Seven great ways to pimp your blog from Karl Schneider


This week I went to Pimp my Blog: an event held at City University about ways to use social media, widgets and apps to get your blog noticed (much more effective than a t-shirt, that’s for sure)…

The panel – including FT journalist Martin Stabe, editor Patrick Smith and Tim Glanfield (editor of Beehive City) – all agreed that the trick was publishing good content on a regular basis whilst having the mindset that it is a public and professional site not a ‘blog’ about your cat or other such trivialities.

Karl Schneider – another panellist and the Editorial Development Director of RBI – came up with a nice little list of widgets and apps that are free to use and which make the experience of visiting your blog a bit more exciting. So, in no particular order, here are seven greatways to soup-up your blog:

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Journalists should get snap happy – and here’s an incentive

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Don’t worry; we at Hacks haven’t resorted to just spouting clichés and quotes at you we have a point to make and that point is all about the value of the photograph.

Photography is a subject we have neglected on Hacks and this is something we are rather embarrassed about. Having all been section editors or editor-in-chief of our student newspaper we know from first hand experience how important a photo is to a piece of journalism and to a newspaper or magazine in general.

In fact, issues with photos even prompted both myself and The Student to become ‘photographers’ for the paper, covering sport fixtures and providing images for news stories. Are either of us experts? No. Are we going to be pros in the future? No. All we had were cameras, of varying quality, and a recognition of the importance of a photograph.

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Fellow freelancers, Qluso has arrived

While most young males are dreaming of Megan Fox and Eva Mendez, this young male journo dreams of a world where editor and freelancer can frolic hand-in-hand through fields of commissions.

It’s a world where all those hours spent searching for editor emails don’t exist – it’s a world where, in one place, freelancers can exhibit their work without having to sell their soul to get the gig. It’s a world where a lot of the hard work has been already done for you…

Do I need to see a therapist? Absolutely.

Do I need to dream that dream anymore? Absolutely not!

You see fellow freelancers, Qluso has arrived.

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Debate: blogging – is it actually worthwhile?

Paul Bradshaw, who runs the Online Journalism Blog, has suggested that not writing a regular blog could have an adverse affect on your chances of securing a job in the media. With that in mind, The Student and The Chancer go head-to-head about whether blogging is as worthwhile as everybody makes out.

The Student

FOR: The Student

When it comes to keeping a regularly-updated blog, it’s more a case of ‘why wouldn’t you?’.

Let’s start with the financial implications (or indeed the lack of). Blogging is free through popular Content Manager Systems (CMS) WordPress and Blogger, which allow web users to produce a blog without having to shell out. It’s possible to buy hosting and custom-made themes to expand but this is by no means essential – the content is the key.

Next up is the misconception that having a blog is a time-consuming process. In fact, the beauty of blogging is that it’s a wholly flexible medium, which you can dip into whenever you want. You can do a post every day if you have time but equally there’s no problem with leaving it a week or two between posts if you’re busy with work or studies. And a post doesn’t have to take hours to write either – it can be a ten minute ‘this is what I discovered/found interesting today’ or even a video clip that made you laugh.

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Oh no. I will have to become one of THEM

Chancer and Intern

The Chancer (left) and The Intern (right)

On Monday morning myself, The Student and The Detective were sat in a lecture about the much-debated, much-loved and much-mocked field of online journalism. Paul Bradshaw gave the lecture and began by telling everyone that they could tweet him with the hashtag for the lecture. Out came the iPhones, Blackberrys, Androids, Samsungs and more. And there I sat with my Sony Ericsson T280 (I found out its exact name by googling ‘Sony Ericsson old’) which is incapable of tweeting, accessing the internet or doing anything remotely social media-ish.

Not to be deterred I began texting updates to The Intern and was pleased to see the tweets from the Wannabe Hacks appearing on the big screen. By the way, before you all start shouting and hollering that you can text tweets to Twitter, I know, my phone doesn’t do that either. But the more I hurriedly text, desperately hoping for some shameless publicity, the more I realised something which disturbed me greatly.

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The reading list: Week 4

So, it’s Sunday and that time of the week where we let you know what journalists, journals and online articles have been the focus of our hack-ttention.

Please let us know of any other interesting blogs/sites/articles by commenting below, emailing us at or tweeting us (@wannabehacks). Here is the run down:

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