Why Your Blog Must Tackle Controversy
Be careful and avoid controversial subjects or you'll risk alienating your readers. This is the refrain anyway. But is it true? Will you lose readers by expressing your opinion? Yes, you will. But you'll also gain many more.
In fact, I'll go as far as saying that if you don't actively court controversy, then you'll struggle to grow. This doesn't mean that every blog post must attempt to shock or anger. Once in a while, however, say once every month or two, is just right.
It keeps readers on their toes and, if you strike the right nerve, you can dramatically boost social shares and your subscriber list. There are some guidelines, however. What follows are three we adhere to here at Renegade Blogger.
1. Know what you're talking about.
So important. Never go spouting off on a topic that you haven't researched thoroughly and thought about deeply. Otherwise, you'll look like a phony or a fool. I'm not sure which is worst, but one thing is for sure: Your readers will bolt your site like rats on a sinking ship.
Be sure to know every angle of your topic and try to anticipate possible arguments against your position. This way you can preemptively address them within the text of your post and avoid nasty comments and emails. You'll also begin to position yourself as an expert.
2. Believe it.
Authenticity is a cornerstone of effective blogging. You have to be real with your readers and believe strongly in any position you take. It must be important to you. Otherwise, it will show clearly in your writing. It's something you can't fake. Be a poser and your readers will recognize it from a mile away.
Another great benefit of staying true to yourself is that writing becomes so much easier. When it comes from the heart, it flows. It pours from your passions and convictions in a way that cuts your writing time in half and produces better, more compelling content.
3. Stay Classy.
(I live in San Diego, so I couldn't resist the Anchorman reference.) But the key here is to give your opinion in a way that is easily digestible. Never make fun of those who believe differently than you. Never use derogatory language or insinuate that you're smarter than anyone. State your position strongly, but stay respectful.
This way, even many who will disagree with you will stay on, and even share your article, while you'll still receive the benefits of tackling a controversial subject. Furthermore, you never want to look back at anything you wrote and be embarrassed by it. Your work stays forever online, and you always want to be proud of it.
Don't be Ugly
There is so much ugliness on the internet, through social media, and in the press. Yes, you can become popular this way among a certain percentage of the population, but I don't think it's a good long-term strategy.
The stress of being a flamethrower and having to get attention through shock and awe just to stay relevant must be an awful way to live. You have to look yourself in the mirror every day, which is way more important than any blog or amount of money.
Let the help and support you give your readers be the foundation of your blog. Focus on making them better or more successful. But once in a while, if the topic is important to you, if you've researched it thoroughly and have a compelling and kindhearted opinion, then go for it. Express yourself.
In the end, you'll be rewarded.
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