Writing an article that sparks discussions is not always easy. A blogger needs to know his audience extremely well, not just to be able to foresee the kind of topics they might be interested in, but also because he needs to approach different issues with the right amount of finesse in order to ignite controversy but not so extreme that subscribers decide to leave his site. Such a balancing act is difficult to maintain on a regular basis, but there are a few tricks and tips you can take into consideration when trying to spice up your blog entries.
Decide on Who You Want to be
Firs thing’s first. You need to set yourself straight about how far you are willing to go for your convictions. It’s clear that we all have viewpoints that may not be understood by the general public, but we often decide to not share them openly because of possible repercussions. When in search for a controversial topic or an article theme that fuels discussions, it may just be that you need to address important issues where people think they have a right to have an opinion, and that their opinion is the only one that counts. Such topics are generally politics or sports related, women and their rise in management positions, relationships, monogamy and several others.
Controversy is the Spark for Many Conversations
In all fairness, there are extremely successful blogs that have only controversy to thank for their quick rise to fame. They discuss issues that are bound to have at least 10 subscribers so enthusiastic about the theme, that they also have to pitch in, and a minimum of 5 first time visitors so appalled that they can’t help themselves from giving the writer a piece of their mind. From there on, the issue is extremely simple. There are unending discussions that the blogger willingly and cleverly fuels at the best of moments, which make the article, and therefore the entire blog, score higher and higher in search engine queries.
According to, facilitating discussion is not just a matter of clever topic choice, although issues such as animal testing, adamant opinions about homosexuality, equality (or inequality of sexes in the workplace), uselessness of certain institutions (such as marriage), military, politics, legalizing drugs, and other topics can certainly create the perfect grounds for discussion, regardless of the way the article is written and if it is at all believable or not. You can also facilitate conversation by inviting users to actively participate in the comments section, by requesting arguments and opinions and by supporting free expression at all costs.
Expressing your own opinion about delicate matters may ignite the need of self-expression in many of your readers, so that it’s important how honest and how open you are when it comes to such issues. Uncovering your true self can inspire many others who did not have the courage to do so, to finally walk out of the shadow and say what they are feeling.
Your contribution to how comments and discussions unfold is also important. You can intervene in key moments, when it seems that conversations are coming to a close, so that you maintain discussions flowing freely.
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Playing the Devil’s Advocate
Playing devil’s advocate is something any blogger would recommend to those starting off, because it puts you in the position of supporting the less popular side of a controversial topic (such as women not being equal to men, abortion, homosexuality and so forth). But your ability to keep being the bad guy in all posts that you publish is determined by your threshold for negative feedback, because you will have an extreme number of readers writing to criticize and accuse you.
Blackdragon’s blog for instance is the perfect example for such a situation. Many could consider him a misogynist because he speaks of men and women interactions as merely sexual (from a man’s perspective) and gives men a 411 on how exactly to get a woman into bed without much regard for anything other than that. You could assume that women, disgusted by such behavior and opinions would comment negatively- and they did. The issue is that such a blogger rejoices in such comments because he can use them in order to keep the discussion going exactly where he wants to have it. This is indeed a clever form of manipulation.