How to Tactfully Address a Controversial Topic

You want to add a little more "edge" on your blog, but you're not sure how to go about doing that without upsetting your loyal fan base. First of all, your loyal fans won't ever hate you for being controversial - they're loyal after all. However, you might loose people at the margins who could go either way on you at this point. If you want to keep those readers, your best bet is to handle controversial topics in a tactful way.

Outline The Issue

Most people will be hopelessly lost if you just go full-on like a bull in a china shop. You can come out swinging in your introduction with something controversial, but be prepared to back-peddle a bit so that you can explain the essential nature of the issue at hand.

It's important that your readers know what it is that you take issue with. To do that, it's often helpful to outline the controversial topic at hand and explain the prevailing view (make sure you actually capture the essence of the view rather than your spin on it). In a way, you sort of have to present an argument for the conventional wisdom of the topic at hand before you smash it.

For example, let's say you own a blog about diet and fitness. You want to smash the conventional wisdom that says that saturated fat is bad for you. Before you present your controversial idea, you must make an opening argument for the conventional wisdom. Present the best ideas in favor of that view. It makes it easier to reference those ideas later in the article, and it gives you something to argue against later - not all readers will understand every element of the topic you're discussing.

Some readers will already agree with the prevailing view. If you hope to get them thinking about what you have to say, you have to first show them that you understand where they are coming from. Understanding their view is the best way to do that.

Nail The Conventional View With Your Own

Once you've done a good job outlining the issue, and explaining the conventional thinking on that issue, it's time to smash it. You can really pull out all the stops here. Don't make personal attacks, but really rip into the idea itself. Present your view in total. Make sure there's a stark contrast between the conventional view and your view.

The more different your view, the better. Controversial views aren't just different from some prevailing view, they're radically different and they're extreme. For example, if you hold the view that conventional dieting doesn't work, and that saturated fat isn't the devil, be prepared to say so. Be willing and able to say that not only is saturated fat not bad for you, but that it is good for you.

Say that the entire premise of low-fat dieting or vegetarianism or veganism or any other prevailing view is wrong.

Give Facts To Support Your View

Now that you've made your controversial statement, it's time to back it up. In this example, you would search PubMed or some other online site devoted to medical research. Pull up studies showing that there's no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease, for example. The more studies you can find, the better. The more facts you provide, the better. Your position should be backed by so many facts, well-designed studies, and references that it's virtually impossible for anyone to make a case against you.

Laura Spicer is a public relations guru. She frequently shares her best tips for better PR skills on small business blogs. For faster internet, visit the and get familiar with their service.