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

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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

How Should Journalists Be Paid in The Digital Age?

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Journalism is in a state of flux. Traditional newspapers are in decline, Millennial-centric sites like BuzzFeed are actually making a profit and sponsored content is now the norm.

Writer compensation is constantly evolving, too. What’s a fair salary for a digital journalist these days? There are plenty of payment methods out there. Gawker famously tried the pay-per-pageview model. Writers went overboard with galleries and articles on celebrity sex scandals, and realizing that pageviews were too easy to inflate, the experiment ultimately ended. They now base their goals on unique visitors attracted. Other sites, like Complex, pay their writers based on overall percentage of company revenue, among other metrics.

10,000 Words recently spoke (via email) to Coates Batemanthe executive director of digital programming strategy at Forbes Media, about the conundrum of how to pay digital journalists. The first thing Bateman told us was that Forbes has never used the pay-per-pageview model. What asked what he thought of this type of payment, he replied: ”We cannot speak for others. Our model is about individual experts building audiences and communities around their knowledge. That is why we choose to compensate based on unique visitors.”

The assumption that basic journalistic standards go out the window when clickability is king isn’t necessarily true, Bateman says. Read more

Discover Is Looking For Multimedia Pitches

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Discover magazine is on the hunt for freelancers. The monthly has recently undergone some transformations (relocating their headquarters, changing up their editorial staff) and are looking for pitches on technology, physics, chemistry and other sciences.

With 95 percent of the pub’s content generated by freelancers, editor-in-chief Stephen C. George says that he needs writers for several media platforms:

Discover seeks pitches for its website, especially for “The Crux” and “Visual Science” (stories on images and video). Editors are also looking for “great multimedia content that we can put online or in digital editions,” said George.

Furthermore, Discover recently made a foray into long-form, digital eBook singles. The series is called In Depth and stories are available as Kindle Singles. The editorial team had a goal of two long-form digitals for 2013 and “mission accomplished,” said George. As a result, “we are actively looking for longer-form stories,” he said. A bonus is that Discover shares a percentage of the sales of its Kindle Singles with its writers.

For editors’ contact info and more details on how to get published, read: How To Pitch: Discover.

– Aneya Fernando

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.

Why Listicles Are Here to Stay

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Listicles, or articles in list form, have been around for decades. Traditional magazines like Cosmopolitan have had them on their cover for years (aka: “10 Sexiest Things To Do With Your Man Tonight!”)

But the resurgence of the listicle online really found its home on BuzzFeed. The news aggregator and youth-centric site is the most famous example of the listicle done right. Peruse the site and you will find thousands of lists on any subject you can think of. Most are humorous, some are enraging, others, uplifting. Take ”21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity,” an inspiring collection of photographs that has been viewed over 14 million times. They know what they’re doing, and they do it well.  Although BuzzFeed was once known as the silly home of cat memes, it now also focuses on international news and politics. A U.S. Senator recently caused quite a stir by creating his own listicle: ”11 Reasons Why Congress Needs to Fix Student Loan Rates Now,” mixing D.C. policy decisions with images and GIFs.

BuzzFeed’s editorial director Jack Shepherd recently told 10,000 Words via email about what makes listicles so attractive to his millions of readers. But first, he had a few things to say about the word itself. Read more

Are Personal Essays the Future of Digital Journalism?

personalessaysPersonal essays have never been more popular online. Sarah Hepola, Salon.com’s personal essay editor, thinks she knows why: “People have always been drawn to personal narratives. It’s one of the fundamentals of storytelling: Through your story, I better understand my own. As human beings, we like to see others fail and hurt and triumph.”

It’s not just random blogs that publish these confessional articles anymore. Digital (and some traditional) news sites are getting in on it too. Salon is a perfect example of such a site. Since its inception in 1995, it has gained a reputation for being a reputable source of information about news, politics, pop culture and everything in between. But it’s that ‘in between’ category that, in recent months, has really gotten the public’s (and the Internet’s) attention. Personal essays now garner hundreds of comments a piece. Controversial topics (and click bait headlines) have become the norm. And it’s not just Salon — outlets like The Daily Beast, Time and Slate all use similar tactics in the race for traffic. Read more

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