Updated: May 16
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a pretty blunt guy.
Everything I write has this condescending tone to it if you read with a inflated ego – this sentence is evidence. I get it! It’s pretty rude when you know something to be true and believe everything I’m saying is a load of crap. It makes you angry, annoyed, frustrated and offended. It makes you want to get down to the bottom of the post and give the author a piece of mind – as the crowd chants “yeah! you tell ’em”.
After all, the internet is the place where you tell the world why you’re right and how everyone else is way off the mark. And the truth is, so you should! The more we talk, argue and get offended, the closer we get to truth.
The facts are hard to argue against because, well, they’re facts, and facts are facts. Nobody argues on a Wikipedia article, they just correct it with a reference. But blogging isn’t a Wikipedia article, its a discussion. Blogging is a conscience choice to blur the line of where the facts begins and the opinion ends.
…and by that definition, it can be argued. This is where a lot of bloggers and businesses fall apart.
By definition, the entire point of a blog is to invoke conversation and if you are using a blog platform to simply relay information to your audience, I hate to break it to you but you don’t have a blog. You’re not a hip new business with a connection to your audience, your a self published newsletter lying about what it is. I don’t expect you to blindly believe me when I tell you this either (even though I have spend my whole life studying communications and technology and am an expert in the field) because this statement, as far as you’re concerned, is opinion because…
…it’s on a blog.
…with a comments section.
…and poorly structured sentences that start with ‘and’ and misuse of ‘…’.
You might think invoking a strong reaction is an ineffective way of communicating with your audience and to that, I raise you a question – why are you blogging if you don’t care what your audience has to say?
Maybe you think challenging a culturally accepted idea will present you and your brand as the villain (or Nazi) and pushes your clients away – after all, it is super risky in the world nowadays. And you maybe right. Maybe it will cause backlash – and with #CancelCulture so ramped in the world, I get why you’re scared.
If you don’t want to grow and invest a lot of time into managing and listening to your audience on your blog, then don’t blog.
There are a heap of studies that suggest provoking an argumentative reaction is not an effective way to run an online identity – doh – and frankly, I think these studies don’t give the power of arguing justice. If your aim is to blindly provoke, then your a troll and I’m not talking to you but if it’s to start a conversation, going in with ums and maybes won’t work online. But if you have a justified view, prehaps you will find others who share them.
Control the argument. Narrow done the topic you are talking about and make sure the conversation stays on track. This takes time and management – something Communication professionals thrive on.
Understanding where the argument point is and draw attention to it.
In my previous post I argued Instagram was the best thing since sliced bread and I have had people coming at me from all angles. I’ve had re-posts, private messages, and re-blogs. I directed the argument / conversation by saying that if you don’t use Instagram, you’re wrong and here’s why. If I had simply asked why and didn’t take a strong stance, no one would of reacted and it’s this reaction which helped the blog grow.
There is no center online. People who love the topic and agree will share the post, and people who disagree will be following the post to explain why it’s wrong. If you don’t believe me, just go to the comments on YouTube, Facebook and Reddit.
Just like social media, blogging is an interactive platform which requires, wait for it… interaction. If you’re the one always telling and never asking, you might as well have a newsletter in place of a blog.
You want clicks and people want to argue.
Now get down there in the comments and tell me why I’m wrong.