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SEO and Other Terms to Know for Digital Media Success

As print publications continue to close shop or move content entirely to the Web, more and more writers and editors will need to adapt to the digital landscape. And with this new environment comes a new language every online journalist should know.

At the top of the list is SEO or search engine optimization. No doubt you’ve heard of it. ”SEO… determines rankings in Google, Bing and Yahoo searches,” said Brande Victorian, deputy editor of MadameNoire.com. She added:

It’s sort of this game of picking out keywords that are going to make the content that you write show up in these searches so that you’re getting more page views than anyone else.

Once you have your keywords (another important term) determined, the next step is to incorporate them in your headline, dek and body copy — in a cohesive, natural way. Forcing keywords into your copy won’t fool Google — and does a disservice to your readers.

For more vital words digital journalists should know, read: 7 Terms Every Digital Media Journalist Should Know.

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Last Call for Inquirer-Based Kickstarter Project, With Even Better Rewards

nobosspinIs it just me or does it feel like everything in the news this week is a little bit out of control? In the name of a lazy transition, that’s probably how Will Steacy felt as he started to photograph the newsroom of the Philadelphia Inquirer to document all the changes it, too, was undergoing. The result? You can see for yourself here. It’s not exactly a cheerful distraction, but it’s a gorgeous portrait of how our practice has changed over the years.

There’s just over 24 hours left to donate to his Kickstarter and fund his tribute to journalism, evolving newsrooms, and the power of some good images. Our favorite part? The rewards for donating; you will get a copy of the book and newspaper, Deadline, with most donations, but for $100, you can also write your own obit in 140 characters or less to be featured in the book. Or get a  ”No Boss Shall Rule This Town” pin for $10. For bigger bucks, you can get historic back-issues of the Inky, as I grew up calling it, or a piece of brick from the “Wedding Cake,” the Elverson Building where the paper was housed from 1925 until a move down the street in 2012. For $2,500? You can spend a night at the printing press with Steacy as it goes to press.

He’s already reached his goal, but it’s a noble cause. And it’s better than dumping a bucket of ice on your head.

Can Netflix-Style Personalization Help Your News Org’s Homepage?

Dynamic_Yield_LogoThis week, Dynamic Yield announced a new personalization feature to it’s “automated real-time customization engine.” It’s a mouthful, but it could mean new things for your homepage.

Using automated A/B testing, the software helps your website offer a super personalized experience for a user based on their habits and clicks on past visits. CEO and co-founder Liad Agmon says that it helps editors solve the problem of deciding what they want users to see (like Vox’s vegetables) and what users usually click on.

Homepages shouldn’t be generic, because the user that comes to a site via a shared link on Facebook is very different from the one who arrives at the homepage through the url, he notes. Why shouldn’t you cater to them? If you know that one user reads long features, but another is just watching your video content, you can also adjust paywalls to be more fair and more attractive to users.

Read more

Submit Your Work for the Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page Awards Now

FPA-Awards_2010_400pxCalling all female journos in the New York metro area: it’s time to submit your work for the Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page awards. The application process is now open for work that was published or broadcast between September 1, 2013 and August 1, 2014. There are new submission categories this year — there are categories for online, newspaper, magazine, photography, wires, and other reporting. In each category, they accept entries for spot reporting, opinion pieces, digital video, blog posts, photo essays, fashion, science, and sports reporting, among others. You can see where you fit in here. Basically, if you work in news in any format in or around New York, you have something you can submit.

There are also two memorial awards: the Martha Coman award for best new journalist, which is open to all categories, and the Marie Colvin award to honor reporting done in a foreign market by a New York journalist. Martha Coman was one of the first female  reporters for the New York Herald and a founding member of The New York Newspaper Women’s Club. Marie Colvin was killed in Syria in 2012 while covering the war for The Sunday Times. 

You can apply and find out more information about the awards here.

The awards will be presented at a gala this November in New York City. Submissions are due September 5, so get a move on.

Image via Newswomen’ Club of New York

Pitch Travel Stories With a Strong Journalistic Hook to Roads & Kingdoms

In a world of listicles and quizzes, Roads & Kingdoms, launched in 2012, seeks to fill a void in travel journalism with a focus on in-depth reporting of destinations. Instead of critiques of new hotels or a roundup of luxe resorts, Roads & Kingdoms delves into the dynamics that affect a region’s culture, politics and economy. It presents travel writing in a more journalistic light. Editor-in-chief and founder Nathan Thornburgh says:

Our target readers are people who are already well traveled and are looking for stories from more distant places they don’t know yet. That, and they like good writing.

Roads & Kingdoms also has partnerships with both Sports Illustrated (for international soccer stories) and Slate (for stories on foreign affairs), so there’s the possibility for freelancers’ work to appear on either outlet in addition to Roads & Kingdoms.

For more information on what editors are looking for in a query, read: How to Pitch: Roads & Kingdoms.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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