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Gather info Select Improve/Expand Opine Publish, rinse, repeat What does a newspaper do?
Gather: Constantly thinking about what to blog Select: Deciding if something is appropriate for blog or not Expand/Improve: Collecting further information Opine: Add own opinions Rinse, Repeat A blogger does the same
Traditional media has perfected some aspects of this Learn from them Traditional Media =300 years of blogging!
Media spends much more time/effort (as a percentage of their total effort) on this aspect. Most bloggers don't focus so much on this aspect Blogger: I'll blog about whatever I think about. Not good enough! Gather: Media vs. Blogs
Newspaper reporters can't say we'll write about whatever news we run into as we go about our lives. They have to seek out all news that their readers interested in. Same with your blog. meetu/wogma can't review whatever movies she happens to see. Must watch all Hindi movies and review them Gather: Blogs should do more
Google Alerts (subscribe for keywords related to your area) Twitter (use “search columns” on tweetdeck or seismic desktop) Mailing lists (join as many relevant lists as you can) Events (attend all relevant offline events) Syndicate content (seek out content by other bloggers and ask permission to republish on your blog) Gather – How?
Don't blog everything that comes to your mind Think about what your readers are interested in Reader more important than Writer Select
Newspapers have a space crunch Blogs have an imaginary space crunch Can’t waste readers’ time with too much content Can only fit limited stuff on first page Select – Space Crunch
Don’t blog everything – drop less relevant content Reduce size of each blog post Have subsections Relegate some stuff to subsections Front page has just links to subsection articles Get an editor for your blog (friend, spouse) Someone who brutally tells you which posts are boring Select – Space Crunch – Ideas from newspapers
Newspapers/magazines don’t just excerpt another publication’s article with an excerpt & link Neither should you! Don’t just echo Add value Simplify Check for accuracy – confirm info independently Add alternative points of view Add more info (wikipedia, etc) Improve / Expand
You’re already doing most of this! But consider: Opinions by guest bloggers Posts containing your opinion & and one opposing opinion Imitate Newspaper Columnists Develop a distinctive style Have a consistent opinion Opinion Pages
No-one has time to read all your blog posts Even those reading your post, don’t read each sentence in detail Everybody skims! Write so as to hook the skimmers Write for skimmers
Newspapers spend lots of time on headlines Sometimes headline writers are different from the reporters Headlines grab attention Good for SEO Spend lot of time thinking of an interesting (clickable) headline Which should also contain appropriate keywords (for SEO) Write for skimmers - Headlines
Newspapers give a quick overview in first paragraph And then fill in details in rest of article So those who read just one para still get the whole story Try doing the same Your content reaches more minds Write for skimmers – First paragraph
Photos most “looked at” parts of newspapes/magazines Skimmers can’t “avoid” photos Then high probability of reading captions Tell your story in photos and captions Write for skimmers – Add photos and captions
Break up long articles into sub-sections Give useful sub-headlines to subsections Use “excerpt boxes” This hooks reader “just glancing” over article Study how magazines do this Write for skimmers – Sub-headings
Which is correct? Write to show your command over language Write to be easily understood Write to NOT be misunderstood!! Small sentences Simple words Avoid ambiguous constructions Get an editor! Radical Clarity