As I’ve been looking back at my blog posts this year, I’ve noticed that some of my post popular posts — from a traffic, commenting and social sharing perspective — have been when I took a stand on an issue.
One example is when I called attention to the problem with so-called social media “gurus” and where I think agencies should be heading to succeed in the social media space.
And, in another post, I highlighted the ongoing debate about the differences between PR and marketing and whether the differences matter anymore.
So, why did these posts work?
It gave readers a chance to see what I think and what makes me different. It opened up the chance for discussion and allowed readers — especially those who aligned with my viewpoint — to feel like they have something in common with me.
Why you should take a stand
As more and more businesses see the value in content marketing, the Internet is becoming overcrowded with “me-too” content.
Sadly, many businesses chicken out with their blogs for fear of backlash if they stand too strongly on an issue.
But, that’s a mistake.
If you look at the most popular blogs in your industry, I’m betting they have not been afraid to share their opinion.
It’s easy to write a how-to guide or a simple list of tactics. And while those are incredibly effective and should be the foundation for your blog, it shouldn’t be the only thing you write.
After all, anyone can write those kinds of posts. But, not anyone can be YOU.
You have unique ideas and a viewpoint that no one else has, so why not share it?
Speaking your mind can help you stand out in a noisy world. It can establish you as a trusted industry expert who cuts through the clutter to deliver honest analysis. Or, it can help readers better understand your views and why they might want to work with you.
How to share your opinion
Although writing a “flag planting” blog post can be valuable, it can also be a risky proposition unless you go about it the right way.
So, how do you take a stand? Here are some ideas to help you:
- Call attention to a problem in your industry — and what you would to solve it.
- Let your guard down and share what you think about a controversial issue.
- Answer a common question that many are too afraid to address.
- Open up discussion about up a news story that everyone is talking about and offer your perspective.
- Talk about how your company is solving a problem differently than the rest of your industry.
Whatever you choose to write about, just make sure that you’re not a troll who is slinging mud just for the sake of getting attention. Instead, provide a well-thought out analysis of your opinion and why you feel the way you do.
A balancing act
Although these posts can be incredibly effective, they shouldn’t be something you write all of the time. You don’t want to be seen as someone who is constantly making noise to get attention.
Instead, you want to be seen as someone who isn’t afraid to get in the trenches and answer your readers’ burning questions.
I promise that if you do that, you’ll find that readers will be lining up to read what you have to say.
So, throw in one of these posts every now and then to show readers what you are really about.
Yes, it can be scary, but the payoff can be incredibly worth it.
What blog post are you too afraid to write? What’s holding you back?
Image credit: Meme Generator