This is my 12th and final post as a Govloop Featured Blogger! It has been an amazing experience and I hope that my blogs added some amount of value to this amazing community. While participating in this program, I learned a few things that I would like to pass on to the incoming cohort of featured bloggers. I’ve been writing for some time now, but this is the first time I have been exposed to a wider more diverse audience, and while that is amazing, it’s also challenging. Here are the three most important things that I personally took away from this experience:
Not everyone is going to agree with you and that is ok—of course it would be terrific if absolutely everyone loved your ideas, perspectives and opinions—but that is not realistic. I had to learn to be ok with having people disagree with and even hate some of my posts. It was very difficult at first because of course I thought I rocked and that my ideas were amazing so why don’t these people get it?! The reality is that not everyone will like and agree with your ideas and that’s just the way things are. You will not be able to please everyone so find your niche and stick to it! Your readers are going to be incredibly diverse and they will all have different preferences, ideals and perspectives so don’t get hung up on the one or two that don’t agree with you.
Don’t engage in a negative “comment battle”—yes, it is very tempting and I actually did it once or twice and this is why I am advising you against it. Again, people have different opinions and perspectives and engaging in a negative comment battle is not going to change the way they feel or think. Now, if you feel that you need to comment back because an essential part of your post was misunderstood or misinterpreted then by all means do it, just choose your words/tone wisely and follow these 3 steps offered in a Forbes article by Chery Conner:
- Treat your commenter with respect
- Acknowledge the point they are making—and if there is something in their comment you agree with, let them know!
- Ask questions to find out why the commenter feels so strongly different than you
Don’t get upset or disappointed if you get discouraging comments. It means that people are reading and reacting to what you have to say and that is great!
Be true to yourself and your voice—having people disagree with you and write negative comments on your blog post may make you doubt yourself as a writer sometimes—at least it happened to me. It made me think that if people were disagreeing so strongly with my ideas and writing; I was probably wrong and needed to change my writing approach. Thankfully, after talking to a few people, I realized that this is part of the writing /blogging process and that I needed to accepted it and just move on. Once you find your writing voice, stay true to it and don’t let negative comments make your think you need to change your mind or writing style. Find things that you are passionate about and write about them unapologetically.
Best of luck to the next cohort of Govloop Featured Bloggers and remember that that what you have to say is important and it needs to be said in your own unique way. Hopefully this experience will be as rewarding for you as it was for me.
Michelle Rosa is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.