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How to Improve Your Blog – Learn to Take Criticism Well

Posted By Darren Rowse 16th of July 2009 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

This comment from Jannie Funster caught my attention earlier in the week on my ‘best and worst’ post:


There are many attributes that go into becoming a successful blogger but this one is key – taking criticism well.

There’s nothing more disheartening than getting a comment telling you that you’ve done something badly – but it’s also an opportunity to improve your blog and make an impression upon your readers. Nice work Jannie!

Struggling to deal with criticism? Here’s a few posts in my archives to dig into:

How do you deal with criticism?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • There is more than one way of saying something “negative.”

    There is pointing out an outness so it can be corrected, or pointing out something which can be improved. Then there is invalidative criticism.

    I got one today, on Twitter though, about my blog. The person was obviously speaking about a subject he knew nothing about at all. I could tell by the comment. Yet he was critical of it. And the worst of it was he really thought he sounded smart, when he factually sounded like a total moron.

    Unnecessary nastiness is not the same as pointing out something to correct. And the worst of it is nastiness about nothing, from someone who thinks they know all about something when they really don’t know a bungee cord from a mousetail. These people I ignore, unfollow, block. They are a useless drain … and they try ones sanity at times if they are really nutty.

  • If one person criticises you it is their opinion, if you don’t agree carry on as you were, if many criticise you then it is time to take heed of what is being said and may be make some changes.

    If improvements can be made through it, then bring on criticism.

  • A lesson to learn early on is that you can’t please all the people all the time!

  • If someone criticizes your blog it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad.

    A lot of times people are just mean because they don’t like what you are saying. Especially if you talk about things like politics and religion (like I do), a lot of people are going to come after you with both barrels blazing.

    Just grow a thick skin and deal with it.

  • Joe

    New to blogging and don’t like the criticism or confrontation. If your posts have good content, and the other things you want to do…

    Why do I open up for comments when I know it’s not if but when I’ll get lambasted.?

    Does a blog have to have all these posts back and forth to be effective.?

    Dr. it hurts when I do that,– then don’t do it…

  • Time for a teeth cleaning with the dentist. Let’s see how great my teeth are now. :)

  • Pleasing everybody is so hard nowadays, for me if it’s constructive criticism then it’ll help me improve but if it’s attacking comment then I might delete it right away.

  • once accept a comment, one and the only one…it’s a great comment for me…got a such comment for my unusefull posts…great think to be consider to get better n better…

  • I am more than happy to receive constructive criticism; I have not received that much over the time I have been blogging, but I have taken on board everything that people have said to me.

    It has helped me to write with more confidence and develop a better style.

  • another great thing about criticism is that someone is taking the time to give you their opinion about your blog

  • FYI: Your second link “what to do when your blog is attacked” takes us to the wrong page (about developing your voice).

  • Different strokes for different folks. Not everyone is going to like your writing style or the topics you write about. Keep doing what you do – the blog is an expression of yourself, so if someone doesn’t like your blog, so what? Keep at it and you will find others who will like it.

  • Learn to take criticism well?
    Yes, i like this one.

  • What ever happened to the good old days when, you just simply told someone to f**k off.

    Well, maybe it wasn’t like that but, one thing to note Jannie and Darren is that the person left the comment anonymously.

    That tells you right there that the person is afraid of criticism their self. I am sorry but if you are going to criticize someone, have the courage to put your real name or blog address so that the person has an opportunity to discuss why you left the criticism.

    Jannie, you should have just moderated that stupid comment out. People are usually stupid and are followers. If they see a comment like that on your blog it will probably turn them off to your stuff because most people don’t have the mind and courage to think for themselves.

    Sorry for the negative rant but I just wanted to get that off my chest :)

  • May be some criticism not for construction but for destruction. May be it’s from another niche competitor or someone who really don’t like you , not things that you write per se. I got negative criticism all the time, from school, work, blogs, forums, college essays, making coffees, etc. You get used to it. If you think it’s reasonable, improve. If not, ignore them. You are not a doormat, you can’t please everyone. Have anyone watched the “Yes Man” movie with Jim Carrey yet? Hilarious, isn’t it?

  • It is important to listen to others in forums that give advice about your blog.

  • My first instinct, unfortunately, is still to go on the defensive. But I’m learning. And in the case of my most recent critical comments I’ve (almost!) seen it as truly welcome feedback. What I keep telling myself is that every critical comment helps me better understand and engage with my readers. Plus – it’s a huge ego-boost to know my writing is stirring enough to evoke an impassioned response from someone!

  • As long as they are commenting, its a step in the right direction :).

  • fas

    Usually such anonymous comments are from none other than, your competitor :S

  • Criticism is definitely a tough pill to swallow sometimes, especially if you’re putting a lot of time and effort into your blog. I think one of the most important things to remember is, never say anything you wouldn’t want repeated when responding to critiques. Many people have gotten into hot water by lashing out at people…

  • Hi Darren,

    Yesterday I received a very bad comment from an unknown person because I have made a spelling mistake in my article. I have written Advantage in place of advance. It’s hurts but after correcting the error, I replied him as “Thanks for the error notification, I have corrected the spelling;- but litter politeness is at least deserved…”

    “I believe in a saying that say : Those trees that gives more fruits also have to take more stones. If you are doing something better, then there will be 50 % of people who will like you and will appreciate your work and 50 % will be those you will hate you and always will be ready to knock you down. This is what call the natures balancing. “

  • I treat my readers and commenters as friends and I accept all the critics from them. Believe me, you’ll improve your writing after that!

  • I think taking criticism from everyone is not wise at all.

    I do take criticism, but I’m very selective on who I listen to. If he or she is my mentor or a friend I trust, then I’ll listen, because I know they genuinely care.

    But if it’s an anonymous, I’m more careful, especially if the tone is that of a personal attack. It’s like what happened to Yaro Starak some months back, but to a much smaller degree.

    We should learn to judge when to accept criticism and when to ignore it.

  • Criticism is dealt with in altered means on my blog depending on the blazon of comment. If it is not absolutely accordant to the column and is absolute an advance adjoin my blog, column or content, I just adjudge not to broadcast the animadversion at all. If the criticism sheds ablaze on something that I may annual the column and chat in comments, I acknowledge the clairvoyant for commenting and either explain the purpose of the post, angle or agreeable that they are criticizing or I assure them that I accept taken their annual into consideration.

    I accomplish an accomplishment to try not and broadcast any criticism that contains profanity and capitalized argument throughout the absolute comment. These two usually go duke in hand, do not accept any actuality and serve no purpose to my blog or its readers.

  • yes this is true that it is not compulary that all readers like your post . Anyone can give negative comment if he/she doesn’t find that blog is not fulfills his/her requirements. At that time Blogger also take these kind of comments very positively. To take criticism is also an art.

  • How true. We get some great feedback in the form of criticism. We always want to know why we can’t keep readers and then when one of them finally tells us we get upset about it. We should accept it, learn from it and drive on.

  • I’d rather take a negative comment over no comment because it offers the opportunity to improve my blog.

  • Negative feedback is good for improvement.

    The worst is no feedback at all.

  • Thanks Darren:
    I have more relevant content on this issue and some ways you can make more traffic in 2009:

  • If you can’t take criticism you shouldn’t even be blogging. We all get criticize at some point, best thing you can do is take it like a man, learn from it and move on.

  • Joe

    See how quick it becomes personal, also it’s criticized not criticize in your post. Hope that helps you write better.
    It’s about blogs not your manhood.

  • Great article. I always make sure to process criticisms I receive with close friends who know me well. This helps me separate the wheat from the chaff and know what criticisms to embrace and which one’s I can shelve. You cannot really know yourself well if you don’t know how to hear and receive constructive criticism.