During the last four weeks I was diving into the serious world of "real" journalism. And let me tell you one thing: Being objective and on the point can be hard after years of story-telling and raving in the most subjective way about clothes and beauty products over here. But I did it and even managed to leave a fairly good impression. One step closer to finding a job: check! However even if newspapers can't be compared to blogs, there are some things that my internship made me realize about the whole world of online reporting, that can also be beneficial for my blog. And for yours as I'm sharing my new wisdom with you:
1. Catchy titles are a must
At a time when the internet has seen 120.263.710 outfit posts, tending upwards, and when most bloggers write their titles for search engines and not for readers, we somehow forgot how important a catchy title can be. At the online editorial office where I worked, it's really all about getting these clicks and the only way to get them is with a good title and a striking picture. As fashion blogging lives from good pictures, we often content ourselves with a title like "OOTD: Red Dress", but wouldn't people be way more likely to click on that very same post, if the title was something like "How my red dress makes me feel" or "How I combine my red dress for fall"? There really are no limits when it comes to titles, just remember that in the end your post should still keep what the title promises.
2. Links are just extra info
When I started blogging I would sprinkle those links like confetti. It took me quite a time to realize that you really don't need me to link to the homepage of H&M because seriously you will find it without my help. At the newspaper where I worked, a colleague told me that links are just additional information for the reader. They can thus be interesting, but they will also take your readers away from your page, which is not necessarily what you want. (My colleagues also thaught me to make shorter sentences which is why I just split my last sentence into two, but that's another story.)
3. Dare to criticize
On my last day at work, the editor in chief told me that the mission of a journalist is to give the people a voice by spotlighting deficiencies. So journalism doesn't go without asking pertinent questions and to also criticize when it's needed. "If you never dare to say something bad about anything, people will start abusing you" the editor in chief said. Applied to blogging this means that you are allowed to say something negative about a product or a service, because you want to make life better for your reader, not for the brand you're reviewing something for.
4. Haters gonna hate
No matter how good you are or what you come up with - if there is somebody who wants to criticize you then they'll find a way to do so. You can't make everybody happy and there are always stupid and bored people out there. Also if you're just getting negative comments and no positive ones that doesn't mean that what you do is bad. It's in the nature of humans to open their mouths rather when they don't agree then when they agree. And unfortunately a nod can't be seen through the internet.
5. Writing about whatever you want is an immense freedom
As a journalist you can and should have an opinion, but when you write your articles it's not about what you think, it's about what other people say or about what experts have proven to be true. As a blogger however you can be almost as subjective as you want, which for me is just such a freedom. I mean sure, on a blog you don't have a guarantee that the given information is right, but at least you get the opinion of a person like you and me and not the 100th, only slightly changed version of a press release.