Just Kidding?

Fake Controversial Blog Posts. Are You Making This Mistake?

Just Kidding

I’ve recently noticed a wave of new bloggers who are trying to get the attention by applying a technique known as being very good for generating nice traffic: controversial blog posts.

While some bloggers think that writing controversial blog posts won’t get you good results on long term (negative branding & comments), others disagree and from time to time keep applying this technique.

I won’t enter into a debate on this topic but I would like to point a very wrong way of applying this traffic generation method.

The mistake comes from the fact that some new bloggers don’t understand what a controversial blog post is

First of all let me give you an example of a famous controversial topic… For many centuries even the most educated people believed that the earth is flat. A few other people disagreed with this opinion and made public their own view trying to prove that the earth is round… you know the rest of the story.

That’s fine, but let’s see what some modern new bloggers do:

1. Headline: All red Corvettes are actually green.

2. Blog: Nah, just kidding. All red Corvettes are red and I want one myself ’cause it’s an awesome car. Signature. Buy this blogging ebook.

Do you notice the huge difference?

That’s actually not a controversial blog post. The pattern is different: a controversial headline and then a blog posts that contradicts the headline and doesn’t tell absolutely anything new or original. That’s simply a misleading headline and a blog post no one wants to read ’cause there’s nothing interesting there.

What’s your take on this?

Here’s my view…

When I see a controversial headline I say, “Hey, you’re stupid” and I move on. Or… I say, “Are you nuts? Let’s see what’s there…” and I click on that link. That’s what the blogger wanted, but… if the blog post doesn’t deliver what was promised in the headline… I get angry ’cause that blogger wasted my time…

I don’t like when someone tries to cheat on me. Do you know anyone who like it?

Well… if a blogger makes me angry that way… do you really think that I’ll buy something from him or that I’ll join his mailing list?

If you’re one of these bloggers, think about this… Maybe your best friends will say, “Wow, what a nice joke”. Maybe other new bloggers will say, “Wow, yet another smart guy who applies this valuable technique the same like I do”.

But believe me, most of us, the majority of the people, don’t like people who cheat on us. You’re on a very wrong way… The more people find out that you’re a cheater, the less your chances to succeed online.

Adrian Jock

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6 thoughts on “Fake Controversial Blog Posts. Are You Making This Mistake?

  1. This has to be one of the most annoying habits of bloggers, especially within the MMO niche. I see it all the time: “Product X scam review” and then they don’t even talk about whether or not it’s a scam. They only review the product as normal.

    Unfortuantely, Google’s too dumb to figure out they are just gaming the system by getting a keyword in the title.

    I think a post like this would be appropriate if there was SOME kind of angle. With your example, if they say all Corvettes are green, maybe there WAS actually some guy who said that, and they want to prove him wrong, or there is at least a shred of context for why they should have the title.

    Eventually search engines will get smart enough to figure this out, but for now, at least from the SEO side of things, we just have to put up with algorithm mistakes. With regards to bloggers you might follow, well, that’s as simple as leaving a comment expressing your discontent or unfollowing!

    BTW I really like the images you use for you blog. Hilarious stuff.

  2. Hi Nathaniell. “Product X scam review” is already old stuff. Every time when I see such title I just pretend I didn’t see it and I move on :)

    As for search engines… just algorithms without brain. Hard to add some brain though :)

    The real problem is that some users need some brain too. For example, I noticed many people searching for “best solo ads” (or best X) and then buying from the first ranked sites while thinking that they buy the best ads. More than stupid. Google doesn’t assess the quality of the services. It only ranks pages that include that wording LOL For many years one of my pages was on G’s 1st page for “best solo ads” just because it included the text “The SOLO ADS are the BEST ezine ads” :)

  3. Hi Adrian,
    I agree people are going to just be upset about a title that doesn’t deliver. I am okay if it is a little creative or has a little bit of wordplay as I am a work-geek myself.

    I wrote a post once titled, “How Smart Does a Writer Have to be?” It was about some of the silly mistakes I’ve made. I explained my title and how the article would deliver in the first paragraph by giving helpful suggestions and hope to those who have made mistakes, in other words: You don’t have to be that smart to start. I was surprised when someone in a google group said something like, “The title is a bit misleading but it was a great article with good information.” I hadn’t thought it was at all.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Peter. Being very creative or playing with the words… well, I think that sometimes it’s fine, other times it’s risky (because some people may not understand your play). However, I don’t refer to these types of headlines. “Let’s be creative” is very different from “Let’s lie”

      => “Let’s be creative” (that’s a good intention)

      It may not always get you the expected result. But it’s not a dumb tactic.

      => “Let’s lie” (that’s a bad intention)

      Using controversial headlines (in order to get the click) and then not delivering the promised controversial point of view but continuing, “Just kidding, I disagree with my headline. It was just a lie in order to get your click” is really a dumb tactic.

  4. Hi Adrian

    Yeah! I have seen this technique practiced by some newbies. The danger is that if you don’t deliver your promise to your audience, you have lost their trust. Blowing it on your very first impression is risky. It is strange for a newbie to be using this technique especially when the goal is to build trust.

    Thanks for sharing your insight. Have a swell week. Take Care

    1. Hi Ikechi. Maybe their goal isn’t building trust ;) You’ll see this technique used also by some junk online newspapers. The only thing they want is the click, even if that traffic bounces and many visitors will never come back. Why do they need such a traffic? In order to show to their advertisers that they got tons of traffic.

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