Blogs: More than just a pretty face

As social media and Internet use continue to increase, many public relations firms are scrambling to market themselves better.  While blog writing is nothing new to the marketing and public relations world, many have yet to perfect this idea of niche writing.

Inspired by the Bad Pitch Blog‘s recent post about the rules and requirements of a blog, I felt it was best that our readers and fellow bloggers truly understood the art that is blogging.

Before even pitching a blog to clients or news sources, one must make sure their interest and commitment are up to par. Here are few things to ask yourself before pitching ideas to a blog:

  • Do you read more than just the recent posts of the blog site?
  • Are your products, terms, or services relevant to the blog?
  • Have you subscribed to the RSS feed of the blog?

The answers to these questions will not only tell you how strongly you feel about the topic but how much effort you can or will put into a blog idea.

But maybe you’re not looking to pitch an idea to a blog, maybe you are starting one of your own.  As a journalism student, I have learned the importance of niche blogs and how they can improve your image as well as help readers all over the globe.

Unfortunately for the credible blog writers, there are an abundance of blogs that provide no sources, no links and no true research of their topics.  So, in an effort to steer all writers in the right direction, here are some helpful tips and links inspired by Cronkite’s own Serena Carpenter.

  • use and verify all sources
  • do not use copyrighted material, there are websites like Creative Commons that help prevent the use of copyrighted material
  • make sure your title and headline include key words related to the subject
  • proof read your blog
  • your credibility depends on your knowledge of a subject as well as your writing style
  • link to other blogs and informational sites to increase site visitors as well as validity.

With these few basic tips, a blog will have the basis it needs to serve as a favored source on the topic but also a respected piece of journalism.

    This entry was posted in Advantage Communications and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    8 Responses to Blogs: More than just a pretty face

    1. afleisha says:

      Thanks for sharing these tips. At previous internships, I’ve experienced the fine line PR agencies are walking when determining how to ‘handle’ bloggers. From personal experience in pitching bloggers, it can be challenging to find the best blogs to pitch to. The blogosphere is so large that it can be daunting to hand-pick the best ones for each unique client.

      Bloggers are now included in media directories, which helps point PR practitioners in the right direction, but not even these lists are that specific or helpful. However, they’re a great starting point.

      • spaeprer says:

        As a fellow journalism student, I’m glad to hear that this can — at the very least — provide a starting base for your current and future internships. It’s important as an intern, and even as a veteran journalist, that we know the rules and regulations of what makes a blog truly credible and a piece of true journalism. I know I’ve struggled with the rules of blogs; it’s great to know I’m helping others as I learn things myself.

    2. cfetter1 says:

      This is great. A great blog is one that holds itself to the same standards that professional journalists follow when writing an article. Credibility is imperative in a world where there is so much free flowing information. Readers want to know what they are reading is reliable and accurate. Bloggers need to make sure to follow the basic principles of journalism to gain and maintain their respect in this digital world.

    3. spaeprer says:

      Credibility should be the first thing on every journalist’s mind, especially today when the world is so skeptical of the media and all it entails. While these rules are basic, I hope they do provide a start to the great reputation and credibility every journalist and PR practitioner should have.

      Glad you enjoyed the post, thank you!

    4. hewhite says:

      “The answers to these questions will not only tell you how strongly you feel about the topic but how much effort you can or will put into a blog idea.”

      What you said above really resonates with me. Especially after reading Tribes by Seth Godin. Why would I want to join a tribe who is passionate about an issue that I’m not? Therefore, why would I follow or read a blog on a topic that I feel only average about? The problem with blogs is the same problem with the ASU campus: with 70,000 students, you know there is a potential friend in the crowd; someone who has common interests. Well, with the infinite blogosphere, you know there’s a blog out there for you–it’s just a matter of finding it.

    5. spaeprer says:

      I think one of the most important characteristics of a blog reader is the passion for the blog topic. The comparison to the ASU student body is a great example because it identifies both the increasing number of blogs but to also never forget that there are others that enjoy the same topics and issues as you. I’m glad I hit a good note! Thanks.

    6. dbaxley says:

      Great post, these guidelines are useful. When I was first required to blog for my online media class at ASU, I was guilty of posting information with little concern about its credibility. By the end of the semester, I realized that passion, creativity and knowledge go a long way toward creating a successful blog. I truly agree that how well you achieve the above criteria will determine your dedication to the topic, your blog and your overall success within the blogosphere.

      • spaeprer says:

        I’m glad that you see passion as an important aspect to blog writing. People seem to forget that without passion or a thirst for knowledge, then writing of any kind will lack the “stand-out” factor.

    Comments are closed.