I’ve been blogging for a couple of years solid now. Firstly, when I kicked off Kangaroo Dad on Blogger, and recently, the reformat and redesign, cum relaunch on a self hosted WordPress site.
I have received criticism over that last couple of years, almost all of it positive. Its been positive as I am not high enough on a certain level of people’s attention to start attracting trolls. Give it time and that will come.
Most recently, I have been getting criticism from fellow digital producers, those who work on the internet, such as other bloggers, web designers, content and copyright creators. Its been a good experience and its helped me reflect with the work I do for the blog. As well as with the future direction I want to take this blogging thing I do.
I am no expert when it comes to website design so I have been seeking those who are. I have been tweaking, working and dabbling here and there, yet I find I don’t have the patience, time, or the want, to learn it and spend time making those changes myself. I am happy with the dabbling I have achieved so far. It has at least helped me with the abilities I have now and how to explain to others, the design I want and what changes I need, for my blog.
The criticism I have received, has been generally helpful in nature and so far has been this;
Your Home page on your blog has category titles, but nothing under them (no articles showing, hmmmm)
Some of your older articles are hard to read (the grammar is worse than I imagined, oh dear)
Your site is hard to read on a mobile device (I must have a non responsive theme for my wordpress)
Your About us section….doesn’t tell me much about you (did I not fill this out appropriately?)
Your contact us, broken? unfilled? how do I reach you?
How do I join your mailing list? (I hate my current Avante theme, which doesn’t play nice with signing up on an email list and will change it as its NOT DOING WHAT I WANT)
So, some of these critiques are easy to rectify. Some will give me a reflection on how I want to make a change after receiving some feedback.
There is another important aspect too. On occasion, you will receive feedback and it will be an expression of someone’s opinion. Do you make a change because someone made a suggestion, although most likely helpful? No, not always. There are many factors to consider when receiving feedback. For example, the six suggestions above will be changing. They are items, I want to change and am currently (as of Nov 2014) aware of them, and I am not happy with their status. Changes are coming.
But what do you do when you receive criticism? Especially if it is in relation to your blogging?
1. Listen to the other person, what exactly are they trying to convey to you?
2. Ask questions on reflection, you may be getting information, because of that persons own experience or their expertise.
3. Are you finding out about a gap in your own knowledge?
4. Someone may have picked up on a glaring mistake that you did not see (I am guilty as charged)
5. Some people, are just enthusiastic about you, or your work and want to see you do better.
6. Someone is having a bad day and has decided to deride your blog (you just happen to be todays target)
7. Sometimes people will just want to get an extreme reaction as a response (trolls). This is always extreme, and the criticism is NEVER helpful.
When the criticism is you receive is like the above, (except point 6 and 7 which help no one) take stock, look at the information you have received and see if it can help you. Whether you make changes on your work as a reflection and taking action on receiving criticism, is always your choice.
How do you take criticism? Do you stop and reflect? Or are you one to get your back up and become defensive? Tell me in the comments below.