July 27, 2021, 0 Comments

Controversy Is Still The Best Marketing Tool

Like a lot of other online marketers, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Google+ lately working on building up my Author Rank (if you don’t know what Author Rank is, then read this post from SEO Moz). I’ve been doing a diligent job of finding cool content to share and networking with industry bigwigs.  With each post, I will probably get a couple shares and several +1’s, which isn’t too bad. Then one of my posts went crazy!  It now has 53 comments, 62 +1’s, and mentions me 28 times – all in the course of 36 hours. What’s the secret sauce to all this attention?  I simply posted a really controversial viewpoint on a popular topic.

The Internet is Vomit

The internet is full of vomit in the sense that everything is ad nauseam.  If you do a search for any term in any niche, the top 50 results or so will all hold the exact same information, just presented in a different way or with slightly different amounts of detail. Considering that everything has already been discussed and dissected on the internet (from worm farms to sexual positions), it is really hard to make yourself stand out.  It is even more difficult when you consider the fact that you’ve got sites like Wikipedia and WebMD as your competitors.

So, how do you build an audience in face of these problems? You must:

  • Present better information than your competitors
  • Present the information in a more entertaining manner
  • Present a new viewpoint (i.e. controversy)

It isn’t always possible to be better or more entertaining than your competitors – but it isn’t too difficult to be controversial.  Of course, you do risk offending and isolating yourself from your audience, but the risk is usually worth the reward (so long as it is executed carefully). Keep in mind that not all your content has to be controversial.  Often, a few riling blog posts are enough to generate a surge of backlinks (especially from your haters) which will give you a SEO boost even for your non-controversial content. So stop being afraid of a backlash and express your controversial views.

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