Writing for Multiple Audiences

Many sites tend to steer clear of controversy, but want the traffic controversy can bring. What are the solutions?

  • Accidentally put things in / leave things out of your story that make it easy to take it the wrong way. Leave an easy angle that you know people will take so that when they do you can crush them. Depending on your strategy, it may even help to leave comments off on some of these types of posts.

  • Write your own controversial comment as though it was from someone else and then let people debunk that person.
  • When you syndicate your story to a social site that is politically biased, place blame for whatever is wrong on someone. People will vote on hating or liking that person without even clicking through to the story to see if it relates to the headline.
Published: March 28, 2007 by Aaron Wall in publishing & media


March 28, 2007 - 7:01am

All true... all evil (not that there's anything wrong with that).

March 28, 2007 - 9:44am

At the end of the day we are all just sheep who want to be entertained. People love to hate anyway. Celebrity blogs are so popular because they give everyone the chance to hate a bit. The fine art is how you hate. Well, that's why I prefer doing community or resource sites probably.

March 28, 2007 - 9:34pm

Sneaky, sneaky! Here is a white-hat variant of these techniques: end your a post with a controversial question, instead of an answer. Whether you know the answer yourself or not is irrelevant; you want to give your readers an irresistable opportunity to participate.

March 29, 2007 - 6:06am

This article should be titled "Black Hat Copywriting". I'm not sure how long you could keep this up before readers start to realize what your doing!

March 29, 2007 - 6:08am

Except when you realize that you have just been lured by an intentionally controversial post, you lose trust with the poster.

March 31, 2007 - 10:43am

I can only assume this blog post was intentionally written this way as a clever, albeit smarmy, take on creating controversy.

I sure hope the eBook I recently plunked down $79 for isn't filled with similar advice... guess I need to get to reading.

If it is, you can expect me to exercise my right of return.

I'd prefer to just write compelling copy as opposed to the tricks of deceit proposed here.

April 1, 2007 - 10:01am

Nice try, Aaron, :) I bet most of your audience is smiling, thinking "we are smarter than that", when on any other site they'd just "play along". I know I would.

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