Important Lessons Bloggers Can Learn from Newspapers
Fake news is gaining a lot of traction in 2017. From featuring in the President’s tweets to being crowned word of the year, the public is standing up and taking notice. If you are a believer of the President of the United States of America, you may think you have nothing to learn from news corporations. Indeed, you will want to avoid them like the plague to maintain your credibility.
However, don’t rush to judgment. After all, papers and media outlets may tell a couple of porkies now and again, but they are reputable for the most part. As a result, they have lots to teach regular folk such as you and me. Bloggers are desperate for the traffic and popularity that newspapers have, and the good news is that you can learn a thing or two.
Without further ado, these are essentials blogs should take from newspapers. Today’s culture may label the following “fake,” but they’re just “sad!”
Churn Out Unique Content
No outlet does this as well than media corporations. Everyday, news anchors and reporters file into courtrooms, crime scenes and public places and create a broadcast. The written press develops copy and publishes it in hard copy form or on the internet. And, people eat it up on a daily basis. Yes, even the guys and girls who can’t stand what the world’s media has become. In a way, these businesses have hit the jackpot because everyone is interested in current events and will tune in regardless. Still, it’s an excellent reminder that audiences want to read or watch original and engaging content from Sunday to Sunday. Sadly, this is one of the hardest targets for a blog because the blogosphere is full of generic and rehashed material. But, with creativity and a sense of drive, it isn’t impossible.
Not only do news stations and newspapers find new angles on the daily, but they also customize the info. The reason they do this is simple: people are interested in what is happening near them because it’s more real. An explosion in New York is a public interest story for the whole world, but it impacts the residents of NYC more than anyone else. Of course, you can’t tailor everything on the site, especially if you have a worldwide audience. Still, you can play around with the blog’s settings to ensure content appears based on their location. That way, the entire platform is personalized and has a higher meaning to the visitors who land on the homepage.
Simple Yet Effective Navigation
When was the last time you went on a newspaper website? Probably sometime in the past couple of hours, right? You may not have noticed this before, but newspaper sites are terrific from a navigation point of view. All the tabs are compartmentalized into easy-to-reach boxes, accessible at the click of a button. Secondly, there is a comprehensive search bar should you want to break down a search. Finally, the info is presented neatly and attractively.
Blogs, on the other hand, can appear less organized and almost haphazard. If you’re looking to improve your site’s navigation, WordPress newspaper themes are a fantastic place to start. Other than that, you can play around with the layout and try to copy a news outlet’s structure. For example, consider adding text bars and publishing content in blocks across the page.
One thing that springs to mind when you hear the word “newspaper” is a headline. Over the years, the media has become synonymous with catchy and alluring captions which draw in the reader. You may think this has no bearing today in a world where people understand the tricks, but you’d be wrong. Big, bold font has a psychological impact that the brain can’t avoid unless you physically say “no!”
The same works for blogs as it does for newspapers. The trick is to create headlines that readers want to see, such as a topical public interest story. If that isn’t possible, use witty language to make them laugh or pay attention. There is something dead tree newspapers can’t teach, and that’s SEO. Always optimize headings and subheadings to please the almighty King that is Fred. Well, it’s Google, but the latest update is going by the somewhat subdued name of Fred.
It wouldn’t be silly to assume that newspapers don’t take sides. By definition, they should report the news and let the reader make up their mind. Of course, this never happens as editors and media owners like to play God. There is a well-known theory in Britain that whoever Rupert Murdoch backs in a general election wins. Just like The Sun and The Times are center-right, The Guardian and The Mirror are lefties.
The U.K. isn’t alone as America has the same setup. It works because people want to read stories with similar viewpoints. As such, you should think about jumping down from the fence and being decisive with your opinions. Readers may not like what they hear, which means they will bounce, but others will rejoice. Plus, your new voice may reach a different audience, which in turn boosts traffic.
The fake news agenda is perpetuated by people who think journalists tell lies. Well, the good ones have their sources and use them to ratify information. Then, no one can disagree with what they report. Sure, citing sources nowadays may look something like “an unnamed person,” but that lessens the impact. Journos who give names and credentials get the most recognition and have a stellar reputation. Obviously, this leads to people following them and reading their material because they have trust. With hyperlinks, there is no excuse for a blog not to follow suit.
Newspapers and media corporations are not perfect, but they have a lot to teach bloggers if you are willing to listen.