As a content creator, you often find that what you produce is something you take great pride in. You live it, you breathe it, and you want your content to not only do well in the marketplace of ideas, but also to be genuinely enjoyed by your readers, viewers, or listeners. Sometimes, however, you run into someone that comes upon your content, and it’s not what they expect. Sometimes it’s because they ran into older content you made that was dynamically different than what you produce now; other times it’s because they were looking for something within your niche, but you didn’t provide them the information they were looking for.
Most people that run into that issue simply scroll on by; they realize this wasn’t what they were looking for, and continue with their lives. Others, on the other hand, decide that they need to let you know. In most cases, that feedback may be due to a genuine misunderstanding of what you were producing; for instance, criticism of an article that explains a procedure, but it’s for a different piece of technology than they were looking for, despite a similar or identical name (look for content on the Legend of Zelda and you’ll find yourself in a mess if you are imprecise in your search terms). Occasionally, you’ll find someone that decides they don’t like the direction your content developed in, and need to voice their opinion on it.
Rule #1: Don’t take it personally. Many people feel the need to express frustration, for any number of reasons, and in all likelihood you aren’t even the source of their underlying frustration. Nod at the comment and continue with your life. If you feel the need to respond, do your best to remain positive; biting remarks, sarcastic retorts, and the like do nothing to help the situation, and frankly make you look bad.
Rule #2: Don’t delete the comment unless it contains objectionable content. By objectionable, I mean the FCC’s definition of the term, OR the term as defined by the Terms of Service for whatever platform you provide content on. This allows people that search your content to know what criticisms you have faced for producing it, so they can provide constructive feedback if such feedback is needed.
Rule #3: Don’t give up. All too often we’ll find these comments inevitably come on the heels of a rough day; this can often rob us of our desire to continue on whatever path we’ve chosen to take. No matter what, you have to shake it off. Don’t let the negative feedback stop you; rather, let it feed your desire to build on what you already have.
Last but not least, while I have mentioned “haters” in the past, it is more often the case that the majority of these comments aren’t coming from true haters. Haters are people that are jealous of what you are doing, and the success you are building on by doing so. You will run into haters as you build yourself up, and you should appreciate every one of them; they tell you you’re succeeding. The majority of the people mentioned as the subject of this article, however, are just people that didn’t click with you. Thank them for their time, and keep on sailing.