As my readers, particularly my readers in the United States, would know, we have a presidential election this year.
With the election coming up, some are shamelessly blogging about politics. But many are grappling with how much to blog about politics, or whether to blog about politics at all.
If you are one such person who’s grappling, this blog post is designed for you.
Before going further, let me start by saying that if you don’t think you can handle adversarial comments resulting from what you express in your blog post, it is wisest to not publish your post on politics. Given the divisive nature of American politics (and politics in some other parts of the world), you should be prepared to handle some vitriol in the comments section of your post. It’s not guaranteed to happen, but you should be prepared for it to happen. As I’ve known bloggers brought to their knees (or even quit their blogs) over just a couple nasty comments directed at them, and as I’ve known bloggers whose mental health was negatively affected by vitriolic comments to posts, it is important to honestly assess whether you can handle sharp criticism of your political post before publishing a post on politics.
As to how to assess whether you can handle any level of challenging response to your political post, what I would recommend is this: think about how you’ve handled situations where you were in a contentious discussion online, assuming you’ve been in such a situation before (whether it be your blog, social media, or something else). If you didn’t respond well in other online situations where there was a contentious discussion, then you likely won’t respond well to it from strangers on the internet upon publishing a political post.
If you think you can handle difficult comments on a political blog post you publish, then you might be okay with publishing blog posts about politics. However, before determining for sure whether you should blog about politics, there’s one more question you must answer for yourself: What do you hope to achieve with your blog posts about politics?
If your goal is simply to vent about the current political affairs or to make your readers know where you stand on an election race, then all you need to do is write and then hit the “publish” button. Once you publish, you have achieved your goal.
If your goal is to educate people on an election issue or contest, you need to think about whether your potential post accomplishes this. If so, you can publish. If not, you shouldn’t hit the “publish” button. This is a judgement call you would have to make, and a judgement call I frequently have to make.
If your goal is to sway people to “your side,” you will likely walk away disappointed if you weigh into a race or issue where very few people are undecided. If few people are undecided about how to vote to begin with, for example, then you have few people to sway. However, I must add that if you weigh in on a political issue or race where a lot of people are undecided, then people reading your rationale for voting for a candidate or supporting an issue may be helpful to your readers.
If your goal is to grow your blog’s following through writing about politics, a blog post on politics may actually be one of the last things you want to do. Readers can, and have, unfollowed blogs because of a post on politics that one took issue with. In fact, when considering whether to publish a post on politics, you should ask yourself whether it’s a post you’d be willing to lose a couple or even a few of your readers over (and if not, don’t publish).
To sum things up, when considering whether to publish a blog post on politics, the following should be taken into consideration:
- Whether you can handle the potential vitriol that comes from responses to the post
- What you hope to achieve through your blog posts on politics, and whether that hope is attainable through publishing your blog post
- Whether you would be willing to lose a couple or even a few of your readers over the political post you make
If you’ve published blog posts on politics, and have other things you’d like to add to what I said here, please comment below! I’m more than happy to hear tips from others, as well as questions from people who are unsure of whether to blog about politics.