Blogging

Warning: Read This Before Starting A News Blog

I don’t have anything against news blogs. There is always a place for news blogs in any niche that has a lot of news. However, the problem with news blogs is that they are easy to copy. By their nature, news blogs are basically saying the same things.

You may have heard of the “echo chamber”. This phenomenon occurs whenever many of the blogs in a niche begin to link to and talk about a popular news story.

There is nothing wrong with this, of course. However, oftentimes, the bloggers just write a general post about the story. They don’t add unique commentary or a unique angle. So, when you browse through the blogs, they’re all just “echoing” each other. There is no real difference between the posts. They all say the same thing.

That’s the problem with news blogs. If you are going to start the next Engadget , why should I visit your blog instead of Engadget? If I can get the same basic information from Engadget, why should I read your blog?

Unless you have the advantage of getting the news before the other bloggers, it will be tough to be successful. Only a couple news blogs per industry will be successful. These blogs will get the bulk of the links and traffic because of their branding and their dominant positions in the search engine results pages.

Be Different

If you have a news blog, strive to be unique. Do things that will set you apart from the crowd. Write more opinion pieces. Write with a unique angle. Get an attention-grabbing blog design. Add interesting commentary of the news.

Even if you only create one unique piece of content a week while the rest of time you just report the news, that content will go a long ways in setting you apart from the rest of the news blogs.

Exceptions

There are exceptions to my principle. Here are a couple of them.

Big market
Who knows? Maybe the tech industry is bigger than I think. Maybe because of it’s huge market size, there is room for another news tech blog to be successful.

Low competition
If there are only a few quality news blogs in your industry, you could be successful.

You’re already established
Your news blog has been around. You get a lot of traffic. Many people in the industry know you. Your blog is branded well. My advice is not for you. 🙂 My advice is for people who are thinking of starting a new news blog.

For New News Bloggers

Don’t think as a new blogger, you can just enter a niche and expect to get traffic because you’re doing what the other news blogs are doing. Remember you’re competing against them. They’ve had time to build their brand, build a lot of links, build relationships with other webmasters, and age their site (Google likes old domains). Be unique and you’ll increase your chances of being successful. Also, if you’ve got the money, one of the best ways to enter a market with a news blog is to buy an established one.

Feedback

What do you think of news blogs?

Author: pholpher

3 thoughts on “Warning: Read This Before Starting A News Blog

  1. I love the post and you are so right there are so many places to get news and information today that the only way to make yourself seen is to do something original and unique. There are millions of sites online today, and who knows how many pages total, and some of them will never get any traffic or visitors because they are just a cookie cutter version of something else and this is even more true with news blogs because like you said by their very nature they are just retelling information that you can get somewhere else. That is where your unique spin and perspective will come into play.

  2. I am of the opinion that a news blog if laced with the right amount of commentary and other helpful quality content can be successful

  3. Even if you only create one unique piece of content a week while the rest of time you just report the news, that content will go a long ways in setting you apart from the rest of the news blogs.

    Sorry, for some niches that’s 1-2 unique items every day instead of one per week.

    The toughest thing about ‘news’ blogs is the quantity addiction and weaning yourself from it. You could easily spend all day (or have your writers spend all that time) writing about the latest news, but it won’t really help if you’re talking about the same thing everyone else is talking about (even if you are providing your ‘unique’ take on it).

    My suggestion is to have several columnists – hired or guest – write for you regularly. It keeps the blog ‘fresh’ and if everyone is asked to write something original, then you really have a kickass blog full of interesting content from interesting people.

    No, thats not a news blog, but this strategy is to supplement your news – the 20-30 posts that you are churning out on a daily basis.

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