Blogger: Mary Keeley
How could anyone stateside miss the US federal and state mid-term election that was held two days ago. Lots of controversy surrounded debates and races, and I’m fairly confident none of you misses the barrage of negative campaign ads. Now is a good time to address tackling controversial topics in positive ways, while those combatant ads still are fresh in our minds.
You might be feeling a little squeamish about broaching this topic. Most writers and bloggers would prefer to avoid polarizing subjects because we want to be popular, and we certainly don’t want to lose followers or readers. But the truth is people love controversy. You only have to think about the newsy items your eyes are drawn to when your browser pops up on your screen for confirmation.
You’re going to be confronted with conflicting views at some point, either from comments on your blog or with your social media followers. Someday you also may have to defend the faith you weave into your books. Applying some or all of the following tips, depending on the circumstance, will help you deal with controversial subjects well.
- Use a journalistic approach. Ease into your discussion by presenting both sides of the conflict evenly and without bias. Your readers will sense you are fair and trustworthy. Draw your conclusion from the abundance of facts and data your provide.
- Offer thought-provoking insight. Approach the topic from a different angle or by using an anecdote or your personal expertise on the subject to prompt readers to view the controversy from a perspective they may not have thought of before.
- Paint opposing views in a positive light as much as possible. It shows you are respectful of others’ views. Readers will want to continue reading what you have to say.
- Be the voice of reason. In other words, don’t approach the topic with your gloves on, ready to put down any opposing view in a split second. You may be absolutely sure your position is the right one, but approaching a delicate subject with an authoritative, my-way-or-the-highway attitude will cause you to lose followers. They may want to glean from your knowledge and information on the subject, but you’ll lose them if you are unreasonable in your delivery. Openly show respect for your readers’ intelligence.
- Humor eases tension. A witty comment that pokes a little fun at the whole topic often serves to reduce the stress of the moment. But be sure the object of your fun relates to the topic and not those holding the opposing view.
Obviously, if you are trying to win your readers over to your view, you first need to be able articulate your view clearly and knowledgeably. Study and research and know the facts for your side of the argument, but also learn the basis for opposing views before you address the topic in your writing so you’ll be ready to give a compelling response to their comments.
If you have found yourself in the midst of a discussion on a controversial topic on your blog or social media or in response to something in your book, how did it go? What do you dread about approaching a controversial topic on your blog and social media or in your book?
There are good and bad ways to approach controversial topics in your writing. These tips will help you. Click to Tweet.
Sooner or later writers and bloggers will be confronted with a controversial topic. These tips will help you handle it well. Click to Tweet.