So, what is this milestone? It’s when you get an email or a comment where someone will point out how much you suck.
I remember one of my first hate messages. This subscriber just wouldn’t leave me alone. She signed up for one of my freebies, and then she came back with a vengeance. How dare I offer something so useless? Dare I mention that the thing she received was free? That even though she had to subscribe to my newsletter, she could just as easily unsubscribe? I don’t see the point of such nonsensical messages aside from someone trying to inject a bit more toxicity into this world when there’s already so much of it.
Thankfully, hate messages are rare. But maybe because they’re rare, I find it hard to overlook them. I know these are BS words from people who have zero respect for other people, and that knowledge gives me some respite. But still, I’m a human being after all. And such words do upset me.
Take my latest hate email for example. I’m offering an SEO workshop later this month. And yes, it is NOT FREE. My product; I decide whether to make it free or paid. And yes, I sell stuff because I’m a human being. I have living expenses. This blog and all my products are in public service, but they’re also my source of rent, bills, and food on the table.
So when a subscriber goes out of their way to tell me that I’m scamming, or that they “thought [I] was on the good side but now have to reconsider,” just because I’m selling a workshop meant to teach SEO to my readers, it just blows my mind.
What do these people expect? What is goodness? What constitutes the “good side”? What makes these people think they can be so disrespectful to others?
As I said, I get messages like these from time to time. Jon Morrow of SmartBlogger has a blogging milestone post where he mentions getting hate messages as one of them. So I get it. It’s part of the job. But as a one-woman business owner, this sh*t gets to me.
Seeing how most of you—my readers—are also fellow bloggers, here’s something that can help you cope, if and when (mostly when) you get your own legion of anti-fans who only want to take from you and keep taking from you, even your peace of mind.
What to do when you get hate messages
- Ignore the people who have zero respect for you, your time, and your boundaries, as a fellow human being. There will be days when this will be harder to do than others, but remember, you owe them nothing. Respect is a two-way street.
- Do not respond to them. Do not reply to their emails. Do not approve their comments on your blog posts. They feed off of your reactions, don’t give them the satisfaction of attaining that goal.
- Remember that this is not volunteer work. Unless, of course, it is. But I know that for most of us it is not. This is our business. We create products, we sell them. Our customers purchase of their own accord. We’re not forcing them to pay us. You’re doing nothing wrong when you sell your products and services. Let me say this again. YOU ARE DOING NOTHING WRONG!
- You’re not here to please every single person who stumbles on your blog. You have your dedicated readers—those who like what you have to say. They understand you’re doing business. Some of them will buy from you, others will interact with you through meaningful comments. Some will send you words of kindness when you lose a parent. When blatant racism and bigotry and hatred around you get you down, some of your readers will reach out to you with words of comfort (you guys know who you are!). They’re the ones that stick by you. And they’re the reason why you do what you do. The haters do not matter. I repeat: THE HATERS DO NOT MATTER. Period.
- Hire a lawyer. If their actions start to feel like harassment—and I hope things never come down to that, but just in case—take legal action.
Don’t let the haters get you down. I understand that this blog post is my way of saying to you what I need to hear myself, but well, like I said, some days are worse than others. Some days my skin is thinner than I’d like it to be. Oh well.
Happy blogging, everyone. Also, let me know your thoughts on hate messages in the comments below. And for extra points, share the hate messages you’ve received. Let’s have some fun!