Scott Bourne, host of “This Week in Photography,” put out a post today that summarizes my blogging career pretty nicely.

About 50% of my audience loves me and the other half, well – not so much.

Guess what – that means I am on the right track. If EVERYONE loves you, chances are you are not taking a side and long term, your audience won’t grow or hang around. You need some haters to know you’re on the right track.

Why do I go controversial? Because so many bloggers fake the righteous indignation and fervor and passion on topics that everyone already agrees with them on. Tempest in a teapot.
That sort of pseudo-controversial phrasing does no one any good. If you are reading a perspective you could already recite by heart that acrimoniously agrees with you, what have you learned or gained from it?
But if the author presents a reasonable viewpoint you don’t agree with, and does so with passion and integrity, one of two things happen – if you agree with it, you are armed with more ammuntion for your worldview. If you disagree, you’re forced to think a bit as to why, and sharpen your rhetoric for when you might actually need to defend your point of view.
Scott continues:

I’ve had one listener … tell me no less than three times – that’s right THREE times, he’ll never listen to me again. Then about a week later, he writes back and says “This time I really mean it.”

The secret of radio style podcasts is to be just controversial enough to hold your audience’s attention. Half my audience hates me, because I have strong opinions that I’m willing to back up. BUT THEY STILL LISTEN!

I’ve had the same situation – just check out the comments on any editorial I’ve posted on Mashable (check the political ones first, though). You’ll see the same folks over and over again promising to never come back to the site again.
It’s not just the secret to radio – it’s the secret to any editorial content. It’s the whole reason I go controversial.
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