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10 ways to lose 100 blog followers in 1 sentence.

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I’m not trying to do that today, by the way.

I just thought, you know, that words are powerful, and a lot of us make instant judgments, both good and bad, after just a sentence or two or reading. First impressions apply to blogs too.

So what are some opening sentences that might turn your readers away quickly?

  1. Today, I’ll be writing about the issue of abortion.
  2. My mom always told me honesty is the best policy, so it’s time for me to be honest: I’m Moses reincarnated, I parted the Red Sea, and now I have some things to share with you.
  3. Roll Tide!
  4. Three years ago, I awoke on the planet Zomor seated next to Ronald Reagan on a flying hippopotamus.
  5. You know, the Ku Klux Klan really has some interesting points.
  6. I is a writer.
  7. After two wonderful years of marriage to my lovely wife, I want to share with you my keys to wedded bliss. [Example]
  8. I don’t care what you say…I’m a 42-year-old woman, and I think Edward from Twilight is gorgeous.
  9. The Obamacare website is really the best user experience I’ve come across on the internet.
  10. I just met you through my blog, and this is crazy, but I know where you live, and I’ll kill you, maybe?

Those examples are stupid and not really funny, but you get the point.

So think about this stuff if you want to write on controversial topics. That’s the power of the internet: You can be a blathering, racist homophobe and publish your stupid opinions in minutes.

You’ll definitely draw attention, and you might get a lot of traffic. But you’re going to lose followers as well.

If you’re mentally prepared to deal with that, then go for it.

But that’s why I write a book blog. You think the whole e-reader versus traditional book subject is controversial? Write a post about abortion.

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39 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yea! It’s not just me! While I do admire those people who can handle controversial topics with aplomb, most people don’t. Considering that my occupation is journalism (specifically opinion journalism) I’m only slightly less careful with my blog posts (sparse though they are) than I am with my letters page. If I won’t print it, generally I won’t blog it. Yes, I’ll blog some political stuff I wouldn’t include in a column, but that’s simply blowing off steam that’s built up over a day of editing untra-conservative writers, some with logic impairment and/or partisan blinders. Perhaps it’s not spectacular and boundary-pushing, but it’s me.

    November 18, 2013
  2. that is so true. thank you for posting this. :)

    November 18, 2013
  3. I see what you’re saying but don’t necessarily agree. Having a big blog following is a terrific thing and I admire people who can claim such. At the same time, writing about deeply important topics, like abortion, is an important part of blogging. I wrote a blog post about my own abortion which got 115,000+ hits on Open Salon and was picked up by Salon as well. http://redswrap.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/the-wire-2/ Did it gain me more followers? Not really. But it got an important message about reproductive rights to a large audience and I’ve never regretted writing it or posting it.

    November 18, 2013
    • I completely agree. Some things need to be written about because they’re important, even if it will lose you followers. I really respect people who can do that from a personal place and weather the internet backlash that usually comes.

      November 18, 2013
    • I’m not saying you shouldn’t write what’s important to you or to sell yourself out for a following, I’m just saying there’s a balance there to consider. A lot of it includes your audience. If you’ve set the expectation that you’re going to talk about this stuff all the time, then it’s fine. If it comes out of nowhere, then that’s more questionable.

      For example, I would be more than happy to write my thoughts on abortion, cap punishment, etc, as an op ed for a newspaper, but I would never write that here. It’s just context and audience expectation, I think.

      November 18, 2013
  4. These are actually some very funny post starters….even conversation starters.

    November 18, 2013
  5. I used to write a political blog – man, oh man the up and down followers on that thing could make you nauseous in no time. Great post!

    November 18, 2013
    • I couldn’t agree more. I also love how some bloggers will post about controversial topics, say they encourage a great debate, but then get a little crazy when someone posts a difference in opinion. I imagine that prompts a loss of readers as well. Great reminder!

      November 18, 2013
      • Yes, or the example I linked to in this post. That guy just blogs about everything that’s ever been controversial, then never gets involved in the comments section. That’s just stirring the pot and it’s just traffic bait. Very lame.

        November 18, 2013
  6. Reblogged this on yadadarcyyada and commented:
    Gave me a good chuckle this morning

    November 18, 2013
  7. If I’m going to be really controversial, i use one of my other blogs that I run with the speific purpose of annoying people. I have a couple of FB accounts with the same aim.
    Thanks for the reblog, by the way. It was very generous.

    November 18, 2013
  8. Reblogged this on donniebishop.

    November 18, 2013
  9. I am always so worried about even mentioning a political stance I have, even if I have strong feelings about it. I definitely keep tight-lipped about any opinions I have on anything beside books.

    November 18, 2013
    • countryfairy12 #

      good idea

      November 20, 2013
  10. I think most people blog to connect with like-minded people whether your topic is controversial or not. No matter what your subject is, you’re going to attract followers who think the same way. Those that aren’t interested will just move on to blogs that better suit their tastes. I personally blog about pretty tame stuff, books, crafts, knitting – fairly free of controversy.

    November 18, 2013
  11. Ha I thought #7 was pretty funny. Not that people shouldn’t address controversial topics…they just need to do it in a way that isn’t, well, stupid.

    November 18, 2013
    • Agreed. And in the right setting. For example, I would never blog about gun control or something like that here. It’s just the wrong environment.

      November 18, 2013
  12. Reblogged this on Letters from the Mezzanine.

    November 18, 2013
  13. Reblogged this on iconobaptist and commented:
    Humorous and good . . .

    November 18, 2013
  14. Oops, now I have to go back and edit my posts. Just kidding :) Funny work!

    November 18, 2013
  15. Number 6 made me laugh out loud

    November 18, 2013
  16. Those are fun, but I actually think that number 4 is the beginning of something interesting.

    November 18, 2013
    • Run with it!

      November 18, 2013
  17. Oh, so funny!

    November 18, 2013
  18. True, but one way or another we have all been in that place i.e., one of the 10 ways, but if I am in a position of unfollowing someone I will always give that blogger a pass. It is time that we all recognize and allow creative space to grow and learn. So, go for it. If you have the conviction, the positivity will enable you to recover. Remember, You can always see the splinter in the other guy’s eye but never the plank in your own. Peace Out!

    November 18, 2013
  19. Giggle. So it’s possible that I could offend others if I write about God, but I’ll take my chances. This post just made me laugh. Fun stuff!

    November 18, 2013
    • Thanks. Write about your convictions. I probably should’ve done a better job of clarifying setting. If you’ve set the expectation that you write about God every now and then, it makes more sense. But if it comes out of left field, that’s when you should be prepared to deal with the “backlash.” Either way, if you’re okay with it, then go for it.

      November 18, 2013
      • It’s all good. I really enjoyed your post, agreed and had quite a laugh over it. :)

        Yes, a good clarification, sir. Yet not needed, your post was well done.

        November 19, 2013
  20. Actually, I thought #4 was very funny.

    November 18, 2013
  21. the question is: do we write for ourselves or others? I don’t mean being selfish when I say we write for ourselves. It is more about expressing ourselves and writing about a topic we would enjoy writing. However, the style matters most of the time (even if you write about abortion or not)

    November 18, 2013
    • I think, ultimately, you have to write for yourself. But you do it in a way that entertains and teaches others. I learn as much writing on this blog as I hope the people who read it do. If you’re writing about politics, and that’s what’s on your heart, I think that’s fine. But you have to be clear up front about the stuff you write about. If I posted about abortion tomorrow, I would get a lot of crap from some people, because that would be totally out of left field and completely unexpected based on stuff I’ve written in the past.

      November 18, 2013
  22. But I am Moses. It wasn’t the Red Sea I had so much trouble with. It was that burning bush. I tried everything–fire extinguisher, water, you name it–I just couldn’t get the fire quenched. And it was such a nice bush too.

    November 18, 2013
    • Well then you need to write a blog post about that.

      November 18, 2013
  23. That was hilarious! Need to keep this in mind later on in case I write anything too controversial…my topics have been pretty tame so far. :)

    November 19, 2013
  24. Hilarious! And I would completely run from a blog that said “Roll Tide!” ;)

    November 19, 2013
    • As well you should!

      November 19, 2013
  25. Excellent post!!! Thanks for the smile.

    November 19, 2013
  26. “6. I is a writer.” — Is there anyone else upon whom that sentence may have the opposite effect. I do not generally read blogs unless one appears as a result to a Google query (as was the case with your blog. This is the second post I have read, and I must say, I quite like it. Perhaps I may, indeed, begin reading blogs [or at least this one] after all), but if I saw one that began with “I is a writer,” I would bookmark that site immediately, and check for updates everyday.

    November 21, 2013
    • Yes, the idea that it’s a train wreck but you’ve got to watch it. I get that.

      November 21, 2013

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