When a Good Post Goes Bad (And How to Learn From It)

For those of you that may be new to my blog, I started out blogging on Yahoo! Shine when I was chosen to be part of their Beauty Guru program.  I also do posts outside of my monthly assignments and I’ve been really fortunate enough to have a great relationship with the Fashion editor and have a lot of those posts picked to show on the Fashion and Beauty homepage as well as the Shine homepage.  So last week I did a makeup tutorial on how to do a smokey eye and I posted it both on here and on Yahoo!  I thought I did a pretty good job considering I do get compliments on my eye makeup and the editors must have thought so too, because it made the Editor’s Picks list.  I’m stoked and after a few hours I sit down to read the comments people left.

Everyone hated it.

I’m not even exaggerating. I had to stop reading after the 9th comment because they were really brutal.  I’m talking about I got things like “Ewww”, “Gross”, and “I can’t believe she’s a Beauty Guru” type of comments.  I know that the audience on that blog can be very tough to please and for the most part my experience on there has been really good, with a few bad remarks here and there.  But I never had 30+ comments that were really bad.  What made it even worse was that the next day, the post made it to the Yahoo! Shine Home Page (I’m like, please shoot me now) so the comment number kept growing and honestly I just don’t have the heart to read every single one.

How do you recover when a blog post you thought was good gets such a poor reception?  Your mind knows that when you put yourself out there you leave yourself open for both praise and criticism equally but when the latter happens, it isn’t that easy to take.  I felt pretty bad that day and felt that the blogging rep I spent the past two years building on that site is just ruined.  Even now as I’m typing this I still feel a bit upset about it but I know there are lessons to be learned and these are some I can think of so far.

Nobody’s Perfect, Not Even You

Yeah, I know the obvious but when you go through something like this it’s easy to forget.  We aren’t perfect and we won’t nail every single post we do.  And you know that’s a good thing because if we did, then there’s no room to grow and no sense of accomplishment when we do overcome a major hurdle.  Everybody has an off day and the great thing about tomorrows is that it’s an opportunity to start over again!

Go Back and Read Your Superstar Posts

Just because you had an off day doesn’t mean you are a horrible blogger (even if your emotions tell you so!).  I remember during an IFB chat they suggested that when you receive a bad comment, go back an read five positive ones.  Trust me that really does work!  I went back to blog posts like this one and this one. Reading all the love I received in comments helped cheer me up!

It’s An Opportunity to Seek Improvement

True you will not see the validity in any type of negative feedback when you’re caught up in the moment.  At first I wanted to tell them all where to go (and how to get there!), but that’s the anger talking.  When those feelings subside, it’s time to go back and see if there is anything positive you can take away from them.  When you take away all the rudeness you can sometimes find some constructive criticism in there.  I learned that my smokey eye needs some work. I need to learn how to blend colors better, use eyeshadows that aren’t so sparkly, and seek out other tutorials to improve my technique.  I know next time to come better when it comes to that.

Times Like This Show How Brave You Are

It’s very easy to sit behind a computer screen and be super critical (or even downright rude).  However, it takes a lot of courage and perseverance to do what we bloggers do.  We put ourselves out there every single day for the entire world to see.  We leave ourselves open and vulnerable to all of the greatness as well as the nastiness the Internet world has to offer.  We take a chance with our craft and trust me there aren’t many people who can do that (especially those rude commenters!)

Photo courtesy of: thetractorcabfiles.com

Have you ever had a post that was wasn’t well received?   How did you handle it?

31 thoughts on “When a Good Post Goes Bad (And How to Learn From It)

  1. Shophopper says:

    Hey MJ, I think this is a great post. There’s no better way to deal with criticism than what you did: shake off the negative feelings and evaluate what you can do to do things better next time. Even though some of the comments were clearly made by assholes (sorry to put it this way, but I checked them out and there’s no excuse in the world to ever be so rude), you didn’t lock yourself up in a tower of self justification – which is often the first reaction to criticism. You took the opportunity to learn, and I really admire you for that!

    • MJ says:

      Wow, thank you so much! I’ve learned a lot from that experience and realized that you do have to have a thick skin in this game. As long as you know as a blogger you will always have something new to learn and improve, it helps when dealing with those criticisms!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Jamillah says:

    Oh MJ!!! Ok, I think from this experience you’ve just put out a GREAT post. So many lessons and so many things us bloggers do daily that we take advantage of or value in ourselves. Like helloooooo we are putting ourselves out there and really every time I hit the publish button I am afraid.

    I really really admire that you write for Shine! I think that 1 means you’re awesome (duh) and 2 other people think you’re awesome (ahem, me) and I think when you open yourself to a super large venue you are opening yourself to criticism and I really appreciate your bravery in doing that.

    • MJ says:

      This comment really and truly made my day! Thank you so much and you’re right, you do get a little nervous everytime you push that publish button. In the end though, we are doing what we really love and nothing should stop us from that!

  3. Sarah says:

    This was a very, very brave post. I think it’s good to try and be objective and learn from a post that wasn’t well received. Now I read some of the comments on the shine post and although a couple were downright mean and nasty, most were not.

    They were truthful and honest. I started reading be comments on this post but stopped at the if-people-have-nothing-nice-to-say don’t say anything. because I disagree. If you are going to post/write for a bigger blog as an expert you need to ensure what you write/demo meets a certain standard. If people are coming to that post for help and it falls short I think they have a right to point out the reasons why. How else are you to benefit from reader feedback? Many comments pointed out things you could try next time that sounded like valid advice. I think the key thing is the word expert here. If you are called an expert or guru people have certain expectations of u.

    • MJ says:

      I definitely understand where you coming from. I’m not saying that people can’t give criticism, because I know I am far from perfect. What people need to remember is the way you give that criticism is important. To be honest, I still haven’t read through all the comments and the ones I have, I was able (after a few days) to weed through the rudeness and see the constructive criticism. I know I have to improve and it’s cool for people not to like what I do. It’s a risk that I take in blogging. But I am human and we are prone to mistakes, no matter how much of an expert that person is.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and giving your thoughts!

  4. Mattie James says:

    Hey lady! Love this post. Hey, it’s tough out here in these blogging streets, but the advice you gave here is imperative. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to tough comments. I’ve had an “infamous” post myself where I was slaughtered in the comments and even lost some acquaintances. But I like that you said:

    “…when you receive a bad comment, go back an read five positive ones.”

    Will definitely follow that rule.


    • MJ says:

      I don’t think anyone can get used to tough comments but I think if we have a way to deal with it when it happens, it makes a big difference! :)

  5. Alyson says:

    Awww, that really stinks. No way to sugar coat it except that you at least are offering up lots of wise words here. People should just keep comments to themselves if they don’t like something… RUDE!

  6. Veshoevius says:

    Aw Hon! You’re a superstar for turning this experience around into a positive – I wanna see your smokey eye! I think you are so right on this “It’s very easy to sit behind a computer screen and be super critical (or even downright rude).” So it’s useful for all of us to bear that in mind when we come across rude comments.

  7. birdie says:

    Wow! It never ceases to amaze me how terrible people can be on the net. That said, good on you – you put your image out there, you took a leap, and you had more courage in doing so than any of those nasty commenters.

    That said, they used to say in the blogging world that you hadn’t truly made it until you’ve got trolls. That is – once people start trolling your posts like that, consider yourself a hit. You made it to a place where people bothered to take offense, and that’s not easy to do. So many people get washed away in a sea of bloggers that it’s hard to know whether or not you’ve made an impact. Of course, that doesn’t make it easier (and you have great tips for that here!), but its kind of like seeing the good in a pile of bad. :)

    • MJ says:

      You know what? I never thought of it that way! I guess it goes with the saying that if people aren’t talking about you, then you’re not doing anything! LOL

      Thank you!

  8. Mel says:

    Wow, people can be so rude and just plain nasty! Sorry this had to happen to you. I think you are awesome at what you do. And I am very impressed that you could find the good in the situation and carry on. Not an easy thing to do. You go girl! Keep up the great work!!

  9. suze says:

    Oh MJ. I knew you wrote for Shine! And I love that you do, and that tutorial was great! Lord knows I can’t do my makeup worth a crap (thus the reason I never post close-ups). And shame on all those commenters for being so rude. You’re not a robot. You’re a person with real feelings! It’s too bad they couldn’t see what the post was about, even if they didn’t like your eyeshadow choice. Pooh.

  10. kimnthomas says:

    Wow, that’s horrible! I do know that Yahoo commenters are sometimes mean, but at least you were able to wade through it all and find something constructive from it. Good luck next time!

    • MJ says:

      Thank you very much! Yes, the Yahoo audience is a tough crowd but in the end, having the opportunity to blog there is a great one and has taught me a lot!

  11. Anna says:

    oh! I didn’t know you write on shine…I read it almost every day! (since Yahoo is my home page)
    I’ve seen some nasty comments on other posts too…those Yahoo users are vicious.
    It’s hard to see negative comments, I know and good for you for making it a postive experience for you.
    What I believe also is from the term smokey they expected a darker outcome (think a Taylor Momsen kind of thing…) and that’s why they reacted that way (but it is by no means polite to react that way…)
    Keep up the good work and I’ll be on the lookout for your posts at Shine!

    • MJ says:

      Thank you! Yes, I definitely need to be more aware of not only what I label things but do some more research into doing that look. You’re right it doesn’t excuse the rudeness but unfortunately it’s something that we can’t control. Just have to work through it! :)

  12. Kirstin Marie says:

    Aww, MJ, people can be so bitter & nasty. I’m so proud of you for putting yourself out there, and turning their nastiness into something good. I thought your tutorial was great, and I think you are an excellent beauty guru. So HA! :)

  13. Grit and Glamour says:

    Aw, honey, that little smiley with the tear in its eye and your post broke my heart. But I am SO PROUD of you for finding the silver lining in this, in turning it into a learning experience for everyone. You are a star!

  14. engravogirl says:

    It’s brave of you (and tough) to put yourself out there. It’s even more brave of you to chalk this up as learning experience and carry on. Chin UP :) and keep up the great work!

    • MJ says:

      Thank you soo much! That means a lot! It was very tough to deal with but putting it out there helped me get through it and I’m hoping that it could help someone else as well! :)

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