How To Deal With Negative Feedback Online

negativeWhen you put yourself on the internet negativity is inevitable. No matter how nice or transparent or friendly you are some people just won’t like you. You’ll also make mistakes and be called out for them. I haven’t had much negativity as a personal blogger since I keep a regularly low profile but I have had a few instances of negativity since creating this blog. I also handle negativity for my clients from time to time.

I’ve found that there are two steps to approaching negativity online.


Assess The Type Of Negativity

There are many forms of negative feedback that can occur online.

Support Issues: This is where someone  has a problem with a product or service you provide or a problem with your website.

Constructive Criticism: This is where you may have made a mistake, had your words taken out of context or just created an environment that isn’t user or reader friendly.

Trolls: These are the people who just don’t like you and feel the need to be vocal about it.

Respond Based On The Type Of Negativity

Immediately Respond: If you know you did something wrong and you want to apologize and or offer a solution do so. Only respond immediately if you know for sure how to solve the issue. Unfortunately people expect a fast response on social media and sometimes it’s best to give them that. Immediate responses work best with support issues but may also work with constructive criticism.

Think And Then Respond: This is best if the person has some constructive criticism that may hurt your feelings or that you hadn’t even noticed until that point. If you find yourself becoming defensive you should take a moment and really ask yourself if what that person is saying is true. If so offer a public apology and open a dialogue if you can. Your followers will respect your transparency.

No Response: This is the option to choose if the person is a troll. There isn’t a reason to engage with this person because it will only end negatively. This is the only option in which I would advise you to delete the comment or block the person on social media. Nothing good comes from the trolls so don’t feed them.

How have you dealt with negative feedback online?

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  • NeoshaGEE

    Goodness. I think we’ve all had a few run ins with trolls and people who purposely come onto blogs to simply be negative. ‘Hey you spelled your name wrong. You suck” … like some of the most obnoxious things. I no longer feed into the negative. Hemce why I have to approve my comments. I refuse to allow negative nancies to leave that energy on my digital couch.

  • My thing about “negative” feedback is that it is okay for readers to disagree with writers, but there is a way to state your dissenting opinion with some tact. A lot of trolls don’t do that, though. They think they can write whatever they want, however they want and their comment should be published because it’s the Internet. Nah, it don’t work like that.

  • Just had to delete a comment from a troll. Initially, I approved their comment and then proceeded to respond to them as respectfully as possible. But then I was like, this is my blog/house. How dare this person come on my lawn and disrespect me? So I just ended up deleting the comment altogether. No need to feed into the negativity or pettiness. It wasn’t an argument worth having.

  • Tarah-Lynn

    I recently had someone “come at me” in one of my Instagram posts because I no longer followed her. I didn’t know what to do or say because I didn’t mean to hurt any feelings and I definitely wasn’t doing so out of spite – I was taking steps to following more people that I know…like an Instagram cleanse of some sort! She was trying to stir problems and after a while of thinking about what I should do, I just deleted it. This post further validates my decision. It also gave me some inspiration for a new post. Thank you!

  • Chonce Maddox

    Negative feedback is pretty inevitable when you write online but you have to be prepared for it. I wasn’t prepared at first when I received negative feedback on one of my posts but I responded quickly and pleasantly to remain professional and still be on good terms with the reader. Not everyone is going to like you and what you have to say and that’s okay. I also think that internet negativity in regards to what you write can also be seen as a positive because whether what you said got taken out of context or not you wrote something so effective that it caused someone to stop what they were doing and comment on it.


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