When I first started writing or blogging for business, my motivations were simple. I wanted…
When Is It OK to Use Your Blog for a Rant?
Let’s face it, if you have a social media account or a blog, chances are you’ve used it to bang out a few choice words when something’s ticked you off.
But have you ever wondered what that looks like for your business? I read a blog post last week that was one hundred percent, pure rant. It was aggressive, it was confrontational, and while I could sort of see the point, it just came off as childish. It was posted on a public social media platform, and while there were some supporters, the majority of commenters were hurt or harsh. The writer, also the business owner, seemed surprised by the response and defended her words by saying it was all meant to be tongue in cheek. But by that time, with a lot of the audience, the damage was done.
After this post as a curious writer myself, I did some digging. I discovered this business and business owner were not only very highly regarded in the industry, but that we had mutual friends and she was also known as a really great person. Unfortunately though, going by this blog alone I would have actively avoided this business in the future.
So, is there a place for rants on your business blog?
And if so where did this blog go so wrong? I think there is a place but with a few important considerations:
1. You’re doing it for the right reasons.
At about the same time I first started publishing my writing online, I was involved in an incident with another business. In my eyes they’d done the wrong thing by their customers, me included, and getting nowhere with the owner I threatened to write about the incident. I was brutal. I told her I’d expose her and her unethical business practices, a good old-fashioned name and shame. The threat got results for me, but I ended up declining the compensation. I never wrote the article, and I felt terrible. I started writing to help people, but I’d made the threat because I was angry and I wanted results. Always go back to your ‘why’.
2. You have a point.
Like my above point about doing it for the right reasons, you need to have a point. If you’re writing just to have a whinge because someone or something hurt your feelings, it’s unlikely you’ll keep your audience’s attention. What’s in it for them? Make sure you are clear about how your experience could help someone else, and the key take away you’re offering.
3. You have a backlash strategy.
If you’re ranting or even just publishing an opinion on a controversial topic, you need to be prepared for the backlash. What was most surprising about the article I read last week, was that the writer was genuinely shocked that everyone didn’t agree with her and she handled the negative feedback badly. Listen to your audience, don’t argue. Try and put yourself in their shoes to understand what it is they are saying, and most importantly don’t respond with aggression.
4. You get a third-party opinion ‘before’ you publish.
It’s never a good idea to publish anything without someone else reading it first. Especially a rant! And I’m not talking about your best-friend who’ll have you back through anything or an employee who isn’t confident enough to give you honest feedback. Find yourself an accountability buddy, or an editor. Someone who has your reputation and business in their best interest and who can look at your work through objective eyes.
Once you’ve done all of that, sit on it for 24 hours. If you still feel there is something to be learned from your experience, hit publish!
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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