As Nick Kelly (aka Victor Pride) put it, haters are fans in denial. They’re people who are so triggered by your very existence that they spend countless hours dissing you, poring over your collected works, and cursing you with every breath. By merely typing words on a screen, you can send whole swathes of the population into angry, screaming convulsions about what an big meanie you are. For example, here’s one of my all-time favorite hate emails:
FUCK YOU MATT FORNEY. YOU ARE LITERALLY THE MOST WARPED USELESS PEICE OF SHIT THAT I HAVE EVER HAD THE DISPLEASURE TO ENCOUNTER, INTERNET OR ELSEWHERE. YOU ARE SO FUCKING STUPID THAT YOU PROBABLY DIDNT EVEN NOTICE MY EARLIER MISSPELLING OF THE WORD PIECE. YOU ARE SEXIST, TRANSPHOBIC, RACIST, AND HOMOPHOBIC ALL AT ONCE. I LITERALLY HAVE NO CLUE HOW ANY GIRL WOULD EVER SPEAK O YOU, LET ALONE DATE YOUR SORRY ASS. I AM ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDED BY THE WAY YOU VIEW WOMEN. “Confident women dont see men as human beings.” THAT SENTENCE IS SO FUCKING STUPID. ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE YOU FUCKING WRITE. 1. YOURE SO MOTHERFUCKING WRONG. HAVING CONFIDENCE DOESNT MAKE YOU VIEW MEN AS LESSER BEINGS. 2. YOU OBVIOUSLY DONT SEE WOMEN AS HUMAN BEINGS. TO YOU, WE EVIDENTLY EXIST JUST TO STROKE YOUR FUCKING CREEPY BONERS AND NEVER THINK ABOUT OUR OWN HAPPINESS FOR A MOMENT BECAUSE WERE TOO BUSY MAKING A FUCKING SANDWICH. SO BASICALLY YOU ARE A HUGE ASS HYPOCRITE. FUCK YOU FUCK YOUR PARENTS FUCK ALL YOUR FRIENDS FUCK EVERYONE WHO READS YOUR SHITTY SITE AND FUCK EVERYONE ELSE WHO THINKS LIKE YOU. I ACTUALLY HOPE YOU WILL REALIZE ONE DAY JUST HOW SHITTY YOU ARE, BUT YOU PROBABLY WONT. SO WHY DONT YOU JUST DO THE WORLD A FAVOR AND DELETE YOUR SHITTY ASS WEBSITE FOR GODDAMN STRAIGHT WHITE MALE NECKBEARD FEDORA WEARING ENTITLED AS FUCK DICKWIPES AND NEVER LOG ONTO THE INTERNET AGAIN. IN FACT, CAN YOU JUST NEVER COMMUNICATE WITH ANYONE ELSE EVER AGAIN JUST TO BE SAFE? THANK YOU AND GO FUCK YOURSELF. FEEL FREE TO REPLY TO THIS BECAUSE I COULD LITERALLY TALK ALL DAY ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
To paraphrase the son of God, the haters you will always have with you. There will always be sad souls who don’t realize that obsessing over your every move reveals how pathetic they are. So why not make them useful? Why not have them do your marketing for you? Technically, they already are—by merely mentioning your name over and over, they’re driving up public awareness of you and your works—but you can take it to the next level by turning their attempts to slam you into positives.
For example, one of the reasons I’m so successful is because I control my Google results. The majority of links on the first page of a Google search for “Matt Forney” are positive ones: the top five are links to my blog, YouTube channel, Return of Kings archive and other pages. The vast majority of searches don’t go past page one and very few people look at image or video results unless they’re looking for something specific, so virtually everyone who Googles my name will go exactly where I want them to go.
A couple of months ago, a pair of knuckleheads bragged about how they were going around Chicago posting stickers of me on lampposts, in train stations and public bathrooms. The stickers were a parody of my logo, making my head look weird and calling me “Fatt Morney” (how creative):
Think about it: these dweebs were so obsessed with me that they spent their own time and money to print up stickers of me and post them around the city. They actually think they’re hurting me. You quite literally cannot buy advertising this effective.
The only thing I needed to fix: adjust the Google results for “Fatt Morney” so that they directed people where I wanted them to go.
To that end, I created a page on my blog titled “Fatt Morney” similar to my About page, giving an overview of my work, as well as links to my social media profiles and articles I’ve written for other sites. I gave it a little SEO juice and within no time at all, it became the number one hit for “Fatt Morney” on Google. Amusingly, the number two hit is also another page from my blog:
This means that every time these two idiots post a “Fatt Morney” sticker around Chicago, anyone who sees it and Googles it will land on my website, see what I’m like, and might become a new reader. They think they’re hurting me when they’re literally helping grow my audience.
Haters are a precious resource. Their tireless efforts to get one over on you work to your advantage by allowing you to get your name out there for free. Use them, laugh at them, and laugh all the way to the bank.
Read Next: How to Deal with Haters
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