5 Writing Tricks For Bloggers That Will Help You Stand Out
So, you’re passionate about blogging and wondering how can you possibly stand out and what you can do to get noticed? “Well, there is one way that can get you loads of attention”, say Carol Tice (a long time journalist who writes the Make a Living Writing blog). “Think like a journalist”.
Reporters are in the business of getting noticed –That’s why they are completely focused on delivering information their readers want to know – and they use a variety of newsgathering techniques to dig it up.
You can totally do this it’s a wide-open opportunity for any blogger who wants to raise the bar for their content.
So what does it mean to think like a journalist?
Just swipe these following 5 writing tricks for bloggers from the journalism world of Carol Tice, who will show you how to stand out with blog posts that are magazine-article quality:
1. Get a Scoop
- Beat reporters keep their jobs by digging up unique information their competing rags don’t have.
- So if you want mad traffic to your blog, break a big story.
- One excellent way is to interview interesting people.
- Do a bunch of interviews on one topic,
- And be creative about where you look for information.
- Dig up some fresh dirt, and you’re sure to have a popular post.
2. Become a Trend-Spotter
- Reporters always have scads of ideas up their sleeves because they usually need to write several stories every week – and they never know if their editor will like their top choices.
- So they’ve always got backups.
- Carol calls this newsgathering process “collecting string.”
- Each factoid you find may not be a story in itself, but as you collect news items, you’ll start to see how your pieces might connect into an interesting, coherent set of information – a ball of string, or a trend story, instead of unrelated scraps.
- String-collecting methods can include the following:
- Creating Google Alerts on your topic that deliver daily headlines
- Monitoring press-release sites such as PR Newswire or PR Web
- Studying online and print magazines
- Watching Amazon.com for upcoming book releases
- Following popular culture such as TV shows and movies
3. Pick Up the Phone
- Few bloggers take the time to do interviews.
- Fewer still take the time to actually speak to a real person.
- Interviewing means talking to a live human being, either in person, or on the phone, or Skype.
- Talking to people live also allows you to build relationships, and find out personal details or tips nobody else has published.
- Journalists are always cultivating their sources, building trust so that they get the news first.
- That unique content is worth its weight in gold.
- Make a habit of ending your interviews with a future-focused question that gleans you more ideas, like, “What’s next for you?”
- That way, you can hear what’s coming up that you might not know to ask about.
- Bonus question: Ask if you can have an exclusive on the information they’ve just given you.
- This means they won’t tell anyone else about it until after you publish it – and your blog will be the only place readers can go to get this news.
4. Dig into the Data
- Bloggers love to write off the top of their heads, and this can result in vague generalizations about their topic or industry.
- Journalists never do that – they nail down every fact and tell readers where they found it.
- You can do this too – and give your blog instant legitimacy.
- Find relevant research that sheds light on your topic.
- It’s not hard to find new surveys with a little online research.
- Once you get your hands on the data, see what fresh conclusions you could draw from it, aside from the headline that research house is pushing in their press release.
5. Circle Back Around
- Here’s a final, easy trick journalists use to ensure they have a steady stream of great stories: When they hit on an interesting topic that gets a strong response, they set up a reminder that they want to revisit it again later.
- Reporters create “future” files and drop a note in for six months or a year after that big conference, earthquake, bankruptcy, or interview with a fascinating rising star.
- Then, when that date arrives, they write a follow-up about what’s happened since.
- Follow-up posts have built-in popularity because they reference something readers are already familiar with and curious about.
- Few bloggers take the time to follow stories down the road this way, and readers will love you for giving them the update.
- Too many blogs raise an issue or make a claim of what they’ll do, and then the topic vanishes, leaving readers hanging.
Start thinking like a reporter and rise above the blogging masses by utilizing these 5 journalism strategies that will help you deliver more useful information in a documented way that makes readers trust you.
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To Your Success,