Regardless of how fair and neutral you are about anything, there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like you, for any number of reasons. In the Internet era, blogs and social media have become virtual soap boxes for people to vent their frustration on. Just from being around people who blog, and from my own experiences, I’ve learned a few lessons that I want to share with you. [Read more…]
There is a reason why journalists must study journalism before any serious news outlet even considers hiring them. That is because journalism involves more than simply observing and reporting in your own words. However, there are bloggers abound who operate news blogs, or write news blog posts, that never studied journalism and it shows. It may seem harmless, but humans have a nasty habit of believing anything they read at face value. This includes news blogs. These same readers then regurgitate what they’ve read on their own blogs, and the snowball effect gets under way. These bloggers would benefit from learning the following things that every journalist already knows:
This is of prime importance. To avoid perpetuating false information, you must make sure that you have the facts 100% accurate or at the very least mention that your information was of the “to the best of my knowledge” type. In the newspaper industry, multiple people check and re-check all the factual information in a reporter’s story before printing it. Of course, many bloggers don’t have the luxury of an office staff, but a good substitute would be to check at least 2 independent sources.
News is News, Opinion is Opinion
If you are writing a news piece, you should remain as objective as possible throughout. The intended purpose of news is to offer the reader the facts, so they can then decide for themselves how they feel about it. Stick to the facts, don’t embellish, or sensationalize anything; that is the hallmark of a good news writer and blogger.
Strive for Balance
Even if you just report the facts, be sure to get facts from both sides of the issue whenever possible. Without intending to do so, you could influence the reader’s opinion by omitting the facts from the other side of the equation. For instance, has there ever been a time where you were bombarded with news about a particular issue and formed a strong opinion just from what you’ve read, but then later on heard new information that made you go “Wait a minute! I didn’t know that, this changes the whole issue”? So, just by reporting one side (even though all of it was factual) of the issue, the writer persuaded you by just omitting facts from the opposing view. Good news writers and bloggers don’t do that.
These 3 core concepts are the foundation of every good news writer and blogger. Just because you didn’t study journalism, if you write any kind of news then you are essentially a journalist. Hold yourself to the same standards, and you will be noticed for it.
In the last couple of years, guest posting on other people’s blogs has become a solid marketing technique. At first, the idea of letting some stranger post their content on your blog seemed ludicrous. However, many bloggers realized the benefits of more fresh unique content, and the wheel has been rolling ever since. I have personally guest posted on many different blogs, and I have noticed that guest posting is sometimes clumped together with article marketing as if they are “basically the same thing.” They are NOT the same thing. There are many differences, and that is what I want to explore. Let’s start with the similarities of the two: [Read more…]
The buzz words “trust” and “authority” are being thrown around these days in almost any article or blog post you read that has to do with SEO. In the last year, Google has made many changes to its ranking algorithm that put more emphasis on how other sites view yours. Perfect example would be ProBlogger. Obviously that blog is seen as an authority in the blogging niche. Google knows this because it has a lot of one-way links from highly relevant sites, and because other bloggers mention it in their content (like I just did). These are not the only ways that Google determines if a site is an authority site, but you get the idea. Because of all of this, everyone who opens a new blog wants to become an authority in their niche. Obviously, the difficulty of doing that will depend on what niche you choose. Regardless of the niche, however, if you want to guarantee that your blog never becomes an authority blog, make sure you do the following things:
After Your 10th Blog Post, Start a Coaching Program
Listen, experience and knowledge are totally over–rated. In reality, all you need to do to become a “mentor” or a “coach” in your niche is to say that you are! Don’t get all worried about refunds and people eviscerating you for not knowing your butt from your elbow, just read posts and articles by other experts in your niche, and regurgitate them in your own words! So what if your members don’t ever really learn anything new, or that most of them probably know more than you, what’s important here is their recurring $49.95 membership fee. [Read more…]
As we all know, every blog has a beginning. The beauty of the web is that websites can be stored in a permanent cache; effectively taking a virtual snapshot of the way the blog exists at that moment in time and storing it for later retrieval. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could go back in time and see what certain blogs looked like then? Well, it turns out you can. Archive.org has a public cache that stores snapshots of websites at regular intervals. It is called the Wayback Machine, and works just like a regular search engine; I tapped into it to bring you some blog history. You punch in the URL of the blog/site you want to look up, and they show you what dates they have stored in their database. The tool is not flawless, and many searches turn up corrupted pages or missing images, but it is really cool nonetheless. I did quite a bit of poking around on the database, and here are some of the snapshots I found:
The Blogs I Looked Up
From left to right, down the list in order, the blogs covered were Blog Herald, Boing Boing, Copyblogger, Engadget, John Chow, and Problogger. The thumbnails are in sequential order, so that you see the earliest snapshot of the blog to the most recent. To view each snapshot, just click on the thumbnail to load the full-size version of it. If you roll the mouse over each thumbnail, it will tell you what blog the snapshot is from and which date as well. This project was a lot of fun, and I could have gone on forever with it.
One thing that we can all take away from this example is the amazing amount of hard work and dedication the owners of these blogs have committed to their sites. We sometimes forget that everyone has a starting point, and everyone at one time was a nobody. Even Google. Now, I am gonna bet that after you read this post, you are going to head over to the Wayback Machine and start looking up all kinds of sites! Go for it.