by Sarah & Kevin Arrow

Blogging FAQS: People will leave mean comments on my posts

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  • Blogging FAQS: People will leave mean comments on my posts

When you first start blogging you can get quite desperate for comments; you want to be heard. You take your post and you promote like crazy, on every single social media platform you can find. And then to your delight someone (who isn't your mum) leaves you a comment.

You’re elated! It’s worked, someone has left you a comment. You do the happy dance around the room.

And then you read the comment, and your heart sinks into your stomach. They've left you a mean comment.

They don’t agree with your opinion. And they have the audacity to say that in their comment. It feels like they’ve taken an axe to your post and chopped it into a million different pieces.

Immediately you delete that comment – how dare they leave a mean, negative comment on your post. It took 60 minutes to write, and all day long to promote. How dare they?

Let’s get a few things straight here…

  • Someone who doesn’t agree with you isn’t being mean.
  • Someone who corrects your grammar isn’t being negative
  • Someone who takes time to leave a comment and steer you correctly isn’t being horrible

A mean comment is when someone calls you or your other commenters names, incites hatred of some kind, insults you etc. If you think someone disagreeing or offering an alternative opinion is mean, what till you get one of the really horrid comments. Women who defy convention are frequently threatened with death and with rape, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but it helps you put what you think is a mean comment into perspective. Because you are new to blogging, you fear the worst when you read a comment that doesn’t agree with you, and that's okay.

When reading your comments, read them with a neutral frame of mind. You cannot read their accent, hear their pauses, see the body language, so assume and read everything in a neutral tone.

I once read an interesting blog post from someone with a personal blog.

The content was chatty and engaging but littered with typos and grammatical errors that even I noticed (and I make a point to be oblivious to them), I clicked through to her about page and there it was: a rant on negativity. It seems that she was getting a lot of comments telling her of the typos and telling her to use spellchecker. She explained she was dyslexic and this was her site. She didn’t want the advice and no one was making them comment. Her concluding point was these comments were negative and nasty, and she would not publish them.

My heart went out to her. The poor woman had no doubt been relentlessly hounded by writers and well-meaning commenters and couldn’t handle it. She felt her only solution was to delete the comments. I guess that’s one way of handling things… I have to confess that part of me wondered what exactly these people were saying to her. Even the most well-intentioned comments can be written in such a snarky way that even when you know the person that you wonder why are they doing this?

More experienced bloggers will tell you a negative or mean comments can really spark a discussion. Which is just what you want on your blog post. But you also need to reflect a little – is the commenter telling you an unwanted truth? Gosh, they hurt, but the intention behind then often isn’t to wound but to help you. Of course, if you are showing off your expertise and someone trips you up it can feel like the end of the world. Or at the least the end of your blogging career…

If you say your ideas are fresh but you are just repeating what 300 other bloggers say, then a comment stating that would hurt but it wouldn’t be untrue, would it? My personal thoughts are that when blogging, you lose a lot of your own ego. Ego that you didn’t realise you had… You become humble and a stronger, better person for it.

These comments will also help you become a better blogger.

Overcoming mean and negative comments

If you are doubting the intention behind the post, reach out. Email the commenter thanking them for their time and ask if you could schedule a chat – you’d like to expand upon their feedback if possible. Very few say no. Once you are chatting and getting to know the person then you can make a judgment call – helpful or pain in the bum.

When you reach out you are starting a friendship that can last a long time, transcend your blog and seep over into real life.

So over to you – have you left a helpful comment, but it’s been taken the wrong way? Have you deleted comments that were negative?

About the author, Sarah & Kevin Arrow


Sarah and Kevin Arrow have been in the thick of the online marketing world since 2006, and they're buzzing to share their know-how right here with you! If you're keen to get noticed, they're the experts you'll want to talk to. Why not schedule a call or send them a quick message? They're all ears and can't wait to hear from you!

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  • Hi Sarah,

    I’ve only had one negative comment and they were disagreeing with my post about not dealing with a certain company to start partner up and start a business with.

    Other than that, I’ve been very lucky I guess. I can say that I think I will handle a negative comment in a professional way but I’m sure it’s easier said than done when in the heat of the moment.

    I like the tips you shared. I think reaching out to the person is a great idea to get things sorted out.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a great new week.


  • Hey Sarah,

    I always say that negative comments are a good opportunity to not only reach out and provide useful solutions but alleviate similar concerns from others. There will always be trolls but sometimes even a spiteful comment can be turned into a positive.

    All the best,

  • Great post. (Bristolian accent by the way, pause when you see a comma). Any comment can be taken the wrong way, had it happen to one of mine once when what was to me a perfectly normal chat was taken by a moderator to be offensive so I’ve always tried to be extra careful, counting to ten before hitting ‘Submit’ to make sure that what I post won’t be taken the wrong way.

    My background is video gaming where vitriolic comments are legion, there was a great article written about this aspect of our internet culture a few years back called “In The Firing Line” by Tom Chick, more recently our culture has been hit by misogynist movements (search #Gamergate if you want to see how bad things can get) but on the whole the trolls are in the minority. They’re just extremely vocal if you allow them free reign.

    As a moderator, if there’s any doubt, we delete (there’s a common phrase – “Don’t feed the trolls which is ever so true).

    Finally, if you find yourself being affected negatively by comments, remember the saying about sticks and stones, because that’s ever so true as well.

    Short version? Great post, thanks for writing it! 🙂

  • After five years, I’ve realized there are three stages to blogging: fearing that nobody will leave a comment, worrying that someone will leave a mean comment, despairing that nobody will leave a mean comment. Why? Decent people hate mean commentators. If you reply in a civil way, folk will bond with you. Trolls don’t understand that. Of course, if the comment is really foul, you can just delete it!

  • Hello Sarah,

    That happened to me before. Someone left me a comment saying that I had made some mistakes using apostrophe’s. I looked over my blog post and she was correct. I had made a lot of mistakes and I was really embarrassed once I realized it. They didn’t leave a real name but when they left the comment there was an email. I just emailed them back and thanked them and told them I really appreciated them letting me know. I really was glad that they took the time to let me know about these mistakes and now I am careful not to repeat them.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • Hi Sarah,

    If a person disagrees in a comment, I sure do welcome it. It will incite a great conversation, as long as it is written properly. On the other hand, if a person leaves a negative comment to put me down and wants to show he/she knows better, that comment won’t go through. I would get in touch with that person and tell them if they said it in a different way, I can accept it.

    I don’t worry about comments because I know I have control over them. And new kids on the block must learn this lesson.

    There will always be Trolls out there, but we do have the power to delete them.


  • Sarah,
    Great subject matter! I always welcome comments, good or bad. Good comments tell you what you’re doing right and bad comments show you what you need to improve on. If we’re not trying to always be better, we are doing ourselves a disservice.
    I have only deleted one comment from my blog ever. I could tell it was somebody trying to get people to their website as it was painfully clear that they had not read the post at all.
    I understand that it is difficult reading negative comments about something you have poured your heart and soul into, but you have an opportunity to show character in how you deal with that.
    The lady in your blog might have been able to build more awareness and support for her dyslexia had she taken the time to respond to each comment in a positive manner.
    Thank you for sharing, I truly enjoyed it!

    Andrea Hewett

  • Hi Sarah

    Very thought-provoking post and many bloggers do have this fear even for a long time after publishing their first post.

    It is we who call a comment negative if we don’t like. But if we try to think with the mind of the commentator he most probably mean to see our post more improved and just want to add value in it.

    It is also said if two opinions are same then there is no need of one of them. If we keep receiving all comments appreciating our posts how can we feel their worth unless someone equally criticize on our post.

    Thanks a lot for sharing a post on an important topic.

  • Hey Sarah,

    Great write and thanks for sharing. Personally, I got to agree with Stuart. Negative comments are just useful for improvements. We make mistakes and most importantly, we take it for the good (and a pinch of salt). Don’t ever let the negative comments make your day worst.

  • Hello Sarah,

    Comments are the way to start the discussion and it is started by the real people. The people come from different industries, different views and cultures so a non-agree-able comment is okay.

    Like you said, what one writes is not the rock solid which no one can disagree of. What the one can do is to trigger some discussion to find out more of why one disagrees (if he/she didn’t mention the reason in their first comment.)

    Another type of comments which are mean to insult someone (could be the language errs, laughing on writing style, not-so-solid facts to back what’s written, thinking a champion of the topic of blog post and mocking, etc.), they are unacceptable.

    Negative comments are essential to understand how we are doing. No one’s perfect in the world and thus people’s feedback let one knows how he/she is doing. But crossing the mark of ridicule language to dishearten someone is not good.

  • Anyway – I think there is a direct correlation, or at least kind of a correlation between the type of comment system you have and the type of comments you get. Facebook and YouTube comments are notably horrible, while it seems as though Google+ and native WordPress comments are a bit better. I dunno, just a theory on my limited experience.

    Either way, great post really appreciated your thoughts on this!

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