Should You Rant on Your Blog?

by: Sherice Jacob

flickr_girl_rantingIt’s no surprise that a good rant on your blog will make you feel better. Releasing all that pent up anger, frustration and confusion just seems to purge the body of whatever injustice or wrong is plaguing you – and it can seem like such a release to get it out and on paper (or screen) – but is a rant really a good idea in the long run?

Some of the most famous bloggers have the pull to actually rant and get things done. A great one to learn from is 37Signals’ Get Satisfaction…or Else.” It details Get Satisfaction’s attempt at becoming the go-to site for everyone’s customer service instead of letting the business owner control it on their own site. With nearly 300 comments on that post alone, 37Signals is a force to be reckoned with. It’s interesting to note that on this follow-up post, you can see where Get Satisfaction took the issue seriously and wrote an apology. It may very well have spurred them on to make other changes in the way they use other companies’ names to promote themselves – only time will tell.

But What If You Don’t Have the Pull?

“I’m just one blogger – what can I do?” is often where we find ourselves. Wondering “will a company even listen to me?” is one of our many doubts. Your blog is your voice and you should never feel afraid to make yourself known. Sometimes one blogger’s voice is all it takes to get the attention of even the major media and force action to be taken.

A good rant will almost always stir debate too – and with that comes traffic. Let your personality shine through on your blog and people will notice and respond. They’ll tell their friends to add their two cents – and so on. Turning every post into a rant just for the sake of controversy isn’t a good idea unless you want that to be your blogging hallmark (and you can take the heat!)

When Good Rants Go Bad

The downside to a rant on your blog is two-fold. First, unless you choose to delete it (which will stir even MORE controversy), it will always be there in your archives. You’ll need to ask yourself if that’s something you want following you around next year or 5 years from now. If the problem is solved, you can always write a follow-up, but leave the original post for posterity.

Secondly, and this could be even more important, is that you clearly have your facts together before you write. Nothing looks worse than a blogger who “got served” by the company offering the real facts of the matter.

Bottom line — before you rant, make sure you do your homework and that your rant is well-founded before you jump into a firefight that might end up with you getting burned! On the other hand, it could be the spark the company needs to take action and make things happen. So the question ultimately remains – will you be the fire-starter or the firefighter?

The Collective Question: So, where do you stand? Do you rant on your blog? Feel free to dish about a particularly good rant or one that backfired miserably.

Sherice Jacob is a web designer, copywriter, and author of Get Niche Quick. Don’t forget to follow Sherice on Twitter.

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7 responses to Should You Rant on Your Blog?

  1. WRITE A WRITING

    this is one of those thingies that call in Mick Jagger’s line ” it’s ok to let yourself go if you know how to get yourself back”.

  2. Friar

    No, you should NOT rant on your blog. If you dont’ have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

    You wouldn’t catch ME doing something like that.

    Never ever EVER.

  3. Tumblemoose

    Hi David,

    Double edged sword here. Careful… Serious consideration needs to be given before publishing a rant post. You’re right – it’s something that will be around for a long time. As well, you need to decide if you want blatant negativity on your site. Yes, it may make you feel better to vent, but at what cost.

    Right now I’ve got several draft posts that will never see the light of day. I follow some sage advise from years ago: If you want to write it to make you feel better then go right ahead. Leave it in your desk for 24 hours and then revisit if you really would like to send it. That has saved me much heartache over the years I’m sure.

    Cheers!

    George

  4. David Cain

    Sometimes a snarky remark makes it into one of my posts, but that’s about it. I don’t particularly enjoy rants, and I don’t suspect my readers do, so I avoid it.

    There are some people who do it really well though, and make something entertaining out of it. I guess the rule is the same as always: if it provides value to the reader, do it.

  5. Marc

    People have come to me to help them compose letters of complaint. They’ve remarked on how well I can rant.

    However, I agree with David (Cain) in so much that if you’re going to do it publicly, then it had better be entertaining. Oh, and as Sherice stated, get all the facts straight.

    Question for David (Wright): Have you ever felt like posting a rant mate? 😉

  6. jan geronimo

    I’m more in the mold of the great tumblemoose. But I don’t write them down. Just keep them inside for old time’s sake and take down notes when sparks fly on account of the implosion. “,)

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