Some people just don't like you. Reasonably or unreasonably, no matter what you do, they will find fault with you. On the Internet, hate is easy to share - after all, as the saying goes, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."
I've had more than my share of hate mongers. A few years ago, I was attacked by a rather distasteful blogger who accused me of running a scam business with my print-on-demand company. He got all his writer friends to post nasty things about me - even though he and I had not only never done business together, we'd never met. He happened to read an article I wrote on another blog - showing the growing trend of traditional publishers to tapping into bloggers. No amount of proof I presented would change his mind - I was a scam artist and anyone who worked with me was throwing their money away.
It was sad and unsettling and...it bordered on defamation of character. When we pushed back with that information, that he was treading close to defamation, he went away. Hmmm...
After the fact, I realized that I never should have engaged him at all. He had his preconceived notion that I was bad, he was not willing to look at the facts, and his 'friends' were more than willing to join in the name calling. It's the Internet - what could happen to him? Nothing - except lots more traffic to HIS blog.
I was reading an article on Business on Main recently that reminded me of that incident. I wish I'd had this advice when I was going through the trial of being attacked - and I'm glad to share with you, so you're able to head this off at the pass, should it ever happen to you! Mind you, this addresses those folks who don't want you to even know who they are - I knew who my attacker was and... it wasn't any easier.
9 Ways to Approach Anonymous Haters Online - here are a few ideas. Do visit the link for all nine of them.
“To address these ‘haters,’ one must understand why they hate in the first place. Typically, these ‘haters’ aren’t happy with what they’re doing themselves in their lives and professional careers. They resent the fact that entrepreneurs are able to do something they enjoy and work toward a goal they set for themselves. The best tactic is to embrace the haters instead of trying to counter and fight back. Haters will hate until they solve their own issues. One can point them in the right direction or give them some advice. Those who aren’t looking for or are not open to advice can simply be ignored. If an entrepreneur spends all his time trying to fight haters, he’s wasting his time and, essentially, letting the haters win.”
— Jordan Edelson, CEO of Appetizer Mobile LLC, a mobile development application platform and consulting company
“My advice would be to think like a professional athlete. Stay focused, become the best you can be, take in the advice of those who have your best interests, and know you are going to change and grow as a person. Ultimately this means that the way you do business and run your life is going to change. You will get to a point where you don’t care what people write about you. Unless they have been entrepreneurs themselves, they have no idea how hard it is to run a business. Just focus on what you’re doing.”
— Amy Palmer, Emmy Award-nominated entertainment correspondent, executive producer, CEO and founder of PowerWomenTV
“It’s unfortunate that people put negative energy out there, but ultimately they are only hurting themselves, so I ignore it and I would advise other entrepreneurs to do the same.”
— Natalie MacNeil, Emmy Award-winning digital media entrepreneur and founder and editor-in-chief of She Takes on the World, a leading blog for women in business
All in all the experts are right - don't take it personally, ignore the hate-mongers, but address issues that affect your business by being open to discussion. If it's necessary to take it offline, do so. Remember - you own your blog. If someone is misbehaving, for whatever reason, you can block them or delete their comments. If they continue hating you on their blog - move on to other things. Life is too short to engage in endless hate mongering.
Lip-sticking is part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.