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Small market blogging

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mooninite, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Mooninite

    Mooninite Member

    We've had a staff-generated sports blog for about a year at our under 25k circulation paper. Since we have no pro or D-I college teams in our coverage area, it's primarily local and preps based. Probably get between 500 and 1,000 page views a day on it.

    Here's my question. At what point is it worth putting the extra work into it? At 500 a day sometimes I don't think it's worth it. But our paper has 15 other blogs and so far ours has as many hits as the other 15 combined. Some only have 25 or so readers a day. At what point do you say we're just spinning our wheels?

    Also does anyone have any links to some good sports blogs at small papers under 50,000? I'd like to look at some but they seem to be few and far between.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    I've been doing mine for about 11 months now, and I guess the biggest thing I've learned from it is that you sort of have to pick your spots. Blogging consistently on a Saturday or late at night isn't going to get you a lot of hits; it might only keep someone reading through your posts for a few extra moments.
  3. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    I think you answered your question.

    Keep doing it.
  4. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Don't 16 blogs for a small marker seem a little excessive? I am hoping my paper will just let us have one.
  5. Shifty Squid

    Shifty Squid Member

    It's probably good to keep in mind what the peak times of the day are for people viewing these sorts of sites. Our paper's research indicates people tend to check the Web when they get up in the morning (7 a.m. or so), first thing when they get to work (8:30 or 9), around lunch time (noon-ish), just before leaving work (4-5) and after dinner (7-8). What we've found is that, if you can hook someone in with interesting stuff at one of these times and keep updating or drawing in reader comments, they'll keep checking back throughout the day to see what is new ... although you have to use technology to deal with the issues this can bring. It's worth looking into, though, at least on a trial basis.

    So we try to be smart about not just what we blog but when we blog. Be interesting. Be somewhat controversial. Take stands. Give people something to argue about, and they'll keep reading what you write.
  6. Mooninite

    Mooninite Member

    Probably half are staff generated blogs from people that work at the newspaper the rest are community bloggers. They range from politics and cooking to model railroading. Interestingly enough, the staff bloggers can't blog about news and or their beats. Sports are the only ones who can do that. Our ME said, "Well sports is just different than blogging about news beats."
  7. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I think a message-board type thingy would be the best format for a small paper. That gives you a chance to post a take as well as a chance for readers and fans to do the same and have proper discourse. From my experience, just posting a take and having readers consume it at face value doesn't generate much buzz unless you try to go OTT with it.
  8. thebiglead

    thebiglead Member

    You'd laugh if you saw TBL's numbers for the first six months. A sprinkle here, a deadspin bounce there, but overall, they were low. But like anything, it takes time and effort. Now, we're getting around 25,000 a day.

    I'd recommend linking to other blogs to give your readers a story they may not have seen on ESPN/SI/etc ... plus, linking to bloggers will you bloggers to link to you, and so forth.

    SI.com is doing some really interesting things ... like linking to bloggers daily (on the front page, no less). After about six months, I'll be curious to find out if SI is getting better numbers in return.
  9. Meat Loaf

    Meat Loaf Guest

    We'd kill to get 100 a day. I think the most we've had is nine for one day. People out here in cow town just don't know nuthin about no Internets.
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