Tiffany Dow recently posted this blog post about 7 Ways to Help Your Blog Go Viral and as I was reading I noticed that most of these things are easy to do if you take the time to do them. The one that a lot of people are going to struggle with is number 3:
Take a Stand on Controversy
What does it mean to to take a stand on controversy and why is it so had for bloggers to do? When I first started blogging I know I struggled with it.
By “take a stand on controversy” she means to put yourself and your viewpoints out there. Don’t stand in the middle of a hot topic in your niche and refuse to take a stand.
Here is an example in the online marketing niche… SEO. You’ve got tons of people who tout automatic programs for building backlinks to rank well in Google. In fact, there are a lot of people who think that’s the only way to rank well in Google. When someone asks me what I think if that… this is what I tell them.
Automatic backlink building tools are spammy. Using tools to game Google results is unethical and black hat. I’m not about that. You know what works better? Putting yourself out there and learning how to help actual people find your site. Google traffic will follow provided your content is good and your article titles are at least semi SEO friendly. The best part? When you avoid link traps you don’t have to worry about Google killing our business.
Another example… when reviewing a product that isn’t that great or has a flaw that’s driving you crazy… do you sugar coat it to keep from hurting the product creators feelings? (Because I KNOW you guys aren’t the type to sugar coat so you get more commissions.) Well, who does that actually hurt? That hurts your readers! They think, “Oh, it’s just a little problem.” Then they go and buy the product and realize it isn’t little at all. And you know, if the product creator cares about their customers they are probably reading the reviews.
When I was reviewing Squid Pro Quo over on SquidsPro I kept complaining that the buttons wouldn’t show up when I used the HTML. Erica figured out what it was. I have Adblock installed and Adblock blocks Amazon buttons hosted by Amazon. Now her products contain code where the buttons aren’t hosted on Amazon so they aren’t blocked by Adblock. I was also able to tell my readers that they would want to host the buttons themselves to make sure they set up.
If a product is just all around bad? Don’t be afraid to say it. Get protective of your audience. Show them you’ve got their back and they can trust you.
When you stand in the middle, your readers can tell. You don’t need to please everyone. Even if your viewpoint alienates some, it’ll bring another part of your audience closer and I know I’d rather have 50 regulars than 200 people who don’t really care if I post again or not.
I’m going to end this with a blog post for you to read if you’ve been struggling to stand up on your blog.
Do you struggle to stand up for your views and opinions on your blog? Is it because you’re afraid of stepping on toes? Is it just too hard to put yourself out there? Or are you ready to go “honey badger” whenever it’s called for? Let me know in the comments.
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