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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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Amie Marse March 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

Good flipping call! Now, if you sell a crap product or your service is bad and the comment is genuinely constructive then I would leave it and reply in a PR type of way. The, yes we acknowledge X happened and we are doing X about it – thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Otherwise, cut that crap out.

I have a “cyber stalker” from years and years ago. A freelancer I had a dispute with over $100. Now every few months she pops up and blasts me … everywhere. It’s awesome sauce, but as you can imagine you can’t let stuff like that fly.


Adarsh Thampy March 27, 2012 at 9:59 am


I could relate to that. I exposed a so called SEO consultant offering services in a popular forum. From that moment on, he tracks everywhere I post and tries to post negative comments. He also tried some black hat techniques on my site (It did not work as planned for him thankfully).

We shouldn’t let things like that stop us.


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Man Adarsh…nothing like a fake-seo-stalker-guy to deal with. ;-)


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:50 am

Wow Amie, isn’t it amazing that people will actually look to smear you over $100?? Crazy.

Love your point and policy though, I right there with you. :-)

Thanks so much for stopping by!



Michele Price (@prosperitygal) March 27, 2012 at 9:52 am

Interesting question for us to ponder and I have thought about this for years. I make a gut call on each one. For example I had someone who was just an “ass”, you could tell from his language and I even went so far as to go read what he said in other places. Confirming he was an “ass”, I left it up.

WHY you ask? To let others see I was not afraid to let him be seen for who and what he was. I agree Marcus it is our real estate and I also think once in a while, when you are willing to leave up an “asses” comment you show your own fortitude that detractors will not get you down.

Funny thing, it has given readers an opportunity to realize it happens to everyone and they exhale.


John Verba March 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

Michele. Yes…this post made me think of the kinds of comments that sometimes show up on my kids’ youtube videos along the lines of “you can’t sing and you can’t play, oh, and and you’re ugly too”…and since I’ve gotten calls from Disney and America’s Got Talent about them, in the past, I’d tend to think they can at least do a little of both.

But then you click on the person’s channel and glance at their activity stream and it turns out they see very few people who can sing and play. And not only that, but their sandwich tastes funny and their shoes are too tight. : )

By the same token, one can also get comments from folks who look like superfans and assert that it’s crazy that a big label hasn’t found you yet…and then find that they think it’s crazy that a big label hasn’t yet found all sorts of other artists yet, too. : )

Thus proving the wisdom of an old saying I ran into a while back: Praise and criticism are two sides of the same coin. (Well, at least if it’s constant and intense, and the person is spraying it around like a lawn sprinkler.)

“Consider the source” seems to apply. : )


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Speaking of Youtube John, that is the absolute worst place in the world for comments. It seems like 90% of the ones I get for my swimming pool videos have some type of 4-letter word or F-bomb…it has gotten to the point where I’ve disabled comments on most vids there because the commenters seem to be some seriously angry people.

Good seeing you John, have a great week bud.



Suz March 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Agreed on the youtube comments & glad it’s not just my videos! Why are people so much harsher on that forum than anywhere else? I always think it’s angry teenagers leaving the comments.


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

Yeah Suz, I’m really starting to think 90% of You Tube commenters are totally nuts. ;-)


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Hey Michele, how are ya?!

I can see your point and certainly like the fact that for you, it’s a “gut call”. You know, many people don’t have your thick skin, and so for them, these negative commentor types need to be nuked pretty quickly without blinking. But if someone can handle it and feels it gives value to future readers, then I think that’s certainly not a bad idea as well.

Thanks again for dropping by Michele!



Adarsh Thampy March 27, 2012 at 9:56 am

For most businesses, I’d suggest the path you follow. It makes no sense to allow an unreasonable comment to live on your blog. Even if it’s genuine, I’d suggest that the business contact the commentor (their email will be available) and try to sort it out. Once the thing has been solved, approve the comment and post a reply saying the steps you did to correct the issue.

For our general blogs I first check if the name is real or whether they used keywords. If using keyword, then I’d probably look at the value of the comment. Only comments with really high value deserve a keyword mention on my blog. However, from a SEO POV, it’s not going to help (Most blogs are no-follow). Still people want to appear stupid with weird keyword names.


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

All great points Adarsh and I’m thinking you’ve got a pretty sound strategy for this. Thanks again bud.


Ameena Falchetto March 27, 2012 at 9:57 am

Ahaha! This HAS to be my favourite post this week.

Seriously though, ridiculous comments should be removed, as should ones with crazy off topic chit chat.

I do edit comments for irrelevant, off topic parts – I don’t change the words, just edit out stuff that adds no value. I want my comments to bring value to other readers.

I’ve not had the haters yet – until then I will bow to you as you have clearly “arrived”


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

No haters yet Ameena?? Seriously? I’m so disappointed! ;-)

Well when you do, call me if you need a refresher on the 6 steps ;-)


Ameena Falchetto March 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Someone told me that I was a bit scary at times … I guess I don’t entertain chit chat on my site so I don’t get them!


Rebecca Livermore March 27, 2012 at 10:06 am

For me it depends on a couple of things.

If a comment is really vulgar, it goes. If a comment is spammy and doesn’t add any value at all, it goes. If a comment attacks me personally and has NOTHING at all to do with the topic of the post, it goes.

But if someone just disagrees with what I wrote, presented a different point of view, it stays, even if the person is a total jerk.

The good thing about obvious jerks is that they are. . . obvious. And everyone reading the comments can see that. So I don’t worry too much about those because anyone with any sense at all can see the person for who they are and can see me for who I am.


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm

That’s a pretty good set of rules you’ve got there Rebecca. I actually love it when people disagree. I love mature debate. But the jerks….. ;-)


John Garrett March 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

Hell yes, Marcus.

I just don’t see the need to keep negative, insulting comments up on your own site. I know we’re supposed to show we can “take it” and all that but it doesn’t make sense to me to reward that type of crap. Those types of commenters can stay on YouTube.

That said, I had one really negative comment last year, where the guy was pretty insulting. He used the old “don’t bother to respond as I won’t be checking this site anymore…” You know the one.

I actually allowed the comment since it gave me a chance to clown the guy a little and I thought it might be amusing to others.

If you can have some fun at the expense of these trolls, then go for it.

Great post, man. It’s your digital space that you pay for, and I think a lot of bloggers need to be reminded of this from time to time.


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

That’s exactly the thing John–there is a feeling by some that bloggers and businesses should show they can “take it”…personally, I can take mature conversation, but when it slips below that…ciao!

Appreciate your thoughts bud, and hope you’re well.



joe March 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

Spent thousands of dollars on hundreds of gallons of bourbon, gin and vodka because I couldn’t control people, places or things.

The only thing you control is yourself and how you react. Delete and move on, next page, don’t let them gain space in your head.


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Wise words brother, completely agree Joe!


barbara March 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

This is good advice Marcus. We sometimes forget we own our digital real estate and have control.

My blog is my writing platform not a business per se but I can be opinionated. My experience has been people leaving nasty comments anonymously. I love a good argument but if you want to spew negativity and remain anonymous you are gutless and gone.


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Completely agree Barbara. I have a low tolerance for the “anonymous complainers”. Well said!



Matthew Stock March 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

Funny I’ve started to get a few comments from competitors and other basement waterproofers around the country. If it’s too promotional or negative I am more inclined to hit the delete button. What do you think about internal employees leaving authentic comments? You may remember our Sales Advisor Todd (how could you forget him). He just posted a comment on our blog yesterday and was wondering if it he overstepped.


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I look at it this way Matt—if it makes you feel uncomfortable, nuke it…or edit it. Your call boss.

Keep it up man,



Joel Capperella March 27, 2012 at 11:06 am

it is a good post and I do like the final recommendation about doing what feels right! We’ve happily hit delete plenty of times!!! I do think there is potential value to be found in negative comments (as long as they are credibly negative – that is not simply ad hominem attacks). They do provide opportunity to further the narrative of value that we are weaving into our content that we truly believe benefits our customers / clients. Taking the opportunity to address the negative, validating that it is in deed an alternative, and then tactfully providing the correct perspective. We’ve had success with this in actually engaging some of our detractors (even competitors) and turned it into a valuable conversation that benefited the customer


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Joel, great point. There is no question that value (and a lot of it)can be had from dialogue in addressing a reader’s or customer’s questions or concerns. Also, there is a lot of value to be had in healthy debate. Unfortunately, many people have not yet figured out how to do this, but when someone comes along that really “gets it”, then it can be truly powerful.

Great seeing you Joel, and thanks for the comment!



Katie Parvin March 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

Great article! I’ve seen some nasty comments out there. Love your step-by-step way of handling them!


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Not too complicated of a system, is it Katie? ;-)

Glad you liked the post, have a great day!



Krista Kotrla March 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

Hahaha!… I love it. Always appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and share your wisdom, Marcus! And that is why I call you “Fearless-Blogging-Jedi-Master” :-)


Marcus Sheridan March 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Anytime KK, my pleasure….and thanks for inspiring such a fun article to write. ;-)


Murray Lunn March 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I remember, specifically, the moment that I almost lost it: I had just published a 3,000+ word article on my blog and the first comment was “It’s ‘you’re’ not ‘your’”. A damn grammar troll.

It was eating at me – I had busted my butt putting hours into this post and people just skipped over it to call me out on some stupid grammar mistake? /Deleted.

It still kind of irks me but whatever – off to the trash it went.


Ryan Hanley March 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Great stuff dude…

Nike version… “Just Delete It”

I also love the fact that you take the time to put serious thought and consideration into your email questions… It’s nice to see a Guru stay grounded! ha…

Ryan H.


Harriet March 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Internet trolls make me sick. You read about it so much on the internet these days and it just gets weirder and weirder. I don’t know why anyone would want to be nasty to you when you’re such a genuine guy. Sod them all I say!


Stefano March 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I do not 100% agree here. Some moderate trolls help the website to grow, as long as other readers reply to the stupid comment and a discussion starts. It creates engagement, increases pageviews and makes good visitors return because they want to reply to the troll again and again.

I was once in the staff of a website that was basically built around trolls provoking everybody else. However, that site soon became a trash bin because the webmaster didn’t understand a very important point: once the troll has done his job (attract comments and engagement), you need to get rid of him before he starts getting dangerous for your business.


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:48 am

I think it really comes down to how one defines a “troll” Stefano. In other words, I’ve had plenty of people come here and disagree with me until they were blue in the face, and I leave them up because it’s certainly good to hear all sides. But if that person starts to not play by the rules….bye bye. ;-)

Thanks for dropping by Stefano,



Mark Evans March 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I’m in the same camp. If the criticism is constructive, I may leave it alone, but I tend to find mos of these kind of comments are so self-serving that hitting the delete button is easy.


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

Mark, how are you brother? Yeah, self-serving gives me the green light for a quick delete. ;)

Good seeing you man,



Stef March 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Marcus are you SURE about this?!?!?

It seems WAY too simple!

Just kidding dude it seems right on.

There is one thing I’ve been wondering about that I’ll ask you now. What do you think about comment moderation? And what “exactly” is your comment set up here (at the risk of asking a silly question). I’d like to replicate what you’re doing here on my blog.


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:46 am

Hey Stef, always great seeing your smile! :)

I’m not at all a fan of “comment moderation” in the sense of making people “wait” to get their thoughts posted. With mobile, it’s easy to nuke bad stuff in a hurry, so I don’t feel the occasion benefit outweighs the negatives of “awaiting approval”.

As for my policy, I’ve never actually come out and stated one. I think people “sense” my policy more than anything. I don’t like cussing, and if I see it, I’ll change the word. This is because my daughter reads my blog and she’s 11. :-) Plus I don’t feel it’s necessary for great conversation.

Other than that, I really don’t have a great answer… Do you have a specific question about what you’re seeing? I don’t want to not address your question here in the right way.




Sarah Kolb March 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm

This is such a great post! I remember when I first started blogging, one of my first real live non-spam comments was from a huge jerk who used a few choice words to explain to me that I didn’t know anything about copyrights or intellectual property, and that if he were my boss he would have fired me months ago for my horribly inaccurate posts. I, naturally, freaked out completely and essentially forced my boss (who is a highly respected lawyer) to scrutinize my posts to see if I was really as underqualified as the commenter thought I was and to, if necessary, relegate me to the basement for cleaning duty. Two days later, she gave me a short list of typos — but no substantive changes. I no longer put any stock in rude and unproductive comments, and I’m pleased to read that you condone deleting unnecessarily rude comments!


Jon Loomer March 27, 2012 at 11:53 pm

For me, it all comes down to added value. Is someone attempting to add value? I may disagree with what they have to say. I may not like it. But is there some truth and value there?

I have three ways of reacting: 1) Reply, 2) Ignore or 3) Delete. If someone is irrationally torqued off about something that has nothing to do with me and is a random spew of nonsense (got one of those today), I tend to ignore it. If it is well thought out and has good points — even if it hurts personally — I’ll respond. If it adds no value whatsoever — and it’s clear that they didn’t even put much thought into the comment — I’ll delete.

Luckily, I don’t get too much of this yet. But there are days when I read other blogs and forums and shake my head. The worst in people tends to come out in these places.


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:38 am

Great system Jon, and if “value” is your guiding light when it comes to comments, I think you’re headed down a perfect road.

Good seeing you bud,



paul wolfe March 28, 2012 at 3:51 am


I totally agree with everything you’ve said. I get about 15 to 20 ‘human spammers’ a day – people with names like XYZ@weight loss for dummies or stuff like that. And their comments are normally along the lines of:

“What great information you are sharing. Great post – I’ll be back.”

So they’re trying to get a keyword rich backlink. And they’re posting a comment of no value. So they go automatically to the spam bin.

That’s a no brainer.

Where this gets more….interesting, is when people automatically delete comments that don’t agree with them. We’ve spoken about this before here I know…but it seems there are certain bloggers (A list guys too) who only approve complimentary comments. That to me seems ultimately self defeating as the only way you can grow is by considering different points of view and reassessing your position. (Of course that’s difficult/impossible to do if the differing point of view is written in an insulting or rude way).

Funny that you bring up Youtube – I get tons of comments on YoUtube, and they’re not all flattering! My rule of thumb is anything personally insulting or expletive filled gets deleted and the user gets blocked – but anything that’s just generally critical I tend to leave. What I often do is thank the poster for his comment – and then invite him to record a video showing how it should be done and post it as a video response.

I’ve issued that invitation about 30 times in the last year. Guess how many people have taken me up on that? (If you guessed none, you’d be right!).



paul wolfe March 28, 2012 at 3:52 am

An example of a spammy comment that came in as I was typing:

“Awesome tips you share with us. Its very helpful for my blog, thank you so much for sharing this post.”

Straight to the spam bin.


paul wolfe March 28, 2012 at 6:11 am

The other dead give away for these kind of human spammers is there’s no avatar associated with the link they are trying to post or the comment they are trying to leave.


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

Yep…thank goodness for good spam catchers these days….otherwise we’d all have to turn comments off.


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

Hahahaha Paul, LOVE the challenge man, that is hilarious!

Yeah, if a blogger just nukes a comment because someone doesn’t agree, then that person is lame in my book (assuming the comment was in good taste).

But I also think that the sign of a healthy and strong blog/community, as well as a healthy and strong blogger (or thought leader), is one where there are opinions all over the place.

Anyway, good stuff man. Hope you’re well and that the band is great too. :)



Spark March 28, 2012 at 4:00 am

What abt customers giving bad review on the items / provided service? Do you think is it made sense to delete the post? (This include facebook posting) or should we just admit it and apologize for the things that we did? Does doing this bring good or bad to company in long run?


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

Hey Spark, I think it comes down to honesty and not ‘stretching’ the truth. I had someone leave a bad review on HubSpot here the other day. But because the person left the same negative review on two of the Hubspot blogs I’ve written, and because it was obvious to me the person wasn’t telling the whole truth about their supposed problem, I nuked both of the comments, as well as the comments that had replied to the person’s post.

Again, my real estate, my rules.

I think everyone should have this policy.



Sanjeev March 28, 2012 at 7:52 am

This is one of my current fav topic as I am trying to implement comment policy on my blog. I agree we need to have a limit after that the comment will go…I only check if the claims are correct. Once I had got a bad comment saying that the content is hiding behind the sharebar, and he is not able to read…for me it was working fine.

After some tests I found that it is giving issue on a different resolution, so I went ahead and thanked that person for taking time and bringing it to my notice. So if the claim is true than it will be published otherwise bye bye…


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:30 am

Hey Sanjeev, good call on that one. I love honest feedback and constructive criticism, as it can certainly help.

Like you said, it comes down to honesty and truth…and if they’re not present…bye bye.

Thanks for dropping by Sanjeev.



Lee Kirkby March 28, 2012 at 9:40 am

Marcus: I just like your statement that your blog, website etc is YOUR digital real estate. You have the right to control what it is used for and someone blatantly miss using it does not need to be tolerated. Good call.


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

Hey Lee, appreciate that, and I really meant it—this is a simple truth I think many people and businesses have actually forgotten.

Have a great one my friend,



Hunter Boyle March 28, 2012 at 10:00 am

Hey Marcus,

Great post. I agree completely and love the big DELETE button (did you test that?). It’s like the web equivalent of “get off my lawn” when you scatter the trolls, grammar/typo jerks and insult hurlers.

That said, it can get trickier with a company blog, because sometimes the valid criticisms come wrapped in an insult or irrelevant spewing. Would love to hear your thoughts about editing those types of comments?

Also, a cool follow up to this post might be dealing with stupid Tweets. It’s not your own real estate, and you can’t delete them, but they sure can sprout up quickly and multiply. How do you handle those?

Cheers — Hunter


Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:28 am

Hahaha, glad you liked that Hunter. ;-)

The way I see it, even if someone’s criticism is valid, but they wrap it in ugly, then it’s going in the trash.

As for stupid tweets, yeah, that’s a good question. Honestly, I think the best bet is to ignore them unless they catch fire…otherwise we’re just throwing gas on a flame that didn’t deserve to be lit in the first place.

Good seeing you man,



Josh Sarz March 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

Hey there Mane man,

Long time no talk. Been busy writing copy. Finally getting started.

I love the huge DELETE at the end of the step-by-step guide. That’s true. One should never let jerk comments ruin their day. In the end, they lose. They lost their cool and showed just how much of a loser they are.

Or, you could simply keep the comment on your blog. Like they always say, don’t be afraid to insult dogs when you’re out to attract the foxes.

Warmest regards,



Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

Josh, good to hear from you bud and glad to hear you’ve been busy making it happen my man. Keep pushing, keep pushing…



Andrea Hypno March 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I do the same, especially because using Livefyre I’m not going to give a link to someone who doesn’t deserve it. This means spamming comments, overpromotionals, out of context and so on. I too thought about leaving them all but that’s wrong imho. I love comments as everyone else and always reply to them but until they’re fair. I just deleted a comment because it was just the first paragraph of a sale page where that webmaster just copied one of my posts entirely. I let it go because there was a linkback and if he wants to enter the copied content field it’s his business. Does this means I’m beginning to write good enough? :)


Marcus Sheridan March 30, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Yep, it’s an interesting world out there in comment land Andrea, that’s for sure man. ;-)

And yes, I’m sure you’re writing is quite good enough!



Danny Brown March 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm

For the most part, I leave them – I find it just highlights what an ass they are, and gives them far better negative promotion than a deletion or any comeback I offered could ever have.

I do offer a commenting policy, which details what is and isn’t allowed, and then people will know why/if they’re deleted (which is rare, but does happen).

Generally, anything goes as long as you’re respectful, discourse politely, veer away from hate speech and attacks on other commenters. Apart from that, pretty much comment away. :)


Marcus Sheridan March 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I think your blog is a great example D’ of someone who promotes that healthy debate while having skin thick enough to take the bullets when the come.

Good seeing you mate, hope the fam is well.



Leon Noone March 29, 2012 at 7:14 am

G’Day Marcus,
In cases like this I’m guided by Oscar Wilde. He said, “Always forgive your enemies: nothing annoys them so much.”

All good clean fun.
Best Wishes


Marcus Sheridan March 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

And who knew Leon Noone would have a quote to sum it up so perfectly??? ;-)

Thanks mate, you’re simply one of the best,



Susan Daniels March 29, 2012 at 7:48 am

I have recently been going through all my comments and this article is a big help. Thanks! Warmly, Susan


Marcus Sheridan March 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Glad it helps Susan! :)


Chris Murphy March 29, 2012 at 10:08 am

Marcus, I like your blog and I like your writing style! LOL What I especially like about your blog topics is that you’re not afraid to talk about things that others are afraid to talk about in an open forum. I know that this is what you recommend in your classes and to those that are new to IM. It builds trust and creates transparency with your customers and followers. It’s refreshing to see you practicing what you preach. Keep up the great work.


Marcus Sheridan March 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Chris man, I really appreciate you saying that a bunch. I do try to be true to myself with this blog. This means I share what’s on my mind…while maintaining a sense of respect to others who don’t share my same ideas and thoughts. After all, that’s what this whole blogging thing is about, right?? ;-)

Thanks so much Chris for taking a minute to stop by,



Louise Gibney March 29, 2012 at 11:46 am

Great post! Could have used this a few months ago…

I had a particualarly nice email from one lady on my Facebook fan page just before Christmas, saying along the lines of ‘what did I know, what a b*tch I was ‘ etc. I considered it carefull and politely replied along the lines of ‘Thank you for your comment – I am glad my writing has inspired you to take the time to post on my fan page, boosting my traffic!’. And promptly deleted the post and blocked the offending user. I would never retaliate – that’s one thing working in PR has taught me.

What’s that phrase? No such thing as negative publicity!



Linda April 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Excellent, Louise!

I sooo like it when someone turns the other cheek in such a mannered and effective way. But I have to ask – did you have canons and and a full arsenal aimed at the ‘kill’ button after you’d done it?
It’s the sort of situation in which I usually respond overtly in a calm and controlled manner, then hurl all sorts of venom at the offender as I press the delete button – I’m a psycho at heart!


Davina K. Brewer March 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Think I’m w/ Stefano and Paul and Danny: it depends. So I’m with you 98.67%. ;-)

Paul game a good example of the ‘this was helpful, thanks’ uncomment SPAM. I’ve had people string keywords together – or copy & paste from whole articles elsewhere; canned and blacklisted. Then there are link bait spammers – maybe a little more on topic w/ their effort, but it’s just about posting links. Delete, block. SPAM is not a comment and therefore moderation rules don’t apply.

TROLLS, FLAMERS, HATERS: If you point out errs in grammar – I’ll correct; you move on. Of the few ‘this blows’ – I might keep ONE w/ the reply for anyone else paying attention: you’ve had your fun, post a real comment or it’s gonna be blocked. Name calling is a no-no; play nice w/ the other kids or go home. I want people to discuss the ISSUE, not attack and debate the PERSON, me or other commenters. And – as we’re mostly discussing opinion, not ‘fact’ – know when to let it go.

DISSENT: As for the ‘you suck, this is totally wrong’ comment: I’ve gotten a few of those – some from genuine ‘leaders’ in this space. I’ve replied to clear up any misunderstandings, which you know, happen. I’ve replied that I value their feedback, appreciate their candor and would love for them to explain their answer, give me more; don’t just tell me, show me how wrong I am, even drop a link to one of their own posts. When their response is CRICKETS, I’m w/ Danny – it really shows them for the kind of person they are, and others, what kind of blogger I am.

Most of us value and genuinely want constructive feedback – even if they’re pointing flaws in our logic. Spammers and trolls are an annoying, tedious part of blogging. I’ve been meaning to revisit my comment policy so I can better explain what will/won’t be banned or canned as spam; how I define and deal w/ trolls – maybe spam them w/ a flaming bag of poo GIF or something. Nice reminder, FWIW.


Marcus Sheridan March 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Awesome, awesome, awesome comment Davina. Dang girl. You pretty much managed to give the true “how to deal with comments” guide and you did it in 200 words.

Which is why you rock. ;-)

One thing you said I have to make further note of: I want people to discuss the ISSUE, not attack and debate the PERSON, me or other commenters. And – as we’re mostly discussing opinion, not ‘fact’ – know when to let it go.

I try to live that with every opinion peace I write– don’t attack the person, just the concept.

Again, thank you D’, this was great.



Bill Faeth March 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm


I have to agree with Chris Murphy. You tackle great topics in your blog that most IM’ers are afraid to touch. I commend you for this and will try to take on some of this in my blog as well.

John Garrett is also dead on the money. You don’t have to accept negative comments without merit. Now, if you can have some fun with the troll at their expense then have at it.

Personally, I try to reply to all comments positive or negative and only delete if there is vulgar language or an attack that is completely personal or off-base.

Keep up the great work.


Marcus Sheridan March 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Bill, that’s awfully kind of you to say and I really do appreciate it. You know, people always like to separate industries and act like content and inbound marketing are vastly different wherever we go, but I’m not buying that at all. Because I wasn’t afraid to address my observations on the good, bad, and ugly of the pool industry, my business was rewarded. Because I’ve attempted to do the same with the social media/marketing industry, my business has been rewarded.

We live in a world that is so vacant of transparent thinkers and communicators…So why not be real?? At least that’s my take. ;-)

Thanks again Bill,



Jason Fonceca April 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm

“We live in a world that is so vacant of transparent thinkers and communicators…So why not be real?? At least that’s my take. ;-)”

Seconded, and thanks for leading the way :)


margie clayman (@margieclayman) March 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I am one of those people who always tries to understand what motivates people to act as they do. Luckily I haven’t had a whole lot of experience with trolls, but there have been occasions where people leave comments clearly intended just to hurt my feelings. This never actually works because someone who has nothing better to do than to hurt a blogger’s feelings really is in a sad state of affairs. And I say that in the least judgmental way possible!


Marcus Sheridan March 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Yep, sad but true Margie…some whacky people out there with odd behaviors and time-spending habits. ;-)

Good seeing you lady and hope you have a wonderful weekend,



Renea March 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm

The comment won’t show up on the home page. Its only shown in the individual blog posts. I don’t think there are options to display them on the homepage.


Spatch Merlin March 30, 2012 at 5:59 am

I couldn’t agree more! Since you own the website then you have every right to delete stupid comments!.

Spatch Merlin
More Web Site Traffic Guide


Steven Papas April 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I love it! You have control you can just delete it. By the way your writing style is poor… Just kidding!! Don’t delete this post! I really do think people need to know how to calmly take care of these things because they will happen in you blogging career.


Jason Fonceca April 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Hahhaha… awesome stuff Marcus.

It does raise the issue of “digital real-estate” vs. “public record” , but I feel you’ve got the right idea :)

What if you don’t want to spend your time “deleting” B.S. comments?

Well, I do my best to educate and enlighten commenters, with posts like this:


Elena Anne April 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I draw the line at un-helpful. I can take all sorts of negative “I hate your post because” comments, but when it becomes “I think you are ugly, therefore you cannot blog” I cannot help but chuckle as I wipe them from my post. They are there for their own reason unrelated to you or your post, so there is no need to keep them around.


Marcus Sheridan April 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Amen to that Elena, looks like we’re on the same page ;-)



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