Looking for a new blog to follow? We’ve got you covered with our top picks!
Kelsey | Account Executive | @TheAgencyKelsey
We’re always looking for great articles on the best ways to pitch the media, but recently I stumbled upon an entire blog based on the topic. Best Pitch I Ever Got is an ingenious platform that helps PR pros better understand what the media are really looking for in a pitch.
Similar to The Agency’s blog series ‘Questions for Journalists,’ Best Pitch I Ever Got asks journalists a series of questions – everything from their favourite beat to their top pitching tips – and shares each response on the blog. This is a good resource, especially when it comes to familiarizing yourself with different journalists and their publications. I would go so far as to say that Best Pitch I Ever Got is basically a cheat sheet for us PR peeps – a one-stop shop for insider secrets.
I also like the refreshing angle of Best Pitch I Ever Got. As PR people, we encounter articles written by journalists on a daily basis about what we’re doing wrong in our interactions with them. Best Pitch I Ever Got is a great way to avoid being the inspiration for one of those articles.
What to learn from about blogging from BestPitchIEverGot.com: Make sure the information on your blog is easily consumable – like Best Pitch I Ever Got, where the page is simple to navigate and esthetically pleasing!
Heidi | Content & Editorial Manager | @TheAgencyHeidi
My blog pick, admittedly, might be a bit of a cop-out. It’s less of a straightforward blog, and more of a publishing platform – Medium. Since Medium was launched by Twitter cofounders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, I have been fascinated by both the content published on the site, as well as the beautiful ways publishers have utilized its unique design style.
My favourite feature of Medium is that they send me collections of content that I might be interested in, either based on what I have read on the site, or on recommendations from Medium staff. I am a voracious reader, and I can spend hours reading pieces on Medium. Lately, I have found myself glued to Backchannel, which publishes and curates pieces from the tech world. I love the sheer diversity of pieces on the channel. One story that sticks out for me is a series called “The Overdose,” which chronicled how a patient in San Francisco was given an outrageous dose of a drug despite the technological barriers that were supposed to stop something like that from happening. Another great publication I would recommend on Medium is Matter.
If you haven’t already checked out Medium, the above two publications are my picks for places to start. The Medium homepage also features article recommendations from their staff. There is a wide variety of topics on the site that appeal to everyone, which is why it is my favourite blog.
What to learn from about blogging from Medium.com: Get creative! Don’t restrict yourself when given the chance to try new things. Medium offers a blank slate for publishers both for content and design. Take advantage of the creative freedom and find new things to write about, and new ways to display your work.
Meghan | Senior Account Manager | @TheAgencyMeghan
My favourite blog is LaineyGossip.com. I have been reading it daily for ten years. I found it when I fell down an internet black hole searching to find out if Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen were dating around the time that ‘Attack of the Clones’ came out (I was trying to solve a debate with a friend, and no they didn’t get together).
Updated in real time Monday to Friday, averaging between 2,500 – 4,000 words per day, LaineyGossip is a celebrity gossip blog written by Canadian Elaine Lui. The blog started as an email chain between friends that turned into a newsletter, and the newsletter eventually became the blog that is LaineyGossip.com (a full history of the site can been found here).
Why do I like it so much? Everyone needs a ‘brain break’ now and then, and this blog is mine. Lainey writes very well (especially compared to a lot of other gossip bloggers) and I admire her ethical stance on gossip blogging (she refuses to write about ‘sad smut’). She is Canadian, so there is a connection there as well. I admire anyone from Canada that can make it in a tough industry. She also dissects celebrity and gossip culture – she calls it The Faculty of Celebrity Studies – which makes it an interesting read as well. It is never simply ‘X did a stupid thing’ it could be ‘X was a childstar, X did a stupid thing, are the two connected?’. Instead, the incident is examined from a different angle. The site is also very personal. There are more sections than just gossip. On her blog you can find fitness tips, fashion tips, book reviews, and even a baby-naming column. Basically she understands that people who read her site have more than one interest and she’s grown with the demands of her audience.
Finally – Lainey has also written a great book, Listen to the Squawking Chicken, which chronicles her life growing up with her Chinese mother and the life lessons the ‘Squawking Chicken’ taught her.
What to learn from about blogging from LaineyGossip.com: Infusing your writing with personality and your personal story (or your client’s if you are ghostwriting) is a great way to connect and engage your audience.
Arleigh | Principal | @ArleighGV
Like Meghan, my favourite blog, icanhas.cheezburger, is my go-to brain break site. I use it when I’m in the middle of a stressful or busy day to give me a quick insertion of humour and a pick-me-up. I really like that it’s visual and that I can take one or two minutes to scan through a few pictures and move on.
Started in Jan 2007, the site is purely entertainment and super visual. It features images of cats, and other animals with silly quotes and quite often a good sarcastic remark or pun next to them. Off the main icanhas.cheezburger site there are a number of sub sites about celebrities, geek culture, mems, and another one that enjoy browsing – Fail blog – Poorly Dressed. I like the site because the information is nicely categorized and you can quickly browse the first page, have a laugh and get back to work. Also there’s never any NSFW content on the site.
The site is responsible for making internet memes profitable, and for bringing animal-based image macros and lolspeak into mainstream usage. As a site completely dedicated to captioned images, it does very well. A group of investors acquired the blog in September 2007 for US $2million. The site now runs off of advertising revenues and attracts over 20+ million unique visitors any given month – not too shabby for a blog.
If you like pictures, highly visual media, animals, or a good pun about bad fashion sense and need a break at work, then icanhaz.cheezburger is the blog for you. Just set a time limit for browsing, as you can waste a lot of time on the site – lolz
What to learn about blogging from icanhas.cheezburger.com: Good image rich content is king. Get it right and your image will go viral – like grumpy cat. Images that resonate with people are invaluable as they are compelled to click on them, share them, and revisit them. Thus, they interact with the brand that created the image multiple times and hopefully go back for more.
What’s your go-to blog? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @PRTheAgency.