One of the side effects of having a public forum available for commenting, is the occasional negative comment. I think there are specific factors that come in to play with each negative comment, but there are a few ways you can responsibly handle them.
1. Don’t make it more than it is. In other words, don’t give it more weight than the positive comments. Sure, it feels different to read a negative comment, it may sting a bit, but it’s just a comment.
2. Don’t fire back with a reply immediately after you read it. You’re more likely regret it if you react too soon. Wait at least 24 hours. By that time, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to handle it maturely.
3. Consider if there is an element of truth to the comment. Of course, this will depend on the comment.
If someone writes, “you’re dumb and I hate you”. Just move on.
But if someone writes, “ugggg. I’m so sick of the same hair tutorial over and over. Boring!” instead of writing a hasty sarcastic response, it’s more productive to look at the comment for what it is. Is there truth to it, even a fraction of truth? In that sample comment, there is. A lot of my tutorials look similar, and I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone every once in awhile.
Constructive criticism is beneficial. It helps you grow. Use it–even though it’s hard.
I’m sure this goes without saying, but comments that are personal attacks, verbally abusive or straight up evil would of course not fall into the “constructive criticism” category.
In order to effectively use Pinterest to drive people back to your blog, you need to give them a reason to click through. Whether it’s a beautiful photograph or an image with text explaining how to do something, draw the viewer in by entice them to click through.
If you are sharing a tutorial, or want to show someone how you did something, consider using programs like photoshop or picmonkey to add text to your images. Then, when the image is repinned, in case the pinner changes the caption below, the text explaining what it’s all about remains on the photo.
I wrote a little bit about Pinterest and using it to grow your blog here, if you are interested in knowing more.
Your content, no matter what it is, is the most valuable thing on your blog. More than any achievments or notoriety you’ve had in the past, your daily blog content is what readers return for.
Writing doesn’t come as natural for me as it does for others, but a love for sharing information is the drive behind this blog. I want to teach my readers how to do things, share things I like that they might like too. And occasionally share a funny story.
So as I’m drafting a post, I think about these things:
1. Why am I sharing this?
2. Does it fall under my blog mission statement*?
3. What are some negative reactions that may come of it?
4. Is it clear what I’m trying to “say”?
— 1. the first question is usually answered with something along the lines of “because I find it interesting”. My hair tutorials are the most popular content on my blog, and those are easy to answer for. But Tuesday through Friday is left to whatever I feel like, so it takes much more thought and planning.
— 2. I ask myself the second question to really challenge whether or not the post fits. If I’m sharing a tutorial, it fits. If I’m writing about something I did last week, it fits. I’ve honed in on topics that work with my blog mission statement and refer back to those often when I’m coming up with ideas for posts.
*It may be helpful to draft a mission statement for your blog. Consider creating a Pinterest board of inspiration that fit in with your mission statement as well. Mine is, “my blog is an educational place for women to learn how to do beauty-related things, and for me to share bits of my life that are relatable”.
A question I get asked frequently is “do you ever run out of ideas for your posts?”. So far I haven’t, but I imagine there will be certain chapters of my life where it is more challenging than it is now. I’m grateful that my blog is a natural extension of things I already care to talk about, instead of trying to make it something it’s not.
— 3.Consider how people may react to it. Not necessarily in an emotional way, but ask yourself : 1. is this going to leave people wondering about other things? 2. did I include all the information necessary to share the idea? 3. do I communicate what I originally intended to communicate?
Making sure you are writing clear, easy to understand posts–no matter what the topic is. Readers want to know the whole story, for the most part, instead of bits and pieces. Be honest–or atleast as honest as you are comfortable with.
— 4. When I was drafting my post about my husband I struggling to get pregnant, I considered for many months posting a vague “this has been a tough year” without divulging more information. But as I thought about it more and more, I didn’t want to post something that left 90% of the truth up to the imagination of my readers. And as challenging as it was to get raw and emotional on a public platform, it has turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. God truly used that to open my eyes to this struggle and showed me, through perfectly timed new friendships, that He has people available for me to talk to.
Be honest and open on your blog. Your readers feel like they know you, since they read what you write everyday, so let yourself be known.
I’ve gotten much more comfortable in front of the camera in my year and a half of filming. I think there is a still a great need for improvement, but I’m happy with the progress thus far. I can’t even go back and watch my original hair tutorials because they are simply too painful to watch! I was stiff, nervous, and robotic–as if my life was on the line while I was filming.
Like anything, you can be as serious or casual about vlogging as you choose. For my videos, my goal is to be clear, simple to understand, and easy to follow along with. So while I may crack a a joke every once in awhile, my videos are pretty serious.
Here are some things I’ve learned about vlogging:
1. It’s harder than you think. Editing takes longer than you think. Lighting is tougher than you think. Filming takes longer than you think.
2. The tendency to ramble increases dramatically as soon as the little red light turns on.
3. Having a rough outline of what you want to say will lend to a much more successful video in the long run. It will be easier to edit, and keep you from rambling. It will also keep you from saying “um” “ya know” “so” and other phrases that will lower the quality of your video.
4. Prepare an intro and outro–either a clip you’ve filmed just for those parts of the video, or simply a phrase you say when you open, and one you say when you close out.
5. Using a tripod is always best! You can find them at best buy or amazon.
Melissa wrote a great post on vlogging tips here, check it out if you are interested in learning more about vlogging!
Alright! That about covers the “growing” portion of this blog series! Next week I’ll cover “maintaining”, which will include topics like making money, working with other bloggers on projects, contributing, etc.
Other random tips for writing successful blog posts:
Avoid phrases like “hey everyone!”. It sounds like you are talking to a crowd, which you very well may be doing, so it doesn’t grip the reader on a personal level. Use phrases that you would naturally say when you are talking to a friend. It’s much more personal.