Ah, the nasty commenter. Some call him a troll, some a hater. He’s the one who gets on your perfectly crafted article and types some non-sense comment that is either rude or spammy.
How do you deal with it?
For the next few paragraphs, I’d like to give you some best practice tips I have developed over the years in dealing with one of the darker side of blogging.
Sometimes people will use the comments to advertise their own article/blog on the subject. I usually deal with these on a case by case basis. If the article/sales pitch is completely out of the scope of my article, I usually just delete/flag the comment and go on with my day.
The grey area is when someone is leaving a good comment for your blog, and then posting a link at the bottom of the comment. Personally, I’ll allow the comment as long as it doesn’t point to a squeeze page, and the person seems genuine in their marketing (hey, it can be a cut throat world out there).
No matter what niche I’ve marketed (dating, music, internet, social media, business, etc.) there are ALWAYS people who feel the need to attack/destroy your article and ideas in the comments.
Usually before I write an article now (especially an argumentative one in nature) I also write down a list of possible objections, and answer them in the article (or in preparation for a troll’s comment). That way I don’t have to waste too much time shutting down a troll.
Remember, your articles are still your opinion (no matter how many times the subject or teaching has worked for you in the past). While you may think haters aren’t your customers, I’ve disarmed a few haters that have turned around and bought a product from me (people are strange I tell you).
Some tips for dealing with trolls:
- Don’t react right away. Whenever someone leaves a rude comment on my blog I always want to get in my car, find out where they live and slap them for being such a jerk. However, if you start banging away and unleashing a verbal beating upon the troll, you’ll like look bad to the other 99% of people that are reading your blog.
- Think to yourself, is this a valid argument? If it is a valid argument, you must respond to disarm the argument. If it’s not a valid argument (or a personal attack on you) then I strongly recommend you remove the useless comment from your section and do something more productive (like market your blog and make more money).
- If it is a valid argument, thank the person for their contribution and then point out how stupid their point is (professionally of course). Avoid using you, and focus on attacking the subject.
- If the person continues to respond with the same reoccurring garbage, I’ll usually delete the comment or invite them to email me. The last thing you need on your blog is an 85 string argument between you and a reader. That looks bad to everyone.
Remember, if you’re doing business blogging then you’re online to make money, not to argue with every troll that wants the internet to know how smart he is. A long string of comments where you are arguing with someone will take value away from the article, and make it less likely for people to click that link at the bottom. Set your ego aside, and focus on all of the positive comments you’ve received on your article.
Anything I missed? How do you handle trolls? Advertisers? Light up the comments below with your thoughts.