10 tactics of Newspaper Journalists that have long been Adopted by Bloggers
Bloggers do not always provide such kindness to their readers. No, no one refuses to go to the blog-tour to the winery. But to miss a couple of newsletters because “there is no inspiration” – it’s easy.
With capricious inspiration, blogging procrastination and irregular publications, one can fight. I offer you 10 tactics from the practice of working in a daily newspaper – they will help you write faster, more often and purer. Even in those days when “it is not written.”
1. To observe the terms
Blogger: Maybe I’ll finish it tomorrow, or next week …
Newspaper: Holding a schedule with religious perseverance.
In the newspaper where I worked, the ordinary material did not go to the room after an hour X, and the author instead of money received magic pendels on the planerk. Designers pereverstyvali strip to close the formed hole, and wished the author of “success.” If the sensational material was delayed, without which one can not do, the proof-readers cursed the scribbler, lingering late.
Disruption of sending a newspaper to the printing house meant that printers were taking another job, the late publication was at the end of the line. The delivery service at night was waiting for the print run under the door of the printing house, the newspapers fell into kiosks and subscribers with a delay, advertisers stomped their feet …
Nobody stands over the blogger’s soul, and it relaxes. Imagine that the revenue depends on the timing. Do you feel like you are accelerating? Set a deadline for submitting a text before the publication date – even if you finish the material later than planned, the text in the blog will appear on time.
2. Check the facts
Blogger: And maybe a crow, or maybe a dog … Or maybe it was the janitor …
Newspaper: Check names, positions, dates, sources, correctness of presentation.
Once the editors received a fax about a meeting of military generals and Cossack chieftain named Alexander. This fact surprised me so much that it became the main sensation of the material – a woman ataman! After the article was published, indignant fax writers began to call in the newspaper … I was accused of deliberately insulting Ataman Alexander, because a woman can not be ataman. We were promised to throw the editorial office Molotov with cocktails, find me and teach me a whip. I sobbed in the editor’s office and was afraid to return home in the evenings. Two months later, I happened to meet the ataman at the event, confessed and began to cry again. Ataman immediately believed that I was not a selling hide and not a black PR man, but a fool who received an indistinct fax and wrote nonsense. We reconciled and even laughed at this story.
The article to read the publication department head, executive secretary, three proofreader and editor. But under the text stood my name, and by ears for a stupid mistake I received. And this is a lesson – to check and recheck what you are subscribing to. You never know what kind of Alexander will fall.
3. Work well enough
Blogger: Something I do not like this text … It is necessary to polish it sometime later, even while it depends on the drafts …
Newspaper: This is not an imperishable
In a newspaper journalist do not have the luxury netlenku for centuries – it gives the material every day. This teaches you not to treat Very Seriously to yourself and your texts. Each of them is just one more written article, tomorrow there will be another one. It also teaches you to edit the material without pain and regret, without clinging to the original version. Sometimes the text has to be rewritten several times before it is taken to work. And this is not a personal insult to the creator, but a working routine to create the text.
A good enough material has a beginning, middle and end. It shows logic and structure. Illustrations are selected for it. The facts are checked, the quotes are given correctly, the sources are indicated, the author’s position is indicated. Stop on this – you have already done more than 90% of those who write on the same topic.
4. Fix holes in advance
Blogger: This week I was swept up by the flu / baby was crying at night / I was on vacation / my sister was getting married, I will miss publication …
Newspaper: I close the “holes” before they even appeared.
In our editorial office there was always a supply of materials in case of a sudden “hole”. If the reportage of the issue about today’s race in bags was broken, we had a spare, not tied to time – about a dog hairdresser. If we were led by the author of the crossword, there were three pieces in stock. If a review of loans flashed, the responsible secretary took out a review of the frying pans, which was stored a month and a half ago.
Write a month’s supply of posts for the blog, pick up illustrations, optimize posts for SEO and keep in drafts.
Reviews, reviews, stories about personal experiences, interviews, guest posts – this is not tied to dates and will be a good strategic reserve. During your vacation or hospital, this stock takes care of the readers. Replenish it regularly, adding new posts to the end of the queue. What if you do not like the text written a month ago? Re-read paragraph 3 and click “publish” – tomorrow you will write a new one, better than the previous one.
Stock is not the same as the publication plan in Blogger’s Calendar. The calendar is your Plan A, in case everything goes well. Reserve – Plan B, for situations where Plan A has failed. Aerobatics for the advanced – to make work on the stock on the Calendar. Then Plan A in the regular mode will take care of Plan B. It seems that there is too much “plan” here …
5. Do not wait for Pegasus
Blogger: There is no inspiration …
Newspaper: To write is like riding a bicycle that burns, and you burn, and everything burns, and you’re in hell.
When I was 19 years old, I, timid novice journalist, met a veteran 23-year-old newspaper. “I write in absolute silence,” she taught me. – “Mom brings me a cup of coffee in my favorite cup, puts it next to the computer and leaves. Only then can I concentrate and work. ” Here it is, the secret of success! I was tearing at home, but they stubbornly refused to walk on tiptoe and bring me a hot drink in porcelain cups. Colleagues too were heartless to my need for Special Conditions, Inspiration and Motivation. In the office, a dozen phones were ringing at once and twenty people were knocking loudly on the keyboard, trying to comply with point 1-3. Six months later, I lopila on the keyboard, sipping soluble coffee with cream from a bag, without hearing the noise.
“Writing on a burning bicycle” is a skill that develops with constant training. Pegasus, maybe he will not come. And the text will remain!
If everything is really bad, apply newspaper tricks “author’s column”, “reprint” and “digest”. You do not need to do everything yourself – you can take a guest post (you content, a person is nice), reprint other people’s material with the permission of the author, or to quickly assemble a list of links to your own or other people’s content. This is done on autopilot, without the participation of the creative part of the brain.
6. Against scrap there is no reception
Blogger: It seems that I have a writer’s block, I ran into a wall, I’ll go lie down …
Newspaper: Even the lousy first draft is better than any.
Varvara Lyalagina has a great text about overcoming the writer’s block for bloggers. This method helped me in September 2015 – I started writing after 10 months of “idle time.” I also have my own newspaper response to my favorite blogger question: “How to overcome the writer’s block?”
Start from the beginning and continue until you finish. Work quickly, with large strokes, with a stream of consciousness, without editing and grading. The first draft will be bad, this is normal. Rewrite – from beginning to end. With the second draft it is usually possible to work, reading aloud and rearranging pieces of text in places. The third draft will be decent, checked. Bring it to editorial office to a fairly good state (see section 3), and stop.
Often a conventional procrastination is masked under the block. If you overcome the resistance of the initial 5-10 minutes, working on the first draft, then everything goes on rolled-up – the neurons in your brain have lined up in the right chains and know what to do.
7. Do not get hung up on masterpieces
Blogger: I need only the virus content!
Newspaper: The prize for the best article of the issue is not obtained every day.
During three years of working in a daily newspaper, I wrote two or three articles that I read aloud on the planners in other editions. For more than a dozen materials, I received awards for the best headline or the best article of the issue. In total in my working archive of that time about 800 articles, notes and digests.
Viral content quickly brings to your blog many new readers. But keep them for a long time to help consistently quality material – the best texts do not always collect the most likes.
8. To cut with the unwavering hand
Blogger: Let there be a longrid!
Newspaper: Cut to “Oh my God,” exclaimed the queen. “I’m pregnant, and I do not know from whom”? Not a question!
The newspaper strip is not rubber. This teaches you to cut out unnecessary words without regrets. On the Internet, any text can be imagined as the fruit of the author’s design. According to Ramit Seti, who created a multi-million dollar business from a simple blog – a post can be any length. If everything in it is case-based, well-structured, qualitatively written and edited. Ramith even released a longigraph about it (in English).
I’m sure that any text can be shortened, making it more dynamic and clearer. In this blogger will help the application of paragraph 3 on netlenke. As soon as you cease to treat your work as a precious child, it becomes easy to cut.
Elizabeth Gilbert for the first publication in the magazine had to reduce the ten-page story by 30 percent. She had a choice – it is possible to publish a long version later (with the same probability the story could never get into the room), or release a shortened text in a month. Before the shortening of the story, Elizabeth did not know that she could write in this way – she figured it out, just wrapped her story “to the bone”! If Liz Gilbert was able (and then became a star!), We can also.
Layfak: to cut and clean the text better in a few days after writing. On the fresh head it is better to see repetitions, passive constructions, adverbs, stamps. To give the texts “lie down” before the abbreviation and editing, remember about paragraph 4 (write in reserve) and p.1 (assign a period known before the publication date). For example, I edited this text in four approaches and for the third time found three words “I could” in one sentence.
9. Photograph yourself
Blogger: Where to find a photo for this post?
Newspaper: At the worst, I take my own sfotka …
The newspaper usually has more journalists than photographers. Sometimes it is necessary to go “on business” to one, because the first photographer was taken off by the incident department, and the second one today with the sports department. You can try to get yourself out yourself. The main thing is not to be limited to a single shot.
If you write and publish on the same day, the problem with photos is acute, and the fastest way to solve it is the runoff. It’s another matter if you work “in reserve” – you have time to plan the survey and make the necessary shots. Remove the overall plan, medium and large, and make more options. Some will come about thanks to the law of large numbers and the autofocus of the camera.
The author’s photo is added to the blog of points in karma. It was impolite (and beautiful) about this told Maxim Ilyakhov – “Why is your picture to the article – shit.” If polite, then the imperfection of such pictures causes more confidence of the readers than inanimate stock photography.
10. Follow the development of the topic
Blogger: What else would you write about?
Newspaper: Returning to the printed one …
Every morning in the office started for me from the call of the three-page contact list on a narrow topic. We were asked not to rely on the fact that people will report when they have news, not to wait for a press release or posting on official websites, but to find information on their own before others. More than half of the articles were obtained from these daily phone calls.
Another good newspaper method of searching for topics is to follow the story after “they lived happily ever after.” I will illustrate with the example of the draft law on the fight against the Green Men. First, the newspaper writes about the introduction of the bill into the Duma. Then – about the consideration of the project by the profile committee. Then – on making a public discussion or on recalling the government. If a Green Conference held a press conference, a hearing or a briefing – you can write again. Then three readings in the Duma as three reasons to talk about the Green Men. Then the bill is passed by the Federation Council – another article. Then the president signs – a surge of publications.
This can not be limited to, and write about the first week of the struggle with the Green Men, interview the Little Men and fighters against them, go to the raid with the police, which closes the offices of little men. Then you can return to the topic in six months and a year, using the calendar date as an information guide and assessing the impact of the ban on the life of society.
Use the rule of the Green Man – return to the previously written, briefly outline the background, give references to what you wrote about this earlier and talk about the development of the topic. Ask the characters of your interviews, which has changed since you spoke last time. Follow the news and blogs on the topic, another publication – an information occasion for you.