/Starving the Trolls

Starving the Trolls

One of my great joys in life is collaborating with other creative minds. Not so amazing, on the other hand, is facing the terrible internet trolls of the world. Bloggers and writers of all sorts can face criticism from readers. I think that’s a good thing! But when unhinged commenters force their crazy on you, even the most passionate and confident person can be crippled by anxiety and self doubt. I explore this topic with my friend (and “KP’s Rome” collaborator) Kat Tan Conte on her new YouTube series over at her blog Zero the One. And here are my three easy steps to dealing with criticism:

    Don’t feed the trolls. Those crazy off-topic comments written by anonymous internet weirdos are an inevitable byproduct of blogging. Delete comments written by trolls. Never ever engage, as responding to an over the top whacko will only draw you into their cyclone of doom.

    Know when to close comments. As bloggers, of course we want to be alerted when an interested reader leaves a comment. But it can ruin our whole day when we receive an email notification containing a troll’s comments. Stay on top of other reader feedback while tuning out the trolls by closing comments on the controversial post in question.

    Channel and transform the negativity. Sometimes criticism is warranted. In fact, we cannot grow as writers if everyone lavishes praise upon us. But if the criticism cross the line, use it to your benefit and take it as inspiration to create content that is beyond reproach.

2017-02-17T15:16:07+00:00 September 14th, 2014|Categories: Interviews, Videos|7 Comments


  1. Kat September 16, 2014 at 12:20 am - Reply

    I’m so glad you agreed to do this Katie. thank you for standing up for something 🙂

  2. Christine September 16, 2014 at 5:25 am - Reply

    Good stuff. I’d also say that as a reader or fan, defending someone you care about from trolls isn’t really productive either. It does more good to say something encouraging to the person being “trolled” as a counterweight to the nastiness than it does to to engage the trolls. Trolls don’t care that they are wrong or irrational or unreasonable, they just want to be nasty.

  3. Meredith A September 16, 2014 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Who is leaving you nasty comments? I’ll punch them.

  4. Rhonda September 17, 2014 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Thank you both for doing this video, and to Katie for what your wrote in the post.
    I am creating my blog now, so this couldn’t have come at a better time! I feel way more prepared to start down this yellow brick road 🙂 Grazie!

  5. Mick P September 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    I’ve been following Katie’s work for years now and, apart from the high level of her craft, it’s her honesty that has kept me interested. You learn to trust journalists and without that trust they’re nothing, but it’s a hard-earned thing. Viva Parla!

  6. Elise October 1, 2014 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Christine, that is a valuable comment. That’s a strategy I’ll be following.

  7. Nathaniel October 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Death threats? That’s just insane. I’d be lost (in Rome) without you!

    Besides, all great films get booed at Cannes. Trolls are a right of passage. 🙂

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