Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Write A Controversial Blog Post in 5 Easy Steps

yelling, arguing, controversy, point, counterpoint
by Ben Howard

So you want to write a controversial blog post, well good for you. That will certainly achieve your twin goals of driving traffic to your site and developing your thriving internet fame.

But what's that you say, you don't have the time or the nuanced worldview to write an interesting, thought-provoking article about an important and often misunderstood aspect of daily human existence? Never fear! Just follow these five easy steps and your blog post will be a mild sub-culture based controversy in no time!

Step #1: Pick Your Controversial Topic

To get a real controversy brewing you'll want to make sure that your topic is a real doozy. There's a certain kind of art to picking a truly controversial blog topic.

First, you want to make sure that you pick a topic that appears to have two equal sides, but one of those sides, preferably the side you'll be arguing on behalf of, needs to be based on a fundamental logical fallacy. The appearance of fairness is an essential quality to a truly controversial post.

Second, you'll want to choose a topic that you're tangentially aware of, but not intimately associated with. If you're a man in your mid to late twenties, perhaps you should try your hand at an unnuanced critique of modern feminism. What if you're a white Christian who's never left the country? Try talking about the essence of Islam. Make sure it's something you can caricature without ever actually engaging.

Step #2: Write With Careless Condescension

Now we come to the content, the beating heart of your intentionally controversial post. Always remember that articulate, well-reasoned, and thoughtful content can quickly derail your search for controversy and could accidentally breed true dialogue.

In order to avoid such a disaster, be sure to write with an affected and careless condescension reminiscent of any number of 1950's sitcom fathers, ESPN analysts, or anyone who's appeared on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC within the last calendar year.

When writing, be sure to universalize your experience. You're the writer, you're the only person who's really important in this situation. Even though we both know you're searching out the largest readership possible, pretend that everyone who reads it will think it exactly like you. It might be enticing to include a dash of humility or grace, but try your best to avoid that dastardly urge.

constructive dialogue, graph, helpful
Do not use!
If you feel like your content is a little weaker than you would want or if the language isn't as inflammatory as you'd earlier hoped, try making an appeal to biblical authority by quoting a verse. To achieve optimal controversy, choose a verse that's both out of context and easy to misinterpret.

Pro Tip: Apply Greek or Hebrew transliteration to increase the assumed sincerity of your fallacious argument. 

Step #3: Select a Provocative Title

A good title is the bait for your incendiary trap, and it can make or break your attempt to stir up a proper controversy. You want to settle on a title that teases the irrationally controversial content of your post, but doesn't go too far and drive away the masses too frustrated to even take a look at the mess you've created.

I suggest a title that subtly hints at a point opposite your thesis thus baiting people into a post they expect to like before bashing them over the head with incoherent and offensive logic contained within.

If you aren't the subtle type, and let's face it if you're following these instructions, you aren't, then you may want to try something more extreme and totalizing. Use words like "wrong" or "lie" in your title to entice people to read about why someone would be making such a "radical" claim.

Step #4: Passive-Aggressively Defend

Now that you've written and published your incendiary, condescending, "biblically based" blogging screed, it's time to stoke the flames of internet discontent.

If you've followed the first four steps, you should begin to receive angry comments and tweets in mere minutes. The internet simply cannot abide someone being as callously wrong as you currently are.

Be sure to respond to the reasonable disagreements of those in your comment section with scorn and mockery. Take their words out of context, allege persecution, and constantly refer to your personal experience as a trump card to their well-crafted arguments of logic and general decency.

Once you've got the comment section roiling jump on over to Twitter. Write passive-aggressive tweets about how you wish "people could learn to disagree" and constantly use the phrase "it's just my story." If you're feeling adventurous, continue to belittle those who present critiques or express concern about your ideas on Twitter.

Finally, maintain a public dialogue with friends who agree with your inane blog post so that the few people who still think you're actually open to a conversation can be cynically disabused of such a notion. Casually and unironically use the word "haters" in a number of tweets to personal friends.

douchebag, money, profit, cash, jerk, jerk with money
Step #5: Profit 

Note: This step has been inserted in accordance with United States Statute 745.1G, also known as the "List Adherence Act of 1993," which requires that all lists "contain a vague reference to the value of capitalist intentions belying the foundational element of content creation in the emerging 'Information Age.'"

I hope you've enjoyed writing this controversial blog post and basking in the artificial internet infamy that such a post can create. Who knows, if you keep following these simple instructions over and over for decades on end, maybe all of the reasonable people will just stop trying.


Ben Howard is an accidental iconoclast and generally curious individual living in Nashville, Tennessee. He is also the editor-in-chief of On Pop Theology and an avid fan of waving at strangers for no reason. You can follow him on Twitter @BenHoward87. 
You can follow On Pop Theology on Twitter @OnPopTheology or like us on Facebook at 
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1 comment:

  1. I'm a little surprised and dissapointed in the lack of comments. Suprised because I see bloggers increasingly applying these steps and I'm bored with it. Disappointed because I was hoping to see that I'm not the only one.
    I like controversy and having my perspective challenged, but when it feels methodical and contrived it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There are a few blogs I've recently stopped promoting or following for those very reasons. It's a bummer when I come across a writer that excites me, to find, after perusing the comments, that it's just another blogging clique. No dialogue- just high-fives and back-slaps. When someone politely challenges their views all the yes-men come out to say (with an implied sneer) " and so just doesn't get it. Let's all make sure he/she knows they don't belong here." OK, I feel better now. Writing really is therapy! :)