Afraid of Feedback from Readers?

Sometime last week I had the chance to sit down and speak with a blogger from a large digital publication site (too many authors to count), and discuss the use of Feedweb. I was shocked  to discover that she simply did not want reader feedback. She “could not imagine people rating my content“, as if it were her own private diary. I must say that her reaction shocked me. Obviously there maybe bloggers who don’t want as much feedback as possible via various channels, or those that want to keep with the “rules of the game” (we are breaking them) and only have comments. She doesn’t think that her readers should be in “her head” when it comes to writing – because she knows best. I think she is afraid of feedback from readers.

Bloggers Know

Bloggers, or at least a “good” one knows their stuff and what they are talking about. A good blogger does not write about something that he/she doesn’t know, rather they do their homework before hand. However, knowing something is far from meaning you are an expert and know all there is about the content. Blogging is not just about creating terrific content – it goes beyond that – presenting it in an easy and creative form, getting readers to act on tips, creating shareable content, and so on. There is no way for you as a blogger to know what your readers think about every aspect, unless you are taking the time to ask them. Are you?

Working with Readers

Whether or not if you consider your readers to be your “customers”or not – they are. A customer consumes something from a provider, and in our case here in the blogosphere we are talking about readers consuming our content. The most successful brands in the world have worked hard to find out exactly what makes their readers happy – which means increased sales. For bloggers, working with readers to improve content could lead to more shared content and of course better metrics results in Google Analytics. Working with readers to reach a better final product can be accomplished via various channels. The problem is not a lack of channels, rather a lack of wanting to do so by bloggers.

Breaking Boundaries

I don’t know what the statistics are, but the high majority of bloggers don’t take aim at readers via surveys/polls in order to create a better product. I can visit 10 bogs right now, and I’ll be shocked if anyone of them is collecting more feedback. I went to Reddit, in hope to find like-minded content creators. Again, no one going for feedback, although they did think it was a good idea. 

No one should be told how to do something. Everything we do is part of an art form. Your life is an art, with no one right way to live it. You as a blogger believe that there are certain boundaries and characteristics that your blog has to carry on because it is what’s done in the industry. Do you think anyone successful (I’m talking about the top dogs) got there by doing what others did?

 Make the Change

Everything has its pros and cons. In the case of collecting feedback, bloggers have made up their minds that collecting feedback has more cons than pros. Why and how is this decision made before trying it? We’ve all visited blogs that have one thing or another that we like a little less, but we kept that too ourselves. Why? Are you afraid of honest feedback? 

Reimagine.

 

Feedweb for WordPress. v

18 Responses

  1. Cole Wiebe says:

    Hi Amiti,

    I’m with you. I’ve added comments to blogs and they were never published, because I dared share my opinion. I was respectful, but not in total agreement and awestruck by the blogger’s take. Many bloggers refuse to publish anything that is not overt praise for their brilliant and insightful writing.

    My policy has always has always been the same with commenters as it was with my kids as they grew up, “You can openly disagree with me, as long as you’re respectful.” In other words, no abusive put-downs and name calling.

    In newspapers and magazines, many of the best columnists receive the loudest protests. My roots are in the magazine industry, weher playing it safe, by being careful not to ruffle any feathers, is the surest way to find a new replacement at your desk come Monday morning.

    I believe the blogging community needs to be take more chances in sharing their opinion, and then be open to disagreement. It fuels lively debates and makes content sticky. It may take less than 1 minute to skim a post, but reading through the many of the comments in a lively debate can take 20 minutes or more.

    Cole
    Cole Wiebe recently posted…Social Networking: The 4 Excuses That Kill Future BusinessMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hi Cole,

      Thanks for really sharing your thoughts. I think people are stuck in a certain stereotype on “how to blog”. Bloggers are just over idolizing brands and how they blog, but they don’t understand the differences between themselves.

      I think your policy is right on, and you should keep running with it, because it’ll bring results, even if there are “scared bloggers”. Hopefully they’ll wake up and understand that there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

      Enjoy the rest of the week.

  2. James says:

    Have to say you really expressed views that are known, but rarely talked about in the arena of blogging. At least you were able to get honest answers to your questions.
    James recently posted…Memorable Good and Agreeable TimesMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hi James,

      I for one don’t like to shy away from discussions that need the love – like this one. We are the internet, and the internet will only be as great as we make it. Right now, we are not doing enough to make the net better for any of us.

  3. Ashish says:

    Well I guess I’m afraid too. Since lot of people come up with negative responses I guess. So it’d be really hard to accept the feedback from the readers.

    But its really important to focus on readers feedback.
    Ashish recently posted…How to use Hostgator Coupon discount CodesMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Ashish,

      Ask yourself “why” are you getting negative feedback. Are you making grammatical errors? Are you using proper headlines (and attractive ones)? Are your images original, or just another stock photo that we’ve seen a million times?

      Best of luck!

  4. My goodness! Every blogger has a right to do what they want! If they choose to have feedback or not! No one should put another person down.

    I like to get feedback from my comments. Some may disagree, but we can have a healthy conversation about it. If not, that person is just gone from my life. I love your blog and have fun with the feedback. It’s always excellent information.

    -Donna
    donna merrill recently posted…Learn To Blog The Right WayMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hi Donna,

      Thanks for your feedback, and obviously each and every blogger can treat their blog as they’d like – and not how I’d like or someone else would like. However, choosing not to maximize the effort to collect feedback because of fear of negative feedback is the first step toward failure. The problem is just that. There are bloggers that know that their content isn’t “Aces”, yet they choose to keep the status quot instead of trying to improve – and that is a huge problem.

      The blogger I spoke with does not want feedback. Her choice, and I respect that. She isn’t getting thousands of comments, so my question is why not seek more information from readers? Do you get what I am getting at Donna?

      Enjoy the remainder of the week.

  5. Manik says:

    Hi Amiti,

    A totally new things for me but i’m not afraid with my readers feedback.
    Manik recently posted…Apply These 8 Secret Techniques To Improve Your Website DesignMy Profile

  6. Dylann says:

    Bloggers should not afraid of feedback from readers because from feedback or reactions they can learn also from it. I’m very happy if there are lots of feedbacks whether good or bad from my blog. It seems that there are lots of readers read my article. Don’t see it as negative instead think of positive. Great post!
    Dylann recently posted…5 Retail Marketing IdeasMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hey Dylann,

      A lot of feedback is good – I’ll take quality over quantity any day, but the important part of your comment is that you are happy to receive any and all feedback. That is great and will get you on the right track. Unfortunately, a large group of bloggers would rather keep it positive and peachy all the time (even though they won’t admit it).

  7. Mike says:

    Feedback is good, how are you supposed to improve if you don’t listen to your readers? I’ve made mistakes on posts in the past, and tried to learn from the feedback. I wouldn’t delete a comment unless it was spam or just offensive (criticism does need to be constructive)

    • Amiti says:

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for stopping by and for being honest about the feedback. Still though, what percent of readers comment? That means that probably more than 90% don’t get heard, and that is valuable information.

  8. Hi Amiti ,

    This is a Great Information Article , i like it , My First Viist Your Blog , and my First Comments , i am Really impress , and Happy , Great Work and Good Stuff , i agree with you , Thank You For SHaring me , Keep it up ,

    Jassica
    Jassica Bella recently posted…Using Free Web Hosting ServicesMy Profile

  9. Ashutosh Jha says:

    Hi amiti,

    This was a very informative informative post. This is common trend and fear in many people not only blogegr. they get upset with the negative feddback from the readers but we should not. take every negative feedback in a right way and cionvert negative to positive. If this is the attitude we can get over it.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Ashutosh
    Ashutosh Jha recently posted…List of Do’s and Don’ts for Blogger: A comprehensive guideMy Profile

  10. Sachin says:

    It is very Great article but i have to say that i don’t afraid from me reader even if they will give negative impression…Instead i will love that because i will learn where i am lacking..But your content about this topic is very great. Thanx for sharing it. This is my first visit and really love your website :)
    Sachin recently posted…How to Get Paid iPhone Apps for Free Without JailbreakMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hi Sachin,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. If only all bloggers were to think like that! Keep up the good work on your blog, and make sure you take time to see what your readers think of your content.

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