Here’s my notes on Darren Rowse’s Problogger Free Podcast on 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. You can listen to Darren Rowse’s free podcast here Day 19 Write an Opinion Post. The complete list of challenges can be read here on Day 0 – Welcome and Introduction.
As I’ve mentioned before, to get the full benefit of this series I’m going to go at a slower pace by posting this series on Tuesdays each week. I hope with this challenge we are all able to improve our blogs and websites.
So lets do this together! Day 19 here we go! Subscribe and check back often! #31DBBB
Day 19: The challenge today is to write an opinion post.
Some bloggers are not going to have an issue at all sharing their opinion. Some bloggers may go a bit overboard. Still other bloggers worry about sharing their opinion at all. How will these opinions be perceived? What will readers and other bloggers think? Some of us were taught growing up to keep our opinions to ourselves. Time to break free of those ideas and share your opinions.
3 Benefits of Sharing Your Opinion
Opinions are what your readers want.
Here’s the thing, sharing your opinion is often what your opinions want. Opinions make your blog more useful and sets your blog apart. Readers typically aren’t just looking for news or advice. They’re looking to see how the news or advice impacts their situation. Reader’s want to connect on some level with the blogger.
If I’m going to buy a cell phone or laptop I want to know what other experts think of the product I’m looking at. While learning the features of the cell phone or laptop is great I want to know what features users like best. I also want to know what features users like least.
Regardless if you are interested in food recipes, fashion, parenting tips, health, fitness, self-improvement, DIY projects, relationships, photography, website development, wine, travel, or pretty much any other blog category… You want to learn from an expert or someone with experience in the subject matter. Someone that is authentic and you can relate to right
Opinions also make your blog distinct.
There are probably hundreds of blogs in your niche. Your opinions and stories are what makes your blog stand out. Darren talks about how he used to blog on his first camera blog he used to report on the news of new digital cameras being released. The issue became that more and more photography blogs started doing the same thing. It wasn’t until he started sharing his opinion people began to engage him more. He began saying that this new camera is being released and here’s who I think this camera is for or this other camera has better features.
Opinions draw people into conversation.
So today write an opinion post. The whole post doesn’t need to be an opinion or rant. It could be adding your opinion to something you are already writing about. It will be easier for some of you than others depending on your niche or your personality.
5 Examples of Ideas For an Opinion Post
- If your blog is about products go beyond just writing about the product. Give your opinion about what you think about the product. Or compare two products and give the verdict to the readers which one you think is best.
- If your blog is about books write a review about a particular book and how it made you feel.
- If your blog is about nutrition give your opinion on a popular diet.
- If your niche is a about tech startups talk about why a startup succeeded or failed.
- If your blog is about travel share why you think a particular destination.
I think you get the picture. You may have to work harder depending on what your niche is but do give this your best effort. I bet you will be surprised at the responses you get both on your blog and social media.
Quick Final Tips for Sharing an Opinion Post
You don’t have to necessarily write a rant.
You don’t even have to write on a hugely controversial issue. Those sort of topics can be good because they can lead to all kinds of great conversations. That said, they can also backfire as well. Choose something relevant to your niche and readers that will be interesting to them. Particularly pay attention to opinions that can help your readers make a decision they might be contemplating making.
Don’t be afraid of a bit of controversy.
There’s nothing wrong with a diversity of opinion. A little controversy can bring some life to your blog. Try to do this in a respectful manner.
Write with some grace.
There is almost always a way to be inclusive, gracious, and constructive. Even if you have a very strong opinion on a subject don’t resort to attacking, confronting language, or highly divisive language. It’s not necessary to insult others to get their attention. Just because people disagree with you doesn’t mean they’re intentionally insulting you as a person, writer, or blogger. Remember, it’s good to be able to agree to disagree if needed.
Invite other people’s opinion.
End the post by asking people’s question as to what they think. This gives people permission to share their experience and share their opinion. Remember you set the tone for your blog. Most readers will react in similar fashion to your tone.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s my opinion that Darren Rowse is the best coach for bloggers out there. He is one of my heroes and I hope to meet him one day. Listening to this podcast is one of the main reasons I continued blogging after the 2 month mark after launching this site. If you’ve blogged for any length of time you know that the 2 month mark is when the newness wears off and you realize blogging is hard work. However, the friendships and connections I’ve made with you the readership are totally worth it. I sincerely hope you are learning as much through this series as I am. It has revolutionized how I blog and engage readers.
- CoSchedule: Don’t Run from That Controversial Post
- James Altucher: 7 Things Happen to You When You are Completely Honest
- Quicksprout: Should You Write Controversial Blog Posts? A Data-Driven Answer