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Donya Blaze

Natasha Eubanks of The YBF on Blogging Success

Although the entertainment and gossip site Young, Black and Fabulous is reeling in 15 million hits a month, it had its humble start as a simple site on Blogger.

Back in 2005, Natasha Eubanks noticed major online outlets weren’t discussing African-American celebrities, so the former law student decided to take matters into her own hands and launch her own site.

“I didn’t make a penny off of anything because I didn’t have any readers. I didn’t see any money until two years, and I only saw a few dollars even then,” the blogstress said in’s So What Do You Do?. ”But I saw [Google AdSense], and I think that kind of sparked it in me. I was like, wait a minute. There’s an ad platform? What does that mean? You can make money just by writing what you think? That’s insanity.”

For more on how The YBF became the go-t0 source for Black Hollywood gossip, and Eubank’s personal advice for aspiring bloggers, read the full interview here.

THR‘s Janice Min: Never Tell a Hiring Manager You Want to Be EIC

This powerhouse editor has five successful mag stints under her belt, and The Hollywood Reporter marks a successful number six. So what does Janice Min believe is the key to success?

Making yourself indispensable and being willing to work your way up.

“I remember when I would interview people, even for an editorial assistant job, and you would ask them, ‘What do you want to do?’ And when they say ‘I want to be an editor-in-chief one day,’ it’s such a turn off,” she told us. “Immediately in your mind you’re like, ‘OK. This is someone who feels entitled who is not going to want to work very hard.’ People who are so obvious at wanting the glory usually don’t want to put in the work for it.”

Read more in So What Do You Do, Janice Min, Editorial Director of The Hollywood Reporter? and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Is it a bad idea for young journos to be so vocal about their ambitions?

7 Startups for the Tech Savvy Journo

Whether they will act as news curator/organizer or tools to take action, there are several tech startups that could prove very useful for busy writers. These newly created companies vary in their phases of development from “app coming to Android & iPhone soon” to “currently a beta site,” but, with improved functionality and good word of mouth, they could just become the Foursquares of the future.

Here’s a look at a few that are on our radar:

Apollo News — “The Newspaper of the Future”
This up and coming site features categorized Web content with up or down voting on sources. By voting for pages, you dictate what news will be presented to you in the future. I liked how the stories are classified on the site and allow for a broad news experience on one topic.

Read more

A Great Web Headline is SEF: Search Engine Friendly

a11327.jpgWriting headlines isn’t what it used to be. In the digital age, headlines like these are often the reason you end up reading a story.

In’s latest AvantGuild article, online writers and reporters say a good headline is SEF (search engine friendly) and strikes some curiosity in the reader. instructor Jenna Rose Robbins explains, “If the headline says, ‘Lindsay Lohan to Star in an ’80s Movie Remake,’ you’re still wondering what movie. You want to have those keywords in a headline, but you still want to leave a question.”

J.J. Gould, deputy editor of, says journos can even give away a little of the story in the hed. “In print, first, space is more of an issue, so you need to be relatively brief,” Gould explains. “Second, you already have more of your reader’s attention in print than you do in digital, so your headline has to do more work in digital. For that reason, you often have to use more words in order to be clearer about what you’re saying and what it means.”

Read the full article for more tips on Writing Web Headlines That Work and share your own headline writing strategies in the comments section below.


Get Your Stories Featured on This American Life

ThisAmericanLife.jpgI’m sure you’re a great writer, but did you ever consider radio?

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience in the AM-FM field. This American life, the weekly public radio show that reaches more than 500 stations nationwide and is home to Ira Glass, wants your story. But none of that generic “my first marathon” stuff — think funny, dramatic, or surprising when pitching.

“The show started as a place where writers and performers could broadcast their stories and a place for journalism that wasn’t following the big news,” says founding producer Nancy Updike. ”After 9/11, we started doing more journalism, including sometimes tackling whatever was in the news in a given week. That shift wasn’t a conscious decision; it just worked out that way as people on staff followed their interests.”

And get this: 60 percent of the show’s content is freelance generated. Find out where to direct your perfect pitch here.