Does Controversy Work? Even If It Ruffles Some Feathers…

Does COntroversy (1)

Scott Rohn is a good dude. He’s one of the hardest working guys in this business and is one of the only guys that has really taken the advice of ‘being in front of the video camera’ to heart. He deserves huge kudos for showing up, every day even when the deck was stacked against him.

Last week, he had enough! He wrote a blog post where he passionately tore into the ‘penny surfing’ mentality and in the process used…Explicit language throughout the post.

This caused…Controversy.

Some folks appreciated his passion and agreed with his assessment of the traffic exchange industry, while others were saying he being vulgar and should not have used that kind of language in a blog post.

I’m not saying he was right or wrong, this is just my observations (before people rip my head off lol)

Anyways, because of that blog post he received over 30 comments (pretty sure this was the most ever on his blog), there was a huge discussion about it in Skype and Facebook and I’m writing about the post many days after it was published.

Now let’s take a look at the last post I made on Hit Exchange News, which was published on the same day. In that post, I talked about ClickTrackProfit paying out over $200,000 in commissions and the importance of staying the course no matter what. 20 comments. Rarely discussed in Facebook or Skype. Not a lot of fan fare.

So we have two posts…Published the same day. One about penny surfing and dropping ‘F-Bombs’ and another about building a successful business and paying out over 200k.

This is my thought…Human beings love train wrecks. They love controversy and while this isn’t a dig at the traffic exchange industry as a whole, it’s an observation about how one can use ‘conflict and controversy’ in their business. Now before you again, rip my head off, I’m not saying you have to drop f-bombs in your blog posts, I’m just noticing what gets people fired up and what doesn’t.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be $200,000 in commissions lol

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the folks that applaud Scott’s passion? Or do you feel cursing has no place online in business.

I’d love to hear your opinions and see what you think 🙂

Jon Olson

I'm Jon Olson, I've been publishing Hit Exchange News since 2003 and been involved in the traffic exchange industry since...Well, the beginning :) I'd love to network with you as you browse the pulse of the traffic exchange industry! I am also a HUGE fan of reading your comments. I will respond to every single one! Poke around and enjoy the 'News! And thanks for hanging out...

37 thoughts to “Does Controversy Work? Even If It Ruffles Some Feathers…”

  1. I’m going to be I guess the 1st to comment unless someone beats me to it. I feel I might have been able to accomplish the same thing without the F Bombs. So going forward in future posts there will be no F Bombs.

    1. LOL Hey man, it’s a fantastic lesson in marketing to me….I cant thank you enough for the post….It fired up a lot of people, and that’s always a good thing lol

    2. That is the perfect response Scott. The things you said is right on and I personally just skipped the fbomb words and got the meaning of what you said. I remember commenting to you that is was a good post and wow you “gave it to those penny people.” I think your passion and convictions were there with out the harsh language. But in the end who gives a sh-t it you cussed.

  2. Actually, I agreed with the general premise of Scott’s post, just completely disagreed with the language. Perhaps you are right, I very seldom write a post on someones blog, but the tone made me feel totally disrespected as a reader and potential business associate. After the discussion and Scott’s reaction, I will take the time to learn more about him. Controversy can have its place, but for me, I’ll take the controversy without the side of bad language 🙂

  3. There seems to be more than 1 topic in Scott’s post.

    One seems to be the F bombs and the second the subject matter itself and third does the f bombs help or hurt.

    As for the topic it is something that should be talked about, and should have created enough controversy on its own.

    Seems that a number of folks could not get past the F bombs, and really never got to the topic itself. Which is sad.

    Just for myself for those who see that post that no nothing or read anything Scott has done in the past, it may cost him some readers.

    1. Eric – that’s a good point. The topic which he was discussing didn’t seem to get the reaction that the language did. Which is interesting for sure.

  4. Well Jon, it’s up to the individual if they want to use that type of language or not.

    Personally, I don’t like it, but that is in no way a critique of the person who does it.
    Yes, folks love controversy, but is the attention that that controversy brings GOOD attention? I guess it depends on the subject.

    It is not wrong for people to applaud Scott’s passion. What Scott needs to be concerned about is the question of if that is the kind of attention he really wants. Some folks would not care if they scare people away with that kind of talk. Does Scott? If he does care about scaring folks away, then he should not use that language.

    Scott needs to be Scott. It is good that he is so active in the industry. He simply needs to keep tweaking and improving. We all do and say things sometimes that we are not so proud of. We need to be able to apologize if appropriate, live with the consequences and move on.

    What it comes down to is professionalism. Not the professionalism of the old school, but the professionalism of today, which leaves people room to be who they are. Such a thing can build our personal brand, r destroy it – depending on what our “brand” is.

    That is my blah blah blah about it.

    1. Great stuff man. I agree, the important thing is that Scott needs to be Scott. And if he alienates some, that’s the price he pays. I understand both sides, I’m just….Piggy backing off the controversy lol

    2. John I apprciate what you have to say. Swearing is not something I do on a daily bases. So I don’t want anyone thinking that’s what I am all about. Being in the public eye which is what we are I should have be more careful with what I wrote. I did not set out to upset anyone that was not my purpose when I did this post.

  5. Hey Jon, I loved Scott’s blog post and also left him a comment on his blog.

    Obviously some people won’t like it (my advice) but I’m not in the business of being liked by everyone so yeah man, controvery does sell but it also helps you polarize your audience.

    Remember that e-mail I once sent that had a lot of cursing?

    I’ve got a few unsubscribes from it but I also had a TON of replies saying how much that e-mail helped them stop procrastinating and actually start getting things done.

    Sometimes you need to find the best way to get your message across and I think it all comes down to personal brand and style.

    Before I go, here’s a short story about this kind of things:

    A friend on Facebook used to struggle a lot to get clients and was sick of creating trainings for like $7, $17, $27 until one day, he decided to stop giving a damn about what people thought about him and started swearing all the time.

    He would literally put a sailor’s way of talking to shame (dropping F-bombs literally in every single communication he did) and I believe he now charges something between $5K or $10K (per person) and people literally go on waiting lists just so they can enter these trainings he offers and they fill up in literally just a few days.

    All he did was a mindset change and stopped listening to the “advice” everyone kept giving him on how to properly run his own business.

    Gives you something to think about, doesn’t it? 😉

    Sergio Felix

    1. Yeah, that’s a fantastic example. I mean even going back in history of I.M., the Rick Jerk brand…Made millions lol People say they want warm and fuzzy, but don’t seem to care when it’s calm…..Stir it up, passion and emotion start to show up.

  6. If you loose one affiliate, one customer or one reader that is too much. I believe he is a good guy and that it was not Scott’s norm, but a first time reader….. Yes controversy makes $, but it also can come back to bite you. There are exceptions to that both ways of course. There is always the saying of quality of comments versus quantity of comments. Tread lightly as it is a dangerous area.

  7. I don’t want my head ripped off either 🙂 interestingly it stimulates me to ask the question is negative publicity better than none. I’m reminded of the overly loud shockwave videos that used to run. But note I’m not here to say either is bad, good, right, or wrong. Is Howard Stern genius or one that takes advantage of controversy?

  8. It seems Jon’s comment count is pretty high too. Maybe Scott knew how to attract some interest? Jeff Goins, one of the most read bloggers today, says in his course Tribe Writers – Go pick a fight! Like Scott, Jeff is a nice guy. He’s not suggesting people start fighting. But, show some passion, act like you care. Right on Scott – your passion came through. I agree with you – it’s not the thing to do daily – but – let people know you are in invested. And, you did!

    1. Agreed….Meet me in person, and I’ll buy ya dinner…But online, we might disagree and debate. Part of my strategy at times, which doesnt always work out tho LOL

  9. I saw the hoopla on skype first, then I went to read Scott’s blog post. It’s not the first time I’ve read Scott’s blog, nor is it the first time I’ve seen Scott’s “personality” communicated in TE Land, either thru his videos rotated in the TEs, interaction with other CSN Team members, or comments on various other blogs, skype chats and blabs.

    So…honestly…seeing the first f word didn’t surprise me. It drew the point home of what Scott was trying to say. Whether people like it or not, curse words draw attention. (I mean, really, “Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a HOOT” doesn’t quite cut it, does it? LOL) I will say that the subsequent use of them in his post was overkill and, as Eric stated above, the original message of the post got lost.

    I certainly don’t advocate the use of curse words, but there are those who have cultivated a certain “style” about them, or brand as you say, where dropping a curse word (or a few) is not out of place. The extreme examples are of course comedians who use it for effect…to get the laugh. And it’s NOT for a lack of vocabulary that they use the curse words…it’s all about context, presentation and delivery.

    There is a blogger I follow who has a very large and loyal following, both on her blog as well as on her social media accounts. She has always been very direct and forthright in her posts, even if it meant dropping a few curse words to get her point across. And her audience loves her for it. And she is BRANDED in every sense that that word entails; she is known by celebrities as well as by companies who PAY her to advertise their products/services. You know how she would respond to this? ‘I am all out of dambs to give” 😉

    1. Thanks very much Ellyn, and very good points for sure. Context, presentation and delivery is bang on accurate when it comes to that. I know if I drop a ‘cuss’ or two in a live event it’s because I’m fired up and am really trying to bring the point home.

  10. Hi Jon great post. There are always going to be people that curse. I don’t like to hear it, but understand why some use it. It’s OK sometimes. I don’t think it’s necessary all the time. Hearing cursing all the time drives me away. It is upsetting to me because my parents and my big brother used foul language when they were super angry. It was scary, so I get a bad, unpleasant feeling inside. So if someone posted it all the time they might lose business from me and others. There are allot of us out there that don’t like it. It’s upsetting and if we are already over stressed, we would not want to read it or hear it all the time. I try to make my life as smooth as possible to avoid unnecessary stress. I am not saying that I wouldn’t put up with some though, especially from Scott. He never uses that language hardly ever. 🙂

    1. Hi Barb let me put your mind at ease I am not in the habit of using foul language all the time. In fact I hardly use it. I expressed how I was feeling and did not filter it. Was that right or wrong? Who knows some liked it and some didn’t

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