Sometimes when coming up with content for your blog you come across something you know might ruffle some feathers. Whether it’s a controversial viewpoint, potentially inappropriate language, or perhaps a quote from an infamous source, you have to make the decision whether to include it.
As “master” and owner of the blog, it’s entirely up to you if it goes in or not. However, simply putting something controversial in because “you want to” can lead to some potentially bad consequences. Just like everything else you put up on your blog, it’s important to take careful consideration how it will affect your readers.
One of the easiest examples of this is cussing or otherwise “harsh” language. It’s perfectly fine if you want to use an s bomb or f bomb in your post – if you’re not afraid of your readers freaking out on you. Again, it’s your blog and you can use it how you want. If that includes cussing, go for it.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. Most of them forego cussing just in case any young’uns are listening in. They choose to censor their content because they don’t want to leave anyone out, even if that includes listeners with kids (or kids themselves who don’t want parents yelling at them). Others let absolutely anything go at the risk of alienating some listeners.
Of course it’s not just kids – many adults just don’t care for “adult” language either. Many also just don’t want to see that in a professional sense, either. They would rather that kind of stuff stay in the bars or with your friends.
And that’s the big decision – does using that kind of language fit in with your brand? If you’re trying to go for a business-like environment, then most likely not. If you have a more personal blog, from your viewpoint and voice, then it might be ok.
Cussing and harsh language isn’t the only type of controversial stuff you could put on your blog, though. For example, you might have strong opinions one way or another on a hot button topic. Suddenly there’s a topic for the blog and you have to mention this hotbed of controversy. How do you handle it? Stay neutral or state your views?
This obviously has the potential to be much bigger than adult language ever could. Cussing is one thing but viewpoints like these could bring people in by the droves to yell at you or support you, even giving you attention in the media you might not necessarily enjoy.
Honestly I’d say 99% of the time it’s best to leave that stuff at home. Politics, religion, or other deeply held beliefs and viewpoints just don’t mix in the business world. But there is that 1% where it might work out for you in the long run. For an example, if your business caters to members of a certain group or political party, then you might want to announce that you’re on their side of the debate. That is, if you don’t mind isolating yourself from the other customers who don’t agree!
What do you think about self-censoring your blog?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of Grammar Geek’s Guide to Writing Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/grammar.html