It's the way of the world. Recently, I've been victim to both types of hating in relation to content on Anyonita Nibbles. And I've been approached by a quite a few bloggers seeking advice on how to handle hateful comments, pin descriptions and general feedback.
I'm going to share with you four methods for dealing with haters on your blog and I invite you to share your experiences with blog hate, too!
Dealing with Haters on Your Blogon
Written by: Anyonita Green
Respect your Haters
No matter if you're experiencing hatred because of the subject you post about, your opinion or stance on said subject or if someone is accusing you of ripping off their work, the best method for dealing with haters on your blog is to respect them.
Respect their time and effort--a lot of people may disagree with you and keep quiet about it, but the person who voices their disagreement, whether tactfully and professionally or brashly and with a bullying spirit, should be respected. Bu not pandered to.
I heard a quote once by a popular social media guru. He said (and I paraphrase) that if someone is hating against you or your work, it could mean that you're doing a bad job communicating your opinion. But more than that, you should respect your haters because they are sharing their feelings with you. They are tapping into their emotions which is exactly what you want your readers to do: to make an emotional connection. If their emotional connection leads them to a place in the opposite direction from where you'd want to go, that's okay. They're entitled to their differing opinion. Respecting your haters doesn't mean changing your work or your opinion to please them. It means listening to their opinion, acknowledging it and having the faith of your conviction to stand by what you believe.
Learn from your Haters
It goes hand in hand with respecting them, but your haters can teach you a lot about how people perceive your work. As I mentioned earlier, not everyone who disagrees with you is going to have the guts (or care enough!) to stand up to you and leave a comment detailing why you're wrong. Those who do, have something to teach you.
What are they trying to tell you? It could be something as simple as the tone of voice you wrote that post in doesn't work. Maybe you were going for hip and edgy, down-with-the-kids, but you came across as desperate and out of your depth. Listen to your haters. Learn from them.
When I first started sharing recipes on Anyonita Nibbles, I confused aioli and alioli. An early commenter quite snootily pointed out the differences and scoffed that I called myself a food blogger and could make such a basic error. At first, I was offended and then I was intrigued and that intrigue led to me researching and discovering the difference in the two sauces. If I had just huffed and deleted the comment, I wouldn't know the subtle differences today. It's not groundbreaking knowledge, but it does go to show that your haters can teach you things if you listen closely.
Thank your Haters
More recently, I noticed a lot of traffic on a particular blog post all coming from a website I had never heard of nor visited before. Intrigued, I followed the link and landed on a French blog. The blogger had reposted one of my photos (he hadn't altered it in any way and he gave full credit back to me, in line with my copyright policy) and then there was what appeared to be a lively debate going on in the comments.
A combination of Google Translate and my French speaking better half revealed that this blog post wasn't, as I had hoped, a glowing review of my recipe for bacon aioli (not sure what it is about this sauce, but everybody just wants to hate on it!). Instead, it was a rather scathing review about how disgusting it was that "a British woman" had added bacon to aioli and had thereby ruined this quintessentially Provencal sauce. The comments bantered on and on about the daft cooking habits of the British with all manner of naysayers and scoffers lining up to lay claim to my stupidity in adding bacon in an aioli.
Initially, I was furious and insulted. But then I did another check at my blog stats for the week. He had brought enough traffic to my blog that week to be my third highest source of referral traffic! How could I be upset about that?! His hating and meanness helped me to round off some numbers in my Adsense, meaning I got paid for his trolling. Caching! So, what did I do?
I left him a comment detailing a few things:
I thanked him for using my work properly (with the link back giving me credit) then I pointed out to him that although I live in the UK, I'm not British. I reminded him that I was an American and we kind of have a reputation for bastardizing the cuisines and language of other countries and making them 100 times better. :) Then I explained to him that my recipe for bacon aioli was inspired by a restaurant I'd been to. A New Zealand restaurant, in fact and that this affront against the holy Provencal aioli was happening on a global scale. Lastly, I genuinely thanked him for sending so much traffic to my blog. :)
Win your Haters Over
You know the phrase "Kill 'em with kindness"? That definitely applies here. It's so easy to get riled up when someone is seen hating on our hard work, but the most effective thing you can do is to win them over.
Ask yourself: what don't they like? and then how can I address that?
Of course, this method means you have to pick your battles. If someone doesn't like the font you've chosen for your blog title, then that's probably one thing that you're going to have to let go. But there are other things that people might hate on you about that you could change or tweak.
If, however, you're receiving hate mail about something that you cannot or will not change, then you could work to a mutually beneficial decision to agree to disagree. This month I was approached by a blogger who posts blogging tutorials. She was dead convinced that I had stolen her work. After a lot of rigamarole and sending the links of my tutorials and her tutorials to a few other bloggers, we all came to the basic conclusion that she was generally nuts. There was no link as she was suggesting. I hadn't stolen her content in the slightest. the only similarity in our posts was that they were on the same subject and they were both written by women. Other than that? Zilch. She took the route of "you have breached my copyright" so, after seeking legal advice, I was informed I couldn't ignore her bogus claims. Instead, I decided to agree to disagree and inserted a no-follow link to her blog. But perhaps not in the way she was initially intending I would. My point is this: even in a drastic and completely bogus situation, there are opportunities to win over your haters. I confirmed in an email that all she wanted was a link from my blog to hers to satisfy her bellyaching. She said, yes, that that would be fine, so I gave her a link. But not without explaining the story and defending my reputation as a reputable blogger capable of creating her own content. What was that quote from The Breakfast Club? "Don't mess with the bull, young man; you'll get the horns."
Ultimately when it comes to blog haters, be prepared to write their hatred off as being their loss. You're fabulous; your blog is great. You work hard putting your time, effort and energy into your blog. If others can't see that, then it's their fault. Keep doing you. The right readers will stumble across your blog and be totally worth it.
Have you experienced any type of hatred on your blog? How did you deal with it? Share your experience in the comments.
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