5 Reasons to be Critical of Other Bloggers

By Guest Author

This is a guest post by Bob Bessette. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

This post may be considered edgy to some but I am here to say that I am not a rebel. Just read any of my posts and you will conclude that I am not a malcontent, a dissident, or a troublemaker. Probably my biggest fault is my brute honesty so I sought out one of the largest blogs in the universe to get my message across. Daniel Scocco has allowed me the honor of guest posting here on DailyBlogTips so I am taking advantage of his vast audience to speak my mind.

I read a lot of blogs and I am growing tired of the mutual admiration society. I think a lot of my fellow bloggers are becoming complacent. We are too concerned with how we will be perceived rather than speaking our minds. We are too concerned that the popular blog owner will be offended if we offer up criticism that comes straight from the heart. We’re afraid of being ostracized from the masses of commenters who have nothing more worthwhile to say than “Great Post!”, “You hit the nail on the head with this post”, or “You are a true inspiration to me and my life!”

I think we need to be more critical of other bloggers no matter how big or popular that their blogs have become. Why? Well, let me tell you…

1. We must be true to ourselves

If we disagree we should be true to our convictions and speak up! When I was just starting out with my blog I criticized a very popular blogger in the comments section of another blog who was reviewing the popular blogger’s book. Before I knew it the popular blogger responded to my comments which I thought was really cool. He didn’t respond with vitriol but with an honest reaction and counter-argument. What a refreshing concept…

2. Constructive criticism helps the Author

If I write a post I want my readers to be honest in the comments. If they don’t agree with either a premise that I made in a post or something I said, I want them to let me know. In fact, it’s the critical comments that I remember most because these are the ones that I tend to think about more than the others. Believe me, I welcome any comments on my blog but when someone takes a different stance or offers more information I find this really helpful. I belong to a few different blog forums and recently I asked other members to critique my blog site. I got a number of responses from members praising my site but it was the constructive criticism that I remember and it helped me to make positive changes to my blog.

3. A dialog will be fostered

When I criticized that popular blogger back when I started out, I have since been able to foster a relationship with him. I started a dialog that day and it has continued to grow. I think this is the true spirit of blogging. We can foster a dialog with people we have never met but have a common passion.

4. We’ll keep each other honest

I think that some popular blog owners feel that they can do no wrong. They feel that their words are pearls of wisdom and that their readers are blessed to be reading them. Well, I’m here to say that it’s not their fault! It’s our fault. It’s our lack of being critical at the risk of being called jealous, spiteful, or resentful of their success. We must continue to keep each other honest by offering up our true feelings in the comments and we’ll all be better for it.

5. Our blogs will improve!

As this New Year begins I have goals for the coming year that are based around my blog as I’m sure you do as well. All of these goals are pretty much geared toward one thing: improving my blog. We need to hear from our readers what they feel is good about our blog and what they feel needs improvement. Ask your readers and they will respond. If we are all honest with each other and give our opinions in a responsible manner then we can all improve as bloggers.

In the movie Wall Street the lead character Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, had a memorable quote that was “Greed, for lack of a better word, is Good.”

Well, I’m here to say that “Criticality, for lack of a better word, is Good!” Let’s all be critical of each other, no matter what you feel the consequences may be. Any blog owner who can’t take criticism isn’t worth subscribing to. Let’s step it up this year and be true to ourselves, foster the dialog, offer constructive criticism, keep each other honest, and improve our blogs as a result.

Bob Bessette writes a blog called Totally Unique Life. His blog is geared toward practical advice and strategies for life, work, and play.



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52 Responses to “5 Reasons to be Critical of Other Bloggers”

  • muhyar

    and also this 5 tips will become rules for blogger

  • Tyler Hurst

    Sure, but this doesn’t work on most people, as they see it as being called out publicly. Then they cry, whine and complain to their friends.

    Don’t waste your time trying to help those who won’t appreciate it. But when you find those that do, do it!

  • KS Chen

    I think we really need to treat each other honestly in blogosphere if we wish to build up a long lasting relationship with other bloggers. It is important to make friends with other to ensure the success of our blogging journey.

  • Ben Collins | The Blog Mag

    Hi Bob. I agree that it’s important t have your own opinions and beliefs about a topic and express them accordingly but you must must must show respect to the other blogger or your really just destroying a future relationship. There’s a lot of love out there at the moment because it’s just good for business. If you dont agree with a topic then sometimes its best just to move on.

    I wrote a small related article linking to your post.

    http://www.theblogmag.com/blog/is-criticism-a-good-or-bad-thing-tips-for-a-critic/

  • Bob Bessette

    @zmajeva – I’m not familiar with the term “dialectic method-dialogue” but it sounds like it is a respectful dialogue between people with differing opinions. Yes, I agree it is very good..

    @Jes – The forums I belong to are problogger.net, yaro starak’s forum, and frugaltheme (my blog theme). When I joined problogger.net it was $1.95/month. Now it is $5.95/month but it is worth it for bloggers. I have no affiliation. Just a happy customer.

    @OffCampus-Student.com – Yes, it can turn into an argument if both bloggers are defensive. But it does not have to be that way. We can turn it into a positive discourse if we make an effort.

    @Surgery Houston – I like your #6 and I agree, all of the above make us feel good about ourselves..

    Thanks all for your comments.

    Best,
    Bob Bessette

  • Bob Bessette

    Hi Belinda,
    Thanks for commenting. Yes, I also remember the comments and e-mails from people who may offer a differing opinion. The fact that you are not a “big enough” blogger is simply because people have not found you yet at thehalfwaypoint.net, Your posts are amazing and I will be around when you make it to be what they like to call the “A-List” blogger. I think it’s just a matter of time for you. I sincerely feel this way. You make so much sense about the leader-follower dynamic that we slip into. Great point. Or maybe I should be critical? 🙂

    Best,
    Bob

  • Surgery Houston

    Reason 6: Because it makes us feel better about ourselves

  • OffCampus-Student.com

    Constructive criticism is paramount. However, it’s not always taken well. People tend to be very defensive I have found. And more than once what started as constructive criticism turned into the guilty blogger arguing against the blogger.

  • Jes

    I’m curious… do you care to share what blog forums you go to, that you mentioned in point #2?

  • Bob Bessette

    Hi Scheng1,
    I was more referring to the content of the posts rather than the actual design of the site. I think if you want to express anything about the design of someone’s site it makes more sense to go email them via their contact page. That is, unless the post asks the question “Please critique my site”.

    Best,
    Bob

  • scheng1

    Being critical is useless without offering solution. I mean if the blog looks awful, the best is to make some constructive comments to help the bloggers. No point saying that your blog sucks, your English sucks, and everything rots.

  • zmajeva

    In other words, use dialectic method-dialogue between two or more people who hold different ideas and wish to persuade each other.
    That’s actually healthy approach!:)

  • Bob Bessette

    @Stephanie – sunshine, rainbows and unicorns!, I love it… Disagreement can be a really good thing. I hope to see more of it.

    @Dave Doolin – Thanks for the encouragement and the subscription. You’ve been in my feed for a while…

    @Kent @ Leawo – great comments, but I disagree with you! (kidding…) I’m glad to see that you and I are on the same wavelength. I wanted to post this on a popular blog because it is a message we should all heed.

    @Melvin – another sympathetic voice, thanks. I like your idea of posting controversial topics. I would like to visit your post but, for some reason, none of the links of commenters are showing up for me. I wonder if this is something Daniel has done intentionally or not? Thanks Melvin.

    @Chester – thanks for the compliment and I’m glad you concur. I have seen a number of constructive points in the comments on this blog that Daniel has taken well and responded to. I don’t think he is one of those A-Listers that doesn’t take criticism well. And I’m not just sucking up to him. It’s actually true…

    @Robby G – thanks for commenting and it’s nice to see that you agree that constructive criticism is good for all of us.

    @GoBusiness101 – I hope all of us, in blogging or not, are true to ourselves.

    @Annemieke – understood. As far as criticizing someone’s blog as far as design is concerned I will send an email via the Contact Me page. That is, unless they are asking for criticism in the comments. I concur with what you are saying. I think it only makes sense to respond to the actual blog post.

    Thanks all for the comments. I am happy that this post has brought to the forefront an issue that has been bothering me, and apparently others as well. Let’s step it up and foster the discussion.

    Best,
    Bob

  • Annemieke

    @Bob: You said: “I think you can offer criticism out of the blue in a respectful way without being solicited for it. At least I do at times..”

    I agree, but I think there is a difference between discussing ideas and discussing appearance. To stay in the blog world, I think it is different to react on what someone wrote and react on the blog itself.

    Like in a discussion with someone in real life. I think it is fantastic to discuss ideas, but it is getting weird if someone would start criticising your cloths or your habits.

    I think it is the same with blogs. I think for that kind of criticism, there has to be some context. Like where you ask for that.

    But discussing the ideas from the post is what blogging is all about. And indeed does not have to be a asked for, as long as it is done with genuine respect.

    Personally I find that a very important distinction, although at the same time I can see that there might be exceptions. But for me it is important to see the difference.

  • GoBusiness101

    “We must be true to ourselves”

    This is what’s all about

  • Robby G

    There are right ways to criticize a blogger and wrong ways though. When people just come out with it and completely argue with you without any real proof or without being constructive, it really serves no help for anyone. It’s gotta be done with some class. But I do agree that if it’s done correctly then it gives the blogger an idea to make his blog better for everyone else to enjoy.

  • Chester

    Constructive criticism helps the Author, I agree on this. Nobody’s perfect. Inputs from the readers/ co bloggers are way helpful to improve one’s writings. It’s for your own good. Great article today.

  • Melvin

    This is insanely true (sorry for not disagreeing w/you). Thats the main reason why people think bloggers are kind people. because mostly they just agree with everything.

    In my blog, sometimes I test my community by posting controversial posts. One that I know will spark a good debate on something and Im glad my readers disagree with me and have their own say.

    You can easily see bloggers who are uncritical on big blogs like this where people mostly just comment for the sake of commenting.

  • Kent @ Leawo

    In addition to my previous comment, I would like to warn us bloggers against being too comfortable in waiting for constructive criticism. In my humble point of view, since constructive criticism is a good thing, fewer than half of the people won’t just give it to somebody they don’t know. So we have to make the initial force to kick the ball, criticize other’s blog post with our genuine viewpoints and invite them to do us the same favor. This is the almighty rule again: give before you take.

  • Kent @ Leawo

    Honestly speaking, the ideas given in this post coincide with what I have been thinking, and I fully uphold the author’s points. Writing a blog is naturally a social interaction, a way to make friends and hear different voices. If we are obsessed with only pleasant flattering voice, in the long run, we will totally miss the point of blogging. In my blog, the day after day superficial compliments in the comment section have begun to make me sick. I don’t think any more of them will add value to my blog at all. They are frustrating and boring. I hope this post will be read by more people. This will hopefully create a positive resonance in the circle of bloggers.

  • Dave Doolin | Website In A Weekend

    Bob, you’re on my radar, in my feed.

    I have a NSFW term for “mutual admiration society” but I’ll leave that to your imagination.

    In a nutshell, I agree with you.

  • Stephanie – Home with the Kids

    No! No criticism! It should always be sunshine, rainbows and unicorns!

    Now that I’ve gotten that out, I have to agree. Constructive criticism is useful no matter what you do. If you have trouble taking it, grow a thicker skin. There are always going to be people who disagree with you on some things. They’re not all crazy or malicious. They just disagree.

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