Having the Courage to Stand Up on Your Blog

robertfrostTiffany 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.

Courage Is Not the Absence of Fear

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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  1. Amen to this!
    Tiffany Dow recently posted..Ugliest Graphic Deliverables EverMy Profile

  2. Great post Amanda. I haven’t had too many disagreeable people on my vlog yet but I remember when I was first starting to really talk to people in the Warrior Forum and some of them would say things that I knew just weren’t right. It took me awhile to get more comfortable saying ‘this is my opinion, yours can be yours but I am entitled to mine’.
    Rachel Young recently posted..Sneak Peek – Inside My Business BinderMy Profile

  3. I think I sometimes find it hard, but if it’s important enough to you I think you will find a way to do it even if it’s hard. But the review example is a good one – if you’re reviewing someone you respect, you don’t want to hurt their feelings by pointing out seemingly small things. But in the end it can actually help them improve their product, so it’s really a win win situation.
    Ruth P recently posted..A Simple Habit To Improve Your Biz – Vlog Day 20My Profile

    • The first time I reviewed a Tiffany Dow product I was worried because I’ve always had a lot of respect for her and her blog was one of the first I really followed a lot. Lucky for me that first product was Shiny New Object Syndrome where she flat out said that if we hated her product she wanted us to say it so she could fix it if it was something she thought needed to be fixed… and while I loved the product, that was the push I needed to talk about the small handful of things that did annoy me about it.
      Amanda Thomas recently posted..February Zujava Challenge – You Still Have Time to Join!My Profile

  4. I was sitting here going “Amen sistah” and then I read Tiff’s response! LOL — we gotta stop thinking alike!

    I’m right there with you Amanda. Be REAL is where it’s at. You gotta ask yourself, would you rather people like you for the REAL you or would you prefer walking around on eggshells being something you’re not – so you can attract the wrong crowd?

    I would rather be me – and have people around me that I resonate with… Otherwise, I’m not going to be happy and if I’m not happy – how can I expect my audience to be?

    Nuff said.. Great post!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted..Blogging with John Chow Review, Part 5My Profile

  5. If you’re honest, especially in product reviews, you may get people disagreeing with you but you won’t get many abandoning you. Tell lies about anything and you’ll trash your own reputation.

    One obvious comeback is “but what about the rogues and crooks who prosper?” — there are indeed many such out there but emulating them is at best a gamble and at worst too distasteful to contemplate.

  6. Bravo to the automatic backlink views – I would definitely stand up for that.
    I may struggle if I simply think a product is bad – that is more subjective and I would be careful how I phrase things and try to give constructive criticism – I would never want to offend anyone unjustly. I wouldn’t sugar coat and would give my opinion but always try to be constructive and try to look at it from other’s points of view.
    There is a fine line between being honest and being downright rude isn’t there, and I would always try to be tactful.
    But yes I agree that we should protect our readers and subscribers for sure

    Great post Amanda

    • I get what you mean. I wouldn’t simply say “this product sucks” unless a product is really bad. I would however list the issues with the product so people can decide if they want a chance with the product. In the end I do have to put my readers first though. I’d rather offend a product creator than have a bunch of my readers waste money.

  7. This post needs a “love” button. Very well said indeed.
    Loretta recently posted..Digging Into the Forever Affiliate CourseMy Profile

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