Say there's some writing out there that's doing really well, but you disagree with. Personally, you don't think it's any good in terms of quality either. However, you know you can get a quite a following by .... i guess pretending to subscribe or even promote some view / product / service / opinion / product / view / actor / president .....whatever....Do you do it?
If I feel that despite disagreeing I am offering something of value, I might give it a shot. However, I find that in order to achieve something worthwhile I usually have to know what I'm talking about. It's amazing how readers know whether or not you're being genuine (my successful ventures are those where I enjoy what I'm promoting).
I would say no. I have no problem promoting someone's hub on a topic that I may disagree with so long as the hub is very well put together and the author defends their opinion well. However, I try to stick with hubs on topics that I know and believe/support in, no matter the amount of attention those hubs will drive. Although, I'm one of the few people that write on here just for the fun of it and I'm not actively seeking to earn money (but it doesn't hurt!).
In academic writing, frankly in any GOOD rhetorical writing, you cannot do it well, you cannot speak from a position of authority, if you aren't able to fully articulate all the important view points around any given idea.
If you operate from a relativistic view point, then you should be able to write down any reasonable argument, regardless of what your personal feelings are about it's particulars.
For example, you should be able articulate all the arguments for the existence of God and all the arguments against, relating any given argument without little tricks of diction that subvert the arguments you don't believe. Your opinion is just that, an opinion. For extreme example, "The Behoolibubs believe that alien camel-apes came upon the earth and gave birth to the first vampire bats, whose blood can be used to remove paint and rust from old windmills." You don't have to believe that, but you can certainly explain how the belief system works in an article.
I don't believe there is any moral problem with that. It's when you write the article in a way that sounds as if you are a proponent and that you are a genuine, whole-hearted believer, invoking a sense of trust in the reader on a human-to-human level, then you wade into issues that, depending on your personal ethics, can be a problem. In determining where that line for you lies, and to quote a famous Disney cricket, "Let your conscience be your guide."
Why pretend to subscribe to something you don't believe in, when you can get a lot more traffic by stirring the pot and disagreeing?
I'm being somewhat facetious, but a lot of times the pages that get the most traffic are the ones that draw social traffic from people coming by to tell you that you're a fat head. This accidentally happened to me a few years ago when I wrote a review of a fan-made Trek movie and implied it was better than the most recent installment of Star Trek. Someone on Reddit picked it up, and I had the highest traffic spike I've ever seen from an army of new-school Trek fans coming in to tell the fogey I was full of it.
A silly example, but it happens fairly often.
On the other hand, if you write on, say, pagan traditions of the holidays, you may not get much traffic, because the people who are interested in the topic already know about it, and most of those who have differing beliefs will stay away to avoid something that would make them uncomfortable. But that's a common problem: it's very easy to create a page that's absolutely perfect for.... the people who already know your subject, so they won't be looking for it.
The solution is to reframe the problem.
Okay, granted, you know X, and your target audience already knows X, so they're not liable to be looking for X straight up. But they like X. They like things related to X. There must be some way to cover some aspect of X they'll be looking for. (A "10 best..." list works wonders, or you can do more research than the average website and look up the etymologies / meanings of words, or you can have recipes, or amazingly funny/useful/entertaining stuff about X that is so good people will link to it and share it.)
But back to the "what if they really don't like X?"
Weeeeeell, that's where you employ your amazing Magnetic Headline Skillz (tip o' the pen to CopyBlogger). There's got to be some way to package your content under such an intriguing headline that people will click. Sometimes, again, controversy can be your friend.
For example, I recently wrote an article about earthquake risks and earthquake preparedness in the Pacific Northwest. But, yawn, who's going to read THAT? If you don't live there, you don't care, and if you do live there, you either don't want to hear about it, or you've already prepared and don't need me to tell you. So I titled the page "Why I Don't Want to Live in Oregon." People who see the headline think, "Huh? Why? What on earth have you got against Oregon? It's such a nice place!" and come look. And then -- the other half of the equation -- you have to have engaging, fascinating, and/or useful content that will hook them so they don't leave when they discover, "Oh, this isn't the sort of thing I'd normally read about."
And when it all comes down to it: oh, well, not every article gets traffic. Some win. Some fail. You can't always predict which is which. All you can do is keep writing with conviction, keep writing stuff that is useful to somebody, and improve your skills through practice. Slowly, in spite of indulging yourself by writing some articles that very few people read, you will still see more traffic.
This is very, very true. Some of my most popular Hubs get a lot of traffic and comments because of cult-like groups that disagree with me.
Fantastic, you guys obviously know how to turn any situation into your favor. You're absolutely right about that earthquake thingee, I wouldn't have read that but I'd be far more likely to read your re-headlined article. Great tip for me to work on, thanks.
Indeed my Death Penalty hubs are read and commented on by people that believe in the Death Penalty...
Since I have a real love and passion for writing and informing I would have to say it would be great to reach a vast amount of people but it is a pleasure knowing that it touched, helped, or changed someone, somewhere. Being genuine in what I post is important to me and I try to reflect that outward.
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