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Ways to Make Negative Feedback Work to Write Better

Updated on October 21, 2014

Some great advice for veterans and novices alike

Newbies in the industry are usually authors who respond to a reader’s negative opinion with disrespect and contempt. They react immediately without thinking. With an attack on the person sharing a viewpoint instead of concentrating on the issue.

As a newbie writer to the profession, resist the urge to jump in with a show of contempt for anyone taking the time to leave a message about content you crafted. The reaction received may not necessarily be the one you wanted, but making a reader feel something is always a positive sign for a writer.


Professional writing for a living is not an easy road at times. There are obstacles to overcome.

As a writer it is healthy and extremely beneficial to get feedback on published content you created. This is actually an excellent tool to use to make writing better which translates to more dollars in your pocket in the end. If the end goal is to make more money as a writer, adverse comments are a vehicle to use to see it happen. Lots of writers do not understand negative feedback from a reader or member of your audience is just as important as positive reinforcement. Use it to build better material.

Use any tool at hand to help you make more money. This is certainly one overlooked by countless professionals in the business. Negative has the definition of being bad. In this case the negative is helpful in making a constructive move in the right direction. Negative becomes a positive.

These are some useful techniques explaining how to make undesirable comments become advantageous in certain circumstances.

Moderate all comments when possible

Comment moderating benefits in more ways than one. Avoiding embarrassing info left by a reader and connected with a published piece is a good thing. Know what a reader says before putting it out there through moderation.

There are a handful of readers bold enough to leave very unfit language damaging a writer's beautiful words. Additionally, several search engine bots find these and punish the author for the action. Getting ahead of these is a wonderful plan of action. Bad words have no place next to great writing.

It is tempting to let reader's statement be automatically added under the comment section. Tons of sites offer this feature. It is a time saver letting them publish through an automated process. Though auto posting is taking a risk on what shows up linked to an author's name. Some sites allow removal after the process, if found in time, while others do not. Additionally, veteran writers have so many articles on the web the possibility exists to never find out a terrible thing linked to a piece of material.

A handful of writers respond to all comments, these terrible ones included. They take the opportunity to add links or more expertise through the comment response by the author. Inappropriate expressions of ideas never deserves a reply in print side by side.

The danger of not moderating lies in not knowing exactly what a reader wants to leave after connecting with a writers work. Writers are not mind readers. There are some people leaving a point of view using words inappropriate to print. Do not print these.

Although they are unprintable they are worthwhile. Know where to look for the good among the bad. Not letting inappropriate remarks connect with your hard work makes it better.

Unsuitable words also have worth

Words not fit to print are interchangeable with decent language. Anything someone says using bad words is capable of being duplicated or said the same way using nice vocabulary.

An observation delivered negatively doesn't have to be printed, but used as a resource for writing. Think about a title or piece of content turned from a criticism, critique or analysis unfit to print into something encouraging or upbeat. It is always possible to discover something upbeat within these downbeat disagreements.

Never attack the person

People are leaving a point of view on information or expertise you shared. A response to a negative observation must be done with tact and poise. Never attack the person, avoid making it personal. Even if the statement feels personally directed at you. Focus is always on the content. Did they point out anything helpful or incorrect?

Great writers have the capacity to respond without using terms making a reply personal. One avenue to take is more discussion around the topic of the article. Bring out an obscure detail mentioned by the reader and share more knowledge. Use it to give more facts, figures or other helpful advice to anyone visiting the material. This is a business and never personal.

A writer's personality traits are sometimes visible in an answer. It is possible to come off as condescending or sound patronizing without meaning too. This will not score points with other audience members. In fact, a few will disassociate themselves with your writing based on just one reply of haughtiness. Instead, use expertise and skills to discuss the issue.

Hate is not an opinion

Hate is not an opinion. It is not an actual point of view to be defended and it is best left off of a comment page. Racism, sexist remarks and hate language based on race, creed or color are all included among this category.

A reverse opinion or viewpoint in another article is a possibility, but never imitate anything found in these observations filled with revulsion. One of the only things obtained from hatred is what not to write about.

Be careful what you write about

Writing about controversial issues causes lots of people to take a side. The stronger a person feels about an issue the louder they shout. This converts to forceful language and longer undesirable comments if you are not on the same side of the argument as the reader. Carefully consider what topics and issues are found in your writing.

It is possible certain matters and substances have the capacity to offend readers. Unless you own a blog or other personal forum where delicate matters are handled as a focal point routinely, avoid getting into anything questionable. If you have to ask if the content could possibly be found offensive to anyone do not publish the content.

Issues related to religion, sex, marriage, religion and other moral concerns are the hottest when it comes to debate. The narrower a viewpoint is on any of these topics, the more fuel for the fire so to speak. The likelihood increases someone will leave an offensive comment. Deciding whether or not to write on a particular subject by considering how it will negatively affect readers is certainly helpful.


Whenever anything negative is turned into a positive it is a winning situation. By turning things around and using them to your advantage, better writing emerges every time.

A writer has the ability to write follow up content or add links to more information giving a reader additional expertise. No one pleases everyone all the time. It is impossible and never attempt to do it. Take all of this advice and use all or none. Any which helps further your writing career is what this material was dedicated to.

Are negative comments obstacles or stepping stones to success?

Always know what you write about

This is a must. This delivers a leg for you to stand on and more importantly it will allow you to support your points and issues with ease. Having expertise in with the material or subject matter means you know what you share is true. Info is conveyed with confidence and points are easier to defend. Additionally, it leaves less room for error which is typically pointed out in an undesirable comment situation.

Be courteous and gracious in your reply

Always leave a courteous reply whenever possible. Remember the old saying if you are not able to say anything nice do not say anything at all? It’s true in more cases than you imagine. Responding to negative feedback is certainly one of them. There is always a tactful way to say something.

In conclusion

Whether a person does not appreciate your knowledge or expertise or simply shares a different viewpoint on a matter, they have a right to leave a comment if you leave it open for them. Be polite in writing reactions to comments.

Having the attributes of kindness, tact and civility is noticeable by other readers not leaving comments and will score you points. Take the info audience members are kind enough to share and convert them into creating better product.

Are you overreacting or misunderstanding?

It is terrific if you have the confidence to trust your own judgement. However, if there are times when you feel you are not completely sure of what a comment is sharing, ask for a second opinion. Ask a friend or fellow writer to give their take on the matter.

This works both ways. If it is possible to read a reply you crafted in a different light than intended, ask for another opinion from the same source. Make certain what you convey is really what you mean. Remember, this is as important as the content you publish.

Relax and take a deep breath

Write your next article with the confidence you are attracting readers with an interest in what you have to say. Not only are they reading it, but they care enough to comment. If there are responses which are negative, take the opportunity to work them in a positive manner.

How do you feel about negative feedback?

Do you believe it is a positive tool for writing?

See results

Amazon has more than a few tips from a great author on how to write better. Of course, they serve it up at a terrific cost well worth the investment

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    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 4 years ago from Florida

      Great tips on responding to comments. I agree with you that we should be respectful and appreciative of the comments we receive, but sometimes it is better to say nothing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 4 years ago from Philippines

      I really appreciate this post and as a writer, you have mention one of my greatest fears.. will go here from time to time to master tips... thanks and goodluck