Monday, December 15, 2008

Going global

I was thrilled to see a comment to the entry below, "Future of Newspapers" from a reader in the United Kingdom. He recommended this story about the fall of American newspapers. I have a story pitch on about the future of Bay Area newspapers, focusing on how they will deal with the Internet. Read the comment for yourself in the posting below. He advised blogging for a niche, which I'm doing here but plan to expand on in another blog somewhere down the road, hopefully soon.

At the newspaper guild meeting today in San Francisco where owner Tim White discussed how to make money from blogging. He had many great ideas, but the basic one was to find your niche and blog about it deeply. That's the issue I have to figure out over the next few weeks. I'd like to start another blog about something I feel passionate about, but my problem is that I don't think I'd want to blog about something I'm a fan of (such as Oakland A's) because it might take away from the fun of going to baseball games if I have to think of blogging about it all of the time. I'm interested in a lot of different things, and need to focus on one and blog on it in the hope that it will reach a large audience and thus get some ad clicks.

Sample topics I'm thinking about starting another blog include: chocolate, high thread count sheets, storytelling through journalism, Hawaii, favorite foods from around the country, and chocolate chip cookies. I must be hungry, I'm listing so much food.


John Freeman said...

The most important part of a niche blog' is to play to your strengths and capitalise on what you already know. I'm sure that this current blog, 'Diary of an Unemployed Dad' has its own sales points: right now, there are one heck of a lot of people out there facing the same issues and problems you have, but you're showing resilience and fortitude in the face of them, surely something that's an inspiration to many. Properly focused, and by referencing similar blogs and web sites, you could make more of this, the quest for a job becoming something that you could ultimately turn into a book.

All your suggestions for niche are dependent on you knowing about them well. The knock on is that as you grow your audience -- for example encouraging RSS subscription -- you may well pick up freelance work on the back of your knowledge. So although the blog doesn't make money in the short term, its popularity could pay dividends and raise the profile of your pitches.

jm said...

I'm new at being unemployed, and very new at blogging. So new in fact, that this is my first post.

The comments about a focused blog and building a larger readership to generate more ad clicks is something I've been thinking about. I'm unemployed for the first time in 25 years, and am happier now than I've been in a long time. In the back of my mind, I'd like to do something other than write programs for a living. I was able to work from home prior to being laid off from my position in IT (telecomm), and really enjoyed the home office and flexible hours. My wife has been very supportive, and even suggested that she "liked having me home alot more than she though she would".

I've got alot of outside interests as well, but don't really know what my niche is. Although I don't think I'll get rich by blogging, I am rather excited at the potential for doing something else for a living for the rest of my life.

BTW, I've only been reading your tales of enemployment for a couple of days, and am really enjoy it.

John Freeman said...

Thinking my first comment through, I just want to add that no way do I hope that you are unemployed for any length of time. I hope I did not come across that way.

Local journalists are having a hard time here in the UK, too. 11 journalists face redundancy in the North West following a decision by Newsquest, owned by Gannett, who own USA Today, to close several of their local free papers. The decision comes before a supposed 30-day 'consultation' has even been completed. My latest news story on this is here:

I was made redundant in October but have a new job starting in January: I consider myself very lucky. Again, best of luck.