Copyright 2006 Suzanne Falter-Barns
Not long ago I attended a call with some of the top journalists working today. And I learned that not only do 79% of these editors find their sources and their story ideas from blogs — a healthy number start their day by reading their favorites. An editor from Wired said he actually spends TWO HOURS PER DAY reading blogs.
So that means, platform builders, we need blogs that are media savvy. Here’s my Top Ten list of Things the Media Savvy Blog Must Have. (Remember, our job is to make the media’s job ridiculously simple!)
1. Use keyword-rich headers and descriptions, And make sure you make those same keywords your categories. This is why I’m always harping on how important it is for folks to spend time building their keyword list — and researching it on sites like Overture and www.wordtracker.com
2. Feedblitz. Gotta have that little subscribe box in your upper right hand corner. Then Feedblitz sends the subscriber an email with an excerpt every time you post. Available at www.feedblitz.com
3. Sitemeter. The preferred counter among those who know because it spits the only number that matters, Unique Visitors, your way once per week by email. How convenient! www.sitemeter.com
4. Link to your Media Page. A simple typelist link in the margin will do it — there’s a great example at Andy Wibbel’s blog/site at www.andywibbels.com I love how Andy is a master of simplicity. Link this to your media room on your regular site. (What’s a media room? Where the media find you, of course!)
5. Set up a sign up form that downloads a digital freebie. Find a system that supports it — my favorite is 1shoppingcart.com, which collects the data and then delivers an autoresponder with download links in it. This is a great list building tool.
6. Use pictures. I think they make the blog seem more readable, and appealing to the visual types. I get good fr.ee.graphics from Google (just click the Images link after you do a search.) Also there are some great cheap shots to be head from www.istockphoto.com which are only one dollar apiece.
7. Lots of links in posts. It’s not only blog etiquette, it’s a way to attract SE spiders and bots to your blog posts. They love content rich blogs with lots of outgoing links.
8. Write with brevity. I’m working in this. Make shorter, more frequent posts to drive SE traffic. And keep your blog as casual and ‘free wheeling’ as it’s meant to be.
9. Typelists — copy in the margins — that have visuals and important short captions drive traffic to site. I get a great sales conversion rate from my blog because people like my product shots in the margin. Small, snappy covers will do with a bit of short descriptive copy.
10.Audio clips. In this, the age of podcasting, it can’t hurt! You can create audio links through sites like www.audioblog.com