Opinion Blogs vs Discussion Blogs

By Gregory Ciotti

Many blogs out there can be split into two categories: Opinion and Discussion. Each has its own benefits, and there are obviously hybrid versions as well. While it seems obvious at the surface, I think there’s a wealth of insight to be gained by taking a closer look at the differences.

Opinion Blogs

Writers of opinion blogs state their minds on a subject. They pick a side and tell you why. What’s to be gained from this strategy? Firstly, you can create some conflict. This is a great way to get people responding to your posts. When someone feels strongly about a topic and agrees or disagrees with your point, they’ll be quick to give their opinion on it.

That feedback can come in a couple different ways. A discussion can erupt in your comments, or people will write up on it in their own blogs, hopefully linking to your post.

Opinion blogs can add a different level of interest as well. Giving your opinion lets your personality come out, and blogs with personality are much different to read than your generic information blog. They can be more fun to write as well. It provides more room for creativity and fun.

Discussion

Discussion blogs tend to be very generic and informational in their writing. When a discussion writer has an opinion on something, he will give an overview of the topic and ask for input, leaving their own opinion out, or just casually dropping it in a non-confrontational way. This has the benefit of bringing in a lot of outside commentary. If you ask for your readers’ opinions, they’ll often give them.

In addition, discussion bloggers don’t have to worry about offending anyone. They leave that up to the commenters! Many of your more popular bloggers are discussion bloggers. You’ll notice they take a neutral view on most things. This approach often provides more information to the reader as well.

Which Type of Blogger Are You?

So which is it? Do you openly offer your opinion and pick fun at things that you disagree with, or do you stay neutral and let your readers give their own view on things? Both are definitely viable options. Each has shown to be a successful method, but each also appeals to a different audience.

Opinion bloggers may be drawing more people that are reading for fun. They enjoy your writing and your thoughts on thing (or they hate them). Both types of reader will be drawn to your blog. Discussion bloggers pull more informational readers, people looking to learn things.

There’s a happy medium somewhere, but you have to enjoy what you’re doing. You can’t pretend to be one or the other if you don’t like it, or your discontent will shine through. So, take a step back and look at your writing. Think about which posts you enjoyed writing the most, and reconsider your goals. Once you figure out what drives you to write, you’ll hit your groove and your readers will pick up on that and come back.

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39 Responses to “Opinion Blogs vs Discussion Blogs”

  • Ramkarthik

    Great post Daniel. I cannot judge what type of writer i am. Im only blogging for the past 20 days with my technology blog. I think Im a discussion blogger. I write what I learn. In my technology blog, I can’t get my readers to have arguments in my blog. Maybe if I compare two things in my blog, I would get much comments. But I should practice doing that. If I compare well and let the readers take a decision, it will get more comments and also will get more subscribers and readers.

    P.S: I wanted to ask you one thing which cannot be asked here because it would go unrelated to the topic. So I have sent you a mail using the Contact option. Please do check it.

  • Daniel

    Ramkarthik, thanks for the email, I just replied it.

    Also, Adam wrote this article! Personally I prefer discussion bloggers. I am rarely interested in personal ramblings and opinions, I’d rather read an objective view of stuff.

    But I agree opinion blogs can become popular also if structured correctly.

  • Ramkarthik

    Oh I just didn’t see the name. Adam, sorry for not mentioning your name. Great post Adam.

    Daniel, I’ll check your email now. I haven’t received it till now. Maybe Ill get it in few minutes. Ill reply to it if I have any doubts regarding that. Thanks for your help.

  • Brian Auer

    I’d say I’m 95% discussion blogger. I write mostly to inform and teach, but my opinions creep into my writing on occasion. If I get too caught up in writing my opinions, I sometimes take it too far and it comes off as ranting. Most of my readers come to my site to learn something new about their hobby, so I try to keep it informational.

  • Lionel Young

    I find I’m mostly a discussion blogger, but I’m not afraid to make opinion posts when I feel like it.

    A mix seems to be the best for reader interaction.

  • Daniel

    It depends Lionel. There is a reason why most newspapers and magazines take an objective view on things.

    But then again blogs are a completely new media, maybe this rule is losing importance.

  • cikgu azleen

    I think I can fall on both category. On my blog, I share tips on learning english – sometime it can be informational and sometime it can be emotional.. 😈 However, there would be time whenever I posted something that is related to my personal life, that can be used to learn english.. SO , that it quite like opinion, doesn’t it?

    And there will be also time whenever I just say what I wanted to say, and what I wanna feel about a certain issue/ news..

  • Jonathan-C. Phillips

    I guess I’m a little bit of both, for as long as there’s a conversation going, and it gets a positive feedback, though some negative feedbacks from time to time are nice, and help improve.

  • Rebecca

    Interesting distinction. I’m sure I started out as an opinion blogger, but sharing alot of information also. Since I have morphed almost completely into a discussion blogger, my comments have increased alot. Also, how much I enjoy blogging has increased.

    So I think I will choose to remain a discussion blogger. Ladies especially need more opportunities for conversation these days.

  • Brian Clark

    I wonder if you’re not leaving out a crucial third category–the authority blogger.

    People who actually know what they are talking about, as opposed to subjecting everyone to their “opinion,” at authority bloggers. Smart authority bloggers also creates discussions, but they come at it differently since they actually have been exposed to real life answers based on experience and testing.

  • Adam

    I see where you’re coming from, but nobody said opinion bloggers have to be wrong, and nobody said authority bloggers have to be right.

    I think they’d still fall into one of the two categories. It just happens that their opinions would be taken more seriously perhaps.

    Don’t worry Brian. We all take your opinions to heart 🙂

  • Yasaruwan

    Is this your opinion on blogs or are you giving information to discuss?

  • Adam

    That is for you to figure out my friend.

  • Principle Of Marketing

    Well I personally feel that a mixture of both is a must when blogging, for instance you’ve got to have your own personality shine through to make your informational posts more entertaining and interesting to read while still providing good solid information that can generate comments, linkbacks, and overall general feedback about your blog.

  • Daniel

    I agree with Brian on the authority part. Taking copyblogger, for instance, most of the stuff Brian writers there is “objective,” still you can clearly see where his opinions are and where they are coming from.

    This kind of blog would go in-between I guess.

  • IhaveaVoice

    My blog (Andy World) is obviously the hybrid version. I love to give opinion and also present factual informations to my readers. It’s in my opinion that opinion blog is much easier to write than discussion blog.

  • Rob O.

    I’m with Andy – 2Dolphins is largely an opinion-based blog, but I also try to offer factual or informative posts. I try not to get into rant mode too often. I’ve been making an effort to get more discussion going, but not getting many comments yet…

  • Bret

    I do a little bit of both. At Brothers in Blog, a blog I co author with my real life brother, we post mostly opinion pieces. That blog is mostly a fun place for us to get things off our chest or rave about cool stuff we’ve seen or read about. My other blog, TechTraction.com, would probably get classified as a discussion blog. I must admit, it’s far easier to come up with a post for Brothers In Blog. Posts on TechTraction tend to take much longer to write.

  • Melissa

    I would say discussion, but at times my opinion does sneak in there. In fact, I not sure I can discuss without stating my opinion.

  • James Joyner

    Many of your more popular bloggers are discussion bloggers.

    Who? I can’t think of any off the top of my head, at least on the political blogs. Literally every top political blogger I can think of is an opinion blogger.

  • Adam

    Well in the political field, yea. I was thinking of problogger, chris garret, lifehacker, etc.

  • S. Weasel

    I wanted to be an opinion blogger and ended up being more of a diarist, really. You don’t always get the blog you wish for.

  • Joseph Bernard

    I find it interesting how we humans want to stick everything into categories so we can label them. This kind of thinking keeps people stuck and limited. Isn’t it time to get past the either this or that discussion of the judgmental mind. Let your mind expand into greater possibilities, question more, explore other viewpoints and wake up past the trance of life.

    Joseph at http://www.explorelifeblog.com

  • bob

    http://www.authspot.com/Short-Stories/The-Dragon-and-the-Crow.55468 check it out its cool

  • lokendra

    web designing

  • clark

    When a discussion writer has an opinion on something. When you write no offensive comments. You should be attractive comments.

    clark

  • Ryan. k

    Great post. I think when my website is done, I will be a good mix of both. I hope. But your tips are truly great!

    Ryan.

  • Bang Kritikus

    I combinate discussion and opinion

  • Dummy Cooker

    This was a good example of a discussion post:)

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