It Is Always Easier To Criticize Than Create – Blogging Trolls

by Robb Sutton

Yesterday, I was reading and commenting on an article by Nicholas Cardot at Site Sketch 101 titled “Are you crying about other’s success?” and it got me to thinking. At some point in your blogging career, you are going to make a dollar or find some other kind of success and there are going to be those other bloggers and people that want to shoot you down for it.

Lately, there has been a growing trend in the blogosphere of putting down other successful bloggers that are making money through their blogging efforts.

Lame.

One…we want successful bloggers in the industry in and outside of the blogging niche. Why? That means that you can be successful within that niche as well. I don’t know about you guys…but I don’t want to spin my wheels for nothing! I like making a living doing what a love. Anyone else that says any differently is just lying to you to make themselves feel better about their place in life.

Two…it is a cry for help. If you see other bloggers putting down the success a fellow blogger is seeing, they are trying to attract traffic to their blog using controversy. That is great for comments and a small bump in traffic, but this “controversy blogger” is missing a very key point in successful blogging. Controversy traffic converts at a rate that is almost unmeasurable. Unless you are Perez Hilton, your controversy traffic is going to make you zero cash so it is a wasted effort while you throw your own name through the mud.

My Experience With Blogging Trolls

In the beginning with Bike198.com, I got a lot of “internet superheros” that just wanted to beat down my blog until I gave up and quit. They would post about it on forums, try to comment on my blog and even say something on their own blog that their mom reads about my site. Eventually, they all go away. Why? Because I ignore them. These guys are more worried about padding their forum post count (which makes more money for those site owners and not them…funny how that works) than they are about actually getting their own bikes dirty.

After awhile, they move onto the next guy hoping to get a reaction because that is ultimately what they are after from the beginning.

When I released Ramped Reviews, I got another wave of spoiled milk with bloggers and other people thinking that I was only in blogging to get free stuff. Not only is that completely false, but if they would have taken the chance to read the ebook, they would see that it is about much more than just free product. Once again, these people eventually moved onto the next guy without making any real lasting impact.

What Can You Learn From These Situations?

Controversy blogging has its place, but that place is not in the realm of trying to bring down other people in your industry. Now…if they did something so despicable that it has to be told, that is different. But if you are just planning on shooting down their success because you don’t feel its right to make money, then you are barking up the wrong tree and almost insuring your failure.

So remember these 5 things.

  1. You want successful bloggers in your niche because that means you have the ability to be successful.
  2. It will always be easier to criticize than create, so remember that as you draft your articles and deal with Internet trolls.
  3. Ignoring is often the best form of dealing with Internet trolls as no one wins online arguments and you are giving them what they want…a reaction.
  4. You can delete comments when necessary. They don’t own your site…you do!
  5. If you are getting complaints about something you are doing well, congratulations…rinse and repeat!
25 comments

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25 comments

Josh Boggs March 25, 2010 - 8:34 am

Great post, Robb!

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Angie March 25, 2010 - 9:03 am

Is it wrong to thank them for the extra traffic their controversy brought you? 🙂 Just kidding!

Someone did it to me after they used me as a guest blogger. They didn’t come right out and say it was about me, but their topic the next day was about something I don’t do on one of my websites that apparently they think is appalling. I walked away without commenting. Their negatively has no impact on my business, only theirs. (Who wants to read negativity?)

You are right. There will always be naysayers and it is usually due to jealousy. Ignore them and they go away.

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Robb Sutton March 25, 2010 - 12:07 pm

haha! I did that once actually. I thanked them for the increased publicity and the new subscribers brought in to my site. Remember…that traffic is not always going to agree with the complainer.

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Chad Ferguson March 25, 2010 - 9:18 am

Great article. I am dealing with a similar situation right now.

I just started my blog about 6 weeks ago and have been following your ramped blogging and ramped reviews books and courses.

Last Sunday I got some mainstream media exposure in the Fort Worth paper (half a page with a huge photo) and have been dealing with some backlash fromm a few people who evidently don’t like this.

It is difficult not to respond but I have managed to do so thus far.

Here is a link to the article by the way if you want to read.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/03/20/2055045/web-savvy-fishing-guide-finds.html

My background helped to get me in the door with the writer but I think following your ramped blogging course is what made the blog enough for him to take interest.

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Robb Sutton March 25, 2010 - 12:08 pm

Congrats on the mainstream media exposure! That is huge!

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DJ Wetzel March 25, 2010 - 9:47 am

Really enjoyed the post Robb. Hating on someone’s success on the internet or off, is simply foolish. What not learn something from their success and replicate. I agree that they are simply not worth losing sleep over.

Random, but is your blog photo the food critic in Ratatouille? If so, awesome!

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Robb Sutton March 25, 2010 - 12:08 pm

It is! I love that movie.

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Brent March 25, 2010 - 9:57 am

I like how you call them Blogging Trolls. It describes them just perfectly.

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Robb Sutton March 25, 2010 - 12:08 pm

That’s the way I think of them. A true troll…nothing to offer.

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Tim | www.MemberCon.com March 25, 2010 - 10:20 am

For some reason a lot of bloggers feel they need to let the troll comments remain on their blog because they are suppose to allow a free flowing discussion.

Hogwash. I delete them. It’s my blog and I can do whatever I want with it. No one is entitled to comment – it’s a privilege, not a right.

And if the whining comment doesn’t add anything of value to the conversation – GONE.

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Robb Sutton March 25, 2010 - 12:09 pm

I feel the same way. If it is not adding to the conversation and is purely to be inflammatory…it is typically gone. No need for that in my business and that is not the kind of customer I want sticking around anyway.

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Nicholas Z. Cardot March 25, 2010 - 11:30 am

Rinse and repeat. I like that.

Actually I would argue with your #3 point. I often times don’t ignore my complainers. I often thank them for taking the time to provide me with another perspective on my site or on my business practices. I sometimes even hear what they have to say and seriously consider how valid it is.

In the end though, yes I do ignore them.

I do allow people to disagree with the topic a post is discussing. I never mind legitimate discussion on two sides of an issue. But comments about me personally like or hate should be reserved for my email box or for when you see me in person and just want to punch me in the nose…

P.S. Oh by the way Robb, I can’t believe that you make any money on this site. You and your whole ramped everything is such a scam. You’re like a plague in the blogosphere and I can’t believe that you don’t just give everything away for free.

You are an ungrateful, disgraceful Sellout.

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Robb Sutton March 25, 2010 - 12:12 pm

On #3…I am referring to purely inflammatory remarks…not a difference of opinion.

I welcome difference in opinions as they add to the discussion and provide a unique perspective of another reader. I know my thoughts/opinions/random rants are not the only way to go about things and a useful debate normally leads to me coming up with an alternative method through conversation.

P.S. you suck… 😉

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Keith March 25, 2010 - 12:00 pm

Hey Rob,

I wrote about this the other day (Nick refers to it in his post), and the comments that came out of it turned into a big debate that got a little off track.

The point I was trying to make was that as bloggers, if you don’t like the way someone is doing something, simply stop following them, stop reading their blog, and stop complaining about it.

I look at bloggers that make a living online as colleagues, not competition. Even if they are in my niche. I make a full time living off product based sites and I enjoy the freedoms of that. If someone is doing something different than me, I study it to see if it could work in my application. If I don’t think it can, I throw it out. No reason to get hateful about it. Sometimes I might even write a post explaining how I might do something different, but that is just me, you need to find your own way online.

Mainly, I am sick of this trend of bashing success because it is simply childish….

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Robb Sutton March 25, 2010 - 12:14 pm

Keith! I agree with you 100% on that point. There is no reason to waste energy…you don’t have to read their stuff.

I am with you on the colleagues over competition theory as well. I have made some great friends that would be considered competition in any other industry, but…in blogging…we are all really working together for the same goal. The partnerships and opportunities that have arisen from that have been amazing.

And yes…it is childish…

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Richard Scott March 25, 2010 - 4:01 pm

lol everybody lately is talking about jealousy and haters. After a week of reading this, I’m ready to go back to watching Ratatouille. At least there the biggest threat was a butcher knife… 😉

I was trying to think of an animation with Trolls but fell short…

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We Fly Spitfires March 25, 2010 - 6:01 pm

Great post, Robb. I definitely agree that ignoring trolls is the best way to deal with them. Trying to battle back is never going to work and only encourage them.

Deleting offending comments is a good strategy too. Just wipe them off your blog and forget about them. I know some bloggers who get offended and worked up about troll comments and it’s just not worth it. It’s only words and they can’t affect you. If anything, it’s a sign you are becoming successful 🙂

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Kissie March 26, 2010 - 2:37 pm

It reminded me why I don’t keep company with a lot of women….. I don’t like mess and drama. I stopped watching soaps in the early ’80s. I had children to raise and am now working on my grand….so there you have it.

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Jordan Cooper March 26, 2010 - 1:04 am

You only wrote this post to get free stuff. All the bloggers being criticized right now are giving you their products for nothing, that’s why you’re defending them.

I totally want to crush you. Robb, once you’re out of this blogging niche, then I’ll finally be able to make 8 figures. (yeah, not 6 figures – I actually *have* real standards of living)

Feel free to delete this comment if you dare. But be wary of the consequences. I would totally get my 7 blog readers to ruin your reputation beyond repair. Say goodbye to all your free stuff!!!

Sincerely yours,
Mr. Random H. Troll
Author, A Complete Idiot’s Guide To Being a Douchebag

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element321 March 26, 2010 - 10:34 am

Great post.

I agree with you and I try and follow your five tips.

I really do get tired of internet trolls or those that say I should not follow /read bloggers that are pros for some reason or another. I choose to follow anyone with talent and can keep my interested on a subject. If I do not like their work anymore, then I remove them from Google reader and stop going to their site.

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Kissie March 26, 2010 - 2:39 pm

You are a funny dude – that’s hilarious!

I’m just trying to learn more about HTML and avoiding the Health Care Reform debate….it’s getting ugly out there.

This is a great distraction….but I’m paying special attention to all of you MEN.

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Gautam Hans @ Blog Godown March 27, 2010 - 5:11 am

Robb, I think they are a lot of people that may go through this phase, some get past it and some hold on to it.

The ones that hold on to it, are the ones that actually suffer and lose some awesome opportunities to grow

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Samuel March 28, 2010 - 10:29 pm

I notice blogging trolls that leave inflammatory comments get ran off by the readers. Usually as a blogger you won’t have to do anything but let your readers who believe in what you are saying stick up for you.

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JAY April 16, 2010 - 1:09 pm

I read many blogs on different subjects, and have enjoyed reading your blog, articles, etc. It’s like…. YOUR BLOG, Robb. I have my own blog and life to worry about. And, I don’t believe in any sort of democracy when it comes to my blog. I wouldn’t let trolls comment, unless I’m in a mood to attack. Then I have fun. Have you ever once seen a worthwhile or valuable comment from a troll? Delete their comments, kick their ass off your site. They all stink.

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Robb Sutton April 18, 2010 - 6:23 am

Thanks Jay! I am with you on the trolls. They do not build my business at all. A difference of opinion is one thing (which I actually like), but trolls are a completely different animal.

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