How to: Bail out of your newspaper and dive into the blogosphere


Revolutions in new media revolution have put old media into an unpleasant situation, one in which they have to grasp at the potential of the Internet in order to evolve and stay alive, as The New York Times first noticed.

Grasping the potential of the Internet means understanding how to leverage the power of social media. Readers must be spoken to in the newspaper’s columns and on its blog.

To facilitate this passage and to help journalists who have lost their job due to the crisis, Six Apart in December launched the TypePad Journalists Bailout Program.

Six Apart is offering for free:

  • A professional blogging platform such as TypePad Pro
  • Advertising services to bring traffic to the blog, thanks to advertising agency Six Apart Media
  • Promotion of the blog on and a little training about the use of the blogging tools, including lessons on how to write for the Internet

This is indeed a great help for journalists willing to us a blog to engage their audiences and express themselves more freely than they would in the pages of the newspaper or magazine for which they write.
Unfortunately, the TypePad Journalist Bailout Program is at the moment available only to journalists living in the US or Canada, who have to send Six Apart the latest article they published online or offline to enter the program.

The rest of the world, Europe included, is at the moment ineligible. But if the fund availability increases, Six Apart will broaden its program’s reach.

In the meantime, the best start for people willing to get into blogging is signing up for a free Wordpress account. On Wordpress’ website there are lots of tutorials about how to use a blog and how to promote it.

After a few weeks of practicing it’s also possible to create a personal installation on Wordpress on a dedicated hosting server, a painless operation thanks also to the import feature that brings all the old content onto the new blog.

Tools useful to spread the word about a blog and its content is SEO (Search Engine Optimization), an extremely complex theme that can be easily approached by reading Google’s short Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

It’s important to constantly remind yourself: You don’t need to be a pro or a geek to create and run a blog. Content is the king. It will take you far. Still, a little bit of knowledge about how the Internet works can make the difference.

Flickr photo from user edrabbit