How Do You Handle Negative Feedback Online?

how to handle negative feedbackHow do you handle negative online feedback?


Well, I had my first “heckling” this week! (Am I in the big leagues now?)


At first, I was shocked and angry. I was accused of dishing out some B.S. and therefore acting “shamefully”. This guy flat out dissed me to his readers!


This struck a nerve as I work hard – I’m driven, in fact –  to provide honest, well-researched and/or experienced information that I think will be helpful and entertaining enough to inspire and help you succeed. That intention is behind everything I write and communicate. It’s how I roll in business and in life! (Read it on my about page)


So, you can imagine mister-know-it-all’s comment (and link to my site!!!) got my nose out of joint.


But let’s get to the point; I’m not here to vent or rant! Now that I’ve calmed down, I realize there’s a few opportunities in this experience…every cloud has a silver lining…So I turned to one  successful blogger, Jeremy Schoemaker from, and found this great piece of advice on his blog:


Every business and public figure needs to embrace negative public attacks/reviews/criticism and here are reasons why:

  • New visitors – Whenever there is a new “shoemoney sucks” or “shoemoney is a scam” post you will notice a ton of new visitors that have never visited your site before. Just like how I had never heard of Matt Mullenweg or Jensense above until I saw those negative posts the same will apply to your visitors. Its like you just launched a PPC campaign…. only its free traffic!


  • Authority status – When someone criticizes you it means they think enough of you to take time out of their life and give you a free critique. They consider you an authority.


  • The long term effect – Long after the buzz from the post has gone away visitors will still return to your site. Odds are they wont even remember how they got there.


  • Free Labor – I can’t tell you how impressed I have been with how hard some people will work to try to discredit you. Sometimes even small groups will become infatuated with everything you do. Its truly amazing. They are the best PR ROI you will ever see.


  • Any press is good press – yes I know its cliche right? I wrote a while back about how there is no such thing as bad press when you have a quality product. I strongly believe that. As much as people like to label others as “mindless sheep” people will form their own opinions when they come to your site. And when you have a quality site with quality content… thats the win. Like my disclaimer says, “You should question everything. You should come up with your own thoughts and opinions and not trust some stupid blogger.” I STRONGLY believe that.


  • The Links – Its hard to criticize someone without linking to them. You can bet almost every negative post about you or your company will include a link. These of course give you more authority status in the eyes of search engines and also the click through traffic is nice.


  • Bringing you back to earth – I could get lost in the shoemoney “spotlight”. Being I was such a loser the first 2/3rds of my life its nice to be recognized for my accomplishments. Being a rock star in the industry is pretty awesome. Being in magazines.. newspapersTV. Getting attacked/insulted online gives me some humility (yes a little bit) and also makes me focus on what matters and actually got me to that point- Working hard on our businesses. It also reminds you of the people who dunno what a “shoemoney” is and they loved you way before anyone gave a shit what you said online or how successful you were in your businesses.


How Do You Handle Negative Online Feedback?


How would (or did) you react if someone criticized you or your work publicly online?


  • Would you retaliate and diss that person back?
  • Would you write them a nasty note?
  • Would you just ignore them and say it comes with the territory?
  • Would you prank call them?
  • Would you send them flowers? (OK, now I’m just being sarcastic…)


I think it’s an important question to ask yourself, especially if you have a public presence online. Being online can make you a target, want it or not. So expecting it on some level and knowing how you would handle it is a great way to protect yourself from blows that can damage both your reputation and your confidence.


Please share you insight below…Let’s brainstorm on this!



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12 Responses to How Do You Handle Negative Feedback Online?

  1. Haha! Love this post because of your sarcasm and I can relate. I’ve been heckled before for a youtube video and it’s tough.

    I’m really curious to see the post where you got heckled, didn’t anyone there back you up? Let me get in on the action.

    If I was you, I would have let my followers know about the post and have them stand behind you :)

    Don’t let it bug you Louise :)

  2. Hey Clint,
    Thanks for the feedback and offer of support! That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish with this post by accumulating some comments and then maybe send this guy the link along with a little comment about how it’s cool to have a different opinion, but not so cool to disrespect those of others.

    I’m also going to write another post that elaborates the technique he said was b.s.

  3. Hi louise

    I would reply to say that he is entitled to his opinion and I take all comments good or bad to help me improve my dealings online.

    I would not lash back as by doing so you are just lowering yourself to his level. He is probably jealous of your success against his failure in the business.


  4. Thanks Richard for your feedback!

    I agree handling it in a positive way is much better than a spitting match!

  5. Hi Louise,

    That’s a hard one, having to take unjustified negative comments. Fortunately, online you can take your time with your reply. IMHO, no point paying back with the same coin.

    Once the initial anger has subsided, is there a way your can turn it to your advantage, preferably somewhat tongue in cheek? That way you’ll have the laughs on your side and he egg on his face.

    I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s generally the best way to retaliate unless you can afford to let it go completely.

    I hope this helps.

    Best of luck


  6. Hi Max!
    I’m of the same opinion. I’m definitely looking to turn it into a positive.

    And the more I think about it, in this situation, I don’t really have a lot of damage repair to do. Plus, I think the quality of info I put forth, speaks for itself. Hopefully, that doesn’t sound too pompous. It’s certainly not meant to be.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  7. Hi Louise

    It is all how we react. Some days we just don’t handle it as well as we can – been there and done that.

    Our perception is not always our reality – some times our mind plays tricks on us. Well done to you.

    To YOUR success


  8. Hello Sue,
    I truly believe, no matter what situation in life (especially in dealing with children!), it’s always best to react or make a decision after the calm down period. In this case it took me a couple of days. Now it’s been a couple of weeks and I’m too busy to worry about this guy! I get great readership; I think that speaks for itself :)

  9. Hello Louise,

    Happy New Year! I only yesterday saw your post on the IBCX forum; hence, my late comment. (Love the idea of a “reunion” there, BTW.)

    I especially like the blog post from Jeremy Schoemaker you related. I would’ve guessed the same…that any press is good press. Not knowing how you responded to the negative comment, I can only say what I might have done.

    First off, did you approve his comment? Regardless, I would’ve thanked him for his opinion (that’s all it is, after all). I like how Wayne Dyer put it; he could be speaking to an audience of 500 people, and there would be 500 different opinions of him.

    I would have added that although he’s entitled to his opinion, you still believe that what you posted is accurate information, and you stand by your post.

    Then, I would’ve forgotten all about it. I hope you have too. (No sense in starting “mudslinging”.)

    I’m really glad to see you make regular blog entries, Louise. You’re an inspiration!

    Warmest regards,

  10. Hello Tom. Nice to see you again!!!

    Thank you very much for your feedback. I agree with everything you say and also am a fan of Wayne Dyer :)

    Yes, I did approve his back link. His ‘opinion’ was posted on his website and linked back to an article of mine, under the title “name and shame”. At first it ruffled my feathers, but soon after I felt somewhat honoured that he would find my article worthy of comment. He seems to be a recent business graduate. So I find it quite interesting that I caught his attention.

    Plus, my traffic increased because of his back link! Maybe he was really trying to do me a favour?

    all the best Tom!

  11. Hi Louise

    Just went to the forum and found this there. I have not been there for a while. My son and wife are here from the US so for the next few days my time is still limited.

    I have had people cuss and yell at me and I find that I treat them back politely. There has only every been one guy that I had to drop off my list because his language was too over the top for me. Most people are cool, calm and collected but when they really go on I still remain polite. It surprises them that I do not retaliate. You will never please everyone.

    To YOUR success

    Sue McDonald

  12. Nice to see you around again Sue! & Thanks for fitting in a comment.

    As for the topic, they say you get more flies with honey and even online IMO this is true!