There comes a time in every writer’s life when you stumble upon your first troll. How you react can set the tone for the rest of your career.
Unlike the trolls of our childhood that hid under bridges and harassed unsuspecting billy goats, these types of trolls you are unable to see. They hide behind their computers and can spout nasty verbiage that lands on the comment section of your blog. Trolls just don’t disagree with your written opinion, but often express themselves using name-calling and bitterness. Today I share some tips on how to deal with your first one.
1. Celebrate!: Ok, this seems a tad wrong to celebrate someone who has said not so kind things to you, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: trolls usually strike when they see elements of the truth in your writing or the words you speak (Now, in an effort to cover my bum, I just want to point out that sometimes trolls come out in defense OF the truth. I call them benevolent trolls. These days you can find them hard at work in the comment section of any article or video from Donald Trump 😉 ). If you never had a troll, that actually means that your writing hasn’t had much of an impact. Celebrate when you find one in the comment section of your blog and make the comment visible (as long as it’s not using bad language or threatening anyone. Moderation tools were created for a reason. Use them).
Honestly, I’ve been doing this blogging thing for not quite a year (my 1-year blogaversary is coming up next month), and I didn’t think I’d get my first troll so soon. I don’t even have that many subscribers (but I appreciate you all! Please share links to my blog with your friends, family, pastor, dog, and that random guy who stands on the corner and shouts incoherent babble. My current goal is to get into triple digits by February. 😉 )
2. Add them to your prayer list: At this point you might think I’m totally bonkers, but hear me out. These types of negative trolls are negative because their lives are not very rich or full of joy. Pray for them that they will find joy in building people up instead of tearing them down. Pray that they somehow are able to get out of their pit of darkness.
3. Ignore them: There is a quote in the new book by Jen Hatmaker (she’s basically like the MotherShip for the Christian blogging/author community 😉 ) that states:
“Don’t try to win over the haters (trolls), you aren’t the jackass whisperer!”
Ignoring/blocking a nasty comment from a troll gives you back control of your blog that the troll attempted to usurp.
Getting your first troll is in some ways a rite of passage for your blog. I hope you find these tips useful. But if they all have failed, try to dance along to the video below. I promise if it doesn’t help you feel better, at least it helped you burn off some calories! 😉
Remember, you are not alone!