“Nobody paid attention to me when I did opinion. They paid attention when I brought local stories out that nobody else had covered. And that’s where I got the traction.”
That’s hard-earned Web wisdom from Michael Sandoval about his early days of blogging. He appeared on a recent new media and politics panel, hosted by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colo.
Sandoval just completed a prolific stint as the Battle ’10 Colorado correspondent for National Review Online, and was one of the co-founders of the People’s Press Collective in 2008. He appeared on the Nov. 15 panel with Kelly Maher of WhoSaidYouSaid.com, and Todd Shepherd of CompleteColorado.com.
For those who want to start blogging about news and politics, Sandoval cautioned that it requires a “stick-to-it-ive-ness to do this day in and day out, because nobody will read you if you blog once a week, or once a month. You have to be doing this frequently.”
He also outlined three ‘R’s:
RECENCY. “Everything happens 24/7/365. Everybody else is going to be on this. And this is even more true now with Facebook and Twitter. You have to be on top of things. So, if something’s coming out; to help report on it, get out there and be ahead of the news cycle.”
REGIONAL. Some people “want to be the 35,000th person to comment on Obama’s latest plan. Well, nobody cares. I hate to break it to you, but nobody gives a fig about what you think about Pres. Obama’s latest plan…”
“…So keep it regional. It has to be local. You have to stick to that.”
RELEVANCY. “You have to be giving people something that’s interesting, but also not crying wolf. You can’t constantly push that button.”
Part of the relevancy, he said, entails notifying contacts at major media outlets when you’ve posted something particularly newsworthy. “I did that, you know, very sparingly, but I did it,” he said. “You still have to market yourself.”