A big turn-off for many people online are the rants, attacks and snarks that we see all too often in blogs. Really negativity is not attractive, and those who use negativity to attract an audience are storing up problems for the future. Sometimes though we have valid criticisms, how can we get our point across without making our audience think less of us?
- Calm down – Take a breath, walk away, posting emotionally could cause more trouble than cure.
- Know what you want – Why are you doing this? What is it you want changed or to achieve?
- Does it need to be public? – First the best approach is to contact the company or person in question directly. I often go buy the rule of thumb “Praise in public, complain in private“. We all slip occasionally, but worth to keep in mind.
- Stick to the facts – If you only present the facts as you see them then you are normally safe as far as legal grounds are concerned (though I am not a lawyer), and only use relevant information.
- Get a second opinion – Before making something public, ensure you have expressed the issue clearly – this is not a time to be misunderstood!
- Keep to the issues – Personal attacks, name-calling, embellishments, posturing and exaggerations will just make you look nasty and foolish. The issues should speak for you.
- Swearing – Some people swear because they think it is funny or just part of their brand, which is fair enough if this is what your audience expects. I find though more people are put off than engaged by swearing, particularly where the quantity seems excessive even for swear fans. While you might like swearing, and might even think it is warranted, you will lose the support of your audience who want to see your points articulated well without resorting to it. If you must swear, give fair warning in your introduction, particularly if you are using audio or video.
- Balance? – Can you balance it out with any positive, empathy or second perspectives? Is it possible you just got the wrong idea? Show that you are a human being with an issue, not going after someone for links and traffic.
- Don’t sell – Make your point and leave it. Do not use the opportunity to sell or pump up your own stuff otherwise your audience will question your motives and you will lose their trust and credibility.
- Use a mirror – Is your own house in order before you go attacking someone else? And spare a thought for how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of your article.
Any more thoughts or tips? Disagree? Please share in the comments …