How to (Successfully) Start Your Own News Blog
Starting a news blog helps you reach your audience in a personal, more informal way. Careful planning is needed so that your news blog has value to the people you want to reach. Start your own news blog successfully with these 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 to -- other journalists, people in your hometown or people across the world?
If you work in broadcasting or for a newspaper, you're probably used to 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. 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.
That's why 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 that personal connection to the news that you can't present in your professional writing.
Develop a personality to 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 in starting a news blog. That's because you can write without the confines of your media company and figure out the best, most personal way to deliver information to people who crave it.