THE POWER OF LOCAL BLOGS IN A NEWSPAPER

The cover slide of the presentation about blogs and newspapers I gave to the national Brazilian newspaper association in August, 2008

The cover slide of the presentation about blogs and newspapers I gave to the national Brazilian newspaper association in August, 2008. Click on the picture to see the high-quality version. (Warning: It is a 21-minute presentation with six embedded video interviews.)

I’m back.

I spent most of August preparing for a big speech at the national Brazil newspaper association’s annual convention about how bloggers can build a newspaper’s circulation, web traffic, and revenue. It took a lot of time gathering data, doing video interviews, editing, creating, etc. (see show above).

My daughter and I at Newport, RI.

My daughter and I at Newport, RI.

Full disclosure: I also spent a wonderful ten days on a work-free vacation on Buzzard’s Bay with my wife and two daughters surfing real waves, not the Web (Melissa and I with our boards on the left)!

Speaking at the Brazil national newspaper conference.

I presented the slide show with six embedded videos in Sao Paulo in late August. You can view it here (medium quality, and it might not work on Firefox) and here (high-quality). More thoughts on the incredibly healthy Brazilian newspaper industry later…
If you don’t want to sit through all 21 minutes of the show, I am going to publish pieces of it here in my blog all week. Each interviewee, in particular, makes a compelling case for newspapers to include local bloggers in the print and online products in a significant way.

The first interview is with CC Chapman, a prominent Boston-area blogger and co-founder of Advance Guard, which focuses on creating radical marketing programs using social media and emerging technologies. Their clients include American Eagle Outfitters, Verizon FiOS, The Coca Cola Company, HBO, and mDialog.

CC Chapman

CC Chapman

CC is also the host/producer at both Managing the Gray and Accident Hash. Previously he was VP/New Marketing at crayon, LLC, and Digital Marketing Manager at Babson College.

Like hundreds or thousands of high-quality bloggers in your community, CC is an expert at what he’s blogging about, and his top-notch blog added value to my newspaper (BostonNOW). You have lots of CCs in your market just waiting to collaborate with you.

CC describes the thrill he got when he picked up BostonNOW and found his blog inside. CC is no spring chicken (sorry, CC) and he’d been in print before. Many times. But he was STILL excited when his work appeared in a newspaper that was going to be read by a quarter of a million people.

Here’s the interview (or you can go to my MobileMe gallery to see a higher-quality version):

Bloggers in your community will be excited, too. And they will tell their friends. And they will pick up your paper. And they will go to your website (we also published bloggers on the subject-appropriate pages of our website). And, if they like what they see in the paper and on the website, some will come back on their own. Regularly.

Part of my presentation in Brazil with Boston videoblogger Steve Garfield on the screen.

Part of my presentation in Brazil with Boston videoblogger Steve Garfield on the screen.

So you build a new, bigger (mostly younger) audience, delivering more valuable eyeballs to your advertisers.

The crazy thing is that this is not rocket science. It’s pretty easy, and it’s one of the few dead-bolt cinch guarantees of audience attraction and retention.

So tell someone at your paper to find a few of the best bloggers in the community and start pointing off to them and excerpting their work in the paper. Start small, in non-controversial sections (sports, auto, travel, fashion, food, etc.). No big deal.

And then sit back and watch the magic happen.

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3 responses to “THE POWER OF LOCAL BLOGS IN A NEWSPAPER

  1. This is super valuable. Thanks for making it available, and congrats on the project’s presentation in Brazil.

    And here’s to CC, for reminding us we weren’t entirely shouting into the hurricane, throughout 2007.

  2. Thanks, James. We definitely weren’t shouting into the hurricane. Did you see the chart showing our web traffic versus other free newspaper sites? The ONLY difference between our site and the others was WE HAD BLOGS! And we smoked’em!

  3. what a great site and informative posts, I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

    I’m Out! 🙂

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