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5 Things a Troll Taught Me About Content Marketing

August 1, 2011
trolls and content marketing

When I wrote my first blog post, I was proud and excited.

I posted it and anxiously awaited the comments that might follow. (What would the Internet have to say?) Then, I got a notification for that long awaited response from a thoughtful reader.

It was not quite what I had anticipated.

Instead of oohs and ahhs I heard boos. My pride and joy post was being ridiculed. What could I do? (Crying was not an option).

Hopefully, you’ll never face this situation. But if you share anything on the Internet, you’re likely to run into trolls. I did.

And here are the things that troll taught me about content marketing:

1. If you’re going to be controversial, expect controversy.

Content should evoke emotion and cause people to react. If no one comments on your thoughts then you haven’t done your job—you haven’t gotten anyone to really think. And, if it just so happens that comments come in a negative form, at least your content got someone to take time out of their day to respond.

2. Don’t take things personally

There are some people who just like to get a rise out of others. And the cloak of anonymity provided by the web only makes it easier for them. Most of these people would not be nearly as mean if they met you in person (hopefully, anyway). And even if they did, there’s no value in internalizing criticism.
But make sure to:

3. Look beneath the sharp points, because there are sometimes useful points

Harsh criticism can be useful (if it’s constructive). Check for value and valid arguments between the lines and use the criticism to help you develop thick skin.

If you only get flattery, are you ever really thinking beyond your comfort zone? The sharp points could actually help your blog evolve and strengthen (maybe that person was brave enough to say what everyone else was thinking).

These points are a test to see if you truly practice what you preach. And a bonus for your audience: they too can get feedback that is potentially useful. Take these criticisms and use them to help you grow but remember:

4. You can’t please everybody all the time

So don’t try to. The biggest successes in the world have people who hate them. You’re not going to be everything to everyone so accept the fact that you won’t be and move on. This means focusing even more intently on serving the audience that appreciates you. And remember:

5. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Yes perhaps this sounds cliché, but don’t let nasty remarks stop you from creating content and sharing with those who read and value what you have to say. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

There are always going to be haters that roam blogs waiting to drop inflammatory comments. Take the unpleasant experience to improve your content. Who knows, maybe the tweak will drive in more readers to praise your next post.

[Image: nullboy]

If you liked this, try:

  1. 4 Things My Mom Taught Me About Social Media
  2. What Making Sandwiches Taught Me About Marketing
  3. You’re a Human, Act Like It. Unless You’re OK with Being a Digital Marketing Failure
  4. What the Top 10 Blogs in Content Marketing Are Doing That You Probably Aren’t
  5. What I Learned About Content Marketing While Shoveling Snow

Tagged as: Building Community, Content (media), Content Marketing, Customer Service, relationships, Transparency, Trolls

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