Journey to the center of the blog

February 14, 2011

So you want to be a journalist after you graduate? The most important step you can take to achieve this goal is to create a blog today.

You’re worried you don’t know how to use a blog? You don’t have the HTML or CSS experience nor the loyal audience to make your blog successful? You don’t know what to blog about? Never fear, dear reader, Mark Briggs offers a crash course on blogging in his book “Journalism Next.”

The first thing you need to know, in starting your blog, is the language:

  • Post: an entry on your blog
  • Vlog: video blog post
  • Permalink: link that gives direct access to a specific post
  • Moblog: blogging from a cell phone or smart phone
  • Trackback: enables blogger’s to let each other know when they are linking to each other’s material
  • Blogroll: links to websites the author visits

After learning the language, you should think about what you want to blog about and choose a blog system. Two of the most popular systems include Blogspot and WordPress.

Next, you should customize your blog layout. You can do this by using the tools your blog services provide. Some of features WordPress provides include: page elements, fonts and colors, HTML editing, and CSS editing.

For more information on how to use WordPress, visit this tutorial.

After you’ve finished customization, you need to build an audience for your blog. In order to do this, you should

  • Recognize what the audience whats to read
  • Organize your thoughts coherently
  • Use succinct writing
  • Present yourself in an authoritative manner
  • Use bullets, bold text, and subtext to increase scanability
  • Have specific, relevant headlines
  • Use graphics

The last three things you need to do in order to be a successful blogger, are:

  1. Allow audience comments and “embrace them as a valuable reporting tool.”
  2. Use RSS feeds as a source for blogging material
  3. Read, comment, and link to other blogs. By linking to other bloggers, they will likely begin to link to you as well.

Once you follow these simple steps, and take head of Briggs advice, you will quickly be on your way to a successful career in the blogosphere! Good luck, fellow journalists!

Entry Filed under: Briggs "Journalism Next" Chapter Reviews. Posted in  Briggs "Journalism Next" Chapter Reviews Tags: , , .

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