What Is Sucking Your Blogging Confidence Away?

Filed as Features on August 24, 2007 8:32 am

A blogging friend of mine called me the other day and said she wanted to stop blogging. “It’s just too much.”

Too much what?

After asking a lot of questions and listening, I realized that the writing and publishing aspect of blogging wasn’t getting her down. It was comments. In fact, it was three comments. Three mean and vicious comments that broke her blogging spirit.

She couldn’t think about anything else. Every time she’d sit down at her computer to write, she’d see those comments in front of her.

Physically in front of her, because she’d check her blog for comments and there they would be, staring at her. Black letters on the white screen, left there for her to see and her readers to read.

She didn’t have the heart to remove them.

Blog Comments Getting You Down?

Blog comments are content on your blog, and as the blog administrator, you have the right to edit your blog comments, including deleting them if you want.

When mean-spirited comments gets you down, take action. They don’t belong on your blog.

However, if you do decide to take action regarding comments on your blog, it helps to have a Comments Policy to help guide you, and your readers, on what is permissible on your blog.

Recently, John Pozadzides of One Man’s Blog has been on a campaign to help bloggers consider adding a “Terms of Use”, “Comments Policy”, or “Blog Policy” to our blogs to help readers, commenters, and users understand where the blogger stands on what they will and will not allow on their blogs. In Time Wasting Blog Comments, Comments Policies, and Comment Etiquette, I covered some of what John proposed in his article, Terms of Use and Universal Comment Link Philosophy, and he also covers the subject of link spamming in comments on his blog, taking the issue further.

In this post I will attempt to enumerate the reasons, causality and consequences to justify the argument that the blogging community needs to unite under a common philosophy regarding the use of links and author names in comments. I will also suggest an introductory framework to deal with the issue, most notably the institution of Terms of Use for all blogs.

If a comment on your blog is bothering you, sucking the energy out of your blogging experience, what do you think it is doing to your readers?

What Else Stops You Blogging?

My Sites Advisor offers “Top 5 Confidence Corruptors”, a list of the top five things this blogger finds gets in the way of his blogging experience.

Basically, they include:

  1. Blog Statistics
  2. Negative Comments
  3. Time Limitations
  4. Blank Comment Section
  5. Health

If you are spending more time watching and analyzing your stats, then you are taking time away from blogging, aren’t you?

I think that stat watching is an excuse, a self- sabotaging method that gets in the way of many bloggers. Stop it. Blog statistics are just information, not a judgment. Blog for you and your readers, and let the stats do what they will. If you spend more time blogging, and less time with distractions, your stats will increase automatically as you improve your writing skills and blogging abilities.

Watching your comments and not getting any can be as debilitating as negative comments. When you measure your blog’s success on comments, and you don’t get any, enthusiasm wanes and the desire to keep generating content which gets no response fades.

Do your blog posts mean to generate comments or do they answer the whole question so there is no room for a response? Maybe you are doing something that kills the blog conversation, no matter what your stats say?

Negative energy attracts negative energy, so if your lack of enthusiasm for blogging is showing up consciously or unconsciously in your blog posts, you could be spurning commenters, too.

Time limitations and health easily get in the way of blogging. Blogging takes time. It takes time to find content, write up a post, edit it, publish it, and then monitor comments. And when you are tired or not feeling well, it’s hard to concentrate and find the time and energy to blog. You tend to blog half-heartedly, and when your heart isn’t in it, your enthusiasm for blog drains away.

If something is getting in the way of your blogging experience, then maybe it’s time to stop blogging. However, if what is getting in the way of your blogging is just an excuse, then nip it in the bud and get on with the process of blogging. There’s a lot to blog about out there, and your opinion on the subject is wanted.

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  1. By Valeria Maltoni posted on August 24, 2007 at 8:52 am
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    Superb advice, Lorelle. On the positive side, I’d suggest connecting with a friend or a colleague who respects you to get yourself back to the good side of your brain and in thinking mode again. I keep a pile of inspirational materials and books on my desk as an emergency generator ;-)

    Reply

  2. By Ken Xu posted on August 24, 2007 at 9:37 am
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    Excellent post, Lorelle. I’m going to follow the ‘comment policy’ campaign. Or may be we should heat up this campaign to bring more positive energy for blogger.

    Negative comments have become my regular ‘visitor’ because of my language problem. adding a comment policy will help me much to let my reader know my current situation.

    Thanks for your precious information, Lorelle. I will soon publish my own comment policy to decrease some unwanted batch of negative comments.

    Reply

  3. By sir jorge posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:09 am
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    1 blog 3 comments?
    haha

    try 10 blogs 100 comments or more from hecklers and fanboys that don’t like my opinions.

    I should be tired.

    Reply

  4. By Webomatica posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:38 am
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    Great advice. I think pretty much every blogger deals with that list of de-motivators. In a sense knowing you’re not the only one out there dealing with these issues is inspiring to forge ahead!

    Reply

  5. By Wendy posted on August 24, 2007 at 11:54 am
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    Excellent post, Lorelle – I follow your posts but this is the first time I have commented – really insightful information – thank you

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  6. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on August 24, 2007 at 12:30 pm
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    I’ll be publishing an article soon on the positive aspects of “regaining” your blogging energy, so stay tuned.

    But isn’t it amazing how good it feels to know you are not alone? So many of us go through this, but we think we’re the only one. Knowing we have company helps us work together through this, not alone.

    Reply

  7. By Ken Xu posted on August 24, 2007 at 5:54 pm
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    Yes, it’s absolutely amazing! It has become my headache through this 5 months.

    I feel strange and keep wondering if a problogger (higher level than an amateur me) would still get these kind of ‘humiliations’ from their reader or not. Is me alone that feel this kind of pain?

    Lorelle, do you know that you have opened my eye ‘big and wide’?

    I was in a big maze, and you come to me by breaking all the walls and pull me out from there.

    I’m going to wait for your article about regaining energy. Thanks for everything, Lorelle!

    Reply

  8. By HART (1-800-HART) posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:31 pm
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    I’ve been trying to think up some standardized comment policy that I would link and publish to be available for all of my sites .. but then when I read stuff like on One Man’s Blog policy …

    If you intend to comment on an article you must use a personal, non-commercial URL or leave the URL field blank. Your URL should help us get to know who YOU are. Commercial URLs are unwelcome, give us no information about you, and are considered a form of Spam called Comment Spam.

    .. I get the total opposite effect of what’s intended. I have no desire to comment on his blog now that I’ve read that.

    Reply

  9. By HART (1-800-HART) posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:39 pm
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    Oh – I did have this one person spamming 6 of my blogs with comments .. and my plugins acknowledge the spam. On a 7th blog, he posted a legitimate comment with the same tagline as he does with the spam comments – and it got through. I deleted it just to penalize the person, even though it was a pretty good comment. I was hoping he would email me and ask me why I deleted his comment, but he never did. Since then, he has not spammed any of my blogs and I don’t see him in the log files.

    Bottom line – I do not need a written policy guideline to advise me to delete stuff on my blog that is questionable. I will do it without thinking. Isn’t that common sense?

    Reply

  10. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on August 24, 2007 at 11:02 pm
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    Hart: A written policy regarding comments should be a requirement, in my opinion, on any blog open to comments. We live in the age of litigation, where common sense seems to disappear when things aren’t in writing. Why not make your policy clear, so if you need to point your finger, it can point to something that is known.

    What is common sense for one person isn’t for another. What does it hurt?

    And many people find your “comment name” inappropriate. Do you email everyone who deletes your comment or changes your name in their comments?

    Ken: I’m always glad to help. And no matter how “famous” you get, any part of this process can get you down, maybe even more for the popular bloggers. They don’t get one or five nasty comments. They can get dozens a week.

    I’ve been doing this for over a decade and just last week, I got a comment that gave me a headache and stomach ache. After a couple days, I deleted it and felt much better. Why suffer?

    Reply

  11. By Joi posted on August 26, 2007 at 8:59 am
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    Great advice – I wish every blogger currently trying to be a blogger could read this post.

    I totally agree about “stat watching” being a “self-sabotaging method.” When I blog (which I do a lot of with 16 blogs!) I write as though I’m writing to one person. I honestly don’t want to know how many are or aren’t on the other side of my words.

    As for comments, that one used to kind of get me down. People, for the most part, just don’t leave a lot of comments. Then I checked the comments on a few of my own favorite blogs and saw there weren’t many there either! That, combined with the fact that I seldom leave comments, myself, convinced me it was a concern blown out of proportion.

    In fact, some of my favorite posts send me off to think or jot something down, so I don’t have time for commenting. PLUS, with captcha’s and whatnot, we’re often too busy to stop and chat.

    As for negative comments, my husband actually seeks them out on his blogs! He’ll ruffle feathers wherever he finds them because it stimulates the conversation and gets everyone thinking outside of the box. I’m more like the lady you mentioned in the post – my psyche gets wounded. Once, on my music blog, some Taylor Hicks fans nearly destroyed my psyche altogether. Most of them still come to the blog, though, so it’s all good!

    Thanks for a great post, I’m sure we all needed it – I know I did.

    Reply

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  18. By Maria posted on January 27, 2008 at 6:02 pm
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    I agree entirely! I do not allow mean or abusive comments on my blog. I simply delete them. I don’t even tell the commenter why.

    The way I feel about it is this: my blog is like my living room. I don’t tolerate rude, inconsiderate people in my home. Why should I tolerate them in my blog?

    Keep in mind that I don’t delete differing viewpoints. I just delete the posts that make me feel bad or could make others feel bad.

    Thanks for the great post and great advice.

    Reply

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  22. By Get Confidence posted on June 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm
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    Self Discipline to stay consistently committed no matter what happens. Don’t listen to yours or others non motivational comment. Just keep going and Just do it!

    Reply

  23. By Patent Lawyer posted on April 30, 2014 at 8:54 am
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    I feel so much better after reading this! It’s so good to hear that other people seem to have these issues too, and I think your points about having the confidence to just keep going are so very true!

    Reply

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