The Bangor Daily News has a fantastic team on the Digital Desk who act as our air traffic controllers. Every story that gets written by staff writers and reporters and the BDN blog network bloggers gets funneled through a system and lands on the Digital Desk where they work to sift through stories and promote the pieces that readers want to see.
One of the most common questions we get from bloggers is how to get their work promoted to the homepage and our growing social media platforms. Today, as a special treat, we have ten tips direct from the Digital Desk to bloggers. The following tips are things that they look for in every story that crosses their radar.
Got questions? Drop us an email!
1) Don’t capitalize every word in your headline! This is the most common blunder among bloggers.
2) Spelling and grammar matter. Make sure that your blog posts are well written with proper spelling and grammar. Do not put more than one space between sentences.
3) Get photos that are not your face and that complement the story. We see a lot of great blog posts come through with awkward photos or photos of just the author’s face. Try to use images that make sense for your story.
4) Be specific about the story in your headline. Do not treat your blog post headlines like poetry or art or books, headlines tell the reader right away what they are clicking on. Be clear and to the point.
5) Write excerpts! Most bloggers forget to do this and it is often the reason why an otherwise great post does not get promoted.
6) Use a strong lead paragraph so that we can grab it quickly for Facebook. The Digital Desk is swamped and does not have time to craft status updates to include with your story and so they tend to rely on your story for highlightable quotes to include on social media. Help them help you!
7) Best post times are late at night or early in the morning. If you want to get promoted try scheduling your posts to appear between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
8) Always looking for great content on the weekends. We tend to fewer blog posts on weekends when we need them the most. You will increase your chances of being promoted if you can publish on the weekends.
9) Avoid punctuation marks in headlines. Punctuation marks tend to get all wonky on Twitter and Facebook so write a headline that does not rely on them.
10) Always double check the copyright of images you use! Bloggers are on the hook for breaking the law with copyright so be absolutely sure you understand what you are posting BEFORE you post it.
Want to know more about how to create a great headline? Watch this video.