Tech Support: Mark Luckie – 10,000 Words

by

TSpic

Getting laid off helped Mark Luckie discover his mission: to help journalists master the digital tools that have transformed the industry.

His blog, 10,000 Words is a go-to resource for journalists and Web aficionados looking for practical tips on video, audio, design and all things multimedia.

Luckie has produced interactive projects for Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times and shares his insight for amateur bloggers and pros. Enjoy!

10000wds

10,000 Words

1. My highest rated post so far has been about:

“10 News photos that took retouching too far”

http://10000words.net/2009/05/10-news-photos-that-took-photoshop-too.html

It really struck a chord with people who saw technology not as a boon to journalism but as a challenge to its accuracy and reliability.

2. My lowest rated post so far has been about:

It’s hard to tell what my lowest-performing post was via analytics and I don’t want to guess.

3. I started blogging because:

There was a need for journalists who wanted to learn new technology but didn’t have one specific place to go. There is a lot of technology on the Web but not for that specific purpose. I wanted to have a space so journalists would have this resource versus having to go all over the place.

4. The longest I’ve ever gone without posting is:

One week. I have a lot of ideas in my head and if I don’t get them down I’ll start going crazy. If I go more than a week it’s because I have other things on my plate.

5. The best thing about blogging is:

This is something that I’m very, very passionate about and I want to share it with people who are passionate as well.

6. The worst thing about blogging is:

The time commitment. Researching for a blog post can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days; then actually writing it takes at least two hours.

7. If you’re going to start a blog, you need to:

Be passionate about what you’re blogging about. So many people start but never finish because they realize how much time you have to put in.

8. Besides my computer, I couldn’t blog without my:

At one point I would have said my iPhone, but it broke, and I realized that I could in fact work without it. Open space with a lot of people, like a library or a coffee shop; somewhere with a good Wi-Fi connection. And any place that’s visually stimulating can also put me in a working mood.

9. The best forms of promotions that have brought more traffic to my blog are:

Twitter. Twitter enables my posts to be sent virally. And StumbleUpon.

10. I would love to guest blog for:

Mashable. I love Mashable. Some people say my site is like the journalism version of Mashable.

11. My advice to new bloggers in one sentence would be:

Blog about what you love and the visitors will come to you.

12. If I knew what I know now about blogging, I would do these two things differently:

Write better. There were past posts where I actually had to go back and correct for sentence structure and grammar. And set up a schedule for myself where I would blog at theses times.

13. True or False: I’m a Full-Time Blogger

Yes.

14. Through advertising, my blog brings a monthly income of:

I purposely don’t seek out advertising for the blog because I don’t want to be a slave to page views. There may be sometimes where I can’t write anything and I don’t want the thought of not having enough page views to be an unneeded pressure in my life.

I get revenues from side projects from people who read the site. It’s great promotion for me.

15. To draw more advertisers I:

I stopped making it about getting readers. I started letting it happen organically. After a while it started to come across as if I was trying too hard. Sending email blasts “everybody read this!” It came off as overeager.

16. My average daily/monthly traffic to my blog is:

2,000 average page views a day. On a good day I can get as high as 20,000.

Mark Luckie

Journalist Mark S. Luckie

Check out 10,000 Words: http://www.10000words.net/ or Twitter @10000Words

Dear Readers:

Did Mark’s advice help you with your own blog? Are you ready to get your idea off the ground? Do you feel confident enough to take your blog to the next level?

Post your comments and share. If you have a blogger you’d like to see featured here hit up Heather Faison AKA Haftime – at haftime09@gmail.com.

Me (Haftime!) and Aliya would love to hear from you…

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9 Responses to “Tech Support: Mark Luckie – 10,000 Words”

  1. Aliya S. King Says:

    I’ve got my own comment to make on this one. I love blogging. But I HATE advertising my blog. I send out notices on Twitter. And I send out messages via Facebook and I hate it. I feel like everyone is rolling their eyes and ignoring my messages. I want to get the word out on my blog, especially when it’s a really good post like this. But how do I do that without being annoying? Mark says he let’s it happen organically. I’m going to try this right now, with this post, and see what happens. I’ve already Tweeted about it. And I’ve posted it to my Facebook profile. But I’m not gonna blast my FB and email contacts the way I normally do…

    Let’s see what happens.

    Readers? In addition to general commenting on Mark’s thoughts, I’d love to know how you advertise your blog…(Anslem, no need for you to respond. I’m well aware.)

  2. Alisha Says:

    Actually, I never advertise my blog. My explanation is a sure sign that I’m insane, but here goes. First, my blog is not focused on any subject matter in particular. It’s just stuff that on my mind or things that happen to me. I figure, why would anyone want to know about that? So I don’t advertise. I don’t even have it linked to my Twitter. I have my LinkedIn page up, instead.

    The second reason is, for the longest time I tried to be anonymous. Eventually, because I wanted to have a connection to the readers, I posted a few pics. Only a select few of my friends and associates know that I blog. Crazy, huh? Who wants a blog with no readers?

    For now, I working on completely changing the direction of my blog. New hosting and a focus on…something.

  3. andrea Says:

    what a great idea! i’ve been learning audio & video techniques mostly through trial and error. (I even thought about going back to school, but who has $50,000 sitting around?) 10,000 Words has so much information I can use for my site. I’m so excited! Can’t wait for the book to come out.

  4. slavismyname Says:

    Someone recently put me on Mark’s blog and I bookmarked it right away. Lots of good, useful information.

  5. phyaflyjones Says:

    This is great advice. As a newbie blooger, I take whatever advice I can get. I’ve started several blogs simply for the sake of blogging. They are now sitting on wordpress with 3 or 4 entries. When I finally found the niche that affored me the ability to write about what I know and love, I HAD to blog about. Oddly enough, this is partially the reason I don’t want to advertise on my blog. Not just yet, anyway. My goal is to allow it to happen organically. My readers are personal to me and to place ad on my blog that don’t them would undermine my purpose.

  6. la negrita Says:

    Aliya I’m with you. When I had my site, I rarely advertised. I just don’t have it in me (I envy great sales people!). Felt forced. The #1 thing that did me in was that I didn’t update regularly. I had no doubt that if I was consistent, I’d build an audience in no time.

    E-mail/FB/Twitter blasts might work for some people. But I never visited anyone’s site because they said: “Hey, looka me! LOOKA MEEEE!!!” I visited because I liked what I read.

  7. la negrita Says:

    “The second reason is, for the longest time I tried to be anonymous.”

    Me too, ha! If my name wasn’t so uncommon, I would’ve been more open. But because I have dreams that require top security clearances, and because Google hates me…I wasn’t. :-p

  8. Mignon Says:

    I don’t know any other effective ways to create a buzz around your blog besides twitter and facebook. But, I did join Hootsuite, which is like a professional twitter client (that’s free online by the way), and that let’s me track how many people are clicking links I tweet. That may be good for you Aliya in at least knowing if people are actually clicking your links or if they are indeed giving you the side-eye.

    I think that once people know your brand is valuable and you already have a good and loyal readership (which you do Aliya), the readers will definitely come to you organically. I question this method for newer bloggers though. What if you don’t have a loyal following, how can you expect readers to come organically even if you are writing about something you love? I realize this doesn’t happen overnight but still, chances are they won’t just stumble onto your blog by happenstance. You’d definitely have to do some sort of marketing.

    I fall into this category too though. I have readers but when I post things that I want more people to know about, I’m scratching my head as to how to get that done. I’m ready to take this blogging thing to the next level though. Mark’s advice is definitely a jumping off point but I don’t know, I feel like there has to be more to it. If you blog it, they will come? Maybe I’m looking too hard into it, but for some reason it doesn’t sound that simple to me. I’m going to give it a try though.

  9. Jamie Fleming Says:

    I’ll definitely be checking out Mark’s blog.

    When it comes to advertising my own blog, I usually just put something on Twitter a couple of times a week and Facebook. That’s about it. I don’t want to be all in people’s faces, crowding their inboxes. I figure if they know about the blog and want to read it, they will.

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