Contrarian Content: Too Risky?

internet-keyboardLet’s be absolutely frank; a huge part of the blogging that goes on is wasted.

Think for a moment about your own blog and the keywords that define the kind of people you want it to be found by.

How many other blogs are using exactly the same keywords to search for readers?

Three hundred? Eighty thousand? Five million?

And all using SEO, just like you do, to direct searches to their site instead of yours.

Don’t get us wrong, SEO is vital. And so is good writing, and an awful lot of blogs that might imagine they are competing with yours are not in fact doing so because visitors don’t find them sufficiently well written to go any further than the beginning of the landing page.

Nevertheless, the fact is that an awful lot of articles say the same sort of thing in the same sort of way with the same sort of headline and the same sort of image and it becomes boring. There’s probably something worse a marketer can do than bore a potential customer but we can’t right at this moment think what it might be. And even if a visitor is not bored, there’s still no benefit to the poster because the visitor is thinking “Yeah, I know. Everyone says that.”

And that is the case for saying what everyone does not say.

A contrarian post catches attention. People read it because it’s different. And then they come back because they want to read the comments. If you make a habit of posting what other people are not saying instead of what they are, you’ll have more conversations, more amplification and you’ll create a bigger buzz.

Don’t go overboard, though. Don’t upset people by suggesting that mass-murderers of the past had the right idea, or that people from a certain town or state are known to be retarded (and don’t use that word retarded, whatever you do), or that handicapped people are how they are because of misdemeanors in a previous life. Do that and you’ll get your head kicked in – and you’ll deserve it.

What you need to be doing is finding ideas that are current in the area in which you operate and are well supported but which you think can’t be made to stand up. Then challenge them. Forcefully. But without insulting anyone.

Monitor very carefully the kind of response you get and be prepared to vary your approach. Whatever you do, though, don’t apologize. Far too many bloggers and brands are only too ready to give way to a forceful rebuttal. Try to bear in mind that that forceful rebuttal (and the comments that will follow from it) is exactly what you were hoping for when you posted your piece in the first place.

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