This week, we've been reviewing some of the different types of blog posts. We've covered the essay, and search engine bait, such as reviews, lists, link posts, and polls. Yesterday, we talked about some different types of media posts. Now, let's talk about posts that are great for drawing traffic from the social networks - controversy-generating posts.
When we talked about polls, that controversy can be a double-edged sword; overdo it, and you're going to get spammed with traffic you don't even want. But it's fine to expand your readership by being just a little bit controversial, so as to invite vigorous discussion, debate, and return readership.
People love to give their opinion, and a blog post that is bascially an open-ended question can be a great discussion starter. Some bloggers use these to drum up traffic on the weekends, or on their slow days.
Poking fun at ourselves, or at our competitors can be a good way to express a point, as it keeps things "light," while still generating thought and discussion.
In political blogging, this is called "oppo," or "opposition research." To do a critique, simply choose an article from your feed reader that interests you, and write a counter-argument to it, pointing out what was lacking in the post, or what part you may have disagreed with. Again, don't overdo it (See Top 10 Worst type of Blog Post - and how to fix them).
This type of post can be in essay form, as we discussed earlier, or may be more in the form of a "rant," which is far less organized, or more personal. Rants tend to be observations on current trends, and often contain elements of satire or humor.
Have you seen or written posts that successfully used controversy to generate traffic? Please share!
Also see: Why Blog Controversy is a Good Thing (Even if it's about you)
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.