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Inbound Marketing Blog

    The Smart Marketer's Guide to Writing Controversial Blog Posts

    Posted by Jasmine Henry

    Controversial Content Counts

    A few weeks ago a column titled Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25 went viral. It seemed that at least half of marketers over the age of 25 were righteously ticked, and said so on Twitter. Dozens of responses were posted on blogs, and even a few millennials jumped in to defend the right of older people to manage social media. Sometimes, writing controversial blog posts can bring a huge surge of attention to your company. One of our best-performing pieces of content here at Inbound Marketing Agents is titled Top Secret: Google Plus Seriously Sucks. Writing controversial blog posts can be rewarding and cathartic, but make sure to avoid launching an angry tirade. Here is a guide to earning a surge of traffic by writing controversial blog posts the right way:

    Make a Statement

    Content creation is inherently creative, and writing controversial blog posts should always come from a place of passion. Whether or not the author of Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25, meant to go viral, she definitely meant what she said. Cathryn Sloan, the author and recent college graduate, was genuinely frustrated that she didn't have the years of paid experience necessary to apply for many social media manager jobs. Sloan felt she deserved a shot at social media jobs, and writing controversial blog posts was a way to express something she really believed.

    Have a Point

    The internet is filled with impassioned content that doesn't make sense. If you're feeling ready to start writing controversial blog posts, you should have a clear point to make. Whether you're offering a solution or arguing in favor of a point of view, writing controversial blog posts should always include a take-away message.

    Choose the Right Topic

    Writing controversial blog posts should always be a vehicle for relaying a message that has clear relevance to your industry, company values or mission. If your business is restoring windows, don't talk about endangered sea life. Even if you want to intrigue your readers by writing a controversial blog post, don't completely shock them with an off-topic rant.

    Be Nice

    Small businesses can't afford to offend a large segment of their client base or earn the reputation of being mean. Writing controversial blog posts should never represent a departure from sensitivity. If you couldn't discuss a controversial blog topic at a wedding reception or work event, you definitely shouldn't use it as a basis for writing controversial blog posts. Avoid religion, race, gender and politics at all costs.

    Titles are Everything

    The quality of your titles will determine whether your blog post is shared on social media. When it comes to writing controversial blog posts, give your content the best chances for going viral by including something that will catch your eye. The best titles for controversial content are often a strongly-worded statement that summarizes your point of view.

    Back it Up

    As a general rule, if you plan to make controversial statements, you should use statistics and sources whenever possible. You don't need to cite subjective statements, like “kale chips taste gross,” but if you want to tell your readers something quantitative, it had better be provable. If I want to say that Myspace isn't worth nearly as much money as it was a few years ago, I should provide in-text links to sources that corroborate my claim.

    Prepare for an Onslaught

    Strong content often has the potential to take engagement on your blog and social media to levels it hasn't previously seen. After writing controversial blog posts, be prepared to respond to comments, likes and retweets. Defend you stance without engaging in arguments and maintain a polite presence to encourage first-time readers to make repeat visits.

     Have you delved into writing controversial blog posts? What was the result?


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    Topics: Inbound Marketing