The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Dealing with Blog Trolls and Stupid Comments

by Marcus Sheridan

Believe it or not, I've actually received comments pretty close to this one before...

I got an interesting email from TSL reader turned good friend Krista the other day and it’s one that many businesses and marketers can relate to. She said:

What is best practice for a Thought-Leader when competitors post blog comments that are purely self-promotional in nature and not so much adding anything of value to the blog topic?

Ahhh yes, a good question indeed Krista. In fact, as I thought about it, I realized I’d never done a post on how to deal with these types of comments. And after having built two companies on blogging and content marketing with over 600 posts in circulation, I’ve certainly had my share of negative, ugly, or over-the-top comments over the last 3 years. During this time, I’ve developed a unique strategy to dealing with these types of folks, one that I told in detail to Krista a few days ago and have decided to unveil here as well. Here goes:

The Ultimate Step by Step Guide to Dealing with Trolls, Grumpy Competitors, and Stupid Blog Comments

***Note: The following requires you to be logged in to your blogging platform. Please do not miss this step, as it is of critical importance.***

  • Step 1: Read Stupid Comment
  • Step 2: Shake head and say, “Geez…Now that was a stupid comment.”
  • Step 3: Laugh slightly and repeat out loud, “Bye-bye stupid comment.”
  • Step 4: Carefully  move mouse arrow just below comment and find the button that says “Trash” or “Delete” (as shown below)
  • Step 5: With authority, click one of these buttons.
  • Step 6: Return to work with a smile :-)

It’s Your Digital Real Estate

I know, I know, I am being a little goofy here, but in all seriousness, I’ve performed those 6 steps many, many times over the past few years. But here is the interesting thing about social media and blogging:

Many businesses think they’re practically “required” to leave every negative or over-the-top statement left by customers, competitors, and the like.

Frankly, I’ve never adhered to this. In fact, it makes no sense to me whatsoever. Now granted, if someone is being reasonable and honest, I’m going to leave their words up for the world to see. But the moment they lie, overly promote, grossly exaggerate or get too negative—they’re gone. Deleted. Hasta la vista baby.

As a business, you must not forget this reality. Your digital real-estate is yours. It’s not owned by your customers and certainly not by your competitors fronting as real people.

My point is, if it doesn’t feel right, get rid of the thing. Like I said, that’s your right.

And besides, walking away from ugly certainly has its benefits. ;-)

Your Turn:

So here is my question: At what point do you draw the line and nuke a comment (aside from the fact that it’s straight spam)? Do you think businesses should lean towards leaving most negative comments up even though they may be unreasonable, or do you think they should immediately see the bottom of the trash can?

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