Should Bloggers Blog About Politics?

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.

26 Replies to “Should Bloggers Blog About Politics?”

  1. You give sound advice for those who take criticism personally. For me, though … if not politics, then what? Anymore, it’s all there is … too much is riding on the events not only of the U.S., but the world, to sit and blog about new recipes or knitting patterns. So, I shall stay in the rabbit hole I’ve occupied off and on for several years now, and try to use my very small platform to enlighten. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m glad you commented, Jill! I know you are a bit of a veteran in terms of blogging on politics at this point (or, at least I consider you a veteran on it) so I definitely value your thoughts. And I especially value your thoughts as someone who feels secure going down those rabbit holes.

      Yes, the biggest caution is for those who take criticism personally. I’ve seen bloggers end their blogs as a result of such circumstances. Aside from that, I think having a clear and realistic sense of why you want to blog about politics is important (something you definitely have).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Brendan! My interest in politics began when I was about 5 years old, and I have an M.A. in Political Science, so it’s a natural fit for me. I get a few haters here and there, even had one who threatened my life after I wrote a piece on the gun culture in this country. I blocked him, but otherwise I let people air their views, and if they’re too off-the-wall, I’ve learned to ignore them.

        You have to be open-minded, willing to hear out the other side, to accept the criticism and fire back when it’s appropriate, so no, it isn’t the best topic for those who easily get their feelings hurt. I like to think that at least sometimes I make someone stop and think about things in a way they may not have before, but I’m open to listening to others’ opinions. Civil discourse is what we need more of in this country, but as one of your other readers pointed out, it’s not easy these days.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. All good advice. There’s not really much more for me to say than that.

        Also, I think your advice for dealing with feedback/comments is definitely sound–accept criticism when it is warranted, respond where warranted, and take more extreme action if warranted (like blocking).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There was a time you could discuss politics but you were discussing politics. It wasn’t a game to be won. Sometime in the 80’s we began to infuse ideological insistence into political discussions. It didn’t take long (less than a decade) before “political discussions” were becoming adversarial so people stopped talking politics. In the last fifteen years or so we have stopped talking politics personal ideologies rule. I will never stop speaking out for the right political reasons, my skin is a little thicker. If people don’t speak out about political issues the concept concept of politics, as we knew it, becomes a history lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on this, Terry.

      I wasn’t around in the ’80s (I’m a 90s kid), so I appreciate the historical context here.

      Like with you though, I notice that a lot of people have stopped talking politics because of adversarial political discussions. It’s a bummer but it’s also true. Like with you I don’t plan on ending my speaking out. But I also don’t take criticism personally to the point of my considering ending the blog. Some people do take it that personally.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I started writing political posts during the last election because I felt so strongly about what was happening. Since then I’ve kept up with the occasional political post, but I warned my followers about 2-3 months ago that they would be increasing and that I welcome debate, but not personal attacks. I’m pretty much preaching to the choir as the majority of my followers feel the same way I do, but I have a blog, and I have a voice and I’m darn well going to use them!😁 I do have the occasional troll pop up who can’t seem to do anything except lob personal insults, but for the most part any debates have been pretty civilized.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences with political posts, Kim.

      The biggest thing is that you haven’t let the occasional troll get to you. For some bloggers, that is all it takes. Well, that plus the fact that you seem to have a clear purpose in your political posts (which is to express yourself).

      Out of curiosity, what sort of reaction did you get when you said that you’d make more posts about politics?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have mixed feelings about writing about politics and reading about politics on blogs. On the one hand, I’m appreciative to read about politics because I believe that more people should take a political stance, especially in the USA, and I hope that if people do things like blog about it, it’ll get the word out, it’ll help more people feel passionate about exercising their right to vote. On the other hand, I fully admit that 90% of people I follow pretty much align with my political beliefs. Which means I’m not really hearing the other side of the spectrum. Which technically could make me closed minded.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences with reading and writing about politics on blogs.

      I agree that people should take a political stance, and inform people about what’s going on politically. At the same time, I understand the concerns about closed-mindedness. Which, of course, needs to be balanced with making sure one does not give too much of a voice or platform to those whose beliefs are harmful.

      Like

      1. Thats… yeah. That’s what I struggle with. I’ve been watching some speeches from the RNC (because I want to be informed) and I want to write about it, but I don’t want to give a light to… well a lot of it was what I consider to be a lot of total BS. And I know that a lot of people wouldn’t even agree with me saying that, but I believe that a lot of the RNC speeches were complete BS… from start to finish.
        Sorry for ranting about politics in your comments section. You just made me think about it when you spoke of harmful beliefs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s all good. I think you are talking about an important (but tough) balance to strike, especially in light of the fact that there is a lot of falsehood that is spread as well.

        Like

    1. Thanks for adding your thoughts as someone who blogs about politics. I do think it’s possible to educate people or make people think of old issues in new ways, but changing someone’s mind as a result of a post is difficult, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brendan, we are in a period of history where courage is necessary. People will always try to control behavior through cruel comments. If a blogger can’t take negative criticism from those who don’t want them to tell their truth then maybe writing is not for them. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Angela-I absolutely agree that courage is necessary and needed right now.

      To answer your remarks about blogging and negative criticism, you raise some good points. I do think that any writing put into the public sphere is vulnerable to criticism; as such, if one struggles with criticism, writing in the public sphere may not be for someone (except potentially with restrictions on comments and other means through which people can send vitriol to you). But one thing that is most definitely not for someone sensitive to criticism, especially in these divisive times, is blogging about politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree, blogging about politics would not be wise.

        “I do think that any writing put into the public sphere is vulnerable to criticism; as such, if one struggles with criticism, writing in the public sphere may not be for someone (except potentially with restrictions on comments and other means through which people can send vitriol to you)”

        Isn’t that writing to yourself? 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this post. Honestly, the people who read my posts, who sign up with my blog, mostly agree with me, and when my posts are political, they give my readers something in poetry or prayer to use in a worship service or a newsletter. There are people, who think that I am “lost” or heretical, but they don’t follow me or come to congregations where I am preaching. I am fortunate, but I will say that when it does happen I brood for weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. Most tend to agree with me, and a few take issue with what I have to say. I try not to brood over it too much, though even I must confess that there’ve been one or two instances over the years where it really stung.

      Like

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