How To Create A Newsworthy Blog Post

Kelsey RugerNo ResponsesCreativity

One of the questions I get from clients or peers who are beginning their journey into blogging is “how do I create interesting posts”? The first nugget I give them is be yourself. Readers will embrace bloggers they can relate to. Trying to be everything to everyone won’t work. The next thing I tell them is you have to have a way to come up with ideas. Personally I write down everything I think I might want to write about whenever and where ever I come up with the idea. That way I have time to think about it before starting to write.

If you don’t have a method for formulating ideas you should read the post on marinating blog post ideas at problogger, it has really good information on brainstorming and perfecting your posts. After all that they still want to know how to create compelling content. For this I go back to my days managing the production staff at the University of Houston newspaper. Even though I wasn’t a writer at the time I got the opportunity to interact with a lot of the writers. Here are some of the tips I remember about creating a compelling story that I learned.

  • Create a story of change. Stories that describe an event, issue or organization that is new or different.
    [Example: Web 2.0 Winners and Losers]
  • Create a story that is timely. This is what Digg and the new Netscape are all about. Strories that describe current events or activities make great post material. Keep in mind that no matter how hot the topic is, the novelty will fade as time passes.
    [Example: YouTube teams with Cingular, ABC for talent hunt]
  • Create an impactful story. Create a story that will affect organizations, communities or large groups of people. This type of post should easily identify the significance or importance of the group affected.
    [Example: Gas price falls 12 cents per gallon to $2.50]
  • Create a story of prominence. Create a story about prominent people. Combine this type of story with one of the other types for extra impact.
    [Example: George Lucas gives California University $175]
  • Create stories of proximity. Initially this point was about geography proximity, but it can also be something that is emotionally close to the reader like an organization that they are a part of. People are more emotionally tied to things that are “close at hand” or to organizations or people they have a close tie to.
    [Example: SXSW committee opens Round 2 panel voting]
  • A story of conflict. This can also be considered link bait – but everyone loves a good fight. A story that describes conflict between people or institutions will get lots of attention.
    [Example: At U.N., Chavez calls Bush 'the devil]
  • Create a story about the unusual. Stories about weird people, places, organizations or events or things that are vastly different than what the reader would ordinarily run into.
    [Example: Medical school graduate accused of taking hand from cadaver]

One thing to keep in mind – headlines matter. Take a look at the stories that make the front page of Digg and Netscape to see which ones you are attracted to. Great content with a crappy title won’t get you noticed.

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