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Posts Tagged ‘How to’

NY Post Reporter on How to Create a Successful Blog: ‘Consistency’

JozenCummings

Jozen Cummings likes to call himself a professional ‘date-maker’ and that’s an accurate description for his career as of late. Cummings is the dating reporter for the New York Post‘s Meet Market column, and he runs the blog ‘Until I Get Married,’ where he shares the ups and downs of bachelorhood.

Cummings, whose writing has appeared everywhere from Essence to The New York Times Magazine, had no dating-related clips to show for himself when he initially went in for the interview at the Post. But he did have his personal blog on the topic, which helped him land the gig.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Cummings talks about setting up blind dates, his writing process and how to cultivate a following on your blog:

Now that you’ve been kind of accidentally intentional with your blog’s success, what advice would you give up-and-coming bloggers to optimize their blog’s popularity? 

I think the most important thing is to find a schedule and be as consistent as possible with it because that’s the thing that people need in order to engage — consistency. It’s more important that you publish your post on the same day every week than it is for you to write five different times five days a week. Do it once a week for four weeks at the same time and then the fifth week, have a post ready, but don’t post. Give it a day. And I guarantee there will be somebody who you didn’t know was reading who will hit you up and say, “Yo, where’s my post?”

For more advice and what it’s like to be a dating reporter, read: So What Do You Do, Jozen Cummings, Blogger And Dating Columnist For The New York Post?

– Aneya Fernando

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The Dos and Don’ts of Blogging

Blogs. Once a platform for chronicling the banalities of daily life have now become legitimate sources of information. Not only that – some have become profitable, won a Pulitzer and led to book deals [sub req'd], (this blog included). Think you’ve got the next big idea for a blog? Willing to put in the hours to generate content and build up a readership? Good. However, keep in mind that just because a blog rakes in a lot of traffic doesn’t mean advertisers will be easy to come by, or that a book deal will land in your lap. In the latest Mediabistro feature, Blair Koenig, author of the viral blog STFU, Parents, shares what she’s learned from building a site that gets 1.5 to 2 million hits a month:

If you’re in the beginning stages of starting your blog, there are several things you can do now to avoid difficulty down the line.

  • Create brand consistency by registering your blog’s name as a domain name and on social media. Koenig admits, “I totally dropped the ball at one point and noticed someone had started an “STFU Parents” YouTube channel… I could never get it back; I didn’t even try.”
  • Once you have a social media presence, drive traffic to your site by updating posts on Facebook, Twitter or whichever other sites are appropriate for your blog. Koenig scours the Internet daily for interesting parenting-related stories, and updates her STFU, Parents Facebook page with links and photos.
  • Establish consistency with posting. You don’t have to post every day if you don’t have the time, but choose a posting schedule, perhaps once a week, and stick to it religiously. If your readership looks forward to one post a day, and suddenly you drop it down to one a month, you may lose your audience.

For more tips and advice on blogging, read What You Need to Know About Writing for Blogs.

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.

How to Get The Most Out of Your Expert Interview

Whether you’re new to the journalism trade or just introverted, interviewing can be a daunting task – especially when you’re on deadline. In the latest Mediabistro feature, veteran writers give tips on how you can get the most out of your interviews, and what tools to use in the process. Though we have all sorts of technology to help us nowadays with recording and transcribing, there are some skills that will always be necessary in the art of interviewing:

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If your expert uses an unfamiliar term or draws an analogy that doesn’t make sense, ask her to expound. If you don’t understand something your expert says, your readership may not, either — and your job as a writer is often to boil down complicated or abstract ideas into practical information.

Freelance writer Rachel Heston-Davis admits she learned this after trial and error. She emphasizes the importance of asking an expert to reiterate because “you will not be able to figure something out from context later.” She adds that having misinformation in your article, or a lack of information, reflects poorly on both you as a writer and your interviewed expert. Getting clarification in an interview “really is better than the [expert] looking at your article and feeling like you didn’t understand what you’re writing about.”

For more on interviewing skills and tools, read Get the Most Out of Your Interview With an Expert.

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.

6 Tips for Finding Sources Worth Their Salt

When it comes to journalism, the credentials of your sources can make or break your article. Fortunately, there are a number of tools that can help you weed out the nobodies from the knowledgeables online.

By now, you’ve surely heard of HARO (Help a Reporter Out), but founder Peter Shankman, said writers can also look to trade organizations for leads. “Each trade or industry has an organization behind it that serves as spokespeople for the industry,” he explained. “They’ll always take your call.”

Get more tips in 6 Surefire Ways to Find Sources in the Digital Age.

– Nicholas Braun

ag_logo_medium.gifThe 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.

How to Take Advantage of IFTTT For Reporting

If you’re haven’t heard of If This Then That (IFTTT), then you’re missing out on an important, productivity-boosting tool. Pulling in information from “channels” such as Twitter, Storify and even your phone, IFTTT is like an infinitely flexible bridge that connects all of your most used tools in new and exciting ways.

Here are a few simple ways that you can use IFTTT’s programs (called “recipes”) to boost your reporting skills and automate some of your more menial tasks. Take a look for yourself, and see how a couple of small steps can take the pain out of some of your most difficult daily activities.

What’s your favorite use for IFTTT? Let us know in the comments. Read more

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