Journalists needed targeted traffic for blogs

Here are some short-takes of  journalism-related finds from around the blogosophere:

Targeted traffic: In some ways the old days of ignorance were bliss. You wrote a story. You assumed people read it. You were happy. Now, thanks to stats on blogs and online stories, you can find out how many (or few) people are reading your piece.

That can bring you down; or you can use that information. Sure, you want numbers. More is better than less. But most of all, you want value.

Lee Rowley, an Internet marketer, copywriter, published author and pro-blogger, writes on Thou Shall Blog that the key is targeted traffic — not just traffic. He says to make your blog profitable, you want readers really interested in your niche, who will put your information to use and spread the word about your blog. He offers some great suggestions on how to get this traffic, including participating in forums in your niche and being consistent about writing about your topic.

What’s hyperlocal, really? It’s one of those buzzwords in journalism today: hyperlocal. It’s the intensely local coverage that community newspapers have been providing readers for decades, but that bigger city dailies do less well. But it’s on the Web.  Many news sites are trying it, with mixed results. Many discussions among journalists ends up noting the failure of the Washington Post’s hyperlocal effort.

But Richard M. Anderson, a publisher serving four Maine communities, has made hyperlocal pay, according to his post on Reflections of a Newsosaur. How did he do it? He writes that his  hyperlocal Web sites are generated as much as a fifth of his ad revenue. Wow!

The key, writes Anderson:

Professional journalists report news as it happens on the website. Weekly, this news is contextualized, analyzed and printed in the newspaper. Citizens and businesses post timely news and information online and many of their posts also appear in the paper. And two-thirds of our web sites’ front pages are filled with citizen and business posts.”

Now, on the lighter side …

What will save newspapers? Who among us in the news business doesn’t need to laugh at our industry once in a while, especially amid the frequent lay offs, pay cuts and buyout offers. This video made me chuckle. Hope it will you give you a laugh, too.

And kudos to MaryAnn Chick Whiteside’s Inside Out blog for alerting me to it. Warning: It’s a bit “inappropriate,” as my 6-year-old told me as she listened while we watched it.


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