How To Stop Yourself Looking Like An Idiot

Recently I have read a couple (about 4) different posts all talking about the same person in a negative way and to be honest that person wholeheartedly deserves it. Let me give you the outline, someone is releasing a product, a popular website then reviewed that product and found fault with it, but wrote an objective and well written post about it all. The person selling that product flew of the handle and publicly threatened to sue the website which is a one person site.

Now I’m not going to link to the post in question because I have vowed never to get back into the ”blog bashing” scene again, not that the post in question was, I just think it’s better to focus on this message than directing you to quite a hostile comments section that will potentially distract you from you building your empire.

Predictably the websites readers and fans rallied round and told the product seller where to get off. Now that website has an Alexa ranking of about 60,000 and a few hundred subscribers. This in it’s self is a huge problem because that means thousands of visitors are going to read that attack every month.

The bigger problem with that is because the site is popular then it automatically attracts extremely popular sites who also hold a lot of weight. Before you know it you have 10 very popular websites all talking about what an idiot you have been.

So how can you stop this happening to you?;

  • Don’t be an Idiot!

Seems like an obvious thing to say right? Yeah it is, because it’s so obvious, if you running an online business then you have to talk to people properly just as you would in person, you wouldn’t want to walk into a bricks and morter shop taking a product back because it didn’t work, to be met with a barrage of abuse and to be told you would be sued for libel would you?

The way I approach everything in life is two fold, Treat everyone how you would want to be treated yourself and don’t do or say anything you would be ashamed for your family to see. It’s so easy to treat people properly and like human beings, don’t puff out your chest and push past everyone thinking you are the authority.

  • Talk

I accept advice or suggestions from everyone, I’m quite happy to admit I’m the original dumb ass who grew up with nothing. The only thing I know how to do is my own way and that’s head down and go for it, but I do know that you have to listen to people when they are trying to help. Having no qualifications to speak of I openly admit this is a massive learning experience for me, but by being honest about it, others can see the journey of this site and draw from it.

The other thing this site serves to do is let everyone talk to everyone else which is really important, the last thing you want to do is speak down to someone like you are the ruling authority on everything ever said. Being in the social media, motivation, traffic market place I talk about it all the time. The one thing you can’t do is to talk with such arrogance you create a divide between you and everyone else beneath you. David Risley is a great example of someone who has made it and making a great living online but keeping it real, he understands that humility and the importance of giving back.

When you start ignoring people, thinking that you are right you are heading for a huge fall, no one ever starts knowing everything or having thousands of subscribers so remember where you come from.

  • Humble

Do you remember your first comment? I do , in fact I know the last comment I got when I checked 20 minutes ago, I have also emailed the same person 5 times today helping them get a guest post just right for this site. I remember speaking to a good friend of mine the other day who has guest posted here and everywhere else it seems like. He sent a guest post into a very famous problogger in the hope to get new exposure, no reply after a week, he chased it up still no reply, nothing on twitter either.

Now sometimes I have the odd time when it takes me longer than 12/24hrs to reply but I always reply. People who don’t reply to emails or any other form of contact because they feel their time is too valuable wasting it on people who are trying to climbs the ranks are massively out of line.

Do you remember your first traffic spike? Do you remember the time when you got your comments into double figures for one post? Do you remember the first time someone you admire commented on your site? Maybe some of this is yet to come, but remember that feeling because if you ever lose it and start to think you are special, you’re heading for failure.

Your readers and customers make your site and business what it is, you’re simply showing them what you have to offer.

What does everyone think?

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  1. Great post man! I totally agree with the last point about humility. People often forget to give back. Though its not mandatory but it shows that you also care about your readers
    I know this is harsh but there are a few blogs I have stopped visiting after none of the authors replied my comments, mails or even checked out my blog and even leave a little comment such as “keep up” .

    I think part of building a community is about helping each other, because they wouldnt have being where they are without people stumbling upon them and reading, tweeting and commenting on their work. Sometimes I tweet not because I like the post, just because I know by tweeting I will be helping spread his word around.

    Ps: I noticed something you did yesterday which was great! You spent most of your time retweeting other people’s blog post as well as commenting on them giving them some words of encouragement.
    .-= Martin´s last blog ..Are you on these lists? Then quit now! =-.

  2. Great advice James. Sometimes people can’t remember the obvious and the simple things like be nice, be humble. I am still working on some of the firsts that you mentioned but it is coming. It is cool when your traffic is consistent every day and people actually do comment. It is cool to see my name on the frequent commenters list too. I feel like I am dong something right!
    Thanks man, have a good weekend
    .-= Justin Matthews´s last blog ..How to Traumatize the Kids Without Really Trying =-.

  3. I do remember my first comment. I couldn’t wait to answer her back. I remember my last comment and couldn’t wait to answer it back. It’s like a drug sometimes…..but then again I guess that’s the difference between some of us that make it big and some of those that get a big head. I always say, “I hope my hat will always fits”.
    I think I’ve read, well I know I’ve read the post, at least one of the ones your referring to….
    .-= Lees Shizzle´s last blog ..Bullet Proof Internet Lifestyle What is It? The Bald Face Truth =-.

  4. Honestly James, this line says it all, “Your readers and customers make your site and business what it is, you’re simply showing them what you have to offer.”

    You have to get out there and show who you are and what you do but ultimately if no one cares and comes to your site then it’s all nothing. It’s a complete waste of time and energy which is why you have to be out there and knowing what’s going on as well as where you were so you can keep going on.
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..Are You Giving The “Gurus” More Business =-.

      1. If I’m understanding you correctly I know what you mean. Once someone gets to “the top” or close to it they think it’s all fun and games and say forget about the readers.

        What they need to remember is the only reason they’re there is because OF the readers. No one else. Well, maybe buyers but you get my point. If not for them (us) then they probably wouldn’t be at the point they are.

        If more people remembered that things would go a lot smoother.
        .-= Eric´s last blog ..Are You Giving The “Gurus” More Business =-.

  5. WOW! good to know it’s not me 😉

    I recently brought a plugin for WordPress, and I was preparing a new website depending on that plugin because it seemed to me the ideal plugin, and was having good support forum and everything, but unfortunately and suddenly the plugin was not working good at some point, everybody discovered this late! it was having so many problems but no body knows!

    I spend more than $300 for the plugin, new theme and some other stuff!

    The guy disappeared after he toke money from all members who brought and paid for him, and the forum is closed and there is no reply for our emails!

    I didn’t chase him and I will not do it, I think some times it’s better to forget about it, and let some other guys deal with him, some times silent will lead to the same results, and I don’t like to write bad reviews about a person was starting his first project and failed on managing it, then he had to run a way because he can not face the community (this is what I think about this case). it’s just a personal opinion!

    But in the case of your post topic, I think that guy deserve it not because he was reselling something doesn’t belong to him, but because he got caught :)

    Thank you for the good post!
    .-= Hesham @ FamousBloggers´s last blog ..What’s the Relationship between Money, Blog Comments and True Love? =-.

  6. So fortunate that stuff really bores me.

    Whenever I have issues with something or someone, I have some good friends. We help each other that way.

    Years ago I used to post sometimes when someone’s customer service angered me. Nowadays, I just don’t have the time to put that energy into. Just stop doing business with them.

    So much easier.
    .-= Dave Doolin´s last blog ..Top 10 Traits for Finding Your League of Extraordinary Bloggers – Saturday Morning Surfing =-.

  7. Heh, I know what conversation you’re on about too – getting a little out of hand I’d say. Anyway…

    I think part of the problem is that we, as bloggers (and possibly as people) take ourselves WAY too seriously. Think about it, we’re online talking in a space that anyone could look at at any time. Not exactly the point of your post, but what happens when the knowledge that anyone can see gets to you, and suddenly you’re super serious all the time and whenever someone suggests a joke post or whatever your first reaction is worry?

    People make mistakes, other people jump on the mistakes, then BOOM – you get stuff like this. There’s no real point in it to be honest; yes we put so much effort and work and soul into our blogs and what we say, but in the end… if a reader doesn’t like it they’ll leave. I’m cool with that, some people aren’t.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Guest Post: Mary Poppins Guide to Life =-.

    1. Heather that is bang on mate, that type of attitude is the best and most humble way of operating, never take yourself too seriously, the moment you do is the moment of your decline, it’s like the Jackson syndrome, everyone loves you, then the moment you start having 200ft statues of yourself as a ”gift” to a country.

      Be as you are when you started, that’s the way I roll lol

      1. I’d alter that to ‘Be as you were or better than you started’ – Staying the exact same isn’t so great either lol.

        Besides, if anyone bothered to make a statue of me I’d be tempted to draw a moustache on it! Life should be fun, all there is to it really. :)
        .-= Heather´s last blog ..Guest Post: Mary Poppins Guide to Life =-.

    2. I’m with Heather on this. I do know the issue you are talking about and did read the original article and the comments. Heather has a great point that it was blown way out of proportion on both sides and BOTH of the bloggers should be ashamed of themselves. The blogger could have been more diplomatic of the response by the original product developer, who was just defending his product (as they saw it).

      I also have to wonder if the product developer blogger wasn’t an ‘A-lister’ who makes a ton of money, would they have been blasted as much as they were? It’s so easy to take pot-shots at those at the top. With their readership, they could have really blasted the bad review and the site author, but they didn’t.

      I really think that they were just defending their product (perhaps too reactively), but could anyone of us say the same thing, given the same circumstances? I’ve been known to fly-off-the handle sometimes, but luckily for me I don’t have 000’s of readers or people dissecting everything I do.

      We really have to keep in mind that there are REAL PEOPLE with REAL FEELINGs and REAL CONSEQUENCES behind the blogs.

      .-= Karen´s last blog ..Friday’s Links =-.

      1. Hey Karen,

        I think if my product or service got slammed then yes I would take issue with it, but that was the perfect opportunity to actually say ” OK you didn’t like it, how could I change it for you” Sadly it didn’t turn out that way. I think your right that the reaction to him was mainly because he is at the top of this game, that said to call the readers of that site ”fools” doesn’t instill a lot of confidence for people starting out who look up to that person, what do you think?

        Ultimately that one comment stopped me buying that product, what do you think?

        1. Ultimately, we have to make up our own minds. I can empathize with both sides, but still feel like if that was my product that I worked so hard for and developed and then to read what was written, I would probably defend myself vigorously. May be the words were a little strong, but I do think that they had the right to say what they did. It was all blown out of proportion and again, if it wasn’t an A-lister, this wouldn’t have received the coverage it did. The pot was stirred up a lot by other bloggers, too. Both were bullies, in my opinion.
          .-= Karen´s last blog ..10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Life =-.

        2. Hey karen,

          No offence, if you think “both” sides were being bullies, IMO you need to redefine what you see as a bully.

          Lis never bullied at all.
          Brian should have known better than to react like that…

          One thing I know, bullies rarely see it till someone puts the mirror in front of them, one of the only ways to do that online is to turn the tables, showing them what they did, if you just tell them, they don’t “hear” it. 😀

          Would you defend it vigorously by attacking them?
          .-= Rob Sellen´s last blog ..Monetisation, it’s not a sin! =-.

  8. I never thought there was such a thing as blog bashing however, I have read something this morning that has made me see the light. People who have nothing better to do or say in a negative way shouldn’t say anything at all. Great Great post.

  9. True

    Your reputation is everything, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
    And one great way of building it is by being honest and genuine.
    Don’t bash people that find your “mistakes”; openly admit them.
    Yeah, and help as much as you can :)

  10. I actually know the exact person you spoke of, and I read 2 articles about it too. I was going to write about it, mainly because the guy in question is a huge name, and he really showed his true colors. I decided not to get involved because it is obvious he will knock himself down eventually.

    The most important lesson I learned from it was that if someone reviews a product of yours, address the issues they have, don’t go bashing them. There were real issues with his product (and I have used it so I know 1st hand what she was referring to) and he completely ignored that fact.
    .-= Keith´s last blog ..Post Structure: Podcast =-.

  11. James,

    Receiving comments is like a confirmation that you exist, whether the commenter agrees or not. It’s a recognition that you exist. It a great boost to your self esteem. It’s always important to show humulity not just to your readers and commenters but people you meet. It’s a great practice to be involved in.


    .-= Paul´s last blog ..When the time is right! =-.

  12. I have no idea who the post is about…but here’s the thing. If the guy’s stuff is great despite a bad review he’ll sell it. Simple. If it isn’t great it won’t. If the guy can’t hack the idea that when you put something out there, like millions of businesses do, and know that someone may review it…like Consumer Reports does to lots of stuff, then he shouldn’t be in business. Business is not a personality contest. Why do people keep in thinking it is? I might like you but if you sell me crap I’m gonna go away.

    Oh well…it is what it is…gotta just move on!
    .-= Yolanda Facio´s last blog ..Becoming a Better Marketer – Part One =-.

    1. Hi Yolanda, I think you’re right sell crap and you’re done for, that said the person selling this product is so big no matter if it was crap and I’ll leave it down to those who have tried it to decide, he would sell bucket loads because of who he is. The point everyone got so annoyed with is when he called everyone fools on the site and threatned to sue her.

      Crazy attitude in business

  13. Thanks James, i took some time to know who was behind the scene.
    i think freedom of speech is a necessity. I believe the greatest power we possess is in our tongue, for what we talk comes from the mind. Also, been dumb maybe necessary. I am the dumb type, who tries to listen to the hoof beats of opportunities.
    I like the way you express your overview of humility.
    great post man.

  14. Not more internet drama, I have seen my fair share of that already. It becomes a bore after a while really. One thing I did notice is that age doesn’t matter when it comes to online bickering.

    But the bigger you get, the more you can afford you know? It’s just like that. Or rather, it seems like it is like that. People show their true colours after a while, but only after they have some sort of success so that they can actually afford doing that.
    .-= Experimently´s last blog ..Experimently gives the finger to online renting =-.

  15. I also suggest that in order for you to remember the things and people who have helped you in your online business, as well as the tasks you need to carry out for them, you can take notes of them in your notepad. This has helped me remember the important points and commitments I need to address.
    .-= Julius´s last blog ..A Day of A Deaf Person =-.

  16. great advice! It is easy to launch into an attack… it is harder to walk away, evaluate, and then make a reasoned and articulate, constructive response.

    But the discipline to do the latter will pay off a thousand times over in comparison to the attack.
    .-= Mick Morris´s last blog ..What do you see, believe and do? =-.

  17. Wonder who this is all about? 😛

    I thought it was the dumbest thing I’d seen for a while I tell ya, building up a reputation takes a long while, and two mins to lose it.

    The way it was lost makes all the difference too. 😉

    No place to see bullying (IMO that’s what it was) and I never hid from saying so.
    Nor will I, I don’t like bullies, you can no guess I have dealt with a few.

    A by product of being “normal but different” and the one thing I know, is that bullies don’t think when they do it, at all.

    Alot to be said for that “pause for thought” moment.
    .-= Rob Sellen´s last blog ..#FF on Twitter is getting old, let’s revamp it =-.

      1. Yeah, that’s true, they certainly do, seen it many a time online…

        A few were pretty unbelievable and many newcomers would be surprised, but no point in knowing as they are long gone, I certainly don’t want to be “putting their names in more heads” so to speak, so less said there the better.

        Some pattern to it, so it will be easier to see the small cracks earlier. 😉
        .-= Rob Sellen´s last blog ..#FF on Twitter is getting old, let’s revamp it =-.

  18. James:
    This is so true. I am reading Jim Collins’ How the Mighty Fall. The first step is hubris. We all have to remember where we came from. I wrote a book review on a book I read 10 years ago. Read the book cover to cover. Then e-mailed the author for advice. I was worried about my mother’s financial future and this was a financial planner. The e-mail was pretty heart-felt, I just wanted some help for my family and was happy to pay for the advice. I never got a response. Since that time I have read many financial books a few of which have helped my family and friends greatly. About a year ago, I wrote a review of several books and I rated the first book as a pass and rated the book that I felt most helpful as a buy. I received an alert that I had received a comment on my book reviews. The author of the first book lambasted me for not liking his book, recommending a pass and recommending another book as more helpful. I was initially upset…then I thought WOW.
    .-= Ouida Vincent´s last blog ..Why Most of Us Suck at Stock Picking =-.

  19. Interesting post and fascinating discussion in the comments :-) One of the problems with the Internet is that its way too easy look smart and professional regardless of whether you have any real skills and experience. I’ve never made a secret that I am not a huge successful blogger – I’m just trying to replace a crappy job with the freedom of working for myself – its taking me a while and I am slowly getting there.

    But I wasted years following the wrong advice and far worse than the money I lost it was the loss of confidence and time which I will never get back. The sad fact is that I can’t even imagine a plugin being worth $300 (as a comemtator above noted they had spent) – its all available and its all free – you just have to know where to look
    .-= Lis Sowerbutts´s last blog ..What is a Long Tail Keyword? Keyword Identification for the New and Clueless =-.

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