Operating Your Online News Feed

By Maureen Alley

How do you operate your online news feed? Do you repurpose what you find in your Lexis-Nexis file? Please say no.

If you don’t write your own news for your site, tell me, why would someone click on that news piece? It falls under the same thought of newspapers only publishing wire pieces. Unique content makes your brand stronger – makes readers turn to you when they want the news. If the news found on your site can be found in a million other places, readers won’t have a reason to come to you for it.

By writing your own news, you become the expert – not the wire. Use the wire, online sources (Google Reader, Twitter, etc.) to find the news. Write about the news stories using online resources, talk to a few people if you need to enhance the story. And get them published – today! Remember this is news. Writing about a news story that is even a day old online will make it irrelevant.

I know some of you are going to read this and say, “Rewrite the news? I don’t have time for that. I have to do this, that, this and that.” And I say, so what? The publishing process is now daily – if not hourly. And the publishers that can adjust to this and manage these faster deadlines will provide the content readers want when they want it.

I went from being a managing editor for nine issue/year publication to managing editor for a monthly publication with daily online deadlines. I had to adjust from deadlines every four to six weeks, to deadlines every day. It’s not easy, but once you adjust, you’ll look back at your previous deadlines and think about all the stuff you could have accomplished in all that time you had before.

I’m sure there will be many B2B editors who disagree with me in this post, but this is the Web today. This is the future of online publishing success. People expect to read something new every day. Provide your readers with quality news from you – and do it every day.

Maureen Alley is editor for Woodland Management magazine, and freelance writer/editor for other business-to-business publications. She was previously managing editor for Website Magazine and Residential Design & Build magazine. Alley has been an ASBPE member since 2006, and Azbee judge for the last two years. She can be reached at malley13@gmail.com, or visit www.maureenalley.com.

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