Blog Reader Criticism
How To deal with it and What To Do
amanda linette meder
Albert Einstein, a mathematician from the early 20th century, was always scribbling notes. Down on a napkin, on the back of an envelope, on the side of a grid spreadsheet. A well-known story of Einstein comes from his niece, who recalled he had three favorite books: A Treatise on Human Nature, The Secret Doctrine, and Don Quixote.
As a man of Jewish German descent, he wasn’t unfamiliar with criticism. So much so, that Albert Einstein almost gave up entirely, and considered selling insurance instead. His first breakthrough paper had been published for two years before anyone noticed, meanwhile as he applied for jobs as a substitute teacher. Not quite the smash he’d hope initially, but eventually, as you know, Einstein became one of the most famous men in all of the sciences.
Like Einstein, when you first start a blog, it can feel like no one's reading. But then, you start gaining traction and people do start reading, then it only becomes natural for some of them to want to reach back out to you. When you talk to people long enough, and passionately enough, and people respond.
Writing a blog and publishing it is not unlike sending a bird call out into the forest.
If there are other birds around, they’re going to call back. So expect reader feedback.
With a blog, your ideas have the opportunity to circulate the globe and encounter many other diverse thinkers. This is nothing short of a miracle and amazing; because this is exactly what you want for your ideas. However, not all of those thinkers who encounter your thoughts are going to agree with you or be able to resist the need to tell you about. Meaning: some of them will email to let you know.
Replying with a simple, “Thank you for your criticism,” or a “Thank you for your comment I’ll look into it” or "Thank you for your thoughts and for reading the blog, that is something I never knew before!" is often all that is needed. And depending on the degree of the comment - you may feel it doesn’t warrant a reply at all. Which is sometimes quite true.
There are two different types of criticizers who you'll encounter on a blog, and both of them will help you in learning new lessons, but in different ways.
First, there’s the criticizer who criticizes the deed.
This person is usually quite helpful and will email and say something like "Hey So and So, I love your work, but I found such and such typo, on such and such page. I thought you'd like to know, thanks again!"
Second, there the criticizer who goes after the doer of the deed, and all their personal flaws as well. The latter is called a global criticism, and these comments are usually the ones that hurt the most. The best you can do with them is shake them off by pondering quietly to yourself,
“What type of person would go out of their way to write a stranger like this?”
The answer to that question is, a person hurting. A person who may have been upset about this very issue you're talking about long before you ever came along and they will exist long after you. But by understanding that global critical comments are usually coming from someone in pain, it easier to shrug off them, send them love, and empathize with them (and aka not take it personally).
However, by and large, these types of broad-brush "you're the worst" emails are rare.
Most of the time, when you have a person send in comments on your blog - it’s about grammar.
Spelling, punctuation, and grammar rules vary from country to country, and from dialect to dialect, so sometimes when someone emails from the grammar police, it’s honestly related to nothing more than a difference in dialect, and that’s all.
But other times, it’s a legitimate error that the eyes missed, that occurred when typing too fast, or something that the digital space just created when you were saving the blog post. It happens.
I type fast. As do many online writers. For me, it's because my mom enrolled me in a secretary class when I was in high school, so my typing speed is out of this world, but it does come with consequences. I have lots of small typos laden throughout a blog upon the first draft. You compromise speed for accuracy. So, like many bloggers, I have to run editing through all my posts before I post them.
I’ve tried hiring friends, family, trading professional editing services for my services, hiring out, and so on and on, and nothing has helped me deal with the errors in my writing more efficiently or as quickly than Grammarly (Affiliate Link, I actually use this).
Grammarly is a digital editing software that installs as a plug-in for your browser and they also have a plagiarism checker if you're accepting guest blogs and need to run duplicate content before you publish it.
Primarily, Grammarly's point is to catch your typos as you post.
It works in emails, too, by catching errors in the editing window, and now, I'm running Grammarly (Affiliate Link) through all my old blogs to find all the stuff I didn’t catch when I first started blogging and didn't have this service.
Aside from getting a handle on typing errors and grammar, to recap, here's how to deal with blogger criticism:
Deal with blogger criticism by just realizing that it’s the name of the game. When you send a signal out and you send enough of them, a signal is eventually going to be sent back. Don't take it personally. There's just as much chaos in the universe as there is order.
Most of the time the feedback you'll get is positive. But when it's not, blogger criticism, believe it or not, actually works in your favor for. It thickens your skin, and over time it makes you care less what other people think, making you want to exist just more as you, and further, making you more resilient to future comments about you, your work, and your ability to exist. Self love.
Thank the criticizer, even if it’s just something short and sweet and not if it’s unnecessarily mean.
Now with that said, there’s nothing that can cut back on the sting of criticism like having a personal email filter - someone to read your emails before you do.
If you can do that, that'll help tremendously in buffering you and your energy from the comments of the public, helping you stay more creative. It also helps with reducing the initial shock of opening your inbox to something negative, especially on a day when it’s hard to handle, which seems to be the only day you ever find it.
Now back to Einstein, he once had the most incredible vision of his life which he calls the happiest moment of his life. That vision was that he would be weightless.
Let the weight of reader criticism roll off your back; the energy isn’t even coming from you.
So it’s not even yours to deal with, at the end of the day.
Amanda Linette Meder
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