Tag: critics

The Worst Blog Post Ever: How Trolls Can Ruin You (If You Let Them)

This week, I’ve been getting a lot of negativity from different places in my life and it’s been challenging. If you get enough negativity at the same time, it can wear you down. I’m going to share one example for you because there’s a crucial lesson to be learned from it.

The Worst Blog Post Ever: How Trolls Can Ruin You (If You Let Them)

Well, first of all, I worked very hard on this Udemy course on Bass Guitar back in December and January. Hours and hours were spent outlining, filming, editing and recording voiceovers. I finally released it in February and sent out a few free coupons to promote the new course. About a week or two later, I received my first review. Here’s what the review said:

“THIS IS AS BAD AS IT GETS – BE WARNED

If you’ve already been playing more than 5 minutes, you already know more than what’s in this course. Even if you’re a complete beginner i would say don’t do this course unless you want to see a bunch of stuff played badly with virtually no explanation.

You will learn a few ultra basic bass lines with no understanding of what you’re doing. And as an added bonus you will learn really bad technique as well. If you get a coupon to see this for free, do it to see how NOT to play bass. If you don’t have a coupon, do not waste one cent on this course”

Upon reading this review, my mood was changed for the rest of the day. It caught me off guard and stressed me out. My first Udemy course on Garageband had received nothing but 5-star reviews from the get-go, and now this new course was already hit with this 1-star bomb. As soon as I got home from work, I got to work on adding about 15 new lectures to improve the course, which included videos, charts and all sorts of detailed explanations. At the time of the review, my course was basically brand new, and I was hoping that the first batch of students would be able to provide me some useful feedback on how to improve the course, but instead I received this bomb of a review which made me re-think the entire course. I started to panic and even considered deleting the entire course. I didn’t want a bunch of people to have the same reaction.

So time went by and I wound up having very satisfying sales growth in March and April. I noticed that people were signing up for the Bass Guitar course and leaving 5 star reviews. The Garageband course was far and away my biggest hit in those 2 months, but my Bass Guitar course was steadily growing as well. In May, I took a look back at my reviews and decided to reach out to the one bad review guy. I sent him a message that said:

“Hi [name not disclosed],

Thank you for the feedback on my course. I took a lot of what you wrote in your review and used it as motivation to improve. Since your review, I’ve made about 15 new lectures which patch up a lot of the information that may have been missing in the early version of the course- keep in mind that the course was about 3 weeks old when you wrote your review. Anyway, I’ve put a ton of time and work into creating and improving the course and would love if you could re-evaluate my course now that it’s been updated. Student feedback is huge.

Anyway, I hope that you are enjoying the course and that you continue to stay active on Udemy. Best wishes.

Sincerely,

Matt”

That was my attempt at being polite and professional. Within a day, I noticed that my the one bad review was updated:

“THIS IS AS BAD AS IT GETS – BE WARNED

If you’ve already been playing more than 5 minutes, you already know more than what’s in this course. Even if you’re a complete beginner i would say don’t do this course unless you want to see a bunch of stuff played badly with virtually no explanation.

You will learn a few ultra basic bass lines with no understanding of what you’re doing. And as an added bonus you will learn really bad technique as well. If you get a coupon to see this for free, do it to see how NOT to play bass. If you don’t have a coupon, do not waste one cent on this course

*****UPDATE******

Since my review he has added some new lectures so i thought i’d check some of them out. In lecture 10 he says to “play F on the 3rd fret of the E string”. WRONG, and typical of the standard of this guys “teaching”. In lecture 34, “pentatonic scale explained”, he doesn’t mention even once the vital fact that it’s a MINOR pentatonic scale as opposed to a major pentatonic scale. In fact he never clearly explains what a pentatonic scale actually is at all.

Please buy this course if you want to be “taught” (confused) by a guy who has awful technique and no ability to explain or teach anything with any accuracy or clarity.”

After I received this updated review, I started to realize that maybe my course really wasn’t that bad to begin with and that I might have just been dealing with a troll.

What’s a troll? Well, according to Google, it is “a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance.”

In the modern sense of the word, it’s uglier than that. According to urbandictionary.com, a troll is “one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”

Trolls can strike at any time. On my YouTube channel, I’d get hit with a troll-like comment every now and again, but the positive comments from people drowned out the trolls pretty quickly. Often, I’d find that my subscribers would come to my defense on certain issues that the trolls would start. It was an amazing feeling. From my experience on YouTube, I should’ve known that the best way to silence the trolls is to simply drown them out with quality content, which will inevitably lead to real humans leaving positive feedback.

The 3 reviews that I received after this one bad review have been gushing 5-star reviews.

REVIEW 2:

“More Than Your Average Lesson

This course is great! It teaches you more than just the basic steps of how to play bass, but it also teaches you how to play scales and popular bass lines. You can tell that he pushes rehearsal and self-taught techniques because he creates background tracks for you to rehearse with that match the new concepts he wants you to learn.”

REVIEW 3:

Great Course for Beginners!

This is a great course for beginners. Easy to understand, and very down to earth, and he breaks it down clearly. I was able to play some songs on the bass after taking this course. I learned alot of the basics quickly and easily!

REVIEW 4:

“Wow, I guess I can play the bass!

I am learning the bass out of necessity to join a friend’s band. I was told that i could just pick it up and figure it out, so I bought a bass and went to my first band practice… boy was my friend wrong! After feeling overwhelmed and discouraged for a while, i found this course and gave it a try. Within minutes i was getting a grasp of concepts my friend had tried (and failed) to show me, and at the next band practice I stunned the rest of the rest of the band with my progress. The course is fast paced, but the instructor is very clear and understandable, and you can always replay any section you had trouble with. The instructor seems generally concerned with the progress and success of his students and is quick to answer any questions. Learning an instrument is hard work, but with this course it is a manageable and rewarding process. Thanks!”

So far, almost 75% of my Udemy sales for this month (May 2015) have been from people signing up for the Bass Guitar course. To this day, the Bass Guitar course is my second best seller on Udemy and NO ONE has requested a refund.

To think that I almost deleted the course because of one startling review is crazy now. At the time, it wasn’t so crazy.

I’m telling you this story because I want to help remind you that you need to have thick skin when it comes to stuff like business or music. There are always going to be people trying to shoot you down when you put yourself out there. I almost gave in, but I’m so thankful that I didn’t because I’m now reaping the rewards of my hard work and tenacity.

If you’d like to check out the course, it’s here.

Do you have a story where you stayed strong even when someone tried to shoot you down?