Submitted by Twitter's @Carrisao.
This is a great question from an old coworker of mine named Carissa Obrien. Being a contrarian – or having an opinion that’s opposite to what’s expected -- can be a really great way to attract attention in the marketplace.
However, you’ve got to remember that if you’re going to take a contrarian position on anything that will incite discussion or debate, you'd better have thought through your position well enough to defend it to the end.
I’m a big fan of creating interest or excitement in the market by pushing the envelope. But I’m constantly reminded – by coworkers and friends – that you can’t always be a contrarian.
Making bold, obnoxious statements is easy. Defending them logically is not. What you want to avoid is the notion that you're making statements just to incite debate and that your insight is shallow and always negative. This kind of social behavior can ruin your reputation – online or off.
So, if you’re creating content for a very niche audience that’s smart (possibly smarter than you), make sure you do these three things if you’re about to create some content that’s contrarian ...
One -- Make sure you know your stuff and that you’ve thought this through.
Two -- Lay out enough of your argument to make your point, but hold back some of your ammunition for the debate you’re expecting to ensue. There’s nothing better than setting up your audience to ask questions you’ve already got the answers to.
Three -- Don’t always be the contrarian. It gets old and you’re too easy to discredit as a curmudgeon.