How to avoid becoming a negative blogger

How to avoid becoming a negative blogger

Photo: Hi, I’m Nick on Unsplash

We’ve recently looked at the various ways bloggers let their blogs ‘slip’ over time. So far, we’ve mostly looked at things that are pretty easy to identify – but today I want to look at something that gets in the way of many bloggers over time, without them even being aware of it.

This ‘poison’ comes into most of our lives at one time or another and has the power to stop our blogs (and lives) if we are not careful – it is the poison of ‘negativity’.

Bloggers have a reputation for being cynical and grumpy – but I’m not talking about our occasional swearing or critical posts – I’m talking about a condition that gets into the lives of many bloggers from time to time – ‘Grumpy old blogger syndrome‘.

Before I continue – let me give a little disclaimer. You see, there are a number of very successful blogs that have a constantly negative or grumpy tone. These blogs have built this negativity into their brand and people actually read them because of the voice in which they are written.

However, in my opinion, these blogs are an exception and a rare species.


1. Negativity can kill your passion for your topic – If everything you ever write about your niche has a negative aroma, then it is very easy to become overly cynical and lose passion for your topic. Blogs are long-term endeavors, you need to be able to write about a topic for years before you set up. I don’t know about you, but if I were to write something negative every day for a year on any topic, I would be willing to insert that blog at that point.

2. Negativity creates a culture that readers accept – Check out the comments section of any successful blog and you will learn something about the bloggers behind the blog. You will not find out from the comments that bloggers leave themselves, but from a ton of comments from readers. Readers understand the tone in which bloggers write and copy it. If you are writing a negative, angry, fucked up blog – expect your readers to emulate this. Not only that – you will see other bloggers take the same tone when they write about you. Of course, you will get occasional angry comments on a positively written blog, but mostly you as a blogger will set the tone for the community of your blog.

3. Negativity can damage your reputation in your niche – If you are writing a blog to build your own profile and reputation in your chosen field of expertise, then you need to seriously consider the voice you are writing about. While occasional chatter can improve your reputation as someone who isn’t afraid to say things like it is – if your blog ‘turns around’ and constantly has a negative view of the world, it can affect the way others look at you. I personally imitate and admire those who are constructive in what they say and do more than those who just whine, ruin others and complain.

Tips for Overcoming Negative Blogger Syndrome:

Please don’t hear me claim that all bloggers suddenly become rude, sweet, optimistic guys who look at the world only through pink glasses. I didn’t. What I really stand for is balance. Write with your voice, say things as they are and don’t be afraid of criticism or statements when the time is right – however, don’t let your blog become a septic tank of negativity. A few last tips:

Say something constructive – Before you press a post on your next post, ask yourself if you said something constructive that your readers can take away? It doesn’t have to be a joyful optimistic post – but have you given your readers something they can go and apply? Have you given a solution? Have you added value to their lives in any way? I think blogs that improve the lives of their readers are blogs that keep people coming back to again and again.

Have a friend to take responsibility for – I have several bloggers who I gave permission to pull me because of my bad behavior on my blogs. They will occasionally send me an email or IM and ask me about a post I wrote in a comment I gave that signaled them to show grumpy old blogger syndrome. More often than not you don’t realize I’m in a rut before I do.

Take breaks – My own grumpiness is cyclical and is usually the opposite of the free time I have as a blogger. Take vacations, days off, don’t work all night – take care of yourself.

Get him out – Do you still feel negative? Can’t you keep it? Why not have a post from time to time that he took off your chest. There is nothing wrong with the occasional negative Rant. In fact, when done well, they can actually stimulate great discussion and noise on your blog. The key is not to let your normally positive blog chatter as in any post. Focus your negative energy on the occasional chatter, then let the rest of your blogging be in your usual style.

Additional reading: For a few more reflections how NOT to be a grumpy old blogger.

This post was first published on June 25, 2008 and updated on October 14, 2021.

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