How to (Successfully) Start Your Own News Blog

A picture of a woman at a desk working on her computer
••• Cultura RM Exclusive/Lilly Bloom/Getty Images

Starting a news blog helps you reach your audience in a personal, more informal way. Careful planning is necessary in order for your news blog to provide value to people you want to reach. Without planning, you could end up spending a great deal of time and resources on building a blog that no one wants to read or follow. Instead, start your own news blog successfully with these three important tips.

Find Your Audience

You're sitting in your newsroom or in your home office, ready to write. Consider who it is you want to write for – other journalists, people in your hometown or people across the world?

If you work in broadcasting or for a newspaper, you're probably familiar with talking to a wide audience. However, your company probably has target demographics that it wants to reach and chooses content designed to appeal to those people.

You can do the same when starting your own news blog. This is just one of the ways that starting your own news blog can provide some flexibility. If you want to reach young professionals in your city, consider their needs and desires and eliminate topics that don't interest them. If you say you want to reach everybody, chances are, you'll reach nobody because your content will be too broad.

Find Your Focus

Next, find the focus of your news blog. That should start with providing information or a perspective that people can't get anywhere else.

If you're simply repeating information that the audience can get from a TV newscast or a newspaper, there's no reason for anyone to bookmark your blog. Your city probably doesn't have a shortage of information, but people have a shortage of time to devote to it.

Your news blog has to have an angle that is clearly defined and consistent. You may want to cover political news, with insight into what's really going on at City Hall. That means you should ignore writing about crime unless there's a political spin you can put on it.

Find Your Voice

News reporters are taught to keep themselves out of the stories they cover. They are supposed to be impartial conveyors of information.

That doesn't necessarily apply to your news blog. You should decide how much of yourself to put in the stories you post. You may even decide to write in the first person because that will give readers a personal connection to the news that you can't present in your professional writing.

Develop a personality for your news blog. Maybe you'll take on a snarky or sarcastic tone. It's not for everyone, but some readers like to read biting commentary about their community that they can't get anywhere else.

If you enjoy writing news stories with impact, you'll find a new creative outlet for starting a news blog. That's because you can write without the restrictions of your media company and figure out the best, most personal way to deliver information to people who crave it.