Journalists and bloggers: “create assets” instead of “writing stories”

future reporter

This advice is geared towards journalists, but could be applied all bloggers. It sound “biz speaky,” but I think this guy is correct. This sort of thinking could probably be applied elsewhere as well:

Look first toward creating evergreen assets that readers will continue searching for years in the future. These pieces should be written with search engine optimization in mind, and be stored at unique, easy-to-link URLs that are prominently featured in your site’s navigation.

In 1995, I wrote a short series of one-page tutorials on statistics that continue to be read by a couple thousand people each day. Those assets helped subsidize the next websites that I started, by paying their hosting fees and for some start-up equipment (laptops, cameras, etc.) I’d recommend that any journalist looking to establish himself or herself online start by identifying evergreen assets that he or she could create: how-to articles; sharp, concise explainers of complicated issues, smart guides to popular destinations, etc. Take what you know from your favorite beat and dive in.

Don’t fall into the trap of looking for popular search engine bait. How many people in two years will be looking for the Conan O’Brien/Jay Leno posts that so many folks wrote last week? The most valuable assets have enduring value.

Online Journalism Review: Build a better journalism career by shifting your focus from writing stories to creating assets

I found this via Jay Rosen, who notes that when he writes his longer PressThink articles he tries to make them enduring assets and cites this as a specific example.

I might cite my biopunk article as an example of an asset.

(Photo by RepĆ³rter do Futuro / CC BY 2.0)

Update: Check out this PDF guide to creating “flagship content” – I like the term “flagship content” better than “asset.”

1 Comment

  1. Check out the PDF I link to in the update if you’re interested in learning more about how to apply this idea.

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