Attracting Controversy – What I Have Learnt?

In my career as a dietitian reflection is a key component of the job. Looking back over a situation, analysing it and thinking about what you have learnt and what you would do better next time. To be honest, a lot of us probably do it generally in life on a day to day basis. So why not with blogging?

I had my first experience of the not so nice side of blogging last week over a recent blog post. I wouldn’t say I was trolled as such but just was on the receiving end of some not so nice comments over social media.

I had made a little decision about the direction of my blog and what I wanted to write about recently. The gremlin is off to school soon and I was worried about writing too much on the specifics of her life anymore. I didn’t want every detail about her antics online; she may not want everyone reading this. I made the decision to write differently, my opinions perhaps and general stuff and humour about parenting.

Opinion however, can equal controversy and this can equal nastiness, especially online.

I thought for my self and possibly for others going down more of a controversial route, I would have a think about writing about what I have learnt as a blogger. Would I do anything differently next time? I’m not sure there will be a next time but hey!!

Learning Points

– Firstly, no matter how hard you try, not everyone will get what you are writing about. You could be talking about the new red car you have bought and someone will call you out and say it’s blue. You may think you have been neutral and balanced but not everyone will see this. Be prepared for backlash.

– People will not even bother to read the post properly; they may read the headline only, the first paragraph and make a snap judgement. I even thought some commenters may have just gone from previous comments on social media and not the post itself! Many bloggers came to me confused to what the issue was with my post; they couldn’t see it. I guessed they were either a) being kind and supportive or b) they had ACTUALLY read it properly, as true writers, bloggers can be good readers too!

– If it gets shared by any big blogging networks, be prepared for them to try and ensure it is read and interacted with as much as possible. Everyone loves some good click bait and if it means using the most inflammatory parts of the post to entice people, so be it! I’m not really moaning about this; as bloggers we all do it to get the reads BUT when you don’t architect this, it can be a little overwhelming!!

– Social media is a good way to hide behind a keyboard and be quite mean. It’s quick and easy. I know this as I did not get barely any negativity on my blog itself. To read the post, fill in your email and make a blog comment takes time, effort and proper reading of your post.

– Haters are gonna hate! Some people are just horrid and out to be nasty over anything!!

– Do not bother replying to the negative comments. I replied to one positive and then stopped. I steered well clear after, as my husband informed me it wasn’t pretty. If you know you will get upset being criticised, this is vital. It was hard at first but I managed it and am very glad.

– If you are lucky you will get some good blog stats. I had my best day of blog traffic ever that day with over 3k page views (this may not seem a lot to some) but was massive for me. This definitely makes up for any negativity. I also had a few more new followers too, so some must have agreed with the post.

Next Time?

If there is a next time and I dare to write about anything potentially controversial again would I do anything differently?

– Triple check the spelling and grammar. I had an error and of course this was picked up on. It seemed a bigger deal than the content of the post.

– Ask blogging buds, family or friends to have a read of the post if you feel nervous. I didn’t do this, perhaps I should have done. One of my very loyal blog friends told me one the lines in it was definitely inflammatory but that was it really. Perhaps she should have read it first?!

– Make a decision to if you really want it shared. I tweeted a large blogging community and it was shared twice over and I have no clue where else. This was the catalyst for the negativity. If you are scared to let more of the general public see it and get involved, don’t try and get it shared!

– Steer clear of the negative comments on social media for the get go. If you know you are not going to respond, there isn’t much point reading it and getting bothered. Look for the positive.

I found writing this pretty cathartic and useful. Although, I wasn’t in floods of tears in a heap last Friday, I have to admit I was a little taken about with all the negativity one post received.

But, like everything, I’ve learnt from it and if there is a next time, I’ll be ready!!

 

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16 Comments

  1. June 19, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    Like I said, don’t sweat it. What you said was taken completely the wrong way by people not reading the post properly. And like you said, it boosted your hits! xx
    Fran Back With A Bump recently posted…Is It Time To Blog Off?My Profile

  2. June 19, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    I didn’t think it was controversial or inflammatory, but then in this modern world full of keyboard warriors people take offense to anything it seems.
    Alan Herbert recently posted…Father’s Day Who Cares?My Profile

  3. June 19, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    There are a lot of people just looking to be offended…or to at least claim to be offended so that they can be nasty behind the shield of their keyboard. I don’t think you said anything offensive at all, you just simply have a different way to live your life and were putting that across. I hope this doesn’t make you second guess yourself in future.
    Sadie recently posted…my pregnancy at 40 weeksMy Profile

  4. June 21, 2017 / 6:30 am

    Back again for #bestandworst. I think it’s good you’ve reflected on what happened, esp the grammar. I always cringe when I find a mistake in a post I’ve written. But sod the haters! Xx
    Fran Back With a Bump recently posted…Is It Time To Blog Off?My Profile

  5. June 21, 2017 / 7:12 am

    Hi, it’s a shame when people feel the people feel the need to be negative and rude, especially when it is something you have personally choosen to do. The comparison of the colour of a car is a good example. As you say just look for the positive #bestandworst
    Chloe recently posted…Review of PG tips Lemon & Ginger Herbal infusion TeaMy Profile

  6. June 21, 2017 / 11:02 am

    Oh no! It’s such a shame that people weren’t so nice to you. Some people will take offence at the littlest things. At least you have learned things from this experience.
    #bestandworst
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Stand Up To Bullying!My Profile

  7. June 21, 2017 / 11:30 am

    I’ve not yet had any negative responses, but my blog is teeny weeny. That said, I imagine it is only a matter of time and as such I will certainly be following your advice. Hey, you may have got some negative reaction, but for the stats it was all worth it…every cloud has a silver lining #bestandworst xx
    Lisa recently posted…Swings & RoundaboutsMy Profile

  8. June 21, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    I think because it is a minority that says it all really, I personally agree that there is pressure to go the other way more now regarding slummy mummy, it is always extremes that get noticed I suppose and it was missing at the time before it because so popular X #bestandworst

  9. June 21, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    I obviously have no imagination because I can’t think what post it was or why some people would find it controversial. As others have said, don’t sweat it. Some people would take offence at air! Good lessons though. One’s that every blogger need to remember

  10. June 21, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    If you gonna write something worthwhile, it’s going to attach negative attention at some point. if you do get the odd negative remark, bravo, you’re doing the right thing!

  11. June 21, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    I think it was fine to write as you did hun, people can be nasty and that’s just the way it is. #bestandworst
    Helen Gandy recently posted…Best and Worst Linky #99My Profile

  12. June 22, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    I think the only people who found your post offensive were the ones who didn’t read it!! I thought it was a great post and not at all controversial! That said, it got you some great page views so it’s swings and roundabouts! #bestandworst
    five little doves recently posted…A cheeky breakfast with JimJams chocolate spreadMy Profile

  13. June 24, 2017 / 9:31 am

    I hate it when people make snap decisions in regards to posts. If people are to criticise it should be constructive. #bestandworst

  14. June 27, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    I always get Misery Guts to read anything I think might be vaguely contentious so he can act as my weather vane. I try and see ‘negative’ comments as a positive though – it shows you’ve caused people to think and question! #bestandworst
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…10 things all mums should do on maternity leaveMy Profile