4 Ways to Deal With Negativity on your Fashion Blog


Ah…the joys of the Internet. It allows people who you don't know and can remain anonymous to call your ankles fat and speculate on whether or not you're pregnant when you just had a little too much desert. All while remaining anonymous. But it also gives us a platform for doing what we love and sometimes earning a living from it, so yeah, there are tradeoffs.

Over the years, I've written a lot on the subject of haters and dealing with negativity on fashion blogs, starting with the blogger trend of several years ago to close comments completely. Ultimately, your blog is your blog, you don't owe it to anyone to accept floods of negative comments or even to deal with them in a specific way, but if you hope at all to blog long-term, or use your blog/online presence to launch into a new career, then learning how to deal with negativity is par for the course.

Prepare for it

If you're going to call yourself an “expert” at something, or give yourself a title, then you should be prepared to hear from people who may not agree with your characterization of yourself. I'm not saying you have to defend every statement you make or how you see yourself, just that you need to be ready for the haters to come out of the woodwork. Once you've declared yourself “social media guru” (please don't), or “stylist,” it's out there, and you should have a body of work or list of accomplishments to back up your claims.

And nowadays if you have a presence online, and especially if you post pictures of yourself, you're going to get negative comments either on your blog, or off. Decide before you do it if you're ready to handle the criticism, whether it's founded or not, and if you're not, then maybe putting yourself out there online isn't the right choice for you. Whether we agree with people posting anonymous (or not anonymous) negative comments online or not, it's going to happen, so have a plan in place for how you're going to deal with it; it should never take you by surprise.

Learn from it

You can tell a difference between shallow, ridiculous negative comments from commenters who are just trying to be hurtful, and the ones who bring up valid concerns/issues. Any comment about a blogger's physical appearance I put in the shallow, ridiculous bin and ignore it, but if readers are commenting on disclosure issues, sponsored posts, or politely disagreeing with something you wrote, then perhaps they have a point.

A lot of times, the things that hurt us most have a ring of truth to them, and it's up to us to figure out what we're meant to learn from them. Don't just dismiss every disagreement or negative comment you receive; decide if there's any merit to it at all, and how you're going to learn from it.

Respond to it

If you're interested in having genuine conversation on your blog, and the comment in question is a respectful disagreement with you and/or has some validity, it's best if you respond to it. If the comment contains a personal attack, borders on just being hateful AND you decide NOT to delete it, I feel like it's good practice to respond to it, but rise above it and take the higher ground. Respond politely, with facts as much as possible, and perhaps an apology if that is warranted.

If you're making an argument for or against something, be prepared to back it up, and clarify what you meant if it could have been taken out of context or was offensive in some way. You're never going to make everyone happy, or get them to agree with you, but if you are polite and keep your response simple and to the point, you'll go a long way towards cultivating a respectful, vibrant community on your blog.

Ignore it

Some negative comments should be ignored or moderated out; comments that are simply hurtful and mean for the sake of being hurtful can safely be ignored or deleted. Name-calling and pointing out physical flaws are always grounds for deletion in my book, but I always take a second to try and look at the comment as an outsider to try and determine why the reader left it.

Overall, your blog is your community and your “home” online, so it should be treated with respect, and you have the ultimate say in the tone of the comments and what gets approved and deleted. But think about the power that has and what you want to do with it – how you want to be perceived long-term, and what your community says about you. Most importantly, know what you're getting into when you start a fashion blog, and be prepared for everything that will come your way – both positive AND negative. Dealing with both will be the measure of your success.

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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13 Responses

  1. Jeanine Marie

    I say if you have nothing nice today, don’t say anything at all. I read blogs for an enjoyment and as an escape not to pick a fight. I don’t see anything wrong with asking a question or expressing an opinion that is different from the blogger.

    I once asked a a beautiful 20 something, why she needed lifting cream. She didn’t reply, but her many faithful readers attacked me as if I was insulting her. I think some people are so touchy these days it is not worth asking a question.

    • Dilek

      My point exactly! I always say the same thing. If I don’t like something – I don’t comment. If I strongly disagree and think that someone is sprouting nonsense, then I might comment. And 20-something used a lifting cream? I would have asked the same question.

  2. Jessica Zimlich

    This some really great insight. I’m still new enough that I haven’t been on the receiving end of a negative comment yet, but I’m prepared for when it comes!

  3. Dilek

    I think that comment moderation is a must these days. On your blog you can at least control extremely hateful comments. On social sites, however, it’s more difficult. ESPECIALLY on Instagram, I have seen people making the most ridiculous comments. They tag each other and offend the one posting by having a hateful conversation on their photo. You could privately chat you know!

    Thank you for the insightful article ! ^^

  4. Joelle

    I totally agree with you- sharing a piece of yourself online can be so incredibly fulfilling and rewarding, but also can be a breeding ground for randomized negativity.
    I always try to remember that negative comments (both on and offline) are most often coming from a place of insecurity from the commenter. Keeping that in mind makes hearing terrible things about yourself (especially those targeting physical appearance) a little more tolerable.

  5. Harrie

    Luckily I’ve yet to deal with any negativity on my style blog, but having been a performer for years I’ve had my fair share of online hate.
    Shame that this is the way of the world these days.
    Style Yourself Vintage

  6. dahi.

    true words and good advices. when i started my blog and got the first negative, or rather hurtful comments from ‘haters’, i couldn’t ignore it. it made me feel down – especially if you have not enough selfconfidence, or problems with your weight, and then get to hear that your outfit looks very unfavourable, it’s very hurting. and people know this. yes, i also think that this is the glory of anonymousness in the internet that can show the worst in peoples characters. one day i learned to ignore such comments – because blogging in a whole was very good for my selfconfidence. so i just give a f**k most of the time.
    but if it is a respectful critical comment, i gladly respond, because i think that criticism can also make you able to change your faults.


  7. bever

    such wise words and quite encouraging… critism,especially those that come out negatively,will never hurt you if what you are doing is right and we know that other people’s opinions will either make or destroy you.so what i think we ought to do is,we should be able to distinguish the negatively intended comments from the positive ones ’cause at times we misquote things..it’s normal,we are human..understanding what the commenter is trying to put across will give us a better standing on how to deal with them.

  8. Elizabete

    I’ve seen on my blog few sarcastic comments and I ignore them. When somebody laughs about me or my blog – I smile, because I know that it annoy that somebody.
    I think the best way how to answer to mean people – smile and be quiet. Karma will do something about it.


  9. Linda

    I don’t care about the negative comments on my blog. If I got such negative, I will correct myself (my style of blogging, my description, my language, etc.) and find how they don’t like me. That’s it.