Non-believers often put successful blogging down to luck, rather than hard work, but there are actually a vast number of things you can do to increase traffic and reach the right readership. In the fast-moving world of up-to-the-second information and 24-hour searching that is the internet, one of the most beneficial things that the switched-on social media user can do find breaking news, and report on it as quickly as possible.
Writing an article or tweeting as quickly as possible after an important event occurs can get you more views than you might otherwise receive, simply because clients, consumers or competitors will all be simultaneously searching for information on this new turn of events. If they find a well-written piece of analysis or a great synopsis of the key issues when they find your post, they’ll keep coming back in future.
Although posting on a breaking story is, to a certain extent, dependent on whether or not you happen to be within arm’s reach of a keyboard at the right moment, here’s a couple of practical steps you can take to make sure you are best placed to seize such opportunities when they arise.
• Don’t wait on a piece of news. If you hear about something of interest in the real world, then it’s worth putting it online as soon as you possibly can. If you’re in a hurry, tweet it; as soon as you’ve got more time, post on your blog.
• Fact-checking is key, as is putting together insightful comment – but if you’ve only heard rumours about some earth-shattering development, then say so. The hypothetical can be just as interesting to your readers as the actual – just be honest about which is which.
• If you get more information, don’t be shy about posting updates and clarifications. If you’re interested, chances are your readers will be interested too.
• If you do get something wrong – easily done, if you’re writing up-to-the-second – admit to it. Correcting yourself demonstrates your own commitment to giving your readers the right information, and is far better than paying no heed to changes in the story as it unfolds. Otherwise, you’ll risk looking out of touch and dishonest.
• Do as much as you can to stay up to date – a diverse and regularly updated RSS feed and a well-populated list of Twitter accounts to follow can be great tools!