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Controversial posts – Why you should do it

Sep10

Written by:
2009/09/10 11:43 AM RssIcon

Gender ControversyCaster Semenya - Gender Controversy

Controversy always brings attention. It opens you up and shines the spotlight on you. Controversy is not for the faint hearted. But it certainly does work. Controversy sells. If you have been writing your blog for a while, you have probably used controversial posts to engage your users and gain more traction in the blogging world. If not, then why not?

Many bloggers shy away from controversy, they play it safe, while others fully embrace it. The problem with controversy is, if it’s not done correctly, it can severely backfire on you and produce the opposite affect.

Why are some bloggers afraid of controversy?

    1. They’re afraid that they will lose readers.
    2. They’re afraid of nasty comments and flames being left on their blog.
    3. They’re afraid of alienating other bloggers that they might have built a relationship with.
    4. They’re afraid of the potential of losing advertisers.

    Those concerns are not trivial. But if you want to be a serious blogger, then you have to embrace controversy, or at least be controversial now and again.

    Reasons to be controversial

    If you have the ability to generate controversy with your content, do it. Not convinced? Here are some reasons why you should consider it.

    It’s effective.

    Nothing gets more attention than controversy. That's why reality shows are popular. That's why Newspapers use them. That’s why the power journalists use them. That's why rock stars are so controversial. Done correctly and at the right time, it can be a great asset.

    Display Your ability at dealing with opposing viewpoints

    Let people see the smooth way you react to the rude comments from people who take your words personally that WILL follow. shows your readers that you are not one sided and one dimensional.

    It Sets You Apart

    Isn’t that what you want from a blog. To be different than the rat race. Controversy sets you apart from the mundane.

    You build your reputation as an expert.

    Controversial blog posts help you to build a reputation as an expert in the niche, if you can write both controversially and intelligently. It means that you can see both sides of the story.

    Negative Attention is Sometimes even Better than Positive Attention

    Nothing spreads faster than outrage. Wide exposure for a controversial view is much better than no exposure for towing the conventional wisdom line.  You will often get readers that would never have darkened the door of your blog.

    It's Fun to Do

    What's more fun than seeing something controversial? Being controversial or doing something controversial. It's not for the faint of heart, but if you can take it, boy is that a fun ride!

    Controversial Ideas

    There are many ways to create controversy. If you can pull it off, and have the heart to withstand the storm, the go for it. A little bit of controversy will give you some exposure on the Web. There are many more ways to create controversy on your blog, here are a few ideas to consider:

    1. Take on other top bloggers.
    2. Make bold predictions.
    3. Make off the wall predictions.
    4. Talk about the difference between men and women.
    5. Bash Twitter!
    6. Pick Microsoft over Apple, or Linux.
    7. Bash the iPhone!
    8. Defend or oppose abortion.
    9. Post a controversial video.
    10. Pick Facebook over Twitter, or Twitter over Facebook.
    11. Discuss how Zune is better than the iPod.
    12. Talk about how Kindle will never make it.
    13. Bash Digg and its new toolbar.
    14. Argue why Wikipedia is overrated.
    15. Talk about why Twitter and Facebook should be paid services.
    16. Talk about dubious ways to gain followers on Twitter.
    17. Discus how much Linux sucks.
    18. Trash Apple
    19. Pick on a political figure and take the opposite view.
    20. Pick on a celebrity.

    There are literally tons of ideas that you can use. The idea is to find some popular topics, and take the opposite view. But with credibility and a sense of respect. Don’t make it personal. Just this week, rumours flooded the internet of the death of Matt Damon. That's not controversy, that stupidity. He obviously was not dead.

    Just be careful. Remember, you cannot take back what you said.

    Do you have a list of controversial ideas? Share them with us in the comments.

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    11 comment(s) so far...


    Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    Controversy always brings attention. It opens you up and shines the spotlight on you. Controversy is not for the faint hearted. But it certainly does work. Controversy sells. If you have been writing your blog for a while, you have probably used controversial posts to engage your users and gain more traction in the blogging world. If not, then why not?
    # ZillionsB.com

    By TrackBack on  2009/09/10 12:03 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    yeah ... I've seen some controversial 'hate' sites that attract thousands of hits ...

    Another advantage to letting off steam or expressing controversial opinions on the internet is that you can't get beaten up that easily ... :)

    Another informative post from you - thanks

    By OneStonedCrow on  2009/09/10 12:06 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    I used to be in a rather large gaming community and used to play within the top 10 in the world in a particular game. Each "squad" or "clan had forums" and there was the usual sledging or bashing going on as you would imagine.
    However, as soon as there was definitive controversy, usually when a player from one squad was accused of cheating / hacking / bot using et al, then the forum visits of the accusers and accused players squads rose at an instant and dramatic rate.............. sometimes off the board totally as more and more players got wind of it. bad news travels faster than good, always has done and always will do. in that instance, there was a lot of harm done to squads reputations............ and by creating controversy there is always a risk of that happening in whatever platform or subject base. True, it was all personal slants in that example...........but I am a firm believer in the subject of this particular blog............I just don't know if I am experienced enough in blogging to risk it at the moment?
    Great post tho!!!

    By Chris Downing on  2009/09/10 12:20 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    Controversy is good. Having a stance on specific social issues, such as abortion or death penalty or euthanasia and defending it certainly draws nice conversation. Those are the issues I enjoy. I must admit that I am not much of fan for celebrity bashing, or picking a fight just for the sake of drawing attention to one's blog.

    The Windows vs Apple debate is always a nice tease ;)

    Thanks. As always, great tips for bloggers.

    By Emil on  2009/09/10 12:58 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts; Why you should do it

    I think taking on other bloggers is fine as along as you back up your points well and don't slander them. Attack their argument, not the blogger. :)

    By Gordie Rogers on  2009/09/10 01:16 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    To me, it's not a matter of controversy or not. The fact that a lot people do not agree with some thorny issue out there only spurs me on to research it and write more about it.

    By sinaisix on  2009/09/10 01:42 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    Gordie,

    Excellent point. Never attack someone character. As I said, you can't take it back.

    By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/10 02:53 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    Saying something purely for creating controvercy is not an intelligent way to start a conversation. Maybe being controvercial in opinion on matters is better?

    By VOTED! on  2009/09/10 03:08 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    @VOTED!

    Well said. Not my intention to say something just for controversy, ala, the Matt Damon's Death controversy

    By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/10 03:58 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    Some excellent ideas but it is not easy to find decent or should I say popular blogs to comment on because most of the authors do their homework so it mainly comes down to matter of opinion in that case. I normally look for blogs especially new blogs (like mine) where not a lot of thought was put into what they wrote so I look for contradictions in the blog. This is normally a good place to start when looking for some hits or attention. Still they are few and far between or I am just too lazy to search :P

    By ShaunD on  2009/09/10 08:49 PM
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    Re: Controversial posts – Why you should do it

    @ShaunD,

    You don't have to look for contradictions. Just another point of view, or difference of opinion. Not every blogger is going to agree with you, or vice versa. It's those difference of opinions, different point of view, challenging the other bloggers ideas that become controversial.

    By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/10 09:27 PM
     
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