Class Notes: Blogging and Entrepreneurial Journalism

Blogs vs. Traditional Media

  • Blogs = Opinion; Traditional = Objectivity
  • Blogs = no set style; Traditional = Proper Style
  • Blogs = completely online; Traditional = print/online/TV
  • Blogs = Citizen Journalism; Traditional = trained journalists
  • Blogs = anyone can do it; Traditional = hired by company
  • Blogs = free/sustainable; Traditional = Biz team needed


Top blogs on the internet include (in order):

  1. HuffingtonPost
  2. Buzzfeed
  3. Mashable
  4. Business Insider
  5. Verge
  6. Gawker
  7. Gizmodo
  8. TechCrunch
  9. Engadget
  10. Ars Technica
  11. TMZ


What makes a popular blog popular?

  • They focus on one subject
  • Packed w/ info
  • Constant changing homepage
  • Perfect amount of multimedia
  • Mix between paid/unpaid writers/bloggers/editors
  • “What’s now” content… hip, unique, trendy


Blog Basics

  • San Jose Mercury News added a blog in 1999 and changed journalism
  • Every newspaper has a blogs
  • Every major newspaper has broken news via their blogs
  • Every reporter hired now, is asked if they know how to manage/run a blog


Creating a blog

  • Make a plan: editorial/business
  • Choose a blog system (Blogger/Wordpress)
  • Choose a theme/design
  • Extras/Gadgets/Widgets
  • Build your audience 


Tips for bloggers

  • Organize your ideas
  • Be direct and to the point
  • Use appropriate language and style
  • Be the authority with a personality
  • Link, summarize and analyze
  • Be specific with headlines/tagging
  • Post early, post often
  • Use images and multimedia elements
  • Participate in the community/social network
  • Write less and with conviction

* Be specific with your blog topic. EX: don’t just talk about music, talk about a specific group or genre.

Other Blog Creation Tips

  • Define your competition … who else is writing about this topic?
  • Who cares about this topic? Will anyone read or see this?
  • How can I make this a visitor destination?
  • Live blog and host talk sessions … think outside the editorial box


Tips on info layering

  • You have all this content? How do you place it in nonlinear format on your platform and have it make sense?
  • create each element to stand alone
  • only include redundancies that are necessary
  • avoid editing your ideas in the early stages


What makes a successful start up?

  • Quality content pays
  • Understanding how to do business while being a journalist
  • Test, test and test some more
  • Pick a niche and go deep
  • Target audiences for targeted advertising
  • Check out the new app economy
  • Be ethical and stick with it


Creating revenue models

  • Syndication: Will other companies pay for your content?
  • Custom content: Will people log onto your platform and pay for specific content?
  • Online advertising: What do you offer that the competition doesn’t?
  • Advertising: Will you work with a third-party ad agency to plate your ads on other networks as well?


Elements of Innovations – Ideas do not fall off trees … you need to:

  • Be creative: envision something that doesn’t exist
  • Risk: be willing to go way outside the box if you think it will work. sometimes it doesn’t,
  • Hard Work
  • How innovation is taught?


Make innovation a strategy

  • Make a priority
  • Make failure acceptable
  • Set goals