Blogging: The future of journalism, marketing and PR? (Chapter 7)

Posted on July 8, 2011

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Everyone seems to be doing it.  Even I’ve tried it.  I’m talking about blogging, of course.  According to an article about the top 10 social media mistakes nonprofit organizations are making, not blogging is the #1 mistake (http://nonprofitorgs.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/10-common-mistakes-made-by-nonprofits-on-social-media).  Journalists are blogging and tweeting all day long while still working on larger stories.  The NY Times has over 50 blogs attached to their name (see the list at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/blogs/directory.html).  Times blogger, Lisa Belkin, started working on the Motherlode blog when the Times was looking for a way to make more of an online presence.  Belkin said that she thinks blogging may be the future of journalism.  It is more fast-paced than magazine writing–taking 5 minutes to 2 hours to write a blog compared to the months she can spend on a magazine article.  As a journalist, Belkin is careful to maintain neutrality.  Rather than share her own opinion, she cites other sources and professionals (personal interview with Belkin, January 2011).

As I mentioned, I started my own blog a few months ago.  I love the platform, but haven’t quite figured out how to fit blogging into my busy schedule.  I’m in grad school, work full-time, and I’m the mom of two small children.  Life is busy.  I only had a handful of posts under my belt before life really got crazy.  You can check out my other blog at www.notexactlysusiehomemaker.blogspot.com.  I’d love to really get into it more when my life is a little less stressful.  According to a number of online sources, top bloggers make around $500,000 a month with their blog.  Arianna Huffington, the queen of blogging, makes over $2 million monthly (http://www.incomediary.com/top-earning-blogs/comment-page-6).

My own experience with creating a blog went pretty smoothly.  For Not Exactly Susie Homemaker, I used Blogger.  I spent most of my set-up time perusing websites offering free blogger layouts.  I’ve changed it a number of times, and I’m still not sure I picked the right one.  I did run into a snag or two when applying the html code for the different layouts.  I even had to pan through the code to find and delete the error a couple of times.  I was extremely impressed with myself when I was able to fix the problem!  For this blog, I chose WordPress because that’s what Safko said to use in this chapter (and I do what I’m told).  I haven’t experimented too much with all the bells and whistles, but the site seems to be easy to use.

My favorite part of Safko’s chapter on blogging was his list of commandments.  There were a number of commandments that I was already following.  I’ve linked to Twitter and Facebook.  I have an RSS feed option.  There were many commandments, however, that were new to me.  Mailing lists were not on my radar.  I also need to increase my use of images and videos on my blog.  Perhaps my biggest challenge will be to comment on other people’s blogs often.  Just one more thing to add to my busy schedule…where will I find the time?  For now, I will settle with what I’m doing, but I plan to return to Safko’s list of blogging commandments when I finally have the time to make my blog a priority.

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