Many blogs out there can be split into two categories: Opinion and Discussion. Each has its own benefits, and there are obviously hybrid versions as well. While it seems obvious at the surface, I think there’s a wealth of insight to be gained by taking a closer look at the differences.
Writers of opinion blogs state their minds on a subject. They pick a side and tell you why. What’s to be gained from this strategy? Firstly, you can create some conflict. This is a great way to get people responding to your posts. When someone feels strongly about a topic and agrees or disagrees with your point, they’ll be quick to give their opinion on it.
That feedback can come in a couple different ways. A discussion can erupt in your comments, or people will write up on it in their own blogs, hopefully linking to your post.
Opinion blogs can add a different level of interest as well. Giving your opinion lets your personality come out, and blogs with personality are much different to read than your generic information blog. They can be more fun to write as well. It provides more room for creativity and fun.
Discussion blogs tend to be very generic and informational in their writing. When a discussion writer has an opinion on something, he will give an overview of the topic and ask for input, leaving their own opinion out, or just casually dropping it in a non-confrontational way. This has the benefit of bringing in a lot of outside commentary. If you ask for your readers’ opinions, they’ll often give them.
In addition, discussion bloggers don’t have to worry about offending anyone. They leave that up to the commenters! Many of your more popular bloggers are discussion bloggers. You’ll notice they take a neutral view on most things. This approach often provides more information to the reader as well.
Which Type of Blogger Are You?
So which is it? Do you openly offer your opinion and pick fun at things that you disagree with, or do you stay neutral and let your readers give their own view on things? Both are definitely viable options. Each has shown to be a successful method, but each also appeals to a different audience.
Opinion bloggers may be drawing more people that are reading for fun. They enjoy your writing and your thoughts on thing (or they hate them). Both types of reader will be drawn to your blog. Discussion bloggers pull more informational readers, people looking to learn things.
There’s a happy medium somewhere, but you have to enjoy what you’re doing. You can’t pretend to be one or the other if you don’t like it, or your discontent will shine through. So, take a step back and look at your writing. Think about which posts you enjoyed writing the most, and reconsider your goals. Once you figure out what drives you to write, you’ll hit your groove and your readers will pick up on that and come back.