Good business blogs need voice, focus and frequency
The best business blogs have a voice, a focus on a topic and are frequently updated, said Jamie Hammond, editor in chief of AOL Money & Finance.
“You’ve got to mix it up,” said Hammond. “You’ve got to have a voice that brings people in to participate.”
Hammond was speaking Thursday via videoconference to a group at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is holding a series of weekly conversations called “Inside the Future of News” with online newsrooms.
Hammond said that AOL’s Money & Finance team has two editors who oversee a group of about 100 bloggers and editors that are contractors. Some of them are paid by post, while others are paid by the hour. “The vast majority are not doing it for the money,” said Hammond. “They are doing it for the exposure.”
AOL Money & Finance runs the Bloggingstocks.com blog, which recently had 2 million unique users in one month, said Hammond. It launched Walletpop.com, a consumer finance blog, in December. That blog had more unique visitors than Bloggingstocks.com in its first month, he added.
Another one of the group’s top blogs is Bloggingbuyouts.com, which covers private equity and has been around for about a year.
Hammond said that the bloggers work in tandem with the news staff. Sometimes, a blog post will be inserted into a spot on the AOL page that a news story would ordinarily fill. And sometimes, editors suggest to bloggers that the expand on a business news item.
But Hammond said there is still a future for strong reporting in covering business. “There’s still going to be a need for great reporters,” he said. “That’s very important.”