I stumbled across a comment recently where someone said blog posts should be objective and not based on opinions. I found that odd. After all, opinions are what make blogs blogs. Remember they were originally started as more of a journal than an educational tool. The content has morphed from personal blogs to a wider variety or topics including business and niche blogs. Let's look at niche blogs specifically, since that's the type of blog the comment was left on.
Here's why you may be expecting too much from your favorite bloggers if you expect what they say to be objective all the time:
- Blog posts are often controversial (and conversational). When you post about controversial topics, you should have an opinion (even if you try to present both sides, it should be somewhat clear to readers where you stand). That's basic transparency. The controversial nature of blog posts is a good thing -- a very, very good thing. What makes blogs different than other online media is the open interaction. If you lay out absolutely everything, there's really little left for people to comment on. Where's the conversation?
- Blogs can't cover everything. It just isn't possible. Therefore every single post is, in some way, influenced by the blogger's (or blog owner's) opinions. For example, even how-to topics are chosen. I would be much more likely to write a how-to on article marketing that focused on the PR elements of more limited runs. I wouldn't likely write a how-to post on article marketing through spammy article directories. Even if the article itself doesn't spout opinions, the choice to publish it did. The same is true when the blogger chooses how to write that how-to (the steps, tools, etc.). If there is more than one way to do something, then opinion played a role in that post.
- Blogs rely on personality. Make that "successful blogs rely on personality." A blogger's personality can't really shine through their posts if they never share opinions. It's a fundamental aspect of readers being able to connect with them.
If you expect bloggers to always be completely objective and not focus on their own opinions, I'd say you're expecting too much (and the completely unnatural). That's not to say that opinions should be influenced by things like sponsors, but that bloggers should always be able to share their opinions on their own blog. If you don't like it, start your own. That's the beauty of it. Everyone can have a platform.
What do you think? Should bloggers refrain from sharing their opinions and stick to completely objective educational posts?