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Blogging reminds me of each of us, stepping up on our virtual soapbox and telling others what we think/feel.

Some bloggers tell stories of their day, and tie a lesson in life to it.

Others do tons of research and share their findings

A lot of bloggers share from their experiences, and teach their readers.

And then there are others who write to push people’s “buttons” trying to get a reaction.

Often bloggers are a combination of all of the above.

Today’s Lesson

Shortly after I started blogging, I read that controversial posts can bring tons of traffic to your site.

I thought of ways to write a controversial post, and for my Observation Mountain blog, the closest I came was “Should Smokers Pay A Higher Insurance Premium”. It got two differing comments (both from people who didn’t have blogs (or didn’t leave an address) That blog doesn’t get a lot of comments, so it didn’t surprise me.

When I wrote about profanity on this blog, (which wasn’t meant to be controversial). It got the most attention. Not so much in the comment section but other bloggers used it as inspiration for a post of their own. They said if they want to use curse letter words in their blogs, it’s their propagative, it’s “freedom of speech”. I don’t have a problem with what others do. I just don’t use, or allow profanity on my blogs, and don’t read blogs that are laced with it.

Creating controversy isn’t my nature. I want to help people with my words, and make them think. Sometimes I may make one pass around the “pot”, but most of the time it’s only a blip on the radar screen.

Hunter recently wrote a post, 10 Reasons Japan Is Better Than America which when I read it, didn’t think it was THAT controversial, but his comment section exploded with snide remarks.

Months ago Ian Denny wrote a post titled “The Best Bloggers Are Left Handed” . That too, created hostility.

Catherine Lawson is known to be controversial. When she wrote a post titled: “Is StumbleUpon Going Down The Tubes”, one comment said “go die”, and other commenters agreed.

Controversy will almost always get a Digg or Stumble. Traffic will often soar, as well as RSS feed reader counts.

What you have to ask yourself is, are you ready to defend your viewpoint and handle the negative comments?

Today’s Assignment

Have you ever written a controversial post? Did you see your traffic soar?

Would you consider writing a controversial post? Could you handle the negative comments?

Or, do you prefer to blog quietly in your own words, and stay away from conflict?


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  1. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I forgot about the go die comment but I didn’t really take it all that seriously. That particular post was never meant to be controversial. All I wanted to do was explain why I had left StumbleUpon. And I’d definitely write a similar post again if I felt the need.

    The funny thing is, that post didn’t draw much traffic at all – far less than I would have expected. I seem to get more from posts I wouldn’t expect and also the plain old resource posts.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Did You Ever Get Stuck On A Roof?

  2. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Oh Catherine,

    It’s great to see you here again, I’ve missed you, your comments and your emails. I hope all is well in your world.

    I know you don’t take those comments seriously, but to some bloggers it could seriously hamper their blogging abilities. You’ve always been so good at standing up for what you believe, those that leave nasty comments on your blog, don’t know what they’re in for.

  3. sterlingNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb. Your post brings up some interesting questions. If controversy generates traffic through hostility, is it even worth it? I’m all for a passionate debate, but not interested in hostility & negativity.

    It is funny how posts that were never intended to be controversial can end up having a full-blown flame war in the comment section.

    It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my blog and I plan to update soon. I’ve been warming up by visiting my favorites and glad that I can always count on BWAB for inspiration.

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Sterling,

    I haven’t seen you around for awhile. Are you beach blogging again? :)

    Personally I wouldn’t want to write controversial posts just to generate hostility, although I do like to point out alternative ways, or ask my readers if they have “looked at the other side”.

    I’m not sure how that happens – non-controversial posts create hostile comments. I do know on Hunter’s blog, he was doing a wrap up of his trip to Japan, and also did a post of how America is better than Japan. Instead of realizing he was doing a series, the one post was taken out of context and commenters were telling him if he didn’t like the US, than move to Japan.

    I hope I warmed you up to start posting again. I’ve missed reading your writings, but do have you in my reader so I’ll be able to catch your next post.

  5. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    Oh Barbara, I do think you can read my mind sometimes. Don’t tell anyone, but I started another blog that deals with this very subject. I want to see how people respond to the “me that likes to push buttons”. The me that speaks her mind.

    Controversial blogs/posts/subjects do get a lot more traffic because people love “to argue” or voice their opinion as if it were truth.

    I think I can deal with the negative comments, it probably would depend on what I’m talking about. Some things, I’m just right about and won’t back down. lol

    Great post and questions Barbara. Keep ‘em coming.

    Naturals last blog post..Enjoy Retirement, but Don’t Spend My Inheritance

  6. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    So far, I’m not interested in being controversial. (At least not on purpose.) There are enough things out in the world to rile people up! I’m sure at some point a post will generate some controversy, and I’ll gladly defend my view while seeing what others have to say.

  7. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Some people light to stir the pot and stoke the fire. Like getting a rise out of people makes them feel good. I like to think that I can see through a post or a blog that is trying to do that. I usually ignore those.

    I don’t think bloggers need to seek controversy. I think we should just write things that are important to us. If in the process of doing this we spark a little controversy that is the price of being an honest and true writer.

    I think there is already too much conflict in the world to stir up more just for some traffic.

  8. Wendi KellyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Here is a controversial thought. :)

    I don’t write any of my posts just to get a lot of traffic, so it wouldn’t occur to me to write a controversial one to boost up readership. Funny thing is that I haven’t learned yet how to go out and read all of those stats yet anyway, so I wouldn’t even know! LOL! I can only tell by the free wp visitors thing ( that little chart that goes up and down) how things seem to be doing and that’s good enough for me.I am more interested in building a real relationship with real people than manufacturing a numbers thing just to spike a post or something like that.
    And, no it wouldn’t be fun for me to intentially make people angry.
    That being said….I wouldn’t shy away from writing what I really feel, because not being concerned about numbers gives me the freedom to write authentically and from my heart.

    Wendi Kellys last blog post..Gifts From Gratitude

  9. Thanks for the link, Barbara.

    You had an amusing typo. “Did you see your traffic sour?” Yes, my traffic was very sour, not nearly as sweet as it usually is!

    I was surprised to get that many angry comments. I deliberately did the pro-Japan post first in order to avoid being seen as xenophobic, and I mentioned in that post that the next one would be pro-U.S. Judging from my stats, the vast majority of those reading the pro-Japan post did not read the pro-U.S. post.

    I like thoughtful debate, but not hostility. Any comments that were hostile without having any rational thoughts, I just deleted. I can take the heat, but I have little patience for thoughtless comments. Negative comments are fine, but not drunk idiot comments. I’ve gone back to requiring moderator approval for commenters who haven’t previously left a comment. That’s what I had it at in the beginning, and maybe that’s what I need now.

    It’s hard to imagine any good blog never being controversial. Barbara, even as considerate as you are of other people, your profanity post got some mean comments when it was discussed on IttyBiz. And you’re one of the least controversial people I know!

    My Japan post is still bringing in traffic from StumbleUpon a week and a half later, despite getting some thumbs down (which should reduce stumbles, right?). Over 18,000 hits so far, and the first day was my best day ever for both new subscribers and AdSense. However, the subscriber and AdSense boost were tiny in proportion to the traffic. I wouldn’t write just for the sake of being controversial, but I think in some cases it’s a natural result of having opinions.

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..Cola Is Good For Babies: Fact Or Fiction?

  10. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve written one post that turned out to be controversial, but it was not on my blog. It was a guest post for someone else regarding prenatal blood tests. I was shocked when one woman stated how dare I tell her she can’t have the tests. It was not my intent to say you can’t and I learned a lot from that post on other’s position on the issue. I’m going to revise that post and put it on my own blog soon and I am sure it will again have some controversial comments. Normally I try to stay away from such issues, but this one is too important to me. I will take what I learned from my other post and try to be more objective. Like many others have commented above, I do not mind a good debate, but keep it positive. There is no need to attack others. When we get angy and nasty we don’t settle anything but create more hatred.

    I just remembered I did have one other post that had differering opinions, it was regarding the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit showing her in our area. It was a fun post and I enjoyed hearing other people’s point of view on this exhibit. It didn’t really change my opinion, but I enjoyed the discussion.

  11. I think there is always a way to allow both or more sides of an argument to have their say without it devolving into ‘go die’.

    The choice is up to the blogger if he wishes a discussion or just wants to have a sporting event where people take sides for the hell of it.

    If someone makes the impossible statement that ‘one thing is better than another thing and here’s why’ you are just setting up a contrary situation where opinion becomes fact which devolves into ‘go die’ as there is no answer.

    A more civilized approach would be to re-phrase the question as which do you think is better, A or B and why? and then say why you think A is better. But of course people want that angry ‘go die’ comment as a comment is a comment to the wretched ego-addicted!

    Darren Daz Coxs last blog post..Social responsibility in the arts?

  12. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    The most controversial post I have is a post that I didn’t even write. I posted it verbatim. It got a lot of traffic and got both negative and positve comments.

    I tried duplicating the feat but I was unsuccessful. I failed becuase being controversial is not my thing.

    I have very controversial opinions but my blog is not for that. I want my blog to make people think and laugh. I don’t want people leaving my blog angry or worked-up.

    Other sites can provide them with controversy. If I have to be controversial to get a lot of traffic, then I might as well quit blogging because I also don’t want to get worked-up.

    Chriss last blog post..Drive-Thru Kids: Hold The Tantrum Please

  13. VeredNo Gravatar says:

    I think it depends on what your goals are. If you want as many readers/ traffic as possible, you should write what your readers want to read – including controversial stuff that will help you get noticed. If you want a quality blog where you share your thoughts and interact with readers, you should just write from your heart.

    However, as in Hunter’s case, sometimes you write from your heart and find yourself in the middle of a huge controversy. But if you wrote from your heart, it should be easy for you to stand behind what you wrote.

    I always write from my heart.

    Vereds last blog post..Best Shot Monday: Old, But Still Moving

  14. I’m with Chase. I just write to help people learn from what I know and experience.

    Everyone’s different in this world and has had different experiences and as such, we all perceive this world differently. Our brains soak up and process information from mental connections they have made from past experiences and lessons learned.

    I try not to be controversial. I try to be informative and down to earth. But all it takes is one photo I use that people read the wrong way.

    Hunter brought up and interested idea, though. I didn’t know IttyBiz talked about your post. I remember leaving a comment in the comment section about how I don’t read her blog as I have enough rants going on in my life (I’ve only read a few of her posts and they seemed more like rants which in turn turned me off her site – maybe I just caught a couple by chance).

    So you have to be careful not only in your blog articles but comments you leave elsewhere.

    The sad thing is, sometimes I hold back because I don’t want to be controversial. I believe in God and I’m a Christian but yet I avoid religion talk on my blog (unless someone asks me) because I try to respect other people’s beliefs.

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  15. @ Hunter – I just read your post and comments. I think what went controversial is your headline, not the actual post. Your post was more a “Things I Like About Japan” than why Japan is “better.”

    I for one hate seafood, therefore I see your post as more what you liked about Japan.

    Interesting post and I’ve always wanted to go to Japan. Hopefully you won’t have to keep the moderate new comments up for long – that can be a pain having to check all the time.

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  16. As some comments have covered, I think it is a matter of objective of the blog. Also, if there is something that needs to be said, then I’d say it, not because I want to be controversial, but because offering the info and viewpoint is the service. For example (and this post is interesting when you read it along with Hunter’s post on Japan because it is about Japan’s problems) my post Why I Think America Is Still The Country Of Dreams . It is informative in a good way.

    Just like in any business endeavor, be aware of the objective of any actions — that is how I handle the issue.

    Akemi – Yes to Mes last blog post..Yes to Me Month Three & Four Review

  17. Barbara LingNo Gravatar says:

    Your blog post inspired me to be controversial…..more so than Jerry Springer! More so than Ricki Lake! More so than Barney!

    Yes indeed, you inspired me to write:

    The best bloggers are Gen X people in their 40s, hands down (nyah!)
    http://tinyurl.com/4enn8s

    :)

    enjoy,

    Barbara

    Barbara Lings last blog post..The best bloggers are Gen X people in their 40s, hands down

  18. I really don’t like conflict – at least I wouldn’t start it on purpose. I suppose if I really felt I had to say something, I would with a clear explanation why but to be honest – I am just not that type.
    I am not really into seeking hot button topics that have the never ending debates like politics, abortions, etc. Hmm maybe I would write something about how to argue with confidence if thats your thing lol
    thats funny but I’m so serious :)

    JEMi | Tips for Life, Love, You.s last blog post..Your Q&A: Getting to Know Yourself

  19. You hit it on the head – if you’re going to be controversial, you better be prepared to defend your headline.

    If provoking controversy isn’t in your nature, avoid it. Stay true to your personality and your blog theme. That’s the reason your audience likes you and not somebody else.

    Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a headline that teases your audience and grabs their attention in a creative fashion. Just make sure it’s within the boundaries of your personality and nature.

    Mark – Creative Journey Cafes last blog post..How to Conquer Your Fear of Creating, Part 1

  20. I wouldn’t attempt to be controversial simply for the sake of controversy. Why not let the controversy naturally arise? If anything I have the opposite problem. I’m a life and career coach and thus I read a lot of my fellow coaches blogs and self-development blogs in general. It amazes me how we so often spew the same crap. I think I’ll puke if I read one more blog on 10 tips to using gratitude. (Yes I’ve written one of these myself.)

    Yet the first time you read (what is crap for some) you realize it it’s not crap but profound stuff that many could use at their stage of development.

    So after further reflection I guess I am for controversy if it does something to clear the air and bring forth some fresh perspective.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Works last blog post..Speak Freely or Die

  21. I haven’t ever considered writing controversial posts – but I can’t imagine what I could come up with that would be relevant to my blog (which chronicles my quest for a more orderly, less cluttered life).

    However . . . there are two topics not appropriate for my blog that are rattling around in my head and could be considered controversial. One is the number of typos and grammatical errors I see all the time – even in the “A list” posts – which I find surprising.

    The other, maybe more, controversial topic is the very small, inner circle of productivity bloggers who are everywhere, and in many cases, are rehashing the same material. I suppose this is true of all blogging niches; I just have limited experience.

    Ok, so now feel free to scrutinize my writing for typos and other errors, and notice that I myself shamelessly link to some of those “A-list” blogs on occasion . . . in any case, commentary on my blog about any of this is completely off my usual topic, but interesting to me as a newcomer to the blogging world.

    Thanks for this post – it was interesting to read and comment!

  22. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    Care to share the link to your other blog?

    I do think some people like to argue, some just for the sake of arguing. With blogs, we do “put it out there”, so it’s natural we’re going to get some that disagree with us.

    Hi Sara,

    So true. There is tons of stuff in our daily lives to get us riled up.

    Hi Chase,

    Yes, there are some bloggers who do stir the pot on purpose. Like you, I can usually spot what they are trying to accomplish.

    Hi Wendi,

    Being authentic is what will build a better blog. Granted it may take a little longer, but the community we build and the traffic we get will be like minded people who stick around because they enjoy what we write/share.

    Hi Hunter,

    Thanks for pointing out the typo. I fixed it. Spell checker works great, but doesn’t help if the wrong word is spelled right. :)

    For you, what was a post giving an overview of your trip to Japan, proved to be a way to get you blog massive exposure. Having followed your blog from the beginning, I’m a little surprised that post got you the most traffic, when older posts of yours are brilliant. Go figure.

    Agreed, I am not a controversial person by nature as I do believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I do want my readers to be informed, and try to ask questions to make them think.

    Hi Debbie,

    Yes, sometimes it is interesting to see how a discussion goes in the comment section. Like you said, we don’t need to create more hatred.

    Hi Darren,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    You’re right. Asking the right questions, and giving your readers an option is a great way to initiate a debate without intentionally creating controversy.

    Hi Chris,

    Isn’t it interesting how when you tried to be unauthentic, it didn’t work?

    Our visitors can tell if what we write isn’t from the heart. When we begin to be untrue to ourselves, our loyal readers can see right through that.

    Hi Vered,

    Yes, controversy will (in most cases) get traffic, and like you said, if you’re writing from you heart, you’ll be able to easily defend yourself.

    Hi John,

    Your blog is very informative, and if someone found controversy in what you write, I would be surprised.

    With regard to religion, that and politics will almost always create a firestorm of debate.

    Hi Akemi,

    Being from Japan, your post and Hunter’s, read together would enlighten many. That’s what I like about your writings, you are seeing things through the eyes of a foreigner who is now living in America. It shows a different perspective.

    Hi Barbara Ling,

    :lol: Are you trying to stir the pot? I’ll be watching your blog to see if you write a post saying the same. hehe

    Hmmmm, are there any Jerry Springer type blogs out there?

    Hi JEMi,

    I hear you. Like you, I just want people to get along.

    THAT, would be a great blog post. How soon can we expect it? :)

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Mark,

    Haha, I too, like to use catchy or intriguing headlines. Sometimes that’s the only chance you get to attract a reader’s attention. But, like you said, even the title can be controversial.

    Hi Tom,

    BWAB welcomes you.

    I agree, depending on which circles (in blogosphere) we frequent, we can find the same information regurgitated, BUT it’s often the author and their connection to THEIR audience that gets visitors coming back.

    Haha. I just noticed your most recently post is titled “Speak Freely or Die”. I’ll be over later to read it.

    Hi Ann,

    Well you could write about the people who hoard. Written right, you could end up being extremely controversial. :) But since you’re chronicling your quest to live a “simple” life, that probably wouldn’t be true to your writings.

    Re: grammar and typos. I, too, see a lot of them. In fact, as Hunter pointed out, I made one in this post (which I have fixed). When I first started blogging that drove me nuts, but I soon realized how easy it happens. I also leaned a lot of bloggers are not proficient in the English language. I usually know what they mean, so I let it slide.

    Re: Productivity blogs. Yes, there are a lot of them, as there are blogs about blogging (silly me to write about this subject :) ) But, I knew that coming in, and knew the competition was fierce.

    As the blogoshpere grows, we will see thousands of blogs on the same subject. Luckily we have the freedom to pick and choose those which we want to read.

  24. LOL – Barbara, you’re doing a good job at responding to comments. :)

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 6 – Finding The Right Property

  25. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    you sound “busy” barbara, i can hear it in your keyboard.

    i will probably keep my other blog private. i started it on friday or thursday. i’m not being mean, i’m just talking about things that i would never openly discuss or say on my blog other blog. i purposely don’t blog about certain stuff on my blog, cause frankly my mother would be my butt at age 36 or 63 if i embarassed her…..anymore. lol

    Naturals last blog post..Enjoy Retirement, but Don’t Spend My Inheritance

  26. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    :) I totally understand. You get to vent, and remain anonymous. And……..you certainly don’t want to embarrass your mother.

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Oops John,

    I didn’t see your comment there.

    I had to take a break from replying so I could tend to my job. Today is payday and for some reason the employees wouldn’t understand if I told them I was busy with my blog. :lol:

  28. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    I left my comment for this post on the “Be Inspired by Nothing Post” (sorry). Basically I think there’s no need to go out of your way to write controversial posts, but if you have something important to say I think you should say it, even if it’s controversial. That being said, I don’t think that Sharon Stone should have made that comment about the earthquake in China being Karma.

  29. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Marelisa,

    No problem…I left a reply on that post too.

    Agreed. Going out of our way to create controversy is asking for trouble.

  30. Oh my gosh! Poor Cath! LOL

    I am controversial just based off my field…

    I have had someone call me a “snake oil salesman” even though I am not even selling anything! I think if people want to be negative they just will. There are unfortunately so many unhappy people out there. I try to be positive and doubt I would write about something negatively unless it served a purpose. I guess I am kind of the enemy of junk food and am working on a post about Ding Dungs right now that could be perceived as “controversial” however I just see it as common sense!

  31. p.s. how strange is that- that you just left a comment for me right as I was hitting post on your site! Creepy!!!

    Or maybe we are just in the flow of things. Which reminds me of one other point that your article reminded me of. Recently I have been working to improve my SEO and write for more search engine friendly terms. It hasn’t changed my statistics a bit! It has decreased my enjoyment of writing and blogging!

    I figure why bother? Which is the same thing with the topic of controversy. If you don’t care about something, why be controversial or negative about it?

    Dr. Nicole Sundenes last blog post..What is Beauty? Beauty is Health!

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dr. Nicole,

    A lot of people don’t understand natural “medicine”, so they? I wonder if “society” has done such a great job of convincing the public that there’s a pill for everything that ails you, that people don’t realize there’s other choices.

    Common sense? It’s not as common as we would like to believe.

    Yes, I just did leave your blog. It is ironic you were here on mine. Great minds think alike hey?

    Re: SEO. I rarely write for the search engines on this blog, but over time I am gaining more search engine traffic. It if takes away from your writing enjoyment and you’re happy with your traffic numbers, I say go back to writing the way you always did. There’s nothing worse than sitting in front of your blog, with all the words in your head, and then having to question if they are “search engine friendly”.

  33. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara

    I still don’t see any correlations between what I write and how much traffic I get.

    I sometimes write what I think are well-thought-out, insightful posts. And I get a luke-warm response.

    Othertimes I spend 5 minutes, writing one paragraph of total stupidity, I’m deliberately being a smart-ass. And suddenly everyone is reading it.

    Go figure..?

    When I find out what people like to read, I’ll let you know! :-)

    Friars last blog post..Corporate Buzzwords that Need to Die.

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Friar,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    We never know what is going to attract readers. Sometimes the title will evoke controversy and visitors what to read the rest of the story

  35. axecityNo Gravatar says:

    I think that writing controversial posts for the aim of just getting traffic is cruel, I don’t mean by that the useful controversies, I only mean those ones who are written to bring people to fight with words while the blogger or writer is just watching a lot of traffic hitting his/her site.

    axecitys last blog post..Tech support for all products in one place

  36. @ John,

    “I don’t read [IttyBiz] as I have enough rants going on in my life (I’ve only read a few of her posts and they seemed more like rants which in turn turned me off her site – maybe I just caught a couple by chance).”

    No, that’s pretty accurate! She likes to rant, something that turned me off in the beginning until I got used to her style. Being controversial scares away a lot of her potential readers, but it’s very effective at attracting certain kinds of people. Controversy has its pros and cons.

    “I think what went controversial is your headline, not the actual post. Your post was more a ‘Things I Like About Japan’ than why Japan is ‘better.’”

    Maybe, but that title is also a lot weaker. You read CopyBlogger, right? Which headline would they prefer? :) I did think Japan was better in those particular aspects, so maybe “10 Specific Ways In Which Japan Is Better Than America” would be more accurate, but again, it’s weaker.

    “I for one hate seafood, therefore I see your post as more what you liked about Japan.”

    I hate seafood too. But sushi doesn’t taste like seafood to me!

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..Blog Profits Blueprint – Make Money Blogging (Plus, Me Vs. Yaro)

  37. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    I’m with you Barbara. I like to write something of subtance, to make people think.

    I didn’t intentionally start my blog for lots of comments, but to showcase my words and pictures.

    Most of this blogging business seems like a popularity contest, and that just turns me off.

    I don’t mind controversy, I think we can all grow and learn from it. It’s when you get nasty and hurt people it becomes a problem.

    Ellen Wilsons last blog post..With Love from E: Britishisms

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Axecity,

    It can be cruel, but many do use the controversy tactic as a traffic building technique.

    Hi Hunter,

    Thanks for answering John’s questions.

    Hi Ellen,

    Isn’t it great when we can teach our readers? Make them think? And also showcase all type of art?

    Blogging can take on that popularity contest mentality as bloggers strive to get their writings “found”. As I’ve written in previous posts, there’s an addictiveness to parts of blogging, plus many bloggers are comparing their “results” with others as a measure of success.

  39. I don’t know that I’d specifically write a controversial post, but if I disagree with something or feel strongly about an opinion I’m going to post about it unless it makes me look like some extremist freak which could potentially impact my business.

    I think it’s obvious when people are just being controversial to drive traffic and that makes me just disregard their post.

    It’s the “Oh crud! I didn’t mean to start this!” posts that I find the most entertaining.

    VagabondetteVAs last blog post..How To Find Time For Yourself

  40. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi VagabondetteVA,

    Yes, I guess we all could find some idiosyncrasy about ourselves and post about that, but people might think we went off the deep end.

    You’re right, some bloggers do give themselves away with how they start their post.

  41. Pat RNo Gravatar says:

    I prefer to read something uplifting and inspiring – don’t need more drama or controversy.

    If there’s a difference of opinion I welcome the other points of view so that we can talk and learn. But not argumentative where there’s no point. It’s just a waste of good energy.

    Like you, Barbara, I’m not controversial by nature and would rather write something positive and helpful.

    Blessings,

    Pat Rs last blog post..The Little Things

  42. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Pat,

    And that is exactly why I like visiting your blog. Your stories are always so inspiring and bring a smile to my face. :D

  43. [...] Those Are Fighting Words: Want to drive a heap of traffic to your blog and don’t mind if you also get a lot of hassle because of it? Barbara Swafford discusses some articles that have pissed off a bunch of people. [...]