There is so much more to having a successful article online than just pressing publish

I wrote yesterday about “8 things we learned covering #GE2015 for Ampp3d & UsVsTh3m” and my friend/former colleague/drinking partner/fellow Doctor Who fan/beard rival Richard Beech chipped in with another couple in a blog post on the blog that he said he would never ever have.

I was particularly struck by these paragraphs, about taking an article that looks like it is going to do well, and really nursing it along:

If the early signs on social media and real time analytics show it could be a winner, you need to nurse it and get the best out of it. Change up the headline a few times on the index page to see which gets the most click throughs, tweet it with a few different headlines (whichever one does best should become your social headline), look at how far down the article people are reading and try to figure out why they are closing the tab half way through.

The old approach of writing your copy to a deadline, filing it, and letting the subs do their work is just not how it works online, be your own sub and make informed decisions based on the wealth of information you have available to you.

I worry that far too many people in digital newsrooms still feel that writing the story they want to write and chucking it over the wall to see if it’ll do any traffic is the way to demonstrate editorial integrity and independence.

And having just sat through an event where one of the questions was a worry that knowing something about SEO or writing for social risks “losing the craft” of journalism, I thought it was worth drawing attention to Richard’s words.

He’s going to be starting at Buzzfeed soon. They are pretty smart at spotting people who know their digital stuff.

Read Richard’s whole debut blog post on the blog about journalism that he never wanted: “I started a blog and my first piece is actually just piggybacking on somebody else’s