Have opinions without being opinionated

Posted on January 5, 2010


Writing content that attracts and retains a considerable readership is not easy. Bland content is not going to do you much good, obviously. Yet if you express too many powerful opinions you could alienate as many people as you satisfy. Amusing material may reap considerable rewards, but it may be inappropriate for sections of your target audience and sense of humour remains subjective.

Research is obviously necessary before you become a content writer in a particular context. Awareness of that context is essential for you to formulate flexible strategies which may prove successful. What works well in one set of circumstances, may fail abysmally in a different situation. That said, a content writer may do well to observe general ‘rules’ to avoid unnecessary mishaps.

A good example of a general rule is that you should express opinions, but that you should not become excessively opinionated. For instance, in the 1990s there was a tussle for Britpop supremacy between Blur and Oasis. It would have been acceptable to offer a reasoned argument in favour of the superior qualities of one band. However, it would have been foolish to pour scorn on one band or to predict which band would ultimately triumph in the contest.

Content writing should not involve ranting. While some celebrity writers are proficient at delivering amusing rants, not many people are. These celebrity writers also often have the tendency to offend people and this is not what a content writer desires to do. Balanced, fresh content can tick the right boxes. Inform and amuse, don’t bore and bemuse.

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