5 Tips To Boost Engagement and Popularise Your Live Blog

by Anthony Covalciuc |  Jun 28, 2017

So, you’ve now got your Live Blog up and running; you’re impressed by its intuitive, easy-to-use interface and excited about the quality and quantity of syndicated content. The next logical step to get the most out of your blogging software is to attract and maintain an engaged, regular audience.

Wondering how to increase traffic and engagement for your blog? Not to worry, here are 5 tips from some of the top live blogging professionals. In particular, we’d like to thank Paul Bradshaw, who runs the MA Data Journalism and MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism at Birmingham City University and authored the book The Online Journalism Handbook, for sharing his insights with us.

Tip 1: Prepare – Try To Avoid Making It Up As You Go

Coming up with material ad hoc is not the best practice for maintaining a successful live blog. Even though events unfolding in real time often leave little to no opportunity to prepare, there will inevitably be in-between moments where not much is happening. During these times, it’s important for you to have at some relevant material prepared in advance, general knowledge on the topic you’re covering, and reliable contacts who can assist you.

That way, you can offer your visitors supplementary information in the form of other articles, quotes, statistics, and photos (to name just a few). This will make your blogging experience more exciting and less nerve wracking, not vice versa!

Tip 2: Be Relevant – Ensure That Your Live Coverage Provides Value

The networking nature of live blogging is one of its most distinguishing qualities. That is to say, while you cover breaking news or an event, any number of individuals or media agencies may be blogging and/or covering it too – as well as watching it on TV. Prior to dedicating the time needed to make a good live blog, it’s important to ascertain whether or not your coverage will provide value and be able to capture an audience.

One way to accomplish this is to see what syndicated content is being shared in your ecosystem. This should give you a good idea of what other agencies collectively feel is relevant news for your followers. In addition, making use of Live Blog’s analytics feature will reveal, especially over a period of time, what kind of stories attract readers and keep their attention.

Tip 3: Be Accurate – Make Certain You Post Verified Facts

It is of the utmost importance that you publish accurate, verified information. Therefore, you must be careful when the live event you’re covering features disputable facts or different perspectives of events. This particular problem is common during elections, when anyone and everyone can have an opinion. In these cases, it’s critical to establish procedures which allow you to verify that what is being said is actually true.

Similarly, if you happen to be covering volatile situations such as demonstrations, riots, or something similar, you will find any number of varying perspectives about what is happening and why. These circumstances put you under pressure to confirm the hard facts surrounding the situation.

In both cases, having a reliable reporter or reporters who can conduct the necessarily research and provide you with accurate information is usually the best option. If you don’t have your own reporters, once again we recommend that you consult the syndicated content within your ecosystem to find out which information a variety of sources agree upon and choose to publish.

Tip 4: Differentiate Yourself – Provide Your Audience With Rich Insights

A common live blogging mistake – and one that will leave your blog with little to no value – is to simply make note of what is occurring. Many other coverage providers are doing exactly this, so you should give special consideration to filtering, aggregating, and posting only the most insightful content. Together with this curated content, provide some analysis on what is happening. Some questions to consider are: why is this information important or not important? What insights does it provide for the topic that you are writing about?

It’s also a good idea to supplement your live coverage and analysis with multimedia. Adding multimedia enriches the quality your coverage. Some examples of this come in the form of audio, video, or social media.

Tip 5: Socialize – Encourage Your Audience To Participate

Given their instantaneous nature and multimedia structure, live blogs are the perfect opportunity for you to interact with your viewers, so make sure that readers are able to comment and share. Not only will they feel more connected and involved in the experience, but they will also provide you with additional content and inspiration.

Good thing that Live Blog comes with a User Comments feature. Now you can engage and interact with your audience in real time.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulbradshaw.

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