“Growing a harder shell, or how promoting this blog on Reddit has helped me to handle negative comments better”

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“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
-Winston Churchill

 

 

As my paternal leave nears its close, I’ve spent an unspecified amount of time this week trying to tie up loose ends and take care of home projects, particularly as they pertain to this blog. I know I’ll have less time to do so soon enough. So this week I’ve been focusing on promoting the blog and exploring new avenues through social media to get my work out. In the process, that’s also come to mean standing behind my work in defense of it.

I can’t be the best writer around but I can be the hardest working. Getting what I’ve written out there this week involved delving into the deep, dark depths of StumbleUpon, Creators.co, Google+, Christian Mingle, and the dreaded Reddit.

Almost everyone I know is uniquely intimidated by Reddit. The people I know who say they aren’t are themselves uniquely intimidating. Reddit is the place where little bunnies hop in and come back out savage inaccuracy-sniffers. The dedication and talent of these Redditeers is a wonder and a terror to behold for those of us who put a lot of time and effort into our blog posts. We don’t necessarily want to see our words so easily torn down by a curtly phrased comment.

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But what is essentially the internet’s boogeyman is also home to millions of readers of all kinds. Tapping into Reddit would be of great value. Further, finding a place in Reddit and braving its tempestuous waters would be exemplary of the biggest battle to be fought as a writer: facing criticism head on, courageously. I’ve written in the past on how best to accept criticism but here we’re talking about actively going out to seek it.

At this point in my blogging journey, it seems to be that growth and exposing myself to more criticism have come to blows. I can’t just stay here at WordPress where I agree with everyone, for the most part. I can’t foreseeably take this blog to new heights if I can’t look fear in the eye and say “Come at me, mon frere.” I’ve already experienced new traffic, some great feedback and some decent criticism, and yes some rudeness also. These are human beings, at the end of the day. Where this would’ve crushed me or made my blood boil a year ago, now I’m able to take it with greater ease and even reply in characteristic tongue-in-cheek fashion.

Surrounding myself with pretty words about confidence and having to impress only myself is only a hollow sliver of this journey. If we as writers are to build a sturdy shell then we have to be confident in our writing, stand in front of it and behind it, and make no apologies for our opinions. Every time you hit that publish button, you’re lighting a candle in a dark cave. “How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” We can be mistaken but not shaken from our resolve, if indeed this is our calling.

Walking on the moon took a first step, my friends.

Hookbill

I won’t back down. No, I won’t back down. You can stand me up at the Gates of Hell but I won’t back down.

Come and visit me on Reddit! You might enjoy the fireworks.

-The Well-Red Mageย 

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67 thoughts on ““Growing a harder shell, or how promoting this blog on Reddit has helped me to handle negative comments better”

  1. Our 2017 by the Numbers (so far)
    REFERRERS
    Search Engines: 1,787
    Wordpress Reader: 1,639
    Stumbleupon: 1,197
    Facebook: 201
    Twitter: 53

    So funnily, our favorite Social Media Platform (Twitter)
    Gets the worst referral numbers. Sigh. Not sure if you
    heard approx 15-20% of Twitter activity is Bots. so as
    of the 16th of June, We might (very sadly) be removing
    our Twitter feed we have diligently maintained since 2011.

    Always enjoy your end of the month analysis, so we thought
    we would share our “mid-term” report with you 2017s a doozy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like quite the rough endeavor! I hope you are finding a good balance between standing your ground and learning something new about the craft. What would you say has been the most enlightening thing you’ve learned from it so far?

    I also had a question about the other resources you mentioned. When you use those resources, do you post the same blogs as you do on wordpress, or create new content entirely for them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your comment and the questions! It’s been a blast getting into Reddit with some days more edgy than others. I’ve learned to stand behind my opinion and my writing while at the same time backing down if someone shows me that I’m legitimately, objectively wrong. Otherwise, I’ll defend what I’ve said. I can also dish out the snark in return if someone comes at me with an attitude, like the dude whose only comment was that I was obnoxiously bitter. When I pressed him on it, he said he just wanted to have a discussion and understand my point of view. When I asked him why then he thought it was a good idea to open by calling me bitter, he had no response. Typical.

      The most enlightening thing I’ve learned so far, through Reddit and also through self-promoting across the internet in general, is to do it sparingly. Self-promotion in a comfortable community is generally seen as negative but flooding and spamming that community is even worse. I pace myself to a post on Reddit a week, maybe two, now and I try to ensure that the posts I share there are the best we’ve got. It’s been really good for views.

      I’ve actually come up with a system I’m looking for a partner for where we cross-promote each other’s blogs on Reddit to avoid their anti-self-promotion policy.

      As far as the other resources, I post the same blog posts as I do on WordPress, since my time and energies are pretty much almost entirely devoted here in terms of writing. It’s another form of promotion, then. StumbleUpon and Google+ have been almost worthless for getting readers here, though G+ is slightly better than SU, which I’ve received zero readers through. Another avenue I’m researching is developing an email list.

      Does that all answer your questions?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As always, The Well-Read Mage causes us deep introspection.
    In an age of click-bait, & vast sea of digital sameness, your site
    offers respite & refuge for weary yet optimistic digital travelers.

    Our discussion on spreading out, re-designs, & the ether had
    us doing some tinkering… Someone get Rikku out of there ๐Ÿ™ƒ!

    Gravatar is still a first port of call for many wayward adventurer.
    http://en.gravatar.com/924collective

    & Twitter is the modern version of The Psychic Friends Network.

    Our Stumbleupon Archive actually is getting us over 8,000 hits.
    http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/924COLLECTIVE

    p.s. we disabled the (Share This) since no one ever used the
    Google/LinkedIn/Tumblr/Pinterest & it slowed our pages down.
    We are firm๐ŸšซFacebook ๐ŸšซInstagram ๐ŸšซWhatsapp Devoted ๐Ÿ’ฏ

    Honestly, between these three. If people can’t seem to find us,
    we don’t know what to say? What do you think about all this?

    Your insights & opinions are always valuable to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey thanks for the comment. That’s all great stuff but as far as any insight I’m afraid my experience with StumbleUpon is pretty minimal. I haven’t seen any views from StumbleUpon make it to the blog, which is the goal. Twitter is great for interaction and there are some clicks from there. I’m not even sure what Whatsapp is! There are other avenues I’m pursuing and if they come to fruition I’ll let you all know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Whatsapp was/is a free internet based
        messenger used to send free images
        vids chats etc. but was acquired by the
        Borg Collective I mean Facebook HQ.
        & like most added to their data mining
        slave pit servers. As soon as a creative
        puts work on Facebook they give FB a
        full license to edit, copy, modify, &
        re-use any all of your intellectual
        property just by putting it on FB, why
        we do not use it. People give away too
        much power & sovereignty freely in
        this digital era. & too few care to really
        read the terms & conditions they are
        agreeing to. (Which are subtly edited
        from time to time, each year by year.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • This ongoing discussion has made us take a deeper look at “Social Media”
        in the modern age. We are now in 2017, & technology isn’t actually any
        more futuristic. The surveillance technology gets better & better, down to
        the every keystroke. On June 1st Verizons takeover of Yahoo was complete,
        along with all its subsequent products (Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, etc.) Same
        with Microsoft purchasing Linked-In. We are basically in a corporate mergers
        & acquisitions holding pattern, as corporations gobble up the remaining meta
        data on their customers. Similarly in our current culture cycle of “re-boots”
        innovation is actually moving at a snails pace,when it should be proliferating.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Approx 33% of the internet is hosted on WordPress. So realistically
    you are in the right place. Having tired stumbleupon & reddit also,
    the results were mediocre. Stumbleupon a few years ago was much
    different, and has gone through several re-designs, (not for the better
    sadly). Just like the many gaming communities, we have stayed away
    from because we do not enjoy toxicity. Quality over Quantity always wins.
    Lifes too short to waste time worrying about the endless haters & trolls.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all, I love the picture of the turtles! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have 4 turtles but they don’t like each other enough to stack like that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Second of all, I don’t understand why people have to be rude for no reason. Having a civil conversation is one thing, but I can’t stand when people throw out the hate so freely. I don’t frequent Reddit very often, but I’ve seen some of the nasty things people can say. Stay strong, Well-Red Mage, you are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They won’t stack??? That’s why you use staples. That way it’s turtles all the way down.

      As far as rude people online, it’s a bizarre sign of the times. I don’t know if there’s a way to redeem it or not but things have to change somehow. It’s just not conducive to society to have people spewing such hate so much online. Thanks for the encouraging words!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha something tells me they won’t like the staples, but I may tape them together! lol!!

        I totally agree that it’s a sign of the times. I just don’t understand why! It’s so easy to hide behind a keyboard… most of these people who are so nasty probably have no idea to hold a conversation face-to-face. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        Liked by 1 person

        • Not to get too heavy in a conversation where I’m taking to Kirby… but we’re living in a post-modern era where classic and traditional morality has been redefined to be highly subjective, and coupled with the fact that there’s no standard of etiquette for online behavior other than those classic morals and ethics which may have been transferable to online interaction (such as the golden rule, treating others like you want to be treated), it’s kind of seems that going in this direction would be irresistible, especially once the natural inhibitions of speaking to someone face-to-face are removed. It’s harder to recognize a human being behind an avatar image, though we can all presume that, and thus it’s easier for me to dehumanize you with whatever I want to call you. It’s pretty sad really. Something I’ve thought about, especially if an episodic podcast develops out of this blog someday soon, is the idea of creating a list of possible online ethics to prescribe good sociability and behavior on the internet. Of course, trolls will be trolls but talking about better behavior is at least better than not doing so.

          Liked by 2 people

          • You really hit the nail on the head there… it is way easier to pretend that there is not an actual person with actual feelings behind their avatar or user name, and it’s really easy to bully people online. It’s all very sad, really. The “golden rule” is probably the best rule you can follow for basic etiquette, both online and in person, but unfortunately people are just flat out rude sometimes!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you’re finding growth on reddit! It’s sort of how I feel putting stuff on YouTube, one of the most toxic outlets on our fine interwebs. Definitely have to branch out from WP though to get somewhere. I will say that with reddit, there are nice pockets to hang around that I’ve found, but it’s only because they don’t take too kindly to self-promotion and the like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YouTube definitely has its own set of acidic monsters. I can’t believe the things that people say when inhibitions are removed online. All my respect to you for braving the dark seas of YouTube. Self-promotion does seem to be a dangerous thing via Reddit. I’ll take it slow there. What’s the worst thing someone’s said to you on YouTube so far? Anything horrific?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Why thank you my Mage friend! It’s scary especially since I’m putting my face and voice out there, but thankfully the Internet has been kind so far. Haven’t attracted the masses yet haha.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s good to hear. Notoriety seems to attract a lot of angry, jealous and bitter individuals in our modern era. You keep doing you and stand behind your work. Integrity is what really matters and I think you’re the kind of person who wouldn’t flake from their opinion. You’re going a big step ahead of me in terms of putting out your face and voice. I definitely am not ready for that. Heck, the world’s not ready for that, since I’m so ultra-insanely-handsome! :p

          Liked by 1 person

  7. You are a very brave Mage, sir! I’m happy your trek through dangerous internet territory is paying off. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t mind constructive criticism and civil discussions, but mindless personal attacks always get to my secretly oversensitive heart. For that reason alone, I don’t stray far from the safe haven of this wonderful WordPress community. I am kind of’ curious to find out what would happen if “Lightning” Ellen expressed her love for the FFXIII Trilogy on the Final Fantasy Reddit. I’ll have to armor up and try it someday, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At this point, a few days after my first attempts at infiltrating Reddit, the locals are getting unruly. I’ve had some really mean things said but I’ll wait a bit and then slowly start filtering some specific content back in. At least it’s a big place. Somethings said still bothered me, so it’s not like I’m some kind of brazen hero or anything hahaha! I just want to try to improve myself in this way and see if there’s anything I can get out of the experience. And what an experience it has already been. I definitely would join you if you dropped the “Lightning is the best FF character” bomb in the middle of the FF Reddit. That would make for some crazy fireworks. It’d be a fun social experiment!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post, I’ve dabbled a bit in Reddit before, but never considered putting the blog up there – Considering that I’ve just restarted blogging, I am going to hold off on any major promotional efforts, but I’ll be watching your journey from behind this wall over here…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well allow me to welcome you back to blogging! Thanks for taking the time to leave us a comment. I’ve only just started focusing on promotions toward the end of my first year of blogging, so it’s definitely a learning experience for me. As far as Reddit goes, yeah you may want to wait outside of the killzone.

      Liked by 2 people

        • Sure! I love answering questions. Creators.co is something I’m still learning more about. I posted our Breath of the Wild review there and it quickly reached 1.1k reads but the other posts I’ve uploaded there are slower to build a readership. Also, the BotW review was heavily edited by their staff without me knowing and taken to their NowLoading.co, which I’m confused about. I’m not complaining since it got my work out there but it’s just odd. I’ll continue to use it in the future but it’s time consuming to manually transfer a blog post to a creators.co post. It’ll be something I use somewhat sparingly, cherry picking those which I think are my better articles. What is the academy course?

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh yeah, I love Reddit! I hang out there everyday, typically on the Smash Bros reddit and the Pokemon Go one. I started my own Subreddit as well where I talk to myself and weigh the options. Definitely cool that you’ve joined up as well. It gets intense!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome! I’ll have to ask you to show me the ropes. I’ll try to look you up and peep your subreddit. Intense is a good way to describe it, I guess. Where would you recommend sharing video game reviews there?

      Liked by 1 person

      • The place you were at r/gaming is probably the best one. r/gamingreviews is pretty dead at this point so while you could post there as well, it seems like none of them ever get any comments.

        Fair warning, my sub reddit is 100% dead. I’m the only poster aside from one guy who is waiting for me to lose EVO so he can post there. Fun times. For a lot of action and intensity, r/politics is always pretty good and r/showerthoughts is a nice way to learn something new everyday. Fighting with the reddit users is always entertaining

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe today I’ll try posting to r/gamingreviews just to test the waters but I’ve liked r/videogameanalysis so far. I will definitely stay away from r/politics right now haha! I get enough of that through FB and Twitter! The battles so far have at the very least been quite entertaining…!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I didn’t even know about the sub reddit. It definitely looks good and appropriate for your articles! That’s why I love Reddit, there’s a section for everything and finding new ones is a blast as well

            Liked by 1 person

  10. This was an excellent read. I recently got laid off and am having my first child soon so I decided to spend my time creating content as well, and honestly the decision I struggled with the most was, “Do I share this with reddit?” Sure my friends and family on facebook will say nice things to appease me, and for some reason even some of the groups I post in that have 30k people say nice things, but that first post on Reddit had me shaking in my boots. Luckily I have gotten mostly positive responses so far, but I know I will eventually get into a war with someone who disagrees with me and that’s fine, because at the end of the day if I post an article on facebook it gets a couple hundred reads, if I post on Reddit it gets a few thousand if not more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and you’re absolutely correct. If someone is being consistently nice to you, there are only two explanations. Either they’re a nice person (dubious if they’re a stranger) or they have ulterior motives. With friends and family, there’s the upholding of your relationship at the center of why they’re being nice, even if they’re not inherently interested in your content, and specifically with other content creators and bloggers there is a lot of niceness because we all want to be creators and have our work accepted by each other. It seems on Reddit though (and on Youtube in the comments) you have a lot of non-creator consumers who are just there to eat. Or devour in some cases. These are the kind of people who will read 6000 words and only point out something they think is wrong. It’s a strange phenomenon but definitely an interesting way to learn to stand behind your work and get it out there to be read! And hey, sometimes their criticism may even be spot on! Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  11. I’ve always thought about what would be next after wordpress. I’m ways away from that, but I just think in the future, once I get to that point, how to I take my blog out of wordpress and touch a wider audience. Reddit has certainly come to mind, and glad you are getting the feed back you are seeking from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a mixed bag. I think in many ways WordPress will always be my headquarters, so long as the readership remains here. I’m used to the interface and I enjoy writing here, but from here I can launch into a variety of other outlets and social media. Reddit is one of those places that’s like the rough pub down the street where people beat each other up and come back for more. I had some gasoline doused on me yesterday there but I’m capable of dishing it right back. For me, it’s all a learning experience as even when dealing with the likes of Redditors I can kind of gauge what catches people’s eyes in terms of headlines and content. I’m definitely staying within the realm of a few minor subreddits as branching out into bigger ones has been horrific. Then there’s the aspect of self-promotion which is apparently frowned upon there, so I need to play my cards right and do a slow leak of content.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I avoid posting anything on Reddit simply because anything, EVERYTHING generates drama, and I have found that I stay much healthier without drama in my life. Yeah, I can just let it slide off, but its like I told my friend yesterday: “Why feel okay knowing you can treat burns when you can just keep your hand out of a pot of hot oil?”. You are right, however – if you want something to spread like wildfire, Reddit is tinder ready for a match, if you can just get it to light up instead of exploding in your face.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Constructive criticism is always a good thing, negative comments ect can be taxing, but I see your point. I’ve often wondered about Reddit, looked at it a few times, but tbh I couldn’t figure out where to start or how it works. I write on several sites as well as doing my blog, so I have other outlets to explore. A lot of people I know have been impressed by the amount of “traffic” Reddit can bring, however, its easy to get swept along with all the stats. For me, I started blogging because someone said to be it would act as a kind of digital portfolio for all my writing, which it has, and has led to lots of opportunities for me. Good on you for tackling Reddit though, I’ll have to visit you on Reddit, maybe even give it a whirl myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taxing is a great way to phrase it. I’m pacing myself in places where I’m exposed to super negativity, like Reddit. Yesterday was an explosive day and I’d welcome you to visit me provided I’m not a smoldering crater by then. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds a bit challenging, hope you get on ok with it. I’ll have to check Reddit out at some point, do you set it up like Twitter / Facebook? If I do I’ll be sure to visit your page ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks! I hope I don’t get eaten, too! You do make a profile on Reddit but it’s very different from Twitter and FB. It’s much less geared toward accessibility, since it seems like people who are always on Reddit are the kind that are dedicated to be there. Not casual in the least. There are some nice folks though. I’m going to give it a rest for the day and try posting again tomorrow. The fiery conversation I had yesterday after someone began the conversation by calling me obnoxiously bitter drained all of my Reddit karma almost. Ha!

          Liked by 1 person

  14. I love how personal this post is ๐Ÿ™‚ This problem is even worse when it’s with friends. I once got into a ‘console war’ with several friends that was bitter and… in retrospect… actually ended a couple of those friendships. It was a long and bitter mudfight and I was just as covered in mud as the people who attacked me. It was back in 2007 and I learned a lot about social media right there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Fed! I have to get personal now and then. I empathize with your experiences. I’ve had many of them myself, most recently with a friendship being ruined due to debate when it got into the ugliness of politics. Before that, we were debating theology and faith just fine! I’ve also tarnished other relationships through arguing pop culture which I’m trying to recover. Social media is definitely a horrific place to conduct these debates and I’ve found it’s much easier to hold them in person. There’s something about being able to see the person’s face which makes one less likely to berate or slander them villainously. As for Reddit… there’s a lot of that going on there hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Constructive criticism is fine. I remember we had a raging flame war about Earthworm Jim 2, but we got there in the end!

    The problem is a lot of people often take their caustic, petulant bitterness online and behave like total morons. We’ve all seen some truly depraved behaviour from these sorts (they’re not even trolls – they’re just dickheads), but even this is useful in some respect. I’ve found either totally ignoring them or being incredibly patronising in response usually does the trick.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I still have a nasty burn scar from that flame war! Hahaha! You are of course spot on in your assessment of some of these people. I had a pretty fun run in right after I posted this where I dude said I was obnoxiously bitter, and that was his conversation starter! When I pushed him on it by copying what he said and applying it to him, he just broke down and said he was only wondering what I posted what I posted. Ah boy… Being incredibly patronizing worked. I try to look for the silver lining, however small, in even the most ridiculous ridicule.

      Liked by 2 people

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