Negativity VS Positivity

I was thinking the other day about how negativity produces such an amazing response on the web. Do something positive 1000 times and nobody will care, but make 1 mistake 1 time and your whole reputation is on the line.

To be honest, I find it disturbing. Why is it that we react to negativity in such an eruptive way?

Well, if you know anything about physics then you are probably aware of the fact that negative charge attracts positive charge and vice versa, right? So how does it translate into our online business?

We bloggers try to trigger positive reaction towards our content. We want people to share it, link to it, and spread the word. In other words we want to drive more traffic to our websites by connecting with people through our content.

Just like there are only 2 charges, there are 2 kinds of content – Positive Content and Negative Content.

Don’t confuse negative with bad or positive with good. Sometimes negative is better than positive.

What I consider Positive Content?

– Tutorials/How To content

– Resourceful articles

– Videos

– Posts with useful tips

What I consider Negative Content?

– Rants

– Posts that expose someone

– Content written to attack a company or another person

– Drama!

– Controversial stuff

It’s good to write both kinds of content to neutralize yourself but I prefer to be more on the positive side, although I know that negativity could explode my blog’s traffic.

Just as an example, I wrote a post about Google’s Hypocrisy not too long ago that got a lot of attention. People shared it, linked to it, and it drove quite a bit of traffic to my blog.

Same thing happened when I wrote a post about MyWot (Web Of Trust – that’s what they call it)

At first I was like “aha…I can do this all day long!”, but after I gave it a little bit of thought I decided that it wasn’t such a good idea. I don’t usually write negative content unless I believe something needs to be said.

If you write negative stuff all the time it starts to lose power after a while. Also, I don’t think I am that kind of person. Negativity can consume you if that’s all you think about.

So here is my theory on how this stuff works.

When you write a negative post it triggers positive reaction towards the content from your audience very easily. There is almost no energy required to make it happen. Just let it rip and you are set lol

On the other hand if you write a positive piece of content it can trigger negative reaction, or no reaction at all. If you want to trigger positive reaction with positive content there would be an enormous amount of energy required. Just like when trying to fuse 2 atoms with the same charge.

So what that means is that your positive content would have to be f**king epic to get the same result you get from writing a rant, or bashing someone else on your blog.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Why do you think sites like RipOff.com get so much publicity and traffic?  Not that they are bad or anything, it’s just that they constantly trigger positive reaction through all the negative complaints being published on their platform.

All the scam busting sites gain traction in the serps very easily. They don’t even try hard.

Sometimes it’s good to write negative content though because it can actually help people out. Some folks are not as internet savvy as we marketers are, so if you can point out an obvious scam it can do a lot of good.

But if you only concentrate on positive stuff and you don’t know how to get the eyeballs, you will burn out pretty quick. You will lose motivation to keep going because it’s not easy to write epic stuff all the time, especially if nobody visits your blog.

Not too long ago there was an eCommerce site that that used negativity to gain high search engine rankings. Guess what? It worked, but for a short period of time. Because of all the bad customer service complaints the site was getting people shared it all over and it generated a lot of backlinks for them.

Here is what the owner replied:

Hello, My name is Stanley with DecorMyEyes.com, I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.

Then this

I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven.

I mean, that’s some funny sh*t to be honest.

Anyway, it’s actually very interesting how this works. Bad publicity can work in your favor sometimes. Wouldn’t the world be great if even small positive things could generate the same results?

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4 thoughts on “Negativity VS Positivity

  1. Same with videos. I have some Youtube clips that are controversial in some way and those usually generate the most views for me. People love that stuff. News sites like FoxNews get a ton of traffic not because they provide useful information but because they report all the bad stuff that happens all around the world.

  2. In the age of celebrity this and that, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about…Oscar Wilde’s quote stands the test of time and is probably more relevant today than ever before. People will do or say anything to get attention as that is in such short supply these days, including writing negative content on their blogs to spark a reaction. I don’t think it really matters what you write as long as you are doing it from the heart. Your rant was expunging the bile in your soul (or maybe even your gall bladder). Now that it’s done you’ve moved onto other things. People that are excessively negative should probably try writing satire or try stand up comedy. Like your physics analogy though…energy attracts and eventually gets sucked out of you like snake venom out of someone who has been bitten on the ass.

  3. Very interesting concept indeed, I always find that amazing how an ounce of negativity can have more of an effect than a pound of anything positive. As BK said it is the same with videos, seems it will always be a top priority for people to be entertained than educated.

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