Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quit Your Whining!

I've been hitting a wall recently on my blog. The number of my followers has stopped growing to the degree that it had, and my number of visitors to my site has also stopped growing. I'm sure that this is very typical for new--and maybe even long-time bloggers.

Since I've started blogging, I've been a regular reader of many blogs, some with HUGE numbers of readers and some with small numbers. I've noticed that bloggers with relatively small numbers of readers welcome comments--any comments! However, some bloggers with larger readerships seem to hate any negative comments. I have to be honest; I don't have much sympathy for them.

One of my favorite blogs is Dooce. Heather Armstrong is funny! She's also damn successful at blogging. Not only has she made a career out of blogging, but her husband also works with her. That's pretty amazing. An article about her a year ago estimated her readership is about 300,000 a day. That's mind-blowing to me. I want to make it clear that I'm not a Dooce-hater. Jealous? Hell, yes!

What gets me is that Heather Armstrong was invited to attend a forum on workplace flexibility at the White House! How exciting! Again, I was extremely jealous. I couldn't wait to read her blogs on attending. She posted two blogs about the event within a month or so of the event. But during all this, she blogged angrily about the negative comments some people made about her attending--about how she didn't deserve to go. Recently, she posted more about the DC trip. However, she stated that she almost didn't post it because of all the hate out there about her going.

This angered me. As a Dooce reader, I was really interested to know about the forum through her humorous perspective. With a readership as large as hers, doesn't she know that everyone is not going to be nice? When you're somewhat famous, you're going to have to deal with some negativity. It comes with the high number of readers (did I mention that I was terribly jealous about this?). I do think it would have been terribly unfair for her to not blog about the opportunity to the vast majority of people who religiously follow her blog.

And not to pick on just Heather. I've seen other successful bloggers complain about negativity. Momlogic ran an article on the dark side of mommy blogging that featured a story of a woman who blogged about her rainbow pancakes. This blog won the blogging lottery. It was covered by tons of people on the internet and registered 500,000 hits (that's half a million hits, people). But the article's focus wasn't on this, but on how some people wrote less that nice comments such as, "You shouldn't be allowed to procreate if you're going to feed your kids junk!" I'm sure comments like this were very hurtful, but c'mon--500,000 hits! Of course there's going to be some negative comments when so many people read what you wrote.

I don't think my blog will ever get this many readers. Heck, I'm happy if over 50 people read my blog on a given day. But if I ever hit the blogging big time, you won't catch me complaining about some negative things people say about me. If I do, point me back to this post.



  1. I totally agree. If you're going to put yourself out there, if you're going to take all that money from ads/sponsors/etc., then you'd better have thick skin! I've seen all kinds of bloggers, big AND small, complain about negative comments. Get over it!

  2. I haven't ben visiting since its summer and I don't have as much time now...

    but i don't "get" many bloggers either. I don't read many of the bigger more popular ones since I think they lose sone of their honesty and act all snooty when they get those 5,000 readers or whatever.

    I also don't understand why some of them have so many readers.

  3. Amen, sister. A visit is a visit...and negative comments give you something to talk about in future posts, right?

  4. Great job on this. I too was a wee bit disappointed in what didn't show up about the DC trip.

    My favorite take on this was when I disagreed with a blogger's perspective. It's the one and only time she actually sent a response. She thanked me for being willing to challenge the generalization she'd made. It was a beautiful thing. Granted, I didn't attack her or call her names or get up in her twitter.

    I still believe the old axiom, "If you can't say something nice, say nothing." So many people don't know how to self-censor today. Damn shame. But yeah, if you're going to take on the world, be ready for idiots.

  5. Couldn't agree more! It's like anything else in life...you have to take the good with the bad. And if I was making the kind of money that Dooce is making just to blog and work from home, you wouldn't hear one single complaint out of me.

  6. I have yet to have a negative comment. I guess that means that I don't have enough viewers. Oh well. I have never read Dooce but I do read some big blogs. Oh but not the Pioneer Woman. Can't stand her. Stopping by from SIT btw.

  7. My thing about negative comments is, no one is forcing the commenter to read. And a lot of time they are anonymous. I've had my fair share of hate comments (On an old blog) all written by "family members." It's not fun, but I realize I had put what I put out there and it was bound to happen. Now, if I get one that could be implied as negative, I make a joke of it, or turn their words into something less negative if possible.

  8. let 's put it this way: we write what we want. that's democracy. it is also democratic that readers dish out comments, positive or negative. it's their right to express themselves. what irks me somewhat is that these tend to come from anonymous readers...

  9. I see what your saying...Unfortunately out of 500 comments people always seem to remember the negative...sad but true. I beleive in being able to disagree, but being down right hateful I do not. But like you said, one must have thick skin when putting themselves out their and not let a few people dictate how you write when so many enjoy it. I say just ignore the negative Nancies...sometimes they are internet trolls just doing it for attention.

  10. Hi Cheryl,
    I used to want lots of followers, hits, and readers but (I can't believe I'm saying this)..lately all that has changed.

    to me, finding real connections with people is key. and I feel so fortunate to have found people that I connect with (you being one of them)thanks to the blog. they read me, they get me, they agree or disagree, but..they connect. and I do the same with them. our worlds can be totally different but we support the true spirit and energy that we put forward. love your honesty, your style and your goodness (promise me you'll never change!)

  11. oh.....but I'm competitive (you know that) so I get it

  12. You are so RIGHT, I had one "bad comment" once and I got excited about it... I think your noone until you piss off someone! I don't get many comments, and my blog is small and I find for every 4 new followers I get I loose 3 (whats up with that?) I know how you feel... I wish I could smack some of them bigger blogs that cry about negative comments...hey get over your big bad self and be happy people are reading you.
    Great Post Cheryl..I was going to post a negative comment just to be funny...but couldn't think of one. :)

  13. you are sooo on point with this one....hugs

  14. What I hate are the negative anonymous comments. Seriously, if you don't like it, at least have the you kno what to say who you are!!!

    Stopping by from SITS ;)...