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Feedback 101: What to Do With Negative Website Content Feedback

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In the past couple of posts, we’ve been diving into the realm of feedback, including how to ask for it and how to give it to your copywriters. Today’s post focuses on helping writers when they receive less than stellar feedback from clients after delivering their work. What do you do with negative website content feedback?

All Feedback Is Good Feedback

No one wants to hear that their work wasn’t quite what a client expected. The good news is that any feedback you receive is good feedback when it comes to delivering high-quality work. “Negative” or constructive feedback gives you the opportunity to improve. It’s a gift really.

In our experience, clients don’t necessarily enjoy giving constructive feedback. But they do enjoy it when a team of professionals takes that feedback and uses it to create work both parties can be proud of. In fact, it’s a great way to keep them coming back when their content needs to grow.

How to Handle Negative Website Content Feedback

1. Don’t Respond in Anger or Frustration

“The greatest remedy for anger is delay.” —Thomas Paine

As human beings, our first instinct is defense. We may feel our feathers go up at the first sign of an unhappy client. And it’s in these moments that our tongues may go before our brain fires.

Yet, just like Mr. Paine said, the best way to respond is to delay any response at all. Take a step back from your desk. Go for a walk. And realize that receiving negative feedback is inevitable—pleasing everyone with every first draft isn’t possible.

So, listen to the feedback and do what it takes to process it. Talk it out with your team or scream into a pillow. Then, respond to your client with gratitude and get those revisions into your workflow.

2. Learn From the Feedback

Ego is dangerous. Ego says that you’re as good as you could ever be and no one better question your abilities. The truth is, there’s always room for improvement, no matter how talented at creating content you might be.

Take the website content feedback your client gives and learn from it. What can you do better next time? How can you use the feedback to improve your content for all of your clients? 

Again, feedback of any kind is a gift given freely to you from those who matter most in your business. Use it wisely.

3. Know When to Ask Questions

“This misses the mark.” “I don’t like this at all.” Remember those blanket statements? They’re not at all helpful for anyone trying to create content. 

If you receive a statement like this and not much else, it’s best to get to the root of the issue, so you can correct it. Ask your client what it is about the content that doesn’t work. Or, you might offer to hop on a call with them to go over the content in real-time.

Pro Tip

Remember that in these moments, you’re also teaching your clients how to deliver feedback that’s useful. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to deliver a great second draft.

4. Don’t Try to Read Between the Lines

You’re not dealing with an autoresponder on the other end of that client email. There’s a human on the other side who may have had a bad day or may be under some pressure to get a project completed. 

To save your sanity, don’t get wrapped up in the “tone” of their email or word choice. Don’t try to read between the lines. Instead, focus on the actual feedback and deliver. You’ll drive yourself insane otherwise.

5. Know When to Walk Away

Not every client you take on will be a great fit for your services. If you’ve done all you can do and your client still isn’t happy, it might be best to walk away. And that’s okay! Just make sure you deliver your projects and tie up any loose ends first.

Pro Tip

To help combat “poor fit” relationships, suggest completing a test project with each new client. This gives you and your client the opportunity to make sure it’s a good fit before diving in too deep.

Struggling With Getting Your Content “Just Right?”

Sometimes, you might feel as if you’re receiving more constructive criticism than glowing reviews. After all, content creation can be a struggle at times. If you feel like you’re “stuck,” we’re here to help. Reach out to the Word Nerds today!

Custom Content Solutions

A Content Marketing Agency
Since 2013, Custom Content Solutions has been offering brand-driven, audience-focused SEO content to small and mid-sized businesses. By leaning into the Connection Copywriting Method, created by founder Cari O’Brien, we deliver search-optimized copy for websites and blogs that connects with ideal audiences and converts them into dream clients.

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