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#Tip: How journalists can run a successful blog

February 6th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists


Blogging can be a good way for journalists to showcase their knowledge and skills. But how can you make it a success?

Political blogger Susie Boniface (@fleetstreetfox), food blogger Claire Macdonald and Mumsnet editor Kate Williams were among the panellists at a recent Women in Journalism event where speakers discussed how journalists can benefit from running a blog.

Their advice includes tips on targeting your audience, writing a killer headline, platforms to use and how to make the most of social media.

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#Tip: A guide to the best time for posting to social media and more

Image by Thinkstock

Image by Thinkstock

Sorting through the chaos of social media is just as important for readers looking for articles as it is for journalists looking for leads. So it helps to know when you readers are most likely to be online to let them know what stories are important each day, or each week.

Belle Beth Cooper wrote a post, based on research, for social media sharing platform Buffer detailing the best times to post articles or updates to social media networks, publish blogs or send out e-newsletters. Every audience has its idiosyncracies but as a starting point for thinking about how to time posts and updates it is an insightful read.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.


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#Tip of the day for journalists: Blogging pointers for those starting out

Image by Adikos on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by Adikos on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Wannabe Hacks blogger Caroline Mortimer offers some useful pointers for those starting out in journalism and who want to get their own blog up and running. Her tips aim to help those getting started with a blog get theirs to stand out from the crowd.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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Student summer blog: A beginner’s guide to blogs and blogging

August 15th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

Danny Roberts is a sports journalism student at Leeds Trinity University College and tweets from @DannyRoberts74. In the post below and others to follow he hopes to help people, through his own experiences and those of professionals, to further their study and get that little bit closer to becoming a successful journalist.

One of the many tools available to aspiring and professional journalists alike is a blog.  A blog could help you on your way to gaining a lot of writing experience, help to build an audience, make yourself known to potential employers and even possibly make some money in the process.

A blog can be defined in many ways, but is usually described as a log that is available on the web. ‘Web log’ is where the term ‘blog’ is said to originate.

So, what can a blog be about?

A blog can be about anything that the author is interested in. With the ability to add text, images, video and links, a blog can be a place where you can share your feelings, views and favourite things with the internet population. There have been previously reported cases of journalists who have credited a significant part of their job hunting success to their blogging activities. So it is a good starting point for a journalist’s portfolio to say that you have a blog that you are passionate about, update regularly and that has a big returning audience.

Who can blog and how do I go about setting one up?

Anyone can blog. That’s the beauty of the internet! As long as you have a view and are passionate about something you can blog to your heart’s content.

Many sites allow you to set up blogs but two of the main ones are WordPress and Google’s Blogger. It’s easy to set up and edit, simply enter the name of your blog and your details and you’re away.

Blogs can make money in a few ways, there is the chance that a company may pay you to maintain a high-quality blog that tells potential customers or clients about the company and its latest news. It is likely that this will be on a paid-per-post or paid-per-word basis. The other main way is through advertisements, with money made through people clicking on links at the side of the page. Google has it’s own Adsense that can be added to help you with this process.

I was lucky enough to meet Christian Payne (@documentally) who attended Leeds Trinity journalism week, as a guest speaker, a few months ago. Besides running a very popular blog, he is a freelance “mobile media maker” who also specialises in social technology and connected platforms. He jokes on his site: ‘If you don’t know what that means then it is a good reason for hiring me.’ In his work Christian helps to create multimedia and offers photojournalism, PR, imagery, video and podcasting among other things.

I emailed Christian to ask if he could help out with this blog post and he was more than happy to oblige, even though he had just had surgery. (Which of course, he blogged about!). Blogging behind the alias Documentally at, Christian is able to blog about his everyday life to his many followers.

For me, my blog is an interactive calling card that not only introduces people to what it is I do, it’s a place where I can nurture a community of like minded people. A social network is often built of people who share a common interest.

Describing bloggers, he added: “The content creators are the storymakers, the communicators. They can be Jack and Jills of all trades or they can specialise.”

This year, Documentally has become sponsored. His views are respected enough that Scottevest sponsors his clothing and his international mobile data is sponsored by Vodafone. This means that he receives products from companies to test out in exchange for an honest review or to test how much data a blogger uses abroad. This comes with a wide audience that companies wish their products to be advertised to in review.

To add to this, he gets paid to document, talk and run workshops. He now has a great Twitter following of almost 21,000 at the time of writing. This has helped Christian connect with many people who share his interests.

Therefore, blogging can lead to a career within itself as well as offering a platform to advertise your writing and documenting skills. Get your work out there circulating and who knows who will see it or what will happen because of it. Good luck!

There are a number of blogs, including this one, which may be of particular interest to other student journalists and offer helpful tips, examples include the BBC College of Journalism or WannabeHacks.

Feel free to recommend any other blogs which could be of use to journalists-in-training in the comments below.

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Media release: PR Newswire launches tailored site for bloggers

April 20th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

United Business Media’s PR Newswire service has announced the launch of a new service tailored for bloggers and other “self-publishers, online journalists and hobbyists”.

The PR Newswires for Bloggers site offers customised news feeds, events listings and the opportunity for bloggers to attend press events and record video interviews with celebrities and industry experts.

PR Newswire manager for blogger relations, Thomas Hynes, said in a release:

PR Newswire recognises the growing influence of bloggers and our goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to access the content, tools and information they need to develop their blogs and increase visibility.

The site’s editors will also select five new blogs to feature on the PR Newswire service each week. Hynes added:

There are so many great blogs out there – and that list grows daily. Our goal is to highlight some of those blogs we find interesting or influential – which ultimately comes down to engaging content. Fortunately, there is no shortage of great blogs publishing just that so we shouldn’t run out of candidates any time soon.

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#Tip of the day from – blogging tips for digital journalists

Over on Ideas Tap Stevie Martin has collected some key pointers from visiting professor at City University London Paul Bradsaw, TheMediaBriefing’s editor Patrick Smith and founder of fashion blog Frassy Audrey Rogers, on blogging. Tips range from choosing a subject you’re passionate about, keeping updates fairly regular and networking with other bloggers.

Read more here.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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#Tip of the day from – ‘major mistakes’ bloggers should avoid

Blogger Mark Schaefer has highlighted “five major mistakes” for his fellow bloggers to avoid, including becoming obsessed with traffic and “being a marketer instead of a blogger”.

See his full post on

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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App of the week for journalists: Blogsy, to blog from your iPad

App of the week: Blogsy

Device: iPad

Cost: £2.99

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? Blogsy is a blogging solution for iPad users.

In this post, Adam Tinworth, a blogger for more than 10 years, points out the problems with writing and posting from his tablet.

iPad blogging landscape has been a horrible, barren mess, with barely any decent blogging apps to be seen. Most blog platforms’ editors didn’t function in mobile Safari in any useful way. Blogging using the iPad was, at best, a challenge and, at worst, an impossibility.

He has tried and tested Blogsy, using it to write and file this post, finding that it “works very well”.

These videos teach the various swipe, drag and drop techniques.

Reviews: Blogsy gets four stars in the iTunes App Store.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for’s app of the week for journalists.

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Romenesko resigns from Poynter over attribution complaint

One of the most high-profile US media bloggers, Jim Romenesko, has resigned his post at media standards non-profit Poynter after questions were raised about his use of verbatim quotes.

Erika Fry, an assistant editor at the Columbia Journalism Review, contacted Poynter’s Julie Moos to point out that Romenesko was consistently using passages of text verbatim from pieces he was writing about without using quotation marks.

It should be made clear that he was prominently linking to the source material, but Moos said that this posed the risk that the words “may appear to belong to Jim when they in fact belong to another”.

This style represents Jim’s deliberate choice to be transparent about the information’s origins while using the source’s own words to represent his or her work. If only for quotation marks, it would be exactly right. Without those quotation marks, it is incomplete and inconsistent with our publishing practices and standards on

Romenesko has been writing for Poynter for 12 years and – according to Moos – the practice has been “extensive”, with spot checks going back to 2005 showing “multiple examples”.

Part of the problem was that Romenesko was allowed to publish his posts straight to the Poynter website without being subbed. He was the only staffer to be allowed to do so, and although other editors at Poynter read his work and the original pieces, Moos said, none noticed the duplication.

Romenesko’s initial offer of his resignation, after being contacted by Moos about the practice, was refused, but a subsequent offer has now clearly been accepted.

Moos noted in her post that some may find Romenesko’s practice “entirely acceptable and disagree that it is unclear or incomplete”, while some may find it “abhorrent and a journalistic sin”.

What do you think? Let us know on Twitter @journalismnews or in the comments below, or by email to joel at

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Tool of the week for journalists – TimeKiwi, to create social media timelines

Tool of the week: TimeKiwi

What is it? A new tool to turn tweets, blog posts and Instagram photos into a timeline. Add a Twitter handle, a Tumblr, WordPress and Posterous blog and an Instagram account and TimeKiwi will mash them into a combined timeline.

How is it of use to journalists? For storytelling. The tool allows you to demonstrate how a story has progressed. The tool does not require you to authorise the app so you can add any Twitter handle to see how that person’s tweets have played out over time.

Take this example of a timeline of canon Dr Giles Fraser who resigned from his role as chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral last week over plans to forcibly evict Occupy protesters. Adding his @giles_fraser handle allows you to show his tweets as either a vertical or horizontal timeline.

The free version of TimeKiwi cannot be embedded so it is of limited use in telling a story on your site but you can still share links to created timelines. A “business” version is in the pipeline which promises an embed feature and custom views which could be of particular interest to journalists who can then show mapped out tweets and blog posts within a news story.

This TimeKiwi takes in the @journalismnews Twitter account and the WordPress blog.


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