Why You Don’t Want to Be An Average Blogger

Why You Don’t Want to Be An Average Blogger

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of posts across the web that say having an opinion when blogging is bad.

Maybe not so much having an opinion, as having a very forceful opinion, and then blogging about it. This is where bloggers are making a big mistake (according to some of the posts I’ve been reading).

The thinking is, by being opinionated, you’re potentially driving away readers, subscribers and – worse still – advertisers for your blog.

But I don’t agree with that – and here’s why.

You Don’t Want to be Invisible

Depending on who you listen to, there are around 200 million blogs online, with more being added daily. Now, I’m no mathematician whiz, but that’s a shitload of blogs to compete with!

Let’s say of these 200 million, 10% are in the niche you want to blog in. That’s 20 million blogs. Now, let’s say out of these 20 million, 50% are generic and write safe content.

You know – top lists this and that, fifty ways to do such and such, yadda yadda yadda. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, and it can drive traffic – but it usually yields little more than this afterward.

No sign ups, no leads, no new readers, etc – or at least, not the ones that stick around.

If you stand apart from the generic blogging approach, you’ve immediately stood apart from 50% of the other blogs in your niche. However, you’ve still got another 10 million blogs to worry about.

This is where your strong opinion comes into play.

Forcing Your Way Past Invisibility

Now that you’re into the part of the audience you really want to reach, it’s time to stand out from the other bloggers around you too. This isn’t going to be easy, especially if they have a dedicated audience and a longer lead time on their blog than you do.

But here’s the thing – you don’t need to “steal” an audience – just encourage it to read more than one or two blogs.

To do this, you need to be strong in your viewpoint and really believe in what you’re saying – and don’t waver from that intensity and belief.

Take a look at social media blogs. There are literally millions of blogs about social media, many saying the exact same thing as each other. So how would you break into that niche?

Simple – you stand up to the popular view and offer alternative and more questioning takes on social media.

When you’re sharing these views (and you can be contrarian professionally), make sure to link back to the original posts you’re debating. Or, if you have established a rapport with the blogger in question, email them your link and ask for their take.

Oftentimes, good bloggers will be happy to share your take with their audience, and you can enjoy new eyeballs from their.

The trick is, if you’re going this route, you really need to be sure about the topic you’re countering and come backed with facts to complement your opinion.

But get that right, and start to build a reputation as a blogger who cares enough to question? That’s an audience builder right there.

Get the audience and, if you’re looking to monetize your blog, the advertisers will come too – and they’ll be the ones that agree with your take, which will make them an even better fit for your audience.

It’s a win-win all round – and that’s never a bad thing.

image: quinn.anya

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
33 comments
Coaching With Joe
Coaching With Joe

Taking a position will gain you a small crowd. On the other hand, losing another crowd. Well, if that small crowd is 100,000, I will gladly take a position.

Ryan Hanley
Ryan Hanley

Danny,

I seriously could not think of a worse piece of advice to give another blogger... Don't have any opinion? Isn't that why we all started blogs? Because we have opinions and this new vehicle of mass self-expression allows us to share that opinion with the world?

Crazy...

Great thoughts though buddy...

Hanley

Ryan Hanley
Ryan Hanley

Danny, I seriously could not think of a worse piece of advice to give another blogger... Don't have any opinion? Isn't that why we all started blogs? Because we have opinions and this new vehicle of mass self-expression allows us to share that opinion with the world? Crazy... Great thoughts though buddy... Hanley

Paul Sutton
Paul Sutton

Couldn't agree with this any more if you wrapped it in paper and gave it to me for Christmas. And I don't even know what that means.

I've seen those articles too. Totally ridiculous. Why bother if all you're going to do is toe the line, agree with anyone who says anything and reinforce the status quo? Yes, writing stuff that disagrees with popular opinion can seem contrary and grumpy, and yes it can cause friction and disagreement...but at least things get talked about.

Nice one, sir.

Paul Sutton
Paul Sutton

Couldn't agree with this any more if you wrapped it in paper and gave it to me for Christmas. And I don't even know what that means. I've seen those articles too. Totally ridiculous. Why bother if all you're going to do is toe the line, agree with anyone who says anything and reinforce the status quo? Yes, writing stuff that disagrees with popular opinion can seem contrary and grumpy, and yes it can cause friction and disagreement...but at least things get talked about. Nice one, sir.

Miliind
Miliind

It’s true, lots of blogger don't want to ruffle any feathers and therefore avoid having a

strong opinion. Bloggers who worry too much about sounding opinionated should

remember that today biggest problem is not about driving away the readers, the

problem is, readers simply are aware about existence of countless blogs. The

only way to get noticed is to take the stand...preferably against the popular

opinions. In my recently launched blog http://breakthepill.com/ I have tried doing exactly the same.

Miliind
Miliind

It’s true, lots of blogger don't want to ruffle any feathers and therefore avoid having a strong opinion. Bloggers who worry too much about sounding opinionated should remember that today biggest problem is not about driving away the readers, the problem is, readers simply are aware about existence of countless blogs. The only way to get noticed is to take the stand...preferably against the popular opinions. In my recently launched blog http://breakthepill.com/ I have tried doing exactly the same.

Jay Dolan
Jay Dolan

Everything I write on my blog is a fact. I checked them with my own BS meter.

MicroSourcing
MicroSourcing

Being an average blogger could work for a while, though your blog's traffic will eventually die down unless you start offering relevant and interesting content.

Keith Davis
Keith Davis

And no reason why anyone should be.

Takes time to find your feet though and realise that your opinion is as valid as the next man's.

Or should that be person's... don't want to upset Ms Arrow.

Also takes bottle... I've seen you defend your corner Danny and truth to tell, not everyone likes the "rough and tumble" as my old boss used to call a good eyeball to eyeball.

No way does anyone want to be average... and no reason why they should be.

Keith Davis
Keith Davis

And no reason why anyone should be. Takes time to find your feet though and realise that your opinion is as valid as the next man's. Or should that be person's... don't want to upset Ms Arrow. Also takes bottle... I've seen you defend your corner Danny and truth to tell, not everyone likes the "rough and tumble" as my old boss used to call a good eyeball to eyeball. No way does anyone want to be average... and no reason why they should be.

Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan

People are really recommending that DB? I haven't read the articles but I can tell you that from my perspective, strong opinions are EVERYTHING in this business.

Robert Clarke
Robert Clarke

Great point Danny. We named our company upon this premise - Op Ed is a newspaper term for "Opinions and Editorials" or "Opposite the Editorials". A newspaper is filled with news (obviously) but the Op Ed pages are the only place where people are trying to make sense of it, putting forward their ideas and opinions.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

You'd think, right mate? People say, "Well, if you disagree, why don't you blog about it?" - and when you do, they bitch and moan because you're offering a fresh and opinionated take? Come on!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

What makes it worse, if you like, are all the "great post" comments afterward? I'm like, seriously, you really thought that was great? Shit, your girlfriend must be regularly disappointed... ;-)

Cheers, mate!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

What makes it worse, if you like, are all the "great post" comments afterward? I'm like, seriously, you really thought that was great? Shit, your girlfriend must be regularly disappointed... ;-) Cheers, mate!

Brian D. Meeks
Brian D. Meeks

This would have been funnier if the comment didn't use my name, but my moniker, Extremely Average.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Completely agree, mate - I think the key thing is, to be yourself while trying to find your feet. No-one likes to be "left behind", but if you're trying to be someone else to keep up, you're only kidding yourself (and your readers) in the long run.

Here's to more eye-to-eyes. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Completely agree, mate - I think the key thing is, to be yourself while trying to find your feet. No-one likes to be "left behind", but if you're trying to be someone else to keep up, you're only kidding yourself (and your readers) in the long run. Here's to more eye-to-eyes. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Mate, like you would not believe. Or maybe I'm just reading the wrong bloggers. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

I like the way your company thinks, mate - heck, if we just laid down and accepted everything, we'd be pretty poor for it indeed.

Paul Sutton
Paul Sutton

Haha!

Man, that is one huge can of worms that I opened once and then promptly slammed shut again as it caused me an awful lot of grief. The sycophantic nature of some blog communities absolutely does my head in.

I was going to try an experiment with someone not so long ago (someone you know) where we swapped authorship on blog posts on a topic that we fundamentally disagreed on just to see whether the communities would blindly go along with a complete switch in opinion. Never got off the ground as I couldn't quite make the logistics work, but I might revive that next year. I've often wondered what the point of having a large community is if all they do is agree with anything you say...

Paul Sutton
Paul Sutton

Haha! Man, that is one huge can of worms that I opened once and then promptly slammed shut again as it caused me an awful lot of grief. The sycophantic nature of some blog communities absolutely does my head in. I was going to try an experiment with someone not so long ago (someone you know) where we swapped authorship on blog posts on a topic that we fundamentally disagreed on just to see whether the communities would blindly go along with a complete switch in opinion. Never got off the ground as I couldn't quite make the logistics work, but I might revive that next year. I've often wondered what the point of having a large community is if all they do is agree with anything you say...

Ryan Ridgway
Ryan Ridgway

I'm surprised to hear other people recommending that as well! A blog that offers a thought stimulating, even radical opinion, will ultimately leave more of an impact on a reader. It draws the reader in for more conversation and opens up the opportunity that they'll find the post share-worthy as well :)

Jon Loomer
Jon Loomer

I agree with that opinionated jerk Marcus! ;)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Look forward to that post if/when you do it, mate. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Exactly, mate - it's why blogs (for me) have the advantage over the printed media, there's (usually) zero to little editorial restrictions. You can share opinion, versus being held to non-partisan statements. Which, as you say, helps connect with the audience even more.

Cheers, mate!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Exactly, mate - it's why blogs (for me) have the advantage over the printed media, there's (usually) zero to little editorial restrictions. You can share opinion, versus being held to non-partisan statements. Which, as you say, helps connect with the audience even more. Cheers, mate!