Author: April Hall
Internet Copywriter

Last week, Eric posted an excellent entry on the benefits of incorporating controversy into your internet content. Whether you have an interactive blog or a traditional website, using a bit of controversy is a great way to spur conversation and draw visitors to your website. It is easy to see how useful controversy can be–just look at how many comments Eric’s blog has received over the past few days! If controversy is so great for business, why not add more than a trickle to your blog or site? Why not go ahead and pour a deluge of debate into your web content?

The reason you need to be cautious when adding controversy to your web content is simple: too much can result in the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve. It is fine to mention a timely controversy in a blog, and even to state (in somewhat strong terms) how you feel about the situation. It may even be appropriate to go into detail about how the given situation is affecting your business, your community,or even the greater society. However, you must keep your audience in mind as you are incorporating controversy into your web content. Language that becomes too harsh and concrete can turn your readers off and cause them to form a negative opinion of the writer (in this case, you!).

How can you encourage controversy while remaining diplomatic?

  1. Be sure to encourage dissenting ideas and rebuttal comments. You can say almost anything if you preface it with a statement such as, “This is just my opinion” and end it with “What do you think?” As with any blog entry, interacting with your readers in the comments section will let them know you value what they think and respect their ideas.
  2. Keep your audience in mind. If you have a business blog that is focused on a particular industry, it is probably inappropriate to rant and rave for an entire page on the pitfalls of religion, the decline of social society or any other hot-button topic that is only tangentially related to your blog. Your readers likely come to your blog to learn from you about your business; they go other places for social commentary!
  3. Choose your controversy carefully. If you know that there is an extremely sensitive subject related to your industry (such as universal healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry), be very careful how you approach it. Being too opinionated can cause loyal readers to immediately check out; costing you potential profits for the sake of personal satisfaction. Remember, in the end your blog is about internet marketing more than anything else!

While internet content writers have begun to recognize the growing supremacy of King Controversy, there remains the need to recognize the steady presence of Diplomat Moderation. Just as with any sales, understanding your role as an Ambassador for your business means that you must sometimes place your audience’s needs and feelings above your own need to express your opinion.

Who knew that SEO internet marketing is almost as much about civics that it is about business?