When I first began the development of this website and my career as a tech blogger, everything I wrote was simply "matter of fact." I spent my days writing one web design tutorial after another, only to realize those who made use of my work would simply grab the information they needed and quickly disappear. The fact that a short line of code was all one sought, I felt like the grueling hours I spent writing tutorials was merely a waste a time. It was week after week of producing the next "How To", which was a concept I came to realize didn't resonate with every reader, or as many as I would have liked it too. The peculiar thing was, once I started to share my own opinions and real world experiences with others, everything changed for the better. My readers were clearly a lot more engaged, more likely to share something with their social followers, and more likely to come back for more.
They were also more likely to share their opinions with me. This simple change from "here's how to do this and that" to "here's what I think and here's why!" made all the world of a difference. From this experience I realized that, it was my own opinion and experience that mattered the most to my readers, even more so than the facts themselves.
Blurring The Lines of Fact and Opinion:
Coming from a background in the technology world, my thought has always been that opinions themselves never equated to facts, but I realize now, I was probably wrong. In the world of scientific evaluation, facts require evidence, evaluation, and agreement amongst a group of peers. For a blogger on the web, the court of public opinion actually follows much of the same procedures as those in the scientific world. People either agree or disagree with something based on their own opinions, and often readers today will cast their vote of approval by sharing something with their social followers, liking a post, or commenting in a manner of approval or disapproval of something.
Whether we realize it or not, everything in this obscure world we view as a fact is merely a matter of consolidated opinion. Even science itself is hardly based on facts, but rather testing to see what's logical and what truly makes sense, then conforming to widely agreed upon theories as a result. After all, it's truly an imperfect world we exist in, and even the word "Fact" itself is likely debatable.
Today, you can hardly view any piece of written material on the web without seeing a measure of approval or disapproval somewhere by those who interact with it. Again, when you write something publically, you're stuck dead center in the court of public opinion. I know from experience that what really matters to people after reading an article is their own opinion of the ideas they've ingested, and not necessarily what's true or correct, what makes sense, or what is deemed to be factual by someone else. Whether I or any other blogger likes it or not, the public will be the ones to decide whether to march in agreement with us, or shun us.
Because the readers themselves are the ultimate judges of our work, bloggers should think twice to share an opinion based on little experience. While I've stressed how much the value of opinion matters to blog readers, often bloggers will make claims to know something they truly don't comprehend at all. Or they'll make statements they back as facts, yet they share no valid arguments to back up their opinions. The results are disastrous. At least a few times a week I come across a blog or social post full of disagreement towards the author.
J.K Rowling didn't become a billionaire from her Harry Potter series for no reason at all. While the stories are enticing, they all share one thing in common, fictitious and adventurous experiences, that somehow captured the imagination of readers across the globe. Readers of the typical blog aren't much different. You see, humans are naturally creative beings, and naturally we all have the ability to recreate a story in our minds. That being said, bloggers not only have to share an experience to get readers attention, but it also helps to create the experience as well.
When it comes to writing your next blog post, maybe share a knowledgeable experience with your readers, a real story they can recreate, just like they were reading a good book, or watching an adventurous movie. As I stated before, no one cares what I can teach them or what the facts are, but rather what my opinion is on a matter, or what I'm currently doing in the field of information technology; and they want a story to go along with it. Teaching people to design a web page or how to subnet is irrelevant with most readers here, they simply do not care. In fact, the majority of people who read this blog are most interested in reading an opinionated story about information technology rather than actually learning the subject themselves.
All being said, a bloggers opinion based on real world experiences are what truly sell readers when it comes to sharing ideas.
Because the public is the judge, prospective bloggers should make an effort to write about the subjects they not only have good experience with, but those they can provide good supporting arguments for. You don't want to be the next blogger who gets hammered with negative comments for sharing half truth arguments that make no sense. And last, but very much not the least, share experiences that resonate into a story whenever you can. While scientists love facts, the average reader is much different, and prefers to read what they can imagine for themselves.
As for those blurred lines between fact and opinion, the facts themselves are partially the result of opinions. In the end, it's those real world experiences, personal opinions, and life stories that can really draw readers in.