Feb 15, 2014

Writing Tips: Finding Newsworthy Topics for Any Examiner Title

Photo by moppet65535

When publishing on Examiner, writers can get a boost in page views by getting articles approved as newsworthy.  Not all articles approved as such will get into the search engine news feeds, but just getting the newsworthy designation on Examiner will improve credentials.  As the dashboard meter climbs, it will cause future news articles to be reviewed more quickly and, if worthy, sent into the news feed immediately.  The latter can be a big boost if writing on a breaking news topic and you can scoop other writers..

If you write top news stories or about celebrities and other hot topics, you probably already have sources that you get information from, but what about your Examiner titles that are a little more obscure, and not generally in the news?

Tip:  Make sure you're following Examiner's criteria for writing a quality news article.

In my experience, you can find news items to write about on just about any topic.  Not everything will be headline news, but if something happened within the last 48 hours and you have a dated source to refer to, it can still be tagged as news.  Readers who share similar interests on topics you write about will be happy to read something that isn't about the latest celebrity wardrobe malfunction, or who is having whose baby, so read on to learn how to find news topicst for even the most general subjects that you write about.

Google Alerts

The Google Alerts tool is my preferred way to find newsy topics to write about since notifications are sent directly to my email, and I don't have to go digging elsewhere.  In a previous article about google alerts, I shared how it can be helpful for writers to find people who might be stealing their articles as their own, but the mechanics of setting up the google alert is the same as I explained there.

To find breaking news to write about, set up a google alert for a word or phrase that fits the topic of your Examiner titles, and choose whether you want to receive notification of anything that publishes with that word/phrase, or just news items.  You can also set how often you want to get the alert - as it happens (separate email immediately after something indexes on google), or a daily/weekly email with a compilation of everything that popped up during that timeframe.

I set mine to as it happens so that I get the most up-to-date information and can make the 48 hour window that Examiner requires for items to be considered newsworthy.

Tip:  Make a separate email folder for google alerts and use filters to direct emails directly there.  Google alerts on some topics might generate numerous emails a day, and it will be much easier to find and filter through them if they're contained in a separate folder.

Social Media

I mentioned social media sites in a post about how to find ideas to write about, and you can take the information therein and apply it to newsworthy articles as well.  If you're a celebrity writer, use interest lists on Facebook and lists on Twitter to watch for your favorite headliners to post something that might be worthy of an article.  The Facebook post or Twitter tweet with the timestamp is suitable as a source to show that you're reporting within the 48 hour window that Examiner requires for news.  Everyone and their dog has a Facebook page (including my own dogs!) and Twitter account, so you should be able to find all sorts of interesting things to write that would be considered newsworthy.

Still Not Convinced?

To show that you can indeed write newsworthy articles on just about any topic out there, I'll use my own articles as proof.  One of my Examiner titles is for crafts and I write a lot about crochet, since that's one craft that I know a lot about.  I have google alerts set to email me whenever the words crochet, knit, and knitting index as news on google.  None of these topics would be considered headline news, but I wrote and published these articles after receiving google alerts, and they do fit the parameters that Examiner has set forth for an article to be deemed as newsworthy:

Nebraska teen crochets through arthritis pain to help others
Norway's 'Slow TV' to feature 5-hour knitting contest
Third annual Stitch 'n Pitch scheduled during Fort Wayne Tincaps Game
Giant knitting needles and crochet hook to beat Guinness World Record

If I can write news about crocheting, you should have no trouble finding newsworthy topics to write about for your own Examiner title(s).

~ Marie Anne


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