Posted by: inspiremyworld | 09/09/2009

Why You Should Create Controversial Content at Least Once a Week


Last week, like every other week, I wrote an article. This
time I decided to syndicate it, something I should be doing
twice a week, but only get to about 4 times a month, and
that's if I'm feeling up to it.

This was one of the biggest traffic draws from a single
article that I have had in years. It is still producing a
steady stream of traffic, sales and subscribers as I'm
writing this.

It's been 2 years since I've gotten that much of an
appreciative response, or that amount of attention, period,
for an article I wrote that wasn't widely syndicated. In
fact, it only appeared in one major publication.

So what's all the hub-bub, bub?

As you may have guessed, there was a controversy surrounding
the article. First, there were several typos. Normally I'd
edit the article so relentlessly that by the time the
article was perfect, it would be a month since I wrote it
and it wouldn't fit into my article marketing campaign for
that week.

Since I'd been kicking my own butt to get content out on
schedule, even when it isn't perfect, I took my own
medicine and just sent it out the way it was. And boy were
the grammar, typing and spelling police mad!

Two people wrote me that they passed my article around at
their meetings as an example of what not to do. Does it
count as a backfire when one of the people who sees it
Googles you and becomes a client?

(Just had to get in that little dig. Forgive me.)

What else was so bad about the article?

I called my readers "punks" - in the title.

This was a calculated risk - I'd run another version of the
article, a blog post, and from sharing on StumbleUpon alone
it got over 3000 visitors. In this new version, the article
then went on to tell my readers to basically get off their
over-thinking butts and do something, then gave them two
examples of things to do.

There was, of course, a vocal minority of outraged
responses about this too. But, curiously, other, louder,
people who read the article - people I have never met or
spoken to - came along and defended it.

In the end, my slang-ridden, typo-laden, in-your-face
article brought me more profitable traffic and attention
than any other article I've written this year. It was
written in a moment of passion I had at seeing a friend
almost lose her house, and a peer almost lose his
business, mostly as a result of inaction.

And seeing this reaction led me to go back and look at my
other articles. I write all my own stuff - it's far more
profitable for those of us who are at least halfway decent
at writing to write an okay article injected with
personality than it is to pay someone else to write generic
content.

(I still hire writers for certain things though. But I
concentrate on the ones with voice and depth, and pay them
more for unique, engaging writing - I don't simply
outsource to the lowest bidder. I say if you're going to
hire a writer, get someone better than you.)

If you have the ability to generate controversy with your
content, do it. Not convinced? Here are seven reasons why
you should consider it.

1- It's Effective

Nothing gets more attention than controversy. That's why
reality shows are popular. It's why we read the journalist
who we think is making an absolutely backwards prediction
about something we care about. That's why people gossip and
debate.

Why merely participate when you can be the topic of
discussion?

2- Negative Attention is Sometimes even Better than
Positive Attention

Nothing spreads faster than outrage. Wide exposure for a
controversial view is much better than no exposure for
towing the conventional wisdom line.

3- Display Your Skill at Dealing with Diverging Viewpoints

Let people see the smooth way you react to the rude
comments from people who take your words personally that
WILL follow. I've gained lifelong friends, fans and
customers from them witnessing what they call poise under
pressure - and I call common courtesy.

You don't have to respond from the same type of energy
that's being directed at you. Why let someone else having a
bad day ruin your day?

4- It Vets Your Buyers

For example, if you want more clients that will take your
advice to heart, get off their butts, and stop making
excuses, try making a video that takes a hard line and
tells people to get off their butts and stop making excuses!

Yeah, you'll get reamed for it - by people who make excuses.
They will be offended and never sign up to your newsletter.

Awesome. Because the people who needed a coach who believes
in swift kicks in the butt will take your advice and
hungrily seek more of it.

5- It's Fun to Do

What's more fun than seeing something controversial? Being
controversial or doing something controversial. It's not
for the faint of heart, but if you can take it, boy is that
a fun ride!

6 - It's Entertaining To Experience

When people are entertained, they buy more. You probably
never noticed the music playing in the background at the
grocery store. It's there because studies show that people
browse longer and thus, buy more, when they're being
entertained.

Now you see more TVs at gas stations and in convenience
stores. When I used to live in Vegas many of the Strip cabs
had TVs on the backs of seats before I ever saw them in
regular cars.

Then there's the classic example of commercials during our
favorite TV shows.

7- It Sets You Apart

You know why bigger companies are afraid of controversy?

Me either. If you find out, come tell me. All I know is,
I'm not afraid of controversy because I see it as an
opportunity. It's another way to connect, to have something
to discuss, and in the case of my last controversial
article, to help people.

Even if you aren't going to make a controversial audio,
video, blog post or article, for goodness sakes, do
something different.

No one watches boring shows on TV, invites boring people to
parties, reads boring books or listens to boring music
unless they have to, for study or evaluation.

Try a little controversy and see where it takes you. If
that's too scary, at least risk being extraordinarily
passionate. The spotlight can be fun.
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