Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Boost Your Blog -Start an Argument.

How can being wrong drive more people to your blog?

I read lots of blogs and articles that tell me how to drive up my blog hits and followers. Most talk about regular blogging, insightful and well structured posts, and slowly building a following that trusts your opinion. Needless to say, writing blogs about how to get more hits on your blog seems like a good way to achieve this –though I don’t expect a huge groundswell as a result of this little offering.

But something happened earlier this week that made me realise that there can be another way of rapidly upping blog hits. I posted on a relatively new blog I’d established at the end of last year, I'd written a short entry that was to be the first of several about the subject of the website it was linked to. It was simply intended to be a quick introduction, with more meaty and informative posts to follow. I was surprised then, at how quickly I got a number of comments, and how quickly the number of hits shot up. I assumed this was partly due to the fact that the first person to comment was well known and respected in the subject about which I was blogging. Another thing I noticed was that his comment strongly refuted the subject of my blog, and so did all the others. I knew I’d written something a little provocative, but I didn’t think I was so wrong that absolutely no-one was prepared to agree with me. Believing the argument was too one-sided I spent a couple of hours writing a good argument to defend my position. As a check I re-read my original blog and it was only then that I noticed I had made a mistake.
I had intended the piece to be a little provocative, to pique people’s interest, but when I re-read it, I realised that what I had actually written was an order of magnitude more provocative than what I had intended. This explained the comments. I felt a terrible embarrassment; how could I have published something so stupid in front of the very readers I was attempting to impress? Then it dawned on me; far from putting people off, it had drawn people in, and the hit count had risen far beyond my expectations.

So from an embarrassing mistake, my blog provoked discussion and interest. No news is bad news, as Hollywood agents are wont to say. It won’t work for everyone, and it shouldn’t be overused, but posting a blog entry that people disagree with can be a quick way to boost your exposure. So go on, start an argument; you might make new friends.


  1. But I would only recommend it to bloggers with a strong constitution. I hid under the table last week when I pissed everyone off with my series-writer's obligation on FF. And while the Overlord was delighted with the number of comments it received, I was vowing never to write anything incendiary again. This skin is too thin. : ) Great blog though, btw.

  2. This is a very timely post, Simon, as I was walking along today and an idea popped into my head for a post, and I immediately thought, "I can't put that in writing, people will hate me for saying it!" I'm still not sure if I should... but if I do, can I redirect the hate mail over to you? :)

  3. I've now got to the stage where I look forward to phishing letters so I can laugh at the appalling english and transparent artifice, so hate mail could be the next step up.

    Ashley, don't be put off; I see this as a sort of literary boot camp to build up a thicker skin before the critics get to something more serious, like my book.

  4. Okay, I took your advice, Simon, and said what I thought ( if you didn't see it). And boy am I getting hate mail now :-/

  5. Dave, it looks like a lively discussion alright -I think it was a good call btw, though you are probably less likely to attract peoples ire than Mr Spielberg. I'm more interested to know if your number of hits goes up or not.

  6. I think we probably got an extra 500 hits more than we'd normally get on a Friday. Not that hits was the point, but I do now see why newspapers like to run controversial op-ed pieces that you have to register to comment on ;)


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