Controversy sells. Controversy gets attention.
Just look at the latest public outcry surrounding Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke.
Or look at well-known pastor, Mark Driscoll. He made a comment on Facebook about effeminate worship leaders and received a maelstrom of comments.
Almost always, blog posts about controversial topics get more hits and more comments.
But is it wise for fiction authors to tackle these topics on their blogs?
I think, before we get to that question, we have address an easier one first:
Why are we blogging?
Here are some of the more popular reasons novelists blog:
- to get our name out there
- to build a platform
- to interact with readers
- to establish a brand
I could write a blog post about my opinion of Rush Limbaugh or government paid birth control or masculinity in the church. I’m sure if I did, I’d get a good amount of traffic.
Because there are people out there who are passionate about these topics.
But then what?
How many of those people weighing in about Rush Limbaugh would come back on Wednesday? What are the chances they would become a part of the community I’m trying to build on my blog?
There are things I am passionate about in this world. I might see a tweet and click on a link and engage in a fun debate. But how often do I go back to that blog when the topic changes to the next controversial thing?
Not often. Maybe never.
And when all is said and done, could we end up disrupting the community we already have?
Some people love debating. It gets the blood circulating. The heart pumping. The synapses firing.
But others look at that same debate and all they see is one giant argument.
One person enjoys the back and forth banter. Another feels like they’re being attacked.
Controversial, hot-button subjects are polarizing. They are almost always divisive.
As fiction authors, should we go there?
Let’s Talk: Should novelists blog about hot button, controversial topics? Or is it best to steer clear? Why or why not? What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks?