Posted April 9, 2011 12:05 am by with 4 comments

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If you have spent any good amount of time online you have probably heard the now infamous saying, “Haters gonna hate”. No one is really sure where it came from, but it’s clear to see that it struck a nerve with internet users in a big way.

[…] a popular catchphrase used to indicate one’s complete disregard for an individual or a group’s hostile remarks addressed towards the speaker. [via]

Haters are all over the internet. They are in our comments, in our twitter feeds, and sometimes even in our email. If you are an online entrepreneur then you can multiply your hater count by 100! Because the truth is that haters are attracted to successful people. And at the same time, they hate successful people because they realize that success is hard work, and they aren’t cut out for it.

If you are Peter Shankman, Danni Burns, or even Katt Williams (NSFW language) then you even welcome haters. I mostly couldn’t agree more…


…calling someone a hater is dismissive. It completely shuts down dialog and makes it possible to miss important feedback about yourself or your business. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that haters don’t exist. I am saying that if you fail to recognize who the real haters are, then you will be guilty of alienating yourself from those that matter. This is a real issue that I have seen community managers and entrepreneurs fail at. So here are three easy ways to spot a hater.

Haters are Incoherent. Remember when you were 5 and kids used to say things like, “You’re a poopie face!” and “Eeww you have cooties!” So those types of remarks didn’t make much sense back then and they still don’t. Many times haters will resolve to naming calling and accusations that don’t make any sense. This is because their true motivation is much deeper than you, it’s something within themselves they reflect out. People that offer constructive criticism on the other hand, often use coherent thoughtful arguments to articulate their concern. These are the folks you need to listen too.

Haters Don’t Listen To Reason. Many times when a company is faced with a disgruntled user online they will bend over backwards to make things right. For most this would be a settable and would appease their concerns. However haters are a different story. Their discontent doesn’t really exist with you or your company but with something missing inside themselves. There’s nothing you can do to make things better for them.

Haters Don’t Sign Their Name. Have you ever noticed that the most annoying and combative commenters use a fake or generic name without a valid e-mail or URL? This is the typical signature of your garden-variety Internet troll. Haters often don’t sign their name because they don’t value their own convictions. They understand that their words can have an impact and are worried of that impact being connected back to them. However, people that believe in what they have to say proudly signed their name and include this a link back.

If you are building a business online, then you need to hone your “hater vision”. Because wasting time with them can (and will) ruin you. But missing out on the wrong people is just blind arrogance that needs to be taken care of. Because it’s the ones that really care that will tell you what your doing wrong in order to make your company and the world a better place. These folks are golden. They are the exact opposite of haters, so make sure you don’t confuse the two!

  • Great article!
    If you ever visit forums you’ll really see haters in full blossom. They always makes millions of dollars, have a list of 70.000 people and still have time to spend many hours in forums, naming a lot of people idiots and worse.

    I never ever ever go into arguments, or even comment these haters. I know that I will just end up being hurt and frustrated. I just tell myself that they have a problem, that I can’t solve anyway.

    On the other wonderfull side, I have found so many positive supportive people on line, some of them are now dear friends.

    So don’t let the haters get any of your precious time – leave it to the wonderfull people online – they are just waiting to get to know you.

    Treat others, the same way you want to be treated 🙂

    Thanks for a great read 🙂

  • I’ve recently had to face my first hater since my blog is not even 3 months old. It felt a little weird in the beginning, but it must mean I’m doing something right ^^

  • Great article! I have a blog and though it’s not hugely popular I still get my fair share of haters. I’m always appreciative of criticism and dialogue, but the occasional name-calling and put-downs are so juvenile. I wrote an article about this a while back:

  • Great points! Companies have to to acknowledge the trolls, but really focus on the concerns of real people. Trolls are sometimes just out to make trouble and they know it. But a consumer with a legitimate issues needs to be recognized.