly have missed it if I had closed the lid on my laptop, bottom lip quivering, and retreated to a safe space of video games and oat-raisin cookies because someone on the Internet didn’t love everything about my blog.
But I get it – not every piece of negative feedback is so useful. I’ve known bloggers who are called all sorts of things, from money-hungry scumbags to downright phonies. So how do you respond to that?
Do birds respond if someone is annoyed by their song? Nope.
Do they care if someone loves their song, and it brightened their day? Nope.
That bird is just doing its thing, and doesn’t change what it does because of the reactions of those who hear it. So be a sparrow. Or a nonchalant, shit-bombing pigeon – whatever suits you.
Above all, stay objective and take on board the message of what your haters are saying if it is useful to you. If it’s not useful, ignore, ignore, ignore.
Simple as that.
And as always, I’d love your feedback on this article, or the blog in general, so please feel free to leave a comment below, positive or negative.