Polarizing Content

CCarter

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Polarizing Content

This is an example of a marketing opportunity I took earlier today to show an example of how to think quickly on your feet:

"Google Out of Control - Google Wants Non Secure (HTTP) Sites To Have Warning"

Getting a bunch of people to talk about a polarizing topic on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/bigseo/comments/2pstl9/google_out_of_control_google_wants_non_secure/

Knowing the audience of SEOs, I know there has been a big pain in the ass from the SSL nonsense from Google's propaganda, so when I saw this article it was a great opportunity for me to do some light 'trolling', I didn't even need to add much, just "Google Out of Control", and knowing that 90% or more of the subreddit had to deal with some SSL nonsense recently, this was sure to be a hot topic, so I just posted it, and let the crowd go wild.

What did I get out of it: Increased exposure for my brand on Reddit, a bit of points, but also seen as an authority by delivering fresh news - someone who's in and willing to engage and start constructive conversations. That's how you engage an audience, make them laugh, give them knowledge, or give them drama. If you can do one or more at a time, you've got a great recipe, and can continue that authority building. Once you are good enough and comfortable, that's when it's time to start dropping your own traffic leaks to your projects.

I also do this on Skype constantly, I'm a part of several large Skype chats - when there is downtime and I find something worth sharing I share it - the reason, I don't have time to participate on all those Skype chats everyday, so when people do see me, I'm usually giving them some knowledge, drama, or something useful. That gives them a warm fuzzy feeling, cause if they see me, they expect something good, not just nonsense and self-promotion. Every now and then, I'll drop some features I'm working on about SERPWoo to keep that in their minds too, but I'm not overly promoting it.

How to engage and get reactions:

You want to be the person bringing the "good news" to people, that way people anticipate and are kept on their toes regarding your "persona". How does this translate to you? You essentially have to become the "CCarter" of your niche. You have to immerse yourself in your niche, and become one of them, to promote to them. So if you are selling sports equipment, you have to become the "sports guy", talk about all the different things going on in different sports, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, etc. Like when Michael Jordan got traded from the Bulls to the St. Louis Rams - that caused a ton of backlash from the fans - when that hit you needed to be the FIRST one in your community to talk about it - that IS how you engage a community. You can't "pretend" to be one of them, you have to become one of them, then you can traffic leak them like there is no tomorrow and they'll love it.

If you're the person that's always giving out these great top 10 stats about baseball, or training, a couple of top 10s from your site won't hurt anyone at all. But if all you do is post your top 10, that's blatant self-promotion. That's the one thing you should always avoid. A rule of thumb for me is to share 19 good pieces of content for my 1 self-promo. some people say 10%, but in the beginning I start out at 5% to make sure people know I'm one of them.

One thing work noting is places like Reddit, forum communities, and platforms all feed on information - new information, fresh information - that way there are discussions to talk about. If there was no one talking about what's going on in any industry - Reddit would be a blank slate. So don't go into Reddit thinking about "manipulation", but more "understanding" what drives emotion within that community and then share something people will be passionate about - cause you know they recently had a pain about it or will so in the future like SSL for SEOs. At the end of the day, people don't like reading bland content - even if you are informing people bland doesn't work to keep people engaged.

So an easy way to become a community leader - lead a community, post about the latest going on in your niche, post it first, post a polarizing topic, and continue driving the community forward. It's a community - you're a part of, it's your platform IF you want it. Look at what I'm doing at BuSo - Live Case Study - we're inside an ultimate traffic leak right now, right now everyone is being marketed to and loves it - cause it doesn't feel like marketing since you are gaining knowledge, examples, experiences, that you can utilize - the holy grail every content marketer is preaching about = "Value". All value is at the end of the day is creating content people will love to share and walk away with feeling a bit more powerful.

Homework: Create 10 topics titles in your niche which have Polarizing subjects - with a quick description about what the content would be potentially about. Send to me via PRIVATE CC9 pm. New
 

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Excellent write-up and homework assignment.

Something I took away from this is not to approach Reddit or forums with a "manipulative" focus. That mindset is so automatic to me, I think it'll help to realign my intentions a bit.
 

CCarter

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Wow, I just saw someone share a polarizing title that was so epic, I was like:

7ICKUfz.gif


Some of the 9 are ascending to levels I've never reach... this is starting to get exciting!
 

Nat

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Wow, I just saw someone share a polarizing title that was so epic, I was like:
Some of the 9 are ascending to levels I've never reach... this is starting to get exciting!

Share the title? :tongue::tongue::tongue:
 

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Can't believe no one lol'ed at this:

Like when Michael Jordan got traded from the Bulls to the St. Louis Rams - that caused a ton of backlash from the fans - when that hit you needed to be the FIRST one in your community to talk about it - that IS how you engage a community.

That's good stuff!
 

CCarter

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I'm done with grading about half the polarizing titles, and have only had 2 person complete it 100% off the bat, that's not really a bad thing, but I want to write this up to clarify what polarizing content is, and why I made the assignment for polarizing titles. (If you haven't gotten a grade from me yet on your polarizing content, don't worry, it's coming).

The point of the polarizing exercise is to learn how to push buttons within your niche. You have to know how to push people's emotional buttons and having a title that contradicts what they hold true is huge.

Imagine going to a Bible studies forum and posting: "Jesus Christ was not the real Messiah - New Evidence"

That's going to push buttons - versus:

"Was this guy a prophet as well?"

The first one is going to strike at the core belief of the bible study forum and create serious backlash. The 2nd might get some people riled up, but there is no hit at their core beliefs, to make them angry.

The whole purpose is to train like a troll to create controversy - since if you can practice that, you are also able to create engagement and comments and dialog. It's like being pewep from WF.

These are polarizing titles:

1. "Baseball just isn't for Girls."

^^ Pisses women off rather easily and instead of using "women", I used "Girls" to further push buttons - polarizing.

2. "Kobe will never be as good as Michael."

^^ Again going to create divide and put people in two separate camps.

3. "Your Child can't handle baseball - Realistic Advice from a Coach."

4. "Why all male ballet dancers turn out gay."

5. "Parents are the reason their children turn out to be weaklings."

^^ Again all creating divide and pushing buttons.

6. "Moz has turned SEOs into Google slaves"

7. "Whitehats will always be on the losing side of the equation"

^^ now that would get the whitehats riled up a bit.

8. "Slavery helped blacks become the best athletes"

^^ In that example you are pissing everyone off on all sides, twice.

9. "Jesus "Christ" was a heretic for pretending to walk on water."

^^ Boy that's going to push some buttons - the fact I'm using "Christ" in quotes and using the word "pretending" - that's going to get some hate mail my way.

10. "PC Master Race needs to give it up - Apple's got the best graphic cards"

^^ Again pushing buttons of the PC Master Race crowd.

The reason for polarizing content is to create heated debates and conversations - the art of trolling. Again - none of these polarizing content are going to be implemented towards any of the CC9's brand, so you need to take it to another level to push buttons with these titles.

I'm not here to win awards for "factual" or "correctness" - Everything I wrote can be completely false. My one objective is to push buttons. Why so you can see how far you can take it to move conversations forward if you were trolling, or when to pull back when doing non-trolling content. We are here to piss people off. Some of you wrote some "buzzfeed" like titles, or just randomly generic feel good titles - Polarizing content is "feel bad" titles - I want people to jump into the thread thinking "OP is an asshole" before reading the content, or at least "LOL, oh shit - OP's opening Pandora's box".

It's not just about being controversial or rustling some jimmies, you need to tap into both sides of the coin and pit them against each other. Some people need to be like "hell yeah" and some people need to be like "screw that bs..." - @MetaData
 
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RiverStyx

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That's really helpful: headlines that make people assume the writer is an asshole, got it! :D

Thanks CCarter!
 

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That's really helpful: headlines that make people assume the writer is an asshole, got it! :D

Thanks CCarter!

To elaborate on the asshole part... I think the best ones are where the author can remain a neutral third party while simultaneously getting both sides riled up. If you can get people on both sides talking, then Homer-Simpson-into-the-bushes your way out of there, you're golden.
 

RomesFall

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To elaborate on the asshole part... I think the best ones are where the author can remain a neutral third party while simultaneously getting both sides riled up. If you can get people on both sides talking, then Homer-Simpson-into-the-bushes your way out of there, you're golden.

This from my understanding is why many of the most polarizing pieces are framed as a question?
 

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@RomesFall It's used a lot on the news and stuff too, there's that layer of "Oh I'm just innocently asking a question..."

@Kevin I'll have to check out that book, I keep hearing good things about it.
 
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9 Ways Militant Feminists Are Worse Than Fundamentalist Christians

How did I do?
 

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9 Ways Militant Feminists Are Worse Than Fundamentalist Christians

How did I do?

I like it. I would look deeply into each 'group' and see how they view themselves, how many feminists view themselves as 'militant', even if they are?

I think it could get brushed off, purely base on 'but oh that's not me and those extremists are worse'.

But aside from that it looks like the juicy click bait that gets comments. :smile:
 
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It's not just about being controversial or rustling some jimmies, you need to tap into both sides of the coin and pit them against each other. Some people need to be like "hell yeah" and some people need to be like "screw that bs..." - @MetaData

Is it possible to grow a site by writing articles that offend a certain part of your niche, but others lap it up (niche infighting)?
 

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Is it possible to grow a site by writing articles that offend a certain part of your niche, but others lap it up (niche infighting)?
Of course! That's what news websites do all day. Look at the Trump versus Hillary debates going on everywhere. News sites, Gossip sites, and anything viral feed off that and need it to create engaging comments. If they really didn't want fighting within the comments they'd just turn them off.
 
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One section on a theology forum I'm on got a lot of activity from a polarizing post which wasn't intentional. The threads titles was "Torah Comes From Tarot Cards". I baited one of the admins that first replied to my post which they didn't agree with. They bit.

It started a whole debate with me vs 10+ people and the views on the thread just blew up. I got a chance to leak my site to further prove my argument. Funny thing is I had the last word among them.

Some guy made a comment in the chat room forum, "Got any posts you going to cause chaos in?" Something along those lines. To be honest I get very emotional myself, so I got to step back and remain objective (One of the reasons I fear engaging, but fuck it, got to do it). Got a few more articles coming up to polarize on the forums. Good helpful post.
 
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It also has to have shock value.
The Sun, People have been doing it for decades.
TBH I think CCarter's examples were a little on the soft side.
Though google and all of social media is now actively and manually moving to penalize and exclude such content unless it goes in a direction they favor.
So maybe soft is the way to go.

Most of what was conveniently described as "russian election interference" on facebook was actually click bait spammers using shock titles and playing both sides.
 
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@CCarter do you;
1. Always have content on your site ready to leak traffic to that back up your polarising comment on a forum/ reddit or
2. sometimes just keep the discussion on the platform (ie forum/ reddit) where you made the polarising comment?
3. send traffic to another site that upholds your comment so that you stay an authority on the subject?
 

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@britt:

Answer 1. If it's for a project, let's say SW, then the reason I'm talking about a topic will have an underlying motive - hopefully a profit motive. So since SW has a major ORM (online reputation management) function and I want to talk about polarizing content, the angle will be from a "protect a company brand" or "clean up an individual's name" in the back of my reasoning for creating the content.

If you are traffic leaking it has to go somewhere, can't be traffic leaking to your homepage, that's just spam.

So as an example, right now some news about a black latino army officer is coming out about him being harassed by police and he's suing. Okay, now I want to create polarizing content, I'd drum up some stats that create MY reality - it doesn't necessary mean the facts or stats I'm creating are true or not half-truths, remember this isn't about writing fucking the next great American novel or a winning nobel peace prizes - I want traffic and that traffic can lead to generating more sales - nothing else matters.

Now imagine I came out with a piece of content stating: "More Whites Get Killed By Police versus Blacks and Latinos Combined". I hit publish, and send that into the Twitterverse, turn off notifications, and run.

Wzbm6ja.gif

You are wondering how would I incorporate ORM with SW to make money? Well those officers, the victim, and police departments are going to need to hire reputation management specialists to clean up their names in the search engines for years to come unless they've got common names.

So the angle is "mistakes like this can cost a person or company dearly for years. As customers, family, and friends google their names and may not want to be associated with the company or individual. They'll need some serious reputation management (link) going forward."

BUT - that's the trickfuck in my angle, the officers, the police department, nor the victim are my target audience for that angle. It's the people that are currently doing SEO and ORM for clients that read that article and see there is a tool for reputation management that can help THEIR customers such as politicians and public figures clean up their search results and monitor it." My target audience was not the people going nuts in the back and forth of the article, it was the people that would read it that are in ORM and find this great new tool that they never realized existed to monitor search results.

2-3 months later that article will be a faded memory on the internet - no one will even notice it was all about making money but the ORM specialist will still be new SW customers.

What's so nuts is that this is happening DAILY across the whole internet - IMGUR, Twitter, Instagram - product placements are nothing compared to what the real netscum are doing. And I'm happy to say I trained some of them. Q.

I do wondering if anyone has made the connection that a ton of Trump campaigners probably read... nevermind. You guys never connected the dots, online tactics I wrote about 7-8 years ago... were and ARE being utilized openly... When it started happening I was like - wait a minute these motherfuckers - then I started getting DMs.

Now if I don't want to directly associate my brand with that piece I can use graphs or charts within a content piece to do the funneling of targeted traffic.

I can publish a post on Medium with charts and graphics showing my data for my argument:

PRMX14f.jpg

The above chart or graphic can link to SERPWoo or be a byline stating "As shown by SERPWoo (link) data, you can see the increase in lemons importing from Mexico has actually reduced Total USA highway deaths."

RS9dVY7.gif

The biggest hurdle a lot of you have to get over is what you are saying doesn't have to be the truth. It can be A TRUTH that one side believes and the other side cannot believe the one side believes, that's why it's polarizing.

If there is anything that we should have learned in the last 5-6 years is that big media NOR the mob does not care about truth. And when confronted by truth it's "relative". Play within that grey for the traffic and money. There is ALWAYS a money angle. As soon as some political stuff happens there are T-Shirts and hats being sold to show which side of the reality you are on.

Answer 2. I would only do that to grow my authority on the platform. You have to realize that "CCarter" is traffic leaking right now at this moment on this post.

There are multiple ways - but everything I do has some profit motive in it whether you realize it directly or not. How do you create or grow an authority "personal" brand? By Adding value by entertaining, educating, informing, or inspiring.

How?

A. Entertain. I tend to always add a gif or something (99.99% it's a female gif for a reason) to posts to add some eye candy. There are even some meta trolls where I'm posting gifs that are scenes from porn but... you can't tell just yet. There is always the... "hmmm..." curiosity aspect. Eventually @eliquid said something when he finally saw a watermark.​
GzaJJqh.gif

B. Educate. I go out of my way to talk about topics that help users on this forum, years later I'll get DMs stating how I changed their lives. Feels good. Most of the time I just sit here and think about topics that I like and am like "you know the audience needs to hear this angle", and then write.​
C. Inform. I also go out of my way to inform people on things that are going on - I think Google algorithms are the most boring shit in the world, but alas. My new thing is talking about real-world situations that WILL impact everyone later on this year, Semiconductors shortage.​
D. Inspire. I TRY to get these knuckleheads on the right track, so sometimes down the road they can make serious money. If they make serious money they can afford to buy my links or products or services. It's a pure selfish reason - if I can show you that you can make $1000 in a day versus waiting 12 months to make $1000 per month - then when I come out with a product or service you'll have revenue and income to buy it.​

Once there is no profit motive there is no CCarter.

Now the question is how can YOU incorporate 1 or more of the above value adds into your own "voice" and "help" while moving forward your industry, and making a nice profit as well.

It's not as difficult as you guys make it. All you have to do is curate news content within your industry to begin with. It's why I'm talking about Semiconductors right now. I have 0.00000% vested interested in semiconductors but someone reading is going to see opportunities to make money cause where there is chaos there is potential for profits.

Answer 3. Yes, I actually do that with BuilderSociety. I'll link to a BuSo post on Reddit or some other platform that funnels traffic to here. People become familiar with us here and the people eventually funnel to SW or some other product/service.

There are people that are doing that right now here as well, growing their audience and brand by leveraging BuSo and YouTube: @shaunm (Growing A Money Tree Via Blogging In 2021!) and @larcha (Building an Authority Site to 1000+ articles)

Kh1SHG9.gif

They are adding value to BuSo and at the same time growing awareness of their personal brands and getting subscribers to their YouTube. And no one is complaining.

It's like Bees pollinating flowers - The back and forth is good for everyone, gets new blood into the system. That's where WickedFire failed, they killed off newbies quickly, means no new blood.

But you have to notice the subtle details - our traffic leaks don't even look like traffic leaks cause we aren't spamming. You can't be accused of spamming when you are informing, educating, or entertaining unless it's just blatant link dropping.

Getting the traffic is not the hard part guys. Polarizing content works BUT for you softer snowflakes that don't want to rustle feathers you can create mini-tools, calculators OR graphs and charts like I talk about (Compelling Content) that get the juicy traffic and links naturally.

The lemon graph above is a silly example, but you can create a leaderboard for your industry where you rank the "top XYZ" - with an Infograph or chart (using D3JS) to get the point across, and update it daily (hopefully programmatically).

And the reason charts, graphics, video, and images work so well - is why Instagram is so popular - human are visual.

Very few people are going to be able to read posts as long as this one in one sitting - unless you are really hungry for my knowledge. That's fine if you are.

Images also create opportunities for breaks. Go get a coffee and sit back down at the point in the content where the image is. That's a lot easier to remember.