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RIPPED from the Headlines: Writing a Timely Blog {Blogspiration}

timely blog posts rely on headlinesI had a client recently who wanted to pitch a guest post to a really big website—she had some good ideas, but I knew they wouldn’t be accepted because they were missing one key ingredient:

There was no reason why the editors needed to publish her article right now.

What her article needed was something to keep it timely.

Ripped from the headlines!

Take a look at your favorite magazine or news site and see what’s happening in the news.  Is there a way you could use one of those headlines as a jumping off point for a timely blog post?  Take a look at these examples:

  • How to Design A Nursery Fit for a Prince! (for an interior design blog, based on the birth of Prince George)
  • How NOT to be Like A-Rod (for a PR professional’s blog, based on A-Rod’s… er, problems)
  • Be Yourself: Why Athletes Should NOT Return to the Closet for Sochi Olympics (for a life coach’s blog, based on the recent controversy over Russia’s anti-gay laws and the next Olympic games)

If you don’t see a headline you can use today, don’t fret; just keep your eyes open. I heard a fascinating piece on the radio a couple of weeks ago, and was able to send a link to the story to one of my clients as inspiration for a blog post.

You can also think about what’s going on in general: write about the season or an upcoming holiday—even a weird one. It doesn’t even have to be a news story, as long as it’s something that’s in the social consciousness.

How about:

  • Shark Week
  • The Bachelorette meltdown
  • The announcement of the 12th Doctor for Doctor Who (Really? You didn’t know about this? I’m not sure we can be friends…)

This week’s blogspiration: Write a timely blog.

Need some help coming up with an idea? Leave a comment and we’ll help you with some blogstorming!

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19 Responses to RIPPED from the Headlines: Writing a Timely Blog {Blogspiration}

  1. Lacy, This is spot on advice. I used to help my sister-in-law who’s a very successful, national publicist – mainly books and she used to use this technique to write press releases for her clients. As a result, she’d not only get them placed in well known national publications, but the morning shows and evening talk shows. It totally works. Thanks for sharing this timely advice.

  2. Really great idea, I never really thought about using headlines in my posts, but I can totally see how I can use it for my blogs and actually use it to inspire some of my Art work. Thanks for sharing!!

    • It’s a great way to promote your art as well, Aimelie. You have a really specific topic for your blog posts—your art and your challenge—but if you ever do additional posts not centered on a painting or work on promoting your art to other outlets, this is a great way to go.

  3. Ah, FANTASTIC idea. And perfect timing…I’ve been organizing my editorial calendar, so this will help me create ‘timely’ titles, as I see fit. Thanks for the inspiration, Lacy!

  4. Great post!! PartnerUp is my business and we specialise in helping business owners boost sales performance and cash flow through strategic alliances (the best marketing strategy on the planet!). I want to get as much PR coverage as possible. Thoughts?

    • Hmm… Simone, the key to PR is to make the pitch as relevant to the outlet as possible, and give it an angle they can’t resist.

      I heard a great story about a PR lady who helped her husband write and pitch an article about his financial planning business: she tied it to the financial troubles the family was having on Downton Abbey—right during the height of the hype. It got picked up all OVER the place.

      So if you can ride the coattails of an event that’s taking up a lot of space in the social zeitgeist, you’ve got a good chance of getting your story picked up. Make sense? Good luck!

  5. Lacy, I always try to write current blogs and your post is inspiring me to really stretch myself to see current inspiration not just in my life, but as something that will be relevant to the world as a whole. Thank you!

  6. Lacy! Great advice…I have always tried to write timeless pieces but after reading your blog, I need to rethink my approach. It definitely is more enticing to see headlines the feel like “news”. Thanks for offering some new perspective…

  7. Really great advice, Lacy. I’m totally up on current events but never even considered finding a way to add this to my headlines. Definitely food for thought! Thanks!

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