On the Warpath – Content Writing Tips on Ranting Online
19
OCTOBER 2016

Who was it that said “Never make a decision when you’re angry. Never make a promise when you’re happy.” He probably regretted having to rant about something once in his life. But doesn’t ranting grab the attention of your readers by the throat? They want to read on to what you are annoyed about?

We all have felt this at some point – fuming with anger that we are compelled to write it down and share it online. Basically, what is in a rant post is the author’s expression of disagreeing or being angry at something or someone in a warlike gun-toting manner.

Even an animated clean (no swear words) rant is still a rant. However, if you do this on a particular brand or company, it can be a bit risky and may backfire if you are careless with your words.

Ranting is good?

But wait! Didn’t someone also say that ranting a.k.a. venting has a certain curative effect to people? There is a deeply rooted ancestral belief that venting is cleansing. Fast-forward to modern times and you will see the online proliferation of rant sites where you can read people’s expressions of anger and hatred. You can also see the engagement of readers and other venters in the comments. But sadly, online ranting seems to only increase anger, not suppress it.

The image of a pressure cooker releasing off steam seems to be accepted by more people thinking that if the anger were not vented, the effects would be catastrophic. We dare not imagine the pressure cooker exploding in your kitchen.

Some writers fear that their rant could anger or separate their readers especially if you choose divisive topics (hint: politics) wherein readers would want to defend their views. But if you vent on topics that are reasonable issues that could get your readers to sympathize with you, then you get engaged readers, an increase in views and more comments. All writers want that, right?

 

There is good, after all

Before you go ballistic with your hurt feelings or angry emotions, know some defamation laws. Sometimes our opinions could destroy an individual’s or a company’s reputation, especially if they’re not backed up by facts. And their lawyers may not be too happy with what you call “just my two cents.” That amount could very well buy you some legal trouble.

When you get frustrated, angry or hurt, you should write a letter about it just to get it off your chest and after writing everything down, delete it! What? Delete everything? Some may want something more physically draining like jogging a mile or vacuuming the entire house.

But after cooling off, the anger may now be more manageable even if you’d still want to share your frustration to your readers as a warning for them. A calmer head can now read and edit carefully for any legal implications and swear words you might have added. Have a lawyer or legal adviser check for any warning signs. Sleep it off, go to bed. Edit it in the morning.

The internet gives us the freedom to say just about anything we want, when we want. That’s the beauty of opinion blogs. Trouble only appears when you give your opinions with malicious and disparaging content about an individual or company. But if they are true, back it up with facts.

“Before you go ballistic with your hurt feelings or angry emotions, know some defamation laws. Sometimes our opinions could destroy an individual’s or a company’s reputation, especially if they’re not backed up by facts. And their lawyers may not be too happy with what you call “just my two cents.” That amount could very well buy you some legal trouble.”

After the rant, then what?

We expect a counter-rant or a retaliation. You have just stirred up the hornet’s nest – brand, competitors, readers and customers. They have just read something that made you look like a bully or a troll (even if it was not your intention). This is exactly why ranting online becomes risky for the writer or the brand.

Are there benefits to ranting?

But there is light at the end of the ranting tunnel. A constructive way of expressing anger in a non-aggressive manner could be beneficial. That’s why a well-written and thought of opinion post could make the writer (or brand) stand out among the rest. Organically, it can increase traffic and links and could make other blog sites even rant sites notice your article. But take note of these content writing tips before publishing a rant:

  1. Gather your facts with research. Every small detail counts. If there is a sob story as a background, put it in.
  2. Never appear to be angry because your readers could misunderstand you even if you’re trying to be positive. So don’t zoom in on a particular individual or brand.
  3. At the end of your rant, offer a solution. How can both parties benefit from this post? Make it a solution post, not a complaint post.
  4. And finally, imagine yourself as the reader of your post. You are the brand being lambasted. Are they true? Will it make you a better brand?

The results are in

To some, ranting may be a privilege to reach a certain satisfaction but may weaken your coping mechanism when dealing with your emotions. You may not agree but probably by doing nothing and letting it pass may be the best way of dealing with your anger rather than ranting on the internet or hitting a punching bag. Better learn to use your anger in a constructive manner than blasting away online. Admittedly, ranting just makes us feels good. But a good clean rant is the way to go. You’d be surprised at how your readers or subscribers comment their feelings in support of your rant. You didn’t realize it but that too, was their way of venting. Those little pressure cookers were just lurking around waiting to release their steam, thanks to you.

Looking for help with your opinion content? Reach out and get well-written pieces from our expert ranting team 🙂

Annie Ianko

Content Happiness Advisor

Annie has 18 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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