The opinion post—and its edgier cousin, the rant post—can be hard to pull off.
You have your own take on an issue or problem and you are itching to share it.
But you don’t want to alienate anyone. You are worried about dividing your readers into camps, each group holding up their picket signs, angry and ready for a fight.
And yet it helps to master the opinion post because it’s another post type to add to your arsenal. Mixing it up on your blog can keep your content varied and your readers interested.
How to Write an Opinion or Rant Post
An opinion post is a blog post commenting on an event or issue, but with the blogger’s personal take on it.
A rant post is similar, but the topic is usually something that has gotten under the blogger’s skin, an event or situation that made her angry or sad or upset.
Some bloggers are afraid that if they write an opinion post, they will alienate their readers. Of course, if you choose a contentious topic that divides your readership and makes some people feel defensive about their own views, you just might.
But taking a reasonable, but debatable, stand on a business issue consistently can get your posts:
- increased page views
- engaged readers
- more comments
And who doesn’t want those things?
For instance, when my blog still focused on marketing, I wrote my opinion (really a rant) of a charming “anti-marketer” surfer dude—an online pitch guy who is reaping millions by using what I thought were manipulative tactics.
Not everyone agreed with me, but that was what I wanted to do: start a lively discussion.
Written in a structured way, a rant can actually help your readers analyze an issue and motivate them to weigh in on it.
How to write a rant post
1. What are your feelings about this issue or topic? If you don’t let go of those emotions, you won’t be able to think clearly enough to present your case.
YOUR TASK: Free write the answer to this question: What is happening in your field or industry or somewhere like a social media platform that is upsetting you? How are you feeling about it?
2. Why does this thing bother you? In my case, I was bothered because, not only was ‘sensitive, ponytailed marketing guy’ taking advantage of people who can’t see through his tactics and who are suckers for the next big dream, but he was making it harder for the responsible, ethical marketers out there.
3. What can your readers learn from it? Now turn your emotions off and write about the takeaways. In my case, having been trained in direct marketing tactics, I could see what ponytailed guy was doing. I took six of the messages in his Internet video and matched each with the strategy he was using.
4. Ask your readers what they think. Be objective so you don’t sway your readers either way. In the case of sensitive ponytailed marketer, I said, “So what do you think? Can we learn anything about marketing and branding from this surfer dude? Is what he is doing good salesmanship or manipulation—or do you think those two things are the same thing? Does it work for his brand but maybe not for everyone’s?”
5. Be prepared for a lively discussion. Now this post came earlier on in my blogging career and I didn’t have as many readers as I do now, but even the few comments I got showed a diversity of opinions. If you stir the pot, get ready for different viewpoints. Respect them because some of the best discussions on blogs happen when readers have opposing views and we have a chance to learn from each other.
A word of caution: Stay away from political opinions because you will usually alienate 50 percent of your audience, the ones with strongly held beliefs that happen to be directly opposite yours.
If you must do a political rant, do it on your personal blog—or a blog that solely tackles politics—not on your business blog.
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