Posted in Blogging

4 tips to help create blog posts that don’t suck

Blogs are everywhere.

Your neighbor has a blog, the place you work for does and even news outlets have blog pages.

Readers enjoy them because they deliver information in chunks and typically include eye catching GIFs, videos and images.

BUT, no one cares about your blog post if they don’t see it.

Social media is the main source when it comes to these types of articles. The stories are shareable on just about every channel, but no one cares to click when they see just another blog post. 

  1. The story is as good as its title. 

Maybe not to the writer, sure. But when a reader sees, “When to use different shutter speeds” they keep scrolling.

Instead, the writer should use second-person pronouns to appeal to the reader on a human level. Including the words “you” and “your” in the title alone will make a huge difference in the traffic to your blog post.

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2. Make your reader cry, laugh, or even scare them.

Appealing to your audiences hopes, fears and emotions in general will help capture their attention long enough to click your story. When they share it, they are sharing the emotion it conjured up. Buzzfeed pulled this one off wonderfully in their story, 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity.

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3. Catch them off-guard. 

Susannah Breslin, an award winning blogger, says to, “pick a niche that isn’t boring.” Her blog was called, The Reverse Cowgirl.

Young writers often select topics they think their audience cares about (guilty), when in reality, the story should be important to the author. When you truly care about what it is you are sharing, you pour your heart and soul into it. You put the effort in and go the extra mile. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a blogger, is that the deepest and darkest topics you touch on, bring the most interactions.

Of course you need to appeal to the audience, just don’t be so predictable.

4. Choose your images wisely. 

Lastly, imagery is everything. People don’t want to spend time reading a thousand word article. The convenience of blog posts is that they are considered to be snackable content. Don’t be afraid to incorporate GIFs, memes, brightly colored photos and snap shots of social media posts.

Social media has been a huge contributor to blog traffic and will continue to do so. But, you still have to do the footwork to get your blog seen.

What’s working for your blog?

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Posted in Uncategorized

Creating video with your Smart Phone

This project is all about using your Smartphone to create a video story. The project calls for the app Videolicious, however, I could not find it in my app store so I am assuming that it is not available for Androids. I went ahead and used Magisto instead. I added some video and photos of my 9-month-old daughter. The idea was to capture “Life with Lili.”

The app allowed me to select a few files, and the length is limited with the free trial. Once the images and video are in, then you may customize a theme. There are a few options to choose from and even more if you purchase the app. Next, I selected the song. I didn’t get to dig too deep into the music because there are only a few songs to choose from. I imagine that once the app is purchased, the variety is much bigger.

Finally, I selected “make my movie.” This process only took about two minutes. Once the video is created, the app gives you a preview and you have the option to make any tweaks necessary, then save and upload to whatever platform you choose. I enjoyed this project, but wish that the app itself weren’t so limited. Most of its features need to be unlocked. Anyway, enjoy! Feel free to share your own creations with me. Click on Life With Lili to view.

Posted in Uncategorized

Ethics in Journalism

ethInformation is what makes a story. But how does a journalist know how to utilize vital information while respecting an individual’s right to privacy? Or using a source whom wishes to remain anonymous? This week’s focus is ethics in journalism. There is much more to journalism than simply reporting the facts. Where are the facts coming from? Is the information used even factual to begin with? What is the difference between “on the record” and “off the record”? So many ethical standards must be met before a journalist begins to even type the story.

In the colonnial times, journalism was ruled by politics. The printers, there were no journalists, delivered the news and respected the wishes of those who funded them. It was not hard to tell which papers supported which political party.

As the use of newspapers grew, New Yorker, Benjamin Day founded The Sun, which sold for just a penny. The Penny Press Era was born, making the news accessible to everyone. During this time, many stories were not accurate, but the people found entertainment in them.More and more people depended on the news and did not care if the information was true, or objective.the sun

In the early 20th century, reporters were used to gather and report information and with the rise of education, grew the use of ethics among journalists. To serve the community its news, one must do so objectively and accurately. This skill takes training and practice. I am happy to say that entertainment and sensational stories are not the way journalists today report. Although many stories may consist of these attributes, each news outlet stands by some sort of ethical standard to ensure:

  • Accuracy
  • Privacy
  • Independence
  • Use of Multimedia
  • Sources
  • Fairness
  • Accountability

Now, many Americans feel that journalists today do not abide by the aforementioned. Why? Conflicts of interest occur, censorship restricts the covering of certain types of stories and many broadcast outlets have no shame in incorporating personal biases. Not to mention the fact that with technology, almost anyone may publish “news”. As an aspiring journalist, it frustrates me to see and know this, but it happens. While the abuse of true journalism may occur today, it is not where it once was in American history, nor is it practiced the way many other countries do.

For example, Mexico is filled with so much violence and corruption. Corruption exists in its government and law enforcements, drug cartels are responsible for the violence and drug trafficking, yet no one is able to report about it. Newspaper establishments are burned down, or, are the target of drive-bys.

It is not uncommon for the journalists who are bold enough to report on such wrong-doings, to be murdered. Eighty-two percent of the victims killed were covering crime stories. mexico

The practice of spreading the news truthfully and accurately is a skill that may never be mastered, but American journalism has proven itself to the public, to inform, educate and entertain while exercising the right to free speech and the freedom of the press. ethpyr

Posted in Uncategorized

A Walk Away From Reality

This week’s focus is audio. Audio is important in a story because it adds emotion, timeliness and proximity. Watching a video on mute would not be very interesting, right? Audio is what keeps us reeled in to a video or image. This project was a very open one, focusing more so on being able to edit multiple soundbites, and then tie them in together. My first clip is my narration, the second is of my interview, and the third clip is the footsteps. The footsteps are my favorite because they give an emphasis on what should have been ambient sound. This makes the audience feel as if, they too, are on this walk. I edited my voice from the interview to be completely out, so that a story is being told, rather than you listening to another interview. I used a free editing tool, Audacity, to overlap and edit the audio. The footsteps are on a loop so that they continuously repeat during Anthony’s narration. Due to some technical difficulties, I had to record from my digital recorder onto the mic on my laptop, rather than simply import the media. This is why my audio is not as crisp as it should be.

Anyway, once I completed the editing, I exported the Wave file to an MP3. Next, I made a free account on Mixcloud in order to embed the audio into this blog page. The photo of my subject was not a part of the assignment, however, I felt the need to meet the visual needs of my audience. And what better picture than that of my subject’s lovely footsteps?

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Antioch resident, Anthony Cordova, 26, enjoys his morning walks at the Antioch Regional Trail to take a pause from the chaos of life.