It’s inevitable—you work hard at creating content only to end up getting trolled. Or you’re simply <<online>> just existing, minding your own business, and not bothering anyone. You’re just doing your own thing, happily. Then, along comes a troll with a troll-y thing to say:
If this type of thing has held you back from becoming an online content creator, stop letting this happen.
Trolls are inevitable. Nasty comments are inevitable. Don’t let this hold you back from sharing your true self.
Decide What Your Boundaries as a Content Creator Will Be
Will you respond to trolls? Block them? Delete their comments, or do some combination of all this? My policy is to ignore trolls. Here’s how I define a “troll.”
A troll is a nameless, faceless, identity-less entity that posts nasty comments to get a rise out of you. They never have any content of their own posted on socials. They’re just there to be nasty.
My personal policy is not to engage. I ignore, block, and delete comments like the above. I’m well aware of how some people choose to see Reiki (and incorrectly at that). Those people aren’t my customers! Why waste time on trolls?
I delete these comments so my clients who care about Reiki don’t have to see them. Many people come to the spiritual and healing arts after religious injury. The above sure sounds like that type of thing, doesn’t it? This is why I deleted it. (But am posting here with context for the sake of helping other content creators).
Realize it’s not about YOU
When a troll chimes in with negativity, it’s about them, not YOU. That’s assuming they’re a real person and not a bot. Let’s assume they’re a real person. Whatever nastiness they have to share is about THEM. It’s their life, beliefs, experiences, and internal garbage they haven’t healed that make them spread negativity about others’ creative work. They’re energy vampires and attention seekers; don’t give in.
It may be tempting to argue, but I always remind myself I didn’t schedule “arguing with trolls” into my day.
I also know I can’t argue with the beliefs of others. We don’t have to believe the same thing. I’m not going to change what others believe by arguing with a YouTube comment. I don’t need to convert anyone into a believer in Reiki. I always ask Reiki to bring me the right people at the right time. Reiki also works on consent—so if you don’t like it and don’t want it, it won’t come to you. Pure and simple.
When People Start Talking About “Demons,” They May Be Mentally Ill
Reiki is about love, light, Source Energy, positive vibrations, and healing. It is spiritual, not religious. Some people try to make it religious; it’s not. Reiki doesn’t conflict with others’ religious beliefs. Sometimes, the “demon” talk is about religions or the Bible.
Sometimes, it’s something else. This can often be a mentally ill person who focuses on “demons” or “spirits.”
I worked in the addiction field inside a county crisis center; I know the warning signs of common mental illnesses and drug use. People who are severely persistently mentally ill (SPMI) often focus on “demons”—or in the case of certain illnesses like schizophrenia, they have no choice. “Demons” or "voices” are constant in their heads. I know better than to argue with the hallucinations of those who experiencing mental health issues.
How does it look when someone argues with (or believes) the ramblings of a mentally ill person? It doesn’t look very good and there’s no positive outcome for either party. Let the mentally ill have their delusions and don’t argue with them. Let them be.
Ask Yourself if the Commenter…May Have a Point!
My very first Ship 30 essay in 2022 drew the ire of people in the recovery community because I wrote about how “rock bottom” is a myth. This is an idea the “recovery community” at large isn’t ready for. Even people outside this group aren’t ready for this thinking to be challenged.
But the complainers had a point!
My thinking, and therefore writing, hadn’t been clear enough. They didn’t “get” it and that was on me. I realized it was too complicated a subject for a 250-word Twitter essay. I also realized it’s a topic better suited for those like myself, who are recovered—not in a perpetual state of “recovery.” I rewrote the topic better after thinking more deeply about it. Version two was clearer and didn’t draw any negativity. This brings me to my next point…
The Worst Thing About Creating Content Is…
Crickets. You work hard! You created the coolest piece of content, shipped it, and… crickets. You received ZERO comments. Not even one complaint! The worst part about being a content creator is releasing an idea you’re passionate about to no reaction at all. Maybe it’s a video, a podcast, or a blog post.
The result is no reaction at all.
This is the worst! Did anyone even see it? You check your analytics. OK, the analytics prove people saw it. But they didn’t engage!? 😔
Most of the content your produce, in the beginning, is for the sake of showing up, putting in the reps, and building up an audience (and brand, for those who are marketing-savvy). From time to time, you will see which content draws engagement.
Is it relatable? Does it make people feel something? Then people will likely engage with it.
Content is no less if it receives zero engagement.
This type of content still helps people get to know you. It still serves your search rankings. It still acts as your business card. It’s still something you can link to on social or put into a newsletter.
Don’t let the trolls prevent you from creating content or enjoying something.
I know this is easier said than done, so give it a try. Approach it as a practice you will grow to be better at with each piece of content you ship. You’ll have more positive experiences than negative. Most interactions will be neutral.