Making blogs work for your news site

Mark Briggs of the Tacoma News-Tribune posted some information to the Poynter Online News listserv about the success of their efforts in blogging. His tips were good enough that I asked him if I could post them here. So:

  • Launch a blog that caters to the most popular content on your site (for us, like a lot of newspapers near NFL cities, it’s the pro football team) with a reporter who “gets it” and devotes the time and energy it takes to build a critical mass. ( was so impressed they hired him away from us last year)
  • Launch other blogs that follow the same formula: content areas that readers are already interested in staffed by reporters who are willing to make it work (we also have some blogs that serve our transparency mission that don’t drive a lot of page views).
  • Promote the blogs in print and publish blog items in the newspaper with refers to the blog.

The Seahawks blog still drives much of our monthly page-view total (about 50%) but we’re having success with many others now (restaurants, crime, prep sports, real estate, politics).

Btw, Briggs is the author of Journalism 2.0, a book that’s pretty good at introducing multimedia. I’m using it in the multimedia journalism class I’ll be teaching in the fall.