Controversy—Fast Results with, Potentially, Big Consequences

Controversy is a tactic bloggers use to generate a buzz about their blog. Think of it like getting into a fight with your sibling or best friend, but within the blogosphere, everyone can read how you approached the situation. You could generate controversy aimed towards an important or noticeable topic, but you could also create controversy with another blogger. I would prefer the former option, but that is completely up to you. Regardless, it should be used sparingly (unless your blog is focused on this type of material).

There are both good and bad points to using controversy, but it is up to you to weigh the risks and rewards.


  • Lots of traffic in a short amount of time
  • Can bring you many subscribers
  • Gets you in the spotlight
  • Can make you seem like a genius if you come out on top
  • Can instantly make you a reputable source
  • Can make you an overnight star within the blogosphere


  • Can harm your reputation
  • Can cost you subscribers and viewers
  • Can come back to haunt you later on
  • Might earn yourself some haters (people who love to disapprove of your blog and/or name on the internet)
  • Could forever hurt your chances of reaching success

Be Careful

I must again reiterate my advice of only playing the controversy card sparingly. It can quickly become annoying. It will also lose its effect if it is done often. Also, I find it difficult to seriously follow someone who appears to always be making drama for the sake of being in the spotlight.

So tell me, what has been your most controversial article? Also, do you believe controversy is a worthy thing to manufacture for the sake of being noticed?

9 thoughts on “Controversy—Fast Results with, Potentially, Big Consequences

  1. I think your being deliberately controversial. 😉

    And regardless, I’m not afraid to say what other bloggers are. I tell it like it is.

    We all know we want to reach the top, and many of the bloggers I have followed (even Robert Scoble) use these tactics (and he open admits to them) to generate that buzz.

    I’ve publicly stated that I don’t appreciate this form of blogging, and I don’t generate controversy for the sake of just doing so, but some people do on a regular basis. In the end, some people have different priorities.

    My priority is to my readers, but others have very different motivations.

  2. The cheapest trick you can pull when you have nothing to say is to be deliberately controversial.

    There’s nothing wrong with controversy per sce. If it’s legitimate and not manipulative. But a blogger crosses the line when “being controversial” becomes just another tool to create some “buzz.”

    Funny word: buzz. Very condescending. A real Hollywood way of thinking. Like saying your reader’s comments are almost like the buzzimg of a bunch of insects. “Kick over the anthill and watch them little buggers run boys!”

    Sometimes I wonder just how different we are from all the other media we like to criticize so much if we even need to have such a discussion.

    Or am I just being deliberately controversial right now?

  3. Perhaps you should try discussing a controversial topic (like I just explained in my previous comment).

    People like to read opinions on controversy. It is like them reading something from the Jerry Springer show or Colbert Report.

    Hopefully it works out!

  4. That is how I have done it. Although, I do address controversial subjects with my writing, I never have created much controversy on my own. I like it that way.

    However, if there was a topic or person I had to address which would cause controversy, but I still wanted to address it anyways, I would do so without hesitation.

  5. Certain blogs, I’m sure, are tailor-made to have a controversial post. Some, like ours dealing with bad credit resources, don’t have too many options. But it’s certainly a new twist and something worth trying!

  6. I have not posted a controversial article just yet. I have one in mind that will make me lost some readers but gain a little spotlight around the net.

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