Reporters are seasoned pros at writing content that resonates with readers. Whether it’s an informative article for a newspaper or a long-form feature in a magazine, journalists know how to artfully combine research and interviews to write a piece that’s both educational and fun to read.
As a blogger, you can benefit by taking a page from the journalist’s playbook. Read on for journalism writing tips inspired by the Fourth Estate to help you create compelling, newsworthy content of your own.
1. Embrace the inverted pyramid
Picture a pyramid. Now, flip the pyramid on its head: the wide base sits at the top, and the smallest point is now at the bottom.
This image of the inverted pyramid has served as a guideline for generations of journalists. Most news stories are structured like an inverted pyramid. The information at the start of the article forms the “base” of the pyramid — the most critical information the reader needs to know, including the who, what, when, where, and why. As the article progresses, the writer works down to increasingly less important details.
Use the inverted pyramid structure in your own posts to engage readers from the first sentence. Don’t spend too much time on meandering anecdotes at the start of your posts. Instead, start with a strong lead by addressing at least three of the who, what, when, where, and why questions. Give readers a clear understanding of what your post is about and why they should keep reading.
2. Research like a reporter
Reporting and information-gathering is what separates journalists from other types of writers.
Support your blog posts with links to relevant research that supports your claims. If you’re a masseuse writing about the benefits of booking regular massages, for example, you could link to studies that show the physical and mental health benefits of massages. By citing your research, you’ll lend credibility to your blog posts and build trust with readers.
3. Use interviews to generate content
The best reporters are also skilled interviewers. Veteran journalists research their sources, prepare questions in advance, and stay observant throughout interviews, picking up on nonverbal cues like the source’s body language or tension in response to certain questions.
An in-depth, in-person interview may not be a fit for your site’s content needs, but bloggers can use a journalistic Q&A format to create blog content readers will love.
For example, if you write a blog about wedding planning, you could start a Q&A series featuring interviews with professionals across the wedding industry. Interview your subjects via phone or email, and feature the most interesting parts of your conversation on your blog.
For reporters, these skills quickly become second nature. Develop your own nose for newsworthy content by regularly referring back to these journalism writing tips. The more you practice, the more skilled you’ll become at the art of writing, researching, and interviewing like a reporter.
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