What Bloggers Should Consider in their Editorial Line

Jun
30

santa monica

Having a clear editorial line will save you time and headaches in determining what is right for your blog. And your content will be more cohesive once you set a clear direction.

As a bonus, doing this exercise can refine or fill holes in your niche since you will need to analyze what you do from different angles. The editorial line has impacts internally and externally. Therefore, it should cover your relationships with all parties. You will need to clearly define:

1. Who is your targeted audience. I put the targeted audience before the topics because your targeted audience will influence the forms of content that you will produce. Otherwise, you will not serve your audience properly.

2. What are the topics that you will cover and which forms your content will take. You must be thorough. Address the philosophy and the big picture, but also name specific topics, talk about the tone and the types of articles that you will produce.

Specify the length of your articles, the format (text, photos, videos), the frequency. If you have writers, what are the approval process for articles. Make sure to give a written copy of your editorial policy to your columnists.

3. How to manage your relationships with marketers and PR professionals. Do you accept samples or to attend events? Which samples will you accept? Do you always write about the samples you received or do you write only about the ones you like? Etc…

You should publish your policies regarding samples and invitations on your blog. This way, your readers and marketers are aware of how you work.

4. How to deal with advertisers. What is acceptable to you, and your readers? How do you protect your editorial from advertising? What form of advertisements are you looking for? How many ads per page will not undervalue your content? Do you accept contests and giveaways? Etc..

5. How do you fit Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare into the mix. Which content do you tweet or put on your Facebook page? What complementary content will you share? Under which circumstances do you tweet about a media event? Etc…

Your challenge will be to set clear and simple rules that are easy to understand and to follow. Then, each time that you write a story, that receive an invitation to a media event, or that you get a pitch, you simply check if they fit within your editorial line to take a decision.


  • 5 Comments

    • Cookin' Canuck says:

      There is some very helpful advice in this article. I am in the midst of defining the policies for my blog and you have provided food for thought.

    • Michelle Sullivan says:

      Great post, Kim – as a PR consultant who works with bloggers on a regular basis, I invest a lot of time (and pleasure) in building relationships with bloggers both online and off. I approach bloggers respectfully, asking them about their policies, and whether or not they’re interested in hearing from me about my client’s products when I think they might be interesting for their readers. I also hear a lot of negative feedback from bloggers who feel that marketers and PR consultants don’t take enough time to get to their blog before they approach them.

      With so many companies now asking their agencies to contact bloggers on their behalf, I’d encourage bloggers .. and particularly those who don’t care to be approached by us marketing/PR types and the companies we work for .. to follow your advice and clearly outline their blogging policy. Hopefully they’ll save themselves some time and aggravation, and build productive and mutually beneficial relationships with agencies who engage them.

      And shame on any PR/marketing pro who doesn’t respect what’s written there, or who doesn’t take the time to do their research.

      • kvallee says:

        I must add that Michelle Sullivan does a lot to educate her industry on what are the best practices. For one thing, she is a member of the organizing team of Third Tuesday in Montreal. I’m working on a post that will outline some of the things bloggers want or expect when they receive a PR pitch.

    • suzanne vachon says:

      Eureka!! I finally found you, you are my only hope and only help, you are clear, concise and accessible, I am a senior decogirl blogger and you are the only intelligible, comprehensible explanatory blog for bloggers.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, I am now reading your blog and I am totally illuminated by it.

      Suzanne

    • Jeff says:

      This was extremely helpful. Thank you

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