"The best way to win an argument is to avoid it," advises Reginald Adkins in his Elemental Truths blog, admitting that "you could be perceived as a pushover who won’t stand up for his beliefs." Barring avoidance, Adkins offers tips to increase your chances for winning battles in which you’ve chosen to take part.
Blogging for business, you’d have to say, is not necessarily an argumentative pursuit. Yet, in a way, your company blog is your way of "arguing"" in favor of:
- Your product (as compared to those of your competitors)
- Your service (as compared to services offered by others)
- Your point of view relating to your industry (contrasted with opposing viewpoints)
So, carrying the example one step further, thinking of individual business blog posts as "battles" in an ongoing "war", it’s certainly worth remembering that your goal as business owner is to keep winning hearts and gaining customers over the long run, and not just winning points today.
Several of Reginald Adkins’ tips are actually very appropriate for bloggers:
Never accuse a person of being wrong.
Think about a competitor or perhaps an online reader who’s left a negative comment on your blog. "You should express your disagreement subtly," advises Adkins, "making it clear that your opinion diverges from theirs."
Let them talk.
When it comes to presenting your side of an argument in your business blog, be sure to present the other side as fairly and completely as possible before explaining why your point of view is different.
Back it up.
"Bring in concrete examples and supporting numbers to illustrate your point", says Adkins. Not only do statistics in a blog grab online visitors’ attention, serve to demonstrate the extent of a problem or issue, but the numbers strengthen the credibility of the points your trying to make in that blog post.
"Arguments can be emotional. Be calm and don’t let your feelings take over." The most important thing you have to sell in your business blog is you. The tone of your blog reassures readers they’ve come to a place where "nice guys and gals" live, people who play nice with competitors and customers alike.
Business branding expert Tony Fannin defines your brand as "an emotional collection of impressions your customers have about you." In your business blog, then, it’s not winning the argument, but the way in which you won that counts!