Aspiring bloggers often struggle with adopting a strategy for building an audience, and the reasons why this is often the case can be quite varied, according to Sebastian Hirsch. One of the more common mistakes made by bloggers relates to the way they cover divisive topics, with some going out of their way to avoid these topics out of a fear of alienating their readership in some way. The belief that leads to this behavior is that arguing for one side or another is likely to split a readership in half, driving away a large portion of regular readers.
This is a dangerous misconception, and it is the opposite that is actually true. Instead of pandering to the audience and straddling important subjects by using qualifying terms or attempting to take a more neutral approach to a subject, bloggers like should present their position in a way that reflects their thoughtfulness and their ability to understand the nuances of a divisive topic. Readers on both sides of the argument will appreciate the fact that the blogger has taken the time to present not just their opinion but also their rationale for forming that opinion. Writing in this way is far more likely to inspire a spirited yet friendly debate in the comments section.
The key to writing about difficult issues is to be informed and to craft an opinion based on a thoughtful analysis of both sides. Bloggers will surely lose readers when they resort to attacks on the intelligence of those on one side rather than demonstrating an understanding of both sides of the issue, but readers will also be similarly disappointed by a blogger who is unwilling or unable to take any stance at all.
Readers that disagree with a well-presented argument will do so respectfully by offering a well-presented argument of their own, making the blog a site where thoughtful and intelligent discourse is encouraged rather than a creating a site that is essentially an echo chamber in which dissenting readers are made to feel unwelcome and are insulted for feeling differently about a particular subject. A loyal audience is more likely to develop when a blogger can broach even the most divisive of issues in a way that encourages a discussion of every aspect of the subject.