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You’ve been on the internet, you know what it’s like. No matter how good a piece of content is, there’s always going to be someone trying to pick holes in it. Now, let’s be clear, feedback is invaluable but there’s a difference between criticism and straight negativity.

Sometimes this is just a troll, hoping to get a rise out of you, but it could also be someone who has a very different world view or way of approaching things.

So, how do you deal with this? Is there any general strategy or do you just have to judge each one as it comes? Let’s look at some simple ideas.

Stand by what you write

Anything you write publicly, even a comment or a tweet, should be something you’d be happy to have screenshotted and posted on your website. Everything online sticks around and as we’ve seen time and time again. So, don’t leave any text skeletons in your closet.

Ignore trolling

If someone is obviously just trying to provoke you, just ignore it. If it’s obvious to you, it will be obvious to the vast majority of your customers too. They will know to filter it out as just one of those things that happens on the internet. Unless you are Louis CK or Dave Chappell, an online argument is just going to make you look bad, no matter how right you are.

Correct information, not opinion

Negative reviews can be damaging though so if you think it is a real complaint then try to respond to it, and always within 24 hours. However, make sure you focus firmly on information, not on opinions. This will stop you coming across as angry or bitter and make sure people just see it as you giving your side of the story.

It goes without saying that you should always try to be polite and never get personal, even though sometimes you’ll probably really really want to. We know, we feel your pain. But don’t.