Lately I have noticed a new trend in the faith/mommy-blogger realm – controversial posts. Now controversial posts are nothing new – we all know that they drive a ton of traffic. But what is new is the response to the backlash.
I belong to a lot of different blogger groups on Facebook whose members are comprised with everything from people who haven’t even started blogging yet, to people with millions of views per month. It definitely makes for some great interaction and support, but also provides an interesting look into the “guts” of the blogging culture.
Some bloggers have discovered that controversial posts generate serious views, and have built their platform off of them. Pitting working moms against stay at home moms, posts like, “Dear mom who fed your child a radioactive Cheeto,”, or any posts that use phrases like, “government education” or “baby killing.”
Whether you agree, disagree or other, it goes without saying that stuff like this is going to generate controversy, and garner comments from people who probably have pretty strong opinions. That is nothing new. What is new to me is seeing the authors of these controversial posts recruiting positive comments from friends, and even random people, who have no real interest or engagement on the post, they are merely stacking the comments in the authors favor.
If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
If you chose to put a controversial post out there, God love ya, but be prepared to take the backlash. If you are posting with the intention of driving traffic, the more angry and outrageous those comments are, the more people are going to come and watch the train wreck.
If you are posting because you have a strong conviction about something, remember, it’s YOUR blog, and you control the atmosphere. Don’t like the comments? Delete them! Or disable comments altogether. Just don’t ask your friends to come fight your battle for you.
Think about what a controversial post will add or detract from your brand.
I really miss the days when blogs were about sharing thoughts, recipes, and advice, and not created with the sole intention of generating traffic and making money. This week alone I have read 3 posts that were factually incorrect, but were going viral because of hot-button content.
Ask yourself what you want your name, your blog, and your brand to be known for. Is it worth it to possibly alienate some readers, or even anger them? Do you want to be known for drama? There is no right or wrong answers to those questions, but you need to consider them before hitting publish on that controversial blog post.
Plenty of people have built an empire based on controversy, hello Rush Limbaugh and Kanye West, but is that a club you want to join?
Don’t sell your integrity for views.
This week I have read (and even shared) a couple of semi-controversial posts. And read 10 more that jumped on the bandwagon with the same topic.
Stay true to your voice and topic. If something going viral happens to fit your niche and you have already decided you are down with controversial topics, then go for it, but don’t just slap something up because you saw an opportunity to jump on the wagon.
Stick to the facts. Don’t stretch theology or invent facts to create content.
At the end of the day integrity and being true to yourself and your voice will win every time, even if it means passing up on an opprotunity for a flash in the pan.