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How to Write a Blog Post Like a Troublemaker with a Heart of Gold

This guest post is by Stefanie Flaxman of Revision Fairy Small Business Proofreading Services.

In a world overflowing with bloggers, there’s the type of troublemaker you love and the type of troublemaker you hate.

One introduces his opinion with a strong argument. You admire that he’s confident and direct. The writer makes you jealous. You want to be that troublemaker.

When you write a blog post like a troublemaker with a heart of gold, you’re not really causing problems at all. You’re an expert with invaluable tips to share. Others look to you for guidance. They want to hear more from you and enthusiastically subscribe to your blog.

You’re the troublemaker who fights for your readers. You give them a voice and help them with solid advice.

I call this type the “Attractive Troublemaker.”

The other type of blogger takes the common online writing tip to “take a stand and be bold” too far. His blog posts are rants about his opinions, which he treats as facts. He doesn’t provide educational details or links to resources that support his points.

“This is what I think, and if you disagree with me, you’re stupid,” is the theme of every post that he writes. It’s offensive.

I call this type the “Average Troublemaker.”

If you want to influence others and retain visitors, blogging is not about your opinion and why the opposite is “wrong.” You have an opportunity to help readers make positive changes in their lives.

The Average Troublemaker creates a hostile environment rather than an information hub where visitors get useful updates and respectfully interact with each other. The Attractive Troublemaker encourages a welcoming community.

Here are five ways to write a blog post like an Attractive Troublemaker.

1. Learn it; live it; blog it

One way to show that you’re passionate about your subject is to write blog posts with the aim, “Let me help you out.”

For example, if you loathe TypePad and think that every blogger should use WordPress, don’t simply tell readers that using TypePad is an amateur move.

Compare and contrast the two platforms with specific examples. Discuss your experience using them and give tips that you wish you knew when you first started blogging.

2. Variety is the spice of life (and blogging)

There are many types of blog posts that fit any subject.

Your niche may be saturated with similar articles. Surprise your readers with different presentations that add a fresh perspective.

3. Make your blog URL a fashionable discount shoe store

When you tell a friend that your stunning new shoes were also inexpensive, she will naturally want to know where you bought them. She must check out that store.

Due to a satisfied customer and word of mouth, that business has two loyal shoppers.

You want your blog to be a resource like the fashionable discount shoe store. Educate readers with links to additional posts on your blog or articles on other websites.

Your goal is to help readers learn about a certain topic, not to tear them down for thinking a certain way. If they find what they need, they’ll be happy that you pointed them in the right direction and share your blog posts.

4. Blogger personalities are human personalities

Characteristics of Average Troublemakers and Attractive Troublemakers are human qualities, so you’ll notice these personality traits in blog comments, as well as other places online and offline. For more on the Average Troublemakers you’ll find online, see: trolls.

Use comments as inspiration. Write blog posts that address concerns, opposing opinions, or feedback from readers. Each post should cover one issue. Consider featuring guest bloggers who offer different perspectives or more expertise.

Your blog should be so enticing that readers can’t wait to find out “what happens next.”

5. Every blog post is a job interview

I’ve heard many bloggers use the excuse, “I’m a blogger, not a writer.” The mindset stems from the belief that great writing is not essential for certain blog genres.

However, consider this example. A fashion blogger discovers her dream, paid, blogging job. She writes her résumé in red crayon and submits it with the caveat, “I’m not a writer. I didn’t take the time to type my résumé in a professional way.” Is that wise?

Writing is the communication method that you use when you blog. You’re not talking. If you were, you would perfect your public speaking skills. It’s important for bloggers to learn about writing mechanics and avoid common mistakes.

You want to present yourself as an asset to each reader’s life, just as you would present yourself as an asset to a potential employer.

Be assertive, but be respectful

When you write blog posts that consistently send the message “I’m right, and you’re wrong,” you decrease your chances of running a successful online business.

Who’s your favorite Attractive Troublemaker online or offline, and why do you follow what he or she does? Tell me a story in the comments!

Stefanie Flaxman is a freelance proofreader with a heart of gold and the Attractive Troublemaker responsible for Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services. Sign up for Revision Fairy® Premium Membership to get 50% off online proofreading services.

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Comments

  1. Ted Jee says:

    “Make your blog URL a fashionable discount shoe store”

    I really like this section. Definitely a worthwhile goal to attain as this will help build trusts, credibility (nothing better than social proof from a satisfied client), building up a referral base, and ultimately building authority at the same time which brings with it a throng of other benefits like seo, publicity just to name a few.

    • The fashionable discount shoe store line also stood out for me, probably because I’m always searching for the next fashionable shoe discount.

      This was a great post Stefanie; I love the fact that you provided real implementable information that I could actually go out and use in my next blog post.

      You asked about my favorite troublemaker with a heart of gold? I would have to say it’s Tiffany Dow of http://www.tiffanydow.com At a point I actually thought you were writing about her because she’s someone who really goes out for her readers.

      Something else I would like to add, when writing an authoritative blog post, take your readers seriously enough to do some research and include references where possible.

      • Sharon: I’m so glad that the characteristics I outlined reminded you of one of your favorite bloggers!

        Researched blog posts with references definitely help retain visitors and make readers interested in future updates.

  2. Thanks for this! There’s a lot of advice about blogging on the internet, and to be quite honest, sometimes the advice doesn’t sit well with me. I know something is off, but can’t quite put my finger on what exactly I would change. You see, if a blogger has had some success, and is writing about this topic, its all well and good to feel that their advice is skewed, but its hard to argue with success. I think this piece has helped me to sum it up quite nicely. It’s not necessarily skewed because something is wrong with it. Maybe it’s skewed because I sense that a particular kind of message, written in a certain way, doesn’t reflect my inner nature. As such, it probably wouldn’t work for me. It fits with my personality to shoot straight even if my opinion stirs up some angst. But if has to do so without insulting anyone personally. There is a very fine line there.

  3. but my opinions are facts, read my disclaimers! its all true, every last thing I say.

  4. Stefanie – i like the point where you ask the bloggers to surprise the readers with a different perspective about the various niches. I would like to keep that in mind next time i start with a topic.

  5. Daniel says:

    Some good points, Stephanie.

    Having a little bit of attitude is not such a bad thing really. As you mention, many niches are flooded with sites that are almost carbon copies.

    It is the little things about the Author, and the way their personality comes through, both in their posts, and way of communicating with their visitors, that can make all the difference.

  6. Zeus says:

    I think the part about providing something useful to your readers is the best part. That’s something I always make sure to do.
    And being the trouble maker everyone likes, that sounds like fun actually.

  7. Dictatorship is the opposite of leadership. A true leadership is when the followers choose to follow. They know their opinions matter, their aspirations expressed, and their problems solved. It’s friendship based. And when faced with difficult situation, a true leader points the way. At the time of rain, the leader becomes the umbrella. At sunshine, the leader disappear and let the followers play. Principles of attractive leadership applies to attractive bloggership, or vice versa.

  8. I sprint from trouble-makers Stefanie. Anybody who stirs the pot just to generate interest lacks creativity. In truth, people who REALLY believe in what they do, become wildly successful without having to make any type of negative or forceful statement. Heart of gold TMers might be a slightly different story, but why not do things from a place of power, rather than force?

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Ryan: Stirring “the pot just to generate interest” is exactly what I mean by an “Average Troublemaker.” Blog posts with that intention tend to lack substance.

      If by “power” you mean “authority,” then that’s the “Attractive Troublemaker” mentality—sharing knowledge that can help others. Thanks for your input!

  9. Ardorm says:

    I liked the article. Basically, staying a “human being” is an essential in every business. Plus, you’ve mentioned a funny fact here:

    “I’m not a writer, I’m a blogger” – what a ridiculous excuse! :D
    I personally have never heard anybody saying that. What’s the point in writing if you don’t like it? o_O

  10. James Greg says:

    There are all kinds of trouble makers on the internet and the attractive trouble makers are in the form of bloggers. Its good to have them around as they create an atmosphere of healthy challenges. Too many sites are struggling to become popular and this “Blogger personalities are human personalities” clearly describes it.

  11. naijadotcom says:

    I like the part about being assertive and respectful,you shouldn’t make people feel you are right and they are wrong,Thats what i call imposing your opinion on others.

  12. sean davis says:

    Nice post. It was a little tough to follow but that’s because it was an abnormal approach to blogging. I like your writing style.

    I think Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers.com is a great trouble maker. He does it with taste. He has an article attempting to debunk the idea that “content is king.” You can’t stir up much more trouble than that amongst bloggers.

    • Sean: I like that example. Opinions obviously fuel the blogosphere, but when you express your opinion in a thoughtful, analytical way—without disparaging remarks—people will pay attention.

  13. Simple… Be true to yourself, be honest and most of all be social. Everyone can be like a Troublemaker with a Heart of Gold if you just have all these factors being a blogger. Anyways, I enjoyed reading your post.. Got to check on your other posts.. It’s my first time here and I find it interesting. Thanks.

  14. Guy Hogan says:

    Readers are customers. And we all know how to treat customers. If you are a blogger and you don’t know how to treat your customers you are in the wrong business. You points are well taken.

  15. Stefanie, Your 4th point really makes sense about inspiring comments. I Like posting about concerns and opinions since help to haul readers. Also, people love to search sensational info and try to address community views often. Perfect. Thanks for sharing the post.

  16. Drew McManus says:

    Great post, I’d love to her your thoughts about Average Troublemakers who are also influential people in their respective fields. Not exactly successful but the sort of people who stay in the rounds becasue of political connections and being in the right cliques; we all know the type.

    • Drew: Great point about influential “Average Troublemakers.” Negative movements/bloggers can certainly gain popularity, too. I think that if you blog as a way to grow your business or showcase your abilities as a writer, the helpful (“Attractive Troublemaker”) approach achieves greater results.

  17. I essentially agree with your point. Being passionate and vociferous about something and letting your confidence come through in your argument is a good way to get people to think.

  18. Gin says:

    The human spirit is a interesting topic altogether. Putting our thoughts ‘out there’ about making a change in society, in one form or another -balanced with both the negative and positve may help bring change. l think it’s best if we’re able to leave food for thought to be considered that has people enjoy a return visit. ;)

  19. I like the idea of adding some funky character to your blog. It makes the site more fun to read and it makes engaging the content a bit more exciting. That being said, the last point you make about being assertive, without being too arrogant (for lack of a better word), is always a tough balance. Especially depending on the nature of the site.

  20. Dusty Mae says:

    If you are out there in the blogging world and want to make money the easy way then I highly recommend Blogging To The Bank. Why work harder than you need to as the new techniques are there ready for you to simply implement. http://tiny.cc/37pi5