Your opinion matters – unwritten rules of blogging

Unwritten rules of bloggingI’ve recently experienced my first bout of negativity about a blog post I wrote. After openly sharing my feelings about people mistaking Georgia for a boy when she’s obviously wearing girl clothing, I was shocked to see such a negative comment. They said that they “felt sorry for me” and thought that it was “cruel”. All for sharing my own personal experiences and sharing how this made me feel.

But, it wasn’t so much the fact that this person had written something negative that annoyed me as everybody is entitled to their own opinion… and it could have been a lot worse. What was worse for me, was that this person is a fellow mummy blogger.

For me, this raised a few issues as I believe that they broke the unwritten rules of blogging:

1. Don’t shit in your own backyard

Being a blogger is like having your own brand. You wouldn’t find Argos slandering Amazon because they’ve launched a new product that Argos would never sell. I think the same should be said for bloggers. Granted, most people blog for fun, but everything bloggers put online – whether that’s their own blog or comments on others etc – has a direct association to them and to their reputation as a blogger.

I now have very negative feelings toward this particular blogger as I wouldn’t openly trust somebody who shits in their own backyard as it has damaged their reputation as a blogger in my mind.

2. Sharing is caring

Everybody will have different experiences and that’s the beauty of reading different blogs to read other people’s stories. It would be a boring world if everybody shared the same views. But just because somebody doesn’t share a view, or experience, doesn’t mean that it means any less or any more than their own.

Part of being a blogger means putting your heart on the line and sharing personal experiences and views that you may not otherwise get to share. But does that make our personal opinions and experiences wrong from the next person? Hell no. They’re ours and we should never have to explain why it’s okay to have our own feelings.

3. It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it

In the infamous lyrics of Bananarama, “it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it”.  Having our own opinions and views is what makes us unique, but if you’re sharing your opinion on other people’s turf, it’s important to think about the way that you do it.

I regularly receive great comments from people who have had completely different experiences, but they write their comments in such a way that they were sharing their opinion and experience, without openly mocking my own.

It’s okay to have a different experience and to have different feelings from other people – but disregarding somebodies feelings that they’ve openly shared (let’s face it bloggers, it sometimes takes guts to press that ‘publish’ button), is just wrong.

I won’t stop sharing my feelings and experiences on my blog and I hope if other bloggers ever experience a similar situation, that they don’t either.

If you’re looking for advice on how to deal with bad comments, Brummy Mummy Of 2 recently wrote a brilliant post about how to deal with trolls – both on your own blog and on external sites.

Comments 27

  1. This is a great post. Bloggers should stick together. The majority of bloggers are supportive and kind. Don’t let it ruin a great post ( I have read the original post). Xx

    1. Aw thanks Kerry, I agree we should all stick together and the negative person is just one person in a very big pond of lovely people… luckily I haven’t come across her before in twitter chats etc! x

  2. I’m with you. Someone’s blog is their blog, their place to give their views. Yes, not everyone agrees, but commenters should remember that comments can be read in a different way to what they’re intended, and that bloggers are real people too. They should be treated with respect the same way they should be in real life.

    Thankfully I’ve not had any trolling or cruel comments on my blog – I’m obviously really boring and uncontroversial – even when I tried to be, I wasn’t.

    1. I’m glad you’ve not had any negative comments, that’s really good! I don’t think that makes you boring and uncontroversial. I think the best we can do is share the truth about our experiences in the hope that someone out there either finds it funny, sad, or strikes a chord with them. The trouble is, it’s hard to know if you’re being controversial until you realise that somebody has a completely different opinion to your own! Otherwise we always think we’re ‘normal’. Although that’s a word that’s never been used to describe me! xx

  3. I agree with what you are saying. We take a risk putting our thoughts and feelings and opinions out there on our blogs. I haven’t had any unkind comments as my blog is quite new, but I have had “advice” from friends and family after reading my blog about what I am doing wrong!

    1. Ah, the dreaded “advice”… luckily, I think my family know better… but there’s nothing worse than when you find out your worst troll is a family member! My blog is fairly new too, I’m into my 3rd month now (feels like forever though!) xx

  4. Totally agree with what you are saying We should all support each other and stick together #twinklytuesday

  5. The key to me is: “Don’t easily offend, don’t be easily offended”. If you put yourself out there online then these things will happen. It doesn’t make it right or any easier to deal with though.

    It’s a hard one, I’ve had comments on my blog that have made me wince slightly, but as long as Rev T and the Tubblet are cool with things, I try to let them go. It’s easier to assume thoughtlessness than deliberate unkindness.

    I’ve also been trolled once. I just deleted those.

    I’m pretty sure that I’ve made other people wince in return. Not because I meant to, but because the comment that sounded perfectly reasonable in my head didn’t sound so good to them. If this is one of those comments, then please accept my apologies. No offence intended! #twinklytuesday

    1. Don’t fret, it’s not one of those comments so no offence taken 🙂 I enjoy other people sharing their opinions and experiences with me as it’s a great way of learning how other people handle it! x

  6. Great post. As someone said above, a lot of bloggers are supportive to each other and lovely bloggers but there are some out there who I don’t like personally! Don’t let them bring you down.

  7. I found this really odd and rather cruel…. nah, only kidding 🙂

    I’ve never understood the need some people have to be negative on someone else’s blogs, if you don’t like it don’t read it simple as that, if you really disagree and want to tell them then try and construct it in such away where it is clear you differ in opinions but without being horrible.

    I think I have been fortunate the only negative comments I ever get are spammers who clearly haven’t read the post (on my blog at any rate, I did have some awful stuff on a huff po piece but then I criticized grammar and mine was appalling lol). Other bloggers always seem so friendly (so far). You keep doing what you are doing and ignore the rest 🙂

  8. Great post. I love the blogging community and we should stick together, don’t let the others get you down! 🙂 #twinklytuesday

  9. I am yet to experience negative comments but I am sure they will come at some point, thanks for writing this as I will bookmark for said time in the future. You have a great blog 😀 and a gorgeous little girl xx #TwinklyTuesdays

  10. I think you make a really good point: we don’t all have to agree on everything – look at the whole breastfeeding debate – but it’s they way we express ourselves that matters. And what reasonable person wants to know that they have made someone else feel bad for expressing themselves? I certainly don’t #TwinklyTuesday

  11. I went and read the original post and I was expecting something controversial. To me your original post said what I thought every mother must think. Maybe the negative commenter was having a bad day or something, because the reaction was a bit ott.
    I tend to post stuff that contains a lot of my opinion, and whilst I don’t go out of my way to be controversial, I do give my 100% true opinion, even if I think people won’t like it. I haven’t had any horrible comments, where I felt personally attacked but I have had people disagree with me. I don’t mind that at all – life would be boring if we all though the same, but there are ways of saying it.
    As bloggers I think its important to take a moment to think how you would feel receiving the comment you leave. We should be supporting each other, and as I think someone mentioned already, if you don’t like it, no one made you read it!
    Sorry for the rant 🙂 #TwinklyTuesday

    1. No need to apologise! I agree with you – I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, but yes there are ways of putting your opinion across without muddying the waters. 🙂 xx

  12. I definitely agree with this. I saw the comment on your post and thought she was really mean. If the situation pees you off then it pees you off so you are entitled to have s rant about it! I have only had good stuff so far on my blog but I know the negative will no doubt come in time. We definitely need to be supportive each other because I imagine when it goes sour, it can go really sour. Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Thanks! I’ve been quite lucky so far that that was the worst comment I’ve had – I can imagine if a post goes viral, or on an external site that things can go sour quite quickly if it’s misinterpreted. What I have learnt is that I was a lot more bothered by it than I thought I would be! xx

  13. Thankfully I’ve never had any negative comments but I would imagine I’d take it personally too, after all this is our personal thoughts that we are making public. I’m trying to take on board what other people have said about negative comments so hopefully when it does happen (I’m sure it will at some point) I can deal with it too x #TwinklyTuesdays

  14. Great post. I don’t know why people have to leave a negative comment unless is something really, really offensive. #twinklytuesday

  15. I totally agree!! I cant stand to see negative comments on peoples post! Its sad since were all suppose to work together in this! Helping each other would be nice instead of putting each other down. Such a great read!

  16. I completely agree. I remember you saying on a twitter chat that you had received your first negative comment… Sounds like you dealt with it well and well done you for having a good think about it and taking an action (writing this post!). I definitely think we should all stick together, and celebrate our differences. The fact is all parenting bloggers probably wouldn’t all be friends if we knew each other outside of blogging but we are all in this game together so whether we agree with each other or not, can’t we all get along!? There’s room for everyone. And your point about it taking guts to press publish is so true and really the last thing you expect is someone in that same position to try and make you feel bad about it.

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