In the tradition of sensationalist videos such as Girls Gone Wild and When Animals Attack, I bring you a Smart SEO Blog special: Bloggers Behaving Badly.
You’re just innocently opening your RSS feed reader one day and to your surprise, your favorite blogger is in a heated debate with another blogger. Or two of your favorite bloggers are at each other’s throats. It’s like watching a car collision scene before your very eyes! Gasp! You’re shocked! Bewildered! And even if you think these bloggers don’t have shame, you are slightly entertained (whether you admit it or not).
What exactly happens when bloggers fight? Apart from the actual – sometimes illogical – debates, the rest of the world chimes in to watch as they tear each other apart. Not only that, they leave comments.
In a recent bull(shit)fight between bloggers John Cow and Tyler Cruz, John basically exposed Tyler for trying to hustle his readers into paying more than they should for a designer’s services. Tyler, of course, defended himself. The results? 81 comments on Cow’s post and 40 on Tyler’s. As far as I can tell, that’s the most number of comments that Tyler’s ever received in a single post. Cow’s a pretty controversial blogger with a truckload of pageviews more than Tyler, so his increase in comments isn’t as much compared to what Tyler got. Still, an increase in comments is the sign of an engaged community. Apart from that, fighting bloggers also get additional backlinks, a big buzz, and possibly wider readership as a result.
What about taking on big organizations and corporations? Bloggers fearlessly do that. The more controversial the issue, the more attention they get. Remember Parker Peters’ Livejournal posts about the lying going on at Wikipedia? And Jason Calcanis accusing Alexa of being 100% wrong. Plus, Shoemoney exposed a DMOZ editor for attempting to bribe him (but that’s not a new issue, it’s happened to every other big site owner out there). Since posts like these talk about companies, organizations, or websites that everyone knows about, they tend to attract a lot of comments and backlinks (Shoemoney got 300+ comments from the DMOZ post).
In other words, fighting, ranting, taking on other bloggers and The Man – all of these attracts a lot of attention. In the social media universe, you will be rewarded with links and a bigger audience watching and taking part in the chaos. So if you’re a blogger looking to increase and engage your readership, go ahead and get your hands dirty. But do it with class. Here are some tips:
- Always fight with someone more popular and bigger than you. The bigger the blogger, the more controversial the issue, the more people will pay attention.
- Beware of being libelous. Rant all you like about an issue, but don’t ever lie. Or else you’ll get caught and your credibility will be shot to bits.
- Defend your statements logically, keep all rantings within the subject. You might be tempted to take things to a personal level – don’t. It’s hard to write a logical blog post when your blood is boiling, but keep in mind that if you can defend yourself without bringing in the personal stuff, it’ll be a more respectable type of fight.