Blogs, especially corporate blogs, will have competitors (either a competing blog or a competing business). How you handle or address competitors on your blog will speak volumes about you as a person and as a business.
For the most part, always take the high road and never get caught up in a public and nasty feud with another blog or business.
Addressing the Competition in General
You should rarely mention a competitor by name. Though it is acceptable to name them when comparing aspects of a product or service make sure you keep a professional tone. Consumers are turned off when they see another company’s products being disparaged.
If you think your product or service is better, than focus your postings on the highlights of your products or services. Do not focus on pointing out problems with your competition.
Sometimes your best option is to mention competitors in a generic way. For example, “other products on the market”, or “similar types of products” are better terms for blogging purposes because they enable you to differentiate your products without specifically naming the competition.
Your readers may not even have known that a certain competitor existed so do not be quick to give them some free press on your blog.
Addressing Negative Postings from Competition
Addressing negative postings from your competition is a somewhat sticky subject. On one hand you want to address the posting, on the other hand your readers may not know the posting was even made. Addressing a posting may alert your readers to its existence for the first time.
How you handle negative postings will depend on the comments that were made by the competitor. Some comments can be ignored while other comments will need to be addressed.
Your first course of action may be to contact the competitor and request they remove any defamatory comments on their blog. You may be surprised at how many will honor the request, especially if it is made in a professional manor. If the comments at question appear on their blog but were not written directly by them they may be more than willing to remove the offending comments.
If the competitor refuses to remove a negative posting you can respond on your blog by addressing the accusations without indicating where they were made. This way you are able to respond without giving any unnecessary power to their blog posting.
Keep these things in mind when addressing the competition on your blog.
A Flaming on Your Blog
Flaming is something that every blogger will see from time to time. Basically flaming is when someone viciously attacks you or someone else that posts something on your blog. Typically a flaming is very personal and quite vicious.
It is important that you handle flaming in fact you probably want to have a written policy about inappropriate behavior on your blog including flaming.
How to Handle a Flaming on Your Blog
First and foremost you want to make sure you address any flaming or other personal attacks that appear on your blog. This is especially true if someone is attacking another reader of your blog. Your failure to handle these types of postings will make it appear as if you condone them. You want your readers to know that you value them and will make sure they are not attacked for participating on your blog.
The first thing you should do is delete the flaming post. Once it is deleted you should contact the person who was flamed and apologize for the behavior or the person who flamed them and let them know the offensive posting was removed.
After contacting the person who was flamed you need to contact the person who posted the inflammatory posting. You should let them know the offensive posting was removed and that you do not tolerate that type of behavior on your blog.
If their post was extremely offensive you can immediately ban them from your blog. The alternative is to warn them that if they post anything in the future that violates your blog policies they will be banned.
How to Handle You Being Flamed
If the personal attacks are directed at you, it is important to take action. Just as you would protect any member of your blog you need to protect yourself as well. Though you should always invite feedback and commentary, including negative commentary, you should not accept flaming.
Remove any inappropriate comments and provide a warning to the person who posted it. You can even invite them to post an edited version of their comments if appropriate. Most will probably not take you up on the offer but some may.
If you protect yourself and your readers from flaming you will be promoting a healthy environment where topics can be discussed and heated debates can ensue without rising to the level of inappropriate flaming on your blog.
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