Here’s a blogging tactic you may want to adopt one day — add on to someone else’s topic. This post is a real example of how it works.
Greg Satel’s post on October 9 is on “learning tips from the media pros.” Read it. It’s great. So great, in fact, that I’m abandoning my original idea for this week and adding a thought on to his. I’m even using a similar graphic to show continuity.
Although traditional media has had its downturns lately, the pros do know a thing or two about writing, writing style, consistency and writing voice. It’s an amazing training ground. Here’s something I learned from newspaper columnists.
Take a vacation.
Columnists, the newspaper writers most similar to bloggers, have grueling, never-ending deadlines. They need to be published at least once a week – largely on Sundays – but it’s not uncommon for a columnist to be found several different days of the week as a means for the paper to build daily circulation based on the columnist’s popularity.
Because they are employees covered by employment policies and laws, and because newspaper publishers are smart enough to know the dangers of “burn out,” columnists are allowed to go on vacation. Sometimes they even takeextended vacations not common in the newspaper industry. What happens to the column when they do? The editor smartly does not let the space go black. Instead, one of two tactics are employed:
Tactic A: Old columns are re-published. The editor will write a caveat such as:
“Joe Smith is currently on vacation. This column, one of his most popular, originally appeared on whatever date. Enjoy and we all look forward to Joe’s return with lots of new stories.”
Tactic B: Guest columnists are employed. The editor will write a caveat such as:
“Jane Doe is currently on vacation. To give her a much-needed break and time to uncover new stories, Joe Smith has agreed to sit in for the next two weeks.”
Today, I was actually thinking of taking a vacation from my 3-year old blog The Parent Rap. My daughter called me yesterday and asked why I don’t get to have weekends like other people. Why? I blog! But, it got me to thinking that it was time to give myself a break and treat newer readers to an old post they may have missed. Tactic A is going into effect!