JTP Advice: Turning Big News Into a Flood of Original Content

If you want to be a prolific digital content creator, you need to realize that news is only a launching pad for more visible content.

Reporting the news is an essential part of journalism, regardless of your chosen industry. It all begins with the news.

But it's important to remember the word, "begins." In point of fact, especially in the online world, news should be treated as a starting point. Good, productive content creators use that news to create plenty of original content for their website or publication, because they have to.

Why? Anybody surfing the web can find that news anywhere. They'll likely read it at one of the bigger outlets, where it first appeared. If the news is big enough, it will undoubtedly generate plenty of attention but what happens after is what you need to focus on. Big news generates big discussion; everyone is talking about it.

In the immediate interactive world of the Internet, this means you spring into action.

The news is out, now it's time to break it down into every conceivable angle

Within minutes of a huge news break in the world of video games, a ton of consumers are already aware. How are you going to get them to click on your article? If you're only reporting the news - as you should do initially - then you've got nothing new. Once that news is posted, though, it's your responsibility as a go-getter content generator to create a bunch of content related to that news.

For instance, when Grand Theft Auto V was announced for next-gen consoles and PC, the news was plenty big. But if you're going to stand out, you need to start asking questions and write op-eds and editorials based on those questions: Is GTAV on PS4 and Xbox One incentive enough to buy a new system, even if the game itself isn't exactly "new"? Is the ongoing trend of previous-gen games upgraded for next-gen consoles a negative thing? Will it be worth upgrading if a player has already completed the game on PS3 or 360?

Then, after penning the articles, give 'em great, SEO-rich, eye-catching headlines, and you've done your job well.

If you have the means, do the digging and research

Some news might compel you to contact the developer or publisher for more information. Doing so could lead to original content, only it would take the form of more news. The difference is that such news would be unique to you and your site, which is what matters most. So, if a big game gets delayed and the official reason for that delay is either vague or nonexistent, maybe you should pry for a better explanation. You may not get anywhere but hey, it's part of the job.

There are times when even a few minutes of research will uncover new pieces of information that nobody knows. At the very least, that research will probably give you ideas for more related content that builds on the original breaking news. The key it so keep coming up with more ideas, and keep producing content that feeds off huge news. Just remember to keep an eye on the community response; once the novelty of that news begins to wear off, so will the appeal for branching content. For instance, while The Last Of Us: Remastered was hot for a long time, an article on that topic now wouldn't do you much good.

Bottom line: News can be big but unless you're the one to break it, it won't do you much good. You have to be creative and innovative.

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Sep. 12th 2014

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