• Scott Herring

How to Use Newsjacking on Your Blog

Newsjacking is using a breaking news story as a vehicle to draw attention to your story. In a twist, I previously defined evergreen content as the inverse of newsjacking. Guess what -- newsjacking is the opposite of creating evergreen content. Both methods have their place in your blogging repertoire as they tackle different goals.


Newsjacking is about making short term gains. If your headline is topical and intriguing, you can capture new eyeballs on your blog. I'm watching March Madness right now -- it happens once a year and it's hugely popular. So I could write a post around that topic and pick up some visitors who want to see how I tie into it. Last year (and maybe still this year, unfortunately), it was COVID or the U.S. elections. But you can newsjack all kinds of topics: the Grammy Awards, a local event, a hot topic in your industry. Ideally, you want to create a link using an analogy or feeling that the reader can identify. Using our examples, we might go with "Why March Madness Makes Me Blog Faster", "10 New Dishes for Home Dining during Quarantine" or "My Predictions for Spring WritersCon 2021". At the start of the story, you need to make that link and crystalize that connection, with support coming after.


Unlike evergreen content, newsjacking stories kinda suck after a period of time. Once that conference is over or there's COVID blogging fatigue, it's much less effective. So don't use it all the time. We'll talk about goals momentarily, but don't be a one-trick blogging pony. I'm looking at you, Buzzfeed.


Note, if I were newsjacking from MSN today, the hot stories are about spring break (COVID), US immigration, racial issues, March Madness, and the latest stimulus payments. If you read this in 2022, those topics will probably be far less relevant (except March Madness...).



Newsjacking Goals


Drive Traffic


As just explained, this is a short-term way to get traffic. But you don't want traffic to bounce, right? How can you drive visitors to other topics? In your story, add links. Have a "show related" option on your blog. Write great stuff that makes the reader crave more.


Add Subscribers


CONVERT, man! Turn visitors into subscribers. Make sure you have a subscribe link prominent on your site. Consider using exit-intent popups [https://www.renegadeblogger.com/post/popups-suck-and-how-to-fix-them].


Build Brand


What are you doing with your blog that builds your brand? Are you snarky like us? Are you smart, funny, colorful, approachable? STAND OUT. Don't be vanilla in a freezer full of vanilla. Show who you are in your newsjacked posts. Entertain, inform, engage.



Newsjacking on Your Blog


Do you think you can make this technique work? If you try it, and we recommend that you do, keep your eyes on the prize. Don't just do it to do it, you know, without goals. And don't do it too often, or you'll irritate your audience, bolster your bounce rate, and hurt your SEO. It's a tool, not a toolbox.



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