Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Blog Like a
Journalist
David Hamilton
June 2013
I’m David, and I’m a word-nerd.
Nice to meet you!
(Image by Robert Occhialini)
Journalist // Copywriter // Digital Media P...
What is a journalistic approach?
work towards deadlines. This means things get
published. There’s no, “Maybe I’ll post it ...
Many top blogs use journalistic
conventions
These are the most visited blogs:
Data source: eBizMBA
Rank
Most of the top bl...
Why is a journalistic approach good
for blogging?
Journalism isn’t about the medium, it’s more of combination of
practices...
It all starts with an
idea
“In America, you have burst of inspiration…in Soviet
Russia, inspiration bursts you.”
Tackling ...
Make a plan for yourself
Don’t take on too much in one post. It will just end in disappointment.
Do
preliminary
research
C...
Develop your ideas like an editor
Ideas are everywhere. Developing an idea is part of the preliminary work to figure out
w...
Who, what, when, where, why, how?
It’s in attempting to answer
these questions that writing
really establishes connections...
On our way to wisdom
We build meaning
through organization.
Theorist Russell Ackoff
identified five categories
of understa...
Types of posts
You’ve got an idea – now you have to mash it into a blog. Find the best way to
present it.
Types of blog po...
Beginnings, Middles
and Ends
Putting it all together one piece at a time…
starting with a headline.
Headlines
They’re the first thing people see of your post, so they’d better be good.
Stating things simply is good, but al...
Beginnings
Most blog posts have at least an intro paragraph or blurb.
Two approaches:
A lead answers the most pertinent qu...
Middles
Decide what points are relevant to cover.
Give it a logical progression. (Chronological order, have points build, ...
Ends
Conclusion paragraphs are where you summarize your post – it sharpens the
point.
Give it a sense of scope by relating...
Rewrite and rewrite some more
“I write one page of
masterpiece to ninety-one
pages of shit. I try to put
the shit in the
w...
If you work really hard & be kind,
amazing things will happen.
T: @davidwroteit
E:
david@davidihamilton.com
Read other
blo...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Blog Like a Journalist - WordCamp Montreal

3,386 views

Published on

We live in an era where so many different stories and experiences are made available through the Internet. This bodes well for journalism. And traditional media is noticing.

More news editors require their journalists to blog, and traditional news agencies look to blogs for news and trends. And in this landscape, it’s inevitable that the line between blogger and journalist is becoming increasingly blurred.

In this presentation, I will survey the media landscape where blogging and journalism meet. I will show where a journalistic approach and a blog approach may differ. And I will explain how a writer can maintain a high commitment to journalism, while also employing storytelling styles which are more compatible with blogs and their audiences.

I presented this at Montreal WordCamp on June 30, 2013.

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

Blog Like a Journalist - WordCamp Montreal

  1. 1. Blog Like a Journalist David Hamilton June 2013
  2. 2. I’m David, and I’m a word-nerd. Nice to meet you! (Image by Robert Occhialini) Journalist // Copywriter // Digital Media Producer
  3. 3. What is a journalistic approach? work towards deadlines. This means things get published. There’s no, “Maybe I’ll post it tomorrow”. know how to package content. We don’t just think; we produce. try to rigorously research and present useful and trustworthy information. understand how to write for an audience and their interest, not just for ourselves. find interesting things to write about. Journalists… his is the case regardless of the medium
  4. 4. Many top blogs use journalistic conventions These are the most visited blogs: Data source: eBizMBA Rank Most of the top blogs all use journalistic conventions. And if they don’t, they’ve successful at pulling in people in mainly out of entertainment.
  5. 5. Why is a journalistic approach good for blogging? Journalism isn’t about the medium, it’s more of combination of practices, ethics, and philosophy. • Conveying information in a rigorous, responsible and accountable manner • Attention to detail, accuracy, and high standards • An emphasis on striving for balance and objectivity Why should you take a journalistic approach? IT HELPS PEOPLE TRUST YOU
  6. 6. It all starts with an idea “In America, you have burst of inspiration…in Soviet Russia, inspiration bursts you.” Tackling a topic or developing an idea like an editor saves you a lot of pain. Where do we begin?
  7. 7. Make a plan for yourself Don’t take on too much in one post. It will just end in disappointment. Do preliminary research Come up with questions to answer Decide what’s manageable Come up with a way to present it
  8. 8. Develop your ideas like an editor Ideas are everywhere. Developing an idea is part of the preliminary work to figure out what can be said on your topic and make it viable as a post. Here are some ideas: •Can you relate an experience to something larger? •Think about your own experiences or find out about someone else’s. •Change your point of view. •Research points/counter-points. •Relate a current event to past events, a product to competing products, an industry to another industry, etc. •Think of what your audience would want to know about. Do preliminary research
  9. 9. Who, what, when, where, why, how? It’s in attempting to answer these questions that writing really establishes connections and communicates. Come up with questions to answer
  10. 10. On our way to wisdom We build meaning through organization. Theorist Russell Ackoff identified five categories of understanding going from low organization (data) all the way to high organization and connectedness (wisdom). Moving further towards wisdom is harder, but more valuable to readers. Come up with questions to answer
  11. 11. Types of posts You’ve got an idea – now you have to mash it into a blog. Find the best way to present it. Types of blog posts 1. List post 2. Personal anecdote/opinion/essay 3. A Dialogue/Q&A 4. Summary post 5. Link post 6. Review post 7. Advice post 8. Video/photo post Come up with a way to present it
  12. 12. Beginnings, Middles and Ends Putting it all together one piece at a time… starting with a headline.
  13. 13. Headlines They’re the first thing people see of your post, so they’d better be good. Stating things simply is good, but also try for some wit. “Spice: the Final Frontier” “Calligraphers still going against type” (To see the best creative headlines, visit: http://headlines.copydesk.org/2011/) Use words that are key to your subject. Offer an angle that only you can provide: “Why everything you know about ___ is wrong” Use numbers: “7 best…”, “12 tips…” Keep it short!
  14. 14. Beginnings Most blog posts have at least an intro paragraph or blurb. Two approaches: A lead answers the most pertinent questions. This gives the most information quickly. It can be scanned quickly. A pitch establishes what will be covered in a compelling way. Explain why you’re writing this. Why you? Establish what the post is about and what will be covered. Use style that will appeal to the reader and set the stage for what’s to come next. You’re also setting up the reader’s expectations! “In this post, I’ll explain the way I became a saint (or pariah) in my industry.” “Follow along to find out why I think this government policy works/doesn’t work.”
  15. 15. Middles Decide what points are relevant to cover. Give it a logical progression. (Chronological order, have points build, count down, etc.) Structure your post with headings. (Use H1, H2, and H3 tags). Be accepting of change when it happens.
  16. 16. Ends Conclusion paragraphs are where you summarize your post – it sharpens the point. Give it a sense of scope by relating it to larger trends, or show how it relates to other related things. You can give a preview to your next related posts. It can raise other questions. Don’t make your blog the be-all-end-all. End a post with questions that are still up for debate. “A blog is in many ways a continuing conversation.” – Andrew Sullivan
  17. 17. Rewrite and rewrite some more “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.” - Ernest Hemingway
  18. 18. If you work really hard & be kind, amazing things will happen. T: @davidwroteit E: david@davidihamilton.com Read other blogs, experiment, and have fun. Blogging is best learned by blogging

×