Week 3: Your First Articles

In 2013, there were over 150 million blogs in existence. There are many reasons people blog, but whether it’s to make money or to create awareness about a topic, most successful bloggers have one common aspect: passion for their topic. What are you passionate about?
3bloggingpassionYour blog in this class will serve as your home base (also known as a hub). A home base is a place where your online presence originates. Your home base will feed content to your outposts. An outpost is a place where you grow your online presence and build a following. For this class, we will use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. As you read last week, these social media sites are where people read their news.

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Blogs all students should be reading:
Social Media Today
Mashable
Wonkblog

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Unlike old media journalists, today’s new media journalists are not bound by the same rules. In fact, many rules can be violated by bloggers that journalists must follow. Aside from knowing the freedom inherent with blogs, there are a fewbasic—yet essential—characteristics you should familiarize yourself with to make a blog successful. We will cover many of these aspects throughout the course of the semester, but it is beneficial for you to have an overview now.

The best advice I can provide you is to be thorough but thrifty with your blog’s content. Why? In a generation that is accustomed to 140 characters or fewer, statistics show readers’ consumption of blogs is also relative.
           • 10% of people who land on your post will not scroll down.
           • Those reading your blog post will only read 60% of its content.
           • Readers prefer visuals (photos and videos) rather than text.
           • Most people will not stay on your page more than 7 minutes.

Sources: Blog Hubspot and Buffer Social

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For those of you who are visual learners, here are a few professional blog posts to consider. The OCM Blog is written for college students. Please notice the blog focuses on a specific audience segment (college students), it offers links to its social media pages, and it generates revenue from its store. I like the BBC’s College of Journalism blog for its use of media in the blog, an easy-to-read list of posts, an their coverage issues relevant to future journalists and reporters. Finally, it is worth seeing an example of your peers’ blogs from other institutions. Analyze the differences among these three blogs.

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Lab Assignments Week Three:
Today you will continue to create your website. Remember that in our media and app saturated culture, you must create a site that will appeal to readers so they do not bounce. (Yes, “bounce” is a common term within web design culture)

  1. Create an “about me” page. First, on your dashboard, add a new page; don’t forget to add it to your menu. Please take a look at 5 tips for writing an effective “about me” page. I hope when I look at your page, it reflects that you read and incorporated these tips into your page. 
  2. Next, write your first catchy article for your site. Make sure you read about the correct ways to write the first few sentences. Include at least one picture as to provide your audience with a visualization of what they will find on your site. Remember: proper grammar and punctuation speak to a website’s credibility, so write error-free.
  3. Review a product or service related to your website’s topic. You should include pictures. Please write a professional product or service review.