Ahem, I am a changed blogger after this afternoon's new media session with Robert Niles of Online Journalism Review, Scott Elliott of the Dayton Daily News' Get on the Bus blog and Alexander Russo of the This Week in Education blog, now on Education Week's Web site. The speakers gave tips for driving more pageviews and making a blog more relevant to readers.
Some suggestions: Do research, don't dive into a blog where you would like to develop a readership without understanding what the competition is doing. Try to get into a posting rhythm so readers can fall into a routine of checking every so often. The more local the news, the better. Also, Niles said bloggers should take an active role in the comments section of their blog. Respond, credit readers for their tips and step in (respectfully) when someone writes something out of line or off topic.
The last one is something that makes a lot of sense to me. But for whatever reason, I always thought that bloggers (or the writers of stories with comment threads at the bottom) had to leave that section to the readers. I know that's what the editors at the last newspaper where I worked believed too. Slowly but surely though, newspapers seem to be coming around to blogs.
We'll put more tips from the blogging session in our next newsletter, scheduled to go out May 14. Most, if not all of the newsletter, will be a wrap up of the meeting. Plus, we'll put lots of the presentations and tipsheets from our speakers on our Web site when we get back to D.C.