1 December 2008

Starting a Killer Celebrity Blog: 50 Tips and Resources

So you want to be the next Perez Hilton, but have no idea where to start? Fear not. Thankfully, becoming a celebrity blogger isn’t really any different from becoming a regular blogger – all you need is the passion for your subject and the perseverance to post every day. There are plenty of free resources online to help you reach your goals quickly, so take in some of this advice and start breaking some celebrity news.

Getting Started

The first thing you’ll need to do is research how to actually set up a blog, as well as how to market yourself once it’s up and running. Check out these handy articles for a little direction.

  1. eHow: eHow gives you a step-by-step resource outlining the basic strides you’ll need to take to get your blog off the ground. Beyond the obvious point that you’ll need to first create and name the blog, the article offers hints on how to attract readers.
  2. Wisdump: Before you go thinking that you can steal whatever photos you want from Google Images, read this article from Wisdump, which will help you learn how to access the snazziest shots in a legal manner, as well as give you great tips for establishing your celebrity blog.
  3. Acosmin: Acosmin writes an in-depth, two-part article about creating and starting your own celebrity blog. One of its main points is that, in this business, you can’t skimp on design.
  4. Lonely Marketer: The Lonely Marketer gives helpful tips for anyone looking to become a first-time blogger. While not specific to celebrity bloggers, it’s still very helpful.
  5. Courtney Tuttle: Courtney Tuttle writes an engaging essay on starting your own for-profit blog, but perhaps the best reason to visit this site is the more than 50 instructional videos she has posted on the topic – a gem of a resource.
  6. Wikihow: Another strong primer, complete with a video tutorial on how to set up your blog.
  7. Michael Hyatt: Michael Hyatt sets forth some basic knowledge about starting a blog, but one new piece of information covered is how to use an offline blog client to post entries even while you are away from your desk.
  8. Blog Success Journal: The Blog Success Journal wants you to start a blog and make money. Learn how to generate profit through posting.
  9. CarloCab : Carl Ocab gives you an easy checklist to follow for setting up a successful blog and reaping the rewards.
  10. Top Business Review: Don’t learn as you go – get it all up top from the get-go. This thorough article gives 75 steps to follow for a fool-proof blog that will generate readership.

Choosing Your Style

Are you going to be the kind of blogger who rewards Paris Hilton’s shady fashion picks with praise and drool or the kind that’s going to slam her witlessness no matter what she’s wearing? In order to decide on the tone of your celebrity blog, you’ll have to research the competition. Only in knowing what’s out there will you know how to set yourself apart from the pack. Here’s a sample of several well-read and successful celebrity blogs.

  1. Perez Hilton: If you are tying to get into the field of celebrity blogging, then you most certainly have heard of Perez Hilton. The self-styled pink blogger, Hilton’s tone ranges from snarky to adoring – bottom line is: if you want to be like Hilton, you can’t be afraid to pull out some punches now and then or to make friends with the stars you rag on most.
  2. TMZ: These ruthless celebrity bloggers even have their own shock-journalism TV show detailing their guerilla methods of catching the stars on camera.
  3. People: While maybe not technically considered a blog, People’s website is packed full of celebrity news updated to the minute. And it’s about as straightforward and balanced as a celebrity site can be – no rib pokes here.
  4. Dlisted: Dlisted is a lively and fun celebrity blog that has been voted in the top 10 snarkiest celebrity blogs on the web. Perhaps that explains their motto: “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
  5. Celeb Crust: These bloggers choose to post almost solely about celeb mess-ups, embarrassing quotes, and overall blunders. If you’re going for a no-mercy style, check them out for inspiration.
  6. Babyrazzi: If, like many people in today’s society, you are obsessed with celebrity pregnancies and offspring, you might consider specializing your blog toward the subject. When Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt can fetch $14 million for photos of their newborns, you know the world has gone astray. Babyrazzi is a blog focusing solely on celebs and their babies and a great site after which to model your own baby blog.
  7. The Celebrity Blog: Don’t expect to find anything too juicy here, but do expect to find lots of celebrity photos and news about celeb appearances around town.
  8. The Superficial: A sarcastic and lively read, The Superficial both bemoans the power of celebrity in today’s culture while simultaneously coveting it, somewhat reluctantly, at every turn. If you love celeb gossip, but don’t want people to think you really love celeb gossip, The Superficial’s style may be for you.
  9. Couture Candy: Do you just pay attention to celebs because you want to see what they’re wearing? Couture Candy is a thorough blog with a fashion-loving author.
  10. Celebrity Plastic Surgery: Everyone in Hollywood has had some work done, and this blogger wants to expose it all!

Social Media

Today you’re nobody in the blogging world unless you’re hooked in with the online social networking communities. Setting up profiles on all these high-traffic sites will help you build an audience in no time.

  1. Facebook: A no-brainer here, if you want to be in touch with what’s going on in the world you’ve got to get a Facebook page. Befriend other celebrity bloggers and join all the celeb news groups you can find.
  2. Twitter: The life of a blogger is ruled by your need to post, post, post. You’ve got to be on all the time, so creating a Twitter account to follow your competition, allies, and those you are covering will help you stay on top of the latest news second by second.
  3. MySpace: While MySpace is almost a bit outdated, the sad truth is that so many celebrities still use it as a soapbox for their daily feelings and moods. So get a MySpace page and start asking for adds.
  4. Linkedin: LinkedIn may seem too stodgy for a hip celebrity blogger like yourself, but unfortunately you must approach your passion like a profession. And making a diverse list of professional contacts will help you expand the reach of your blog more quickly.
  5. Plurk: Plurk is a fun, new social networking site that recommends “interesting” people for users to check out, and offers users the chance to blog straight on their Plurk page. Called a “social journal for your life”, Plurk will let you easily market your blog to many members.
  6. My Blog Log: My Blog Log lets you have a dialogue with the people who are following you and checking out your page.
  7. Ning: A fast-growing social networking site, Ning actually lets you create your own social networking platform based around your area of interest, which your readers can join. Ning is a terrific and highly interactive way for you to connect with your readers.
  8. Bebo: Bebo boasts a lot of members and plenty of new media applications that users can add to their page – a fun way for you to connect with your readers and build an audience.
  9. Stickam : If you have a webcam and you know how to use it, Stickam is the place for you. It’s a social-networking community that allows users to connect with one another via live streaming video.
  10. Xanga: Xanga connects bloggers with other bloggers, so get yours hooked into this incredible resource ASAP.

Being a Reporter

While some may argue that celebrity bloggers aren’t “real” journalists, you know that to be good at what you do you will need to know how to dig up dirt and write a compelling article. Here are some general journalism resources that will help you up your game.

  1. How to Do Things: A step-by-step article on how to become a journalist, which focuses on how to get the right education and get your foot in the door.
  2. New York Times: This article is a great demonstration of how millions of people are using their cell phones to get ahead in the journalism and blogging world.
  3. The Guardian : The Guardian ran this story about the rise of citizen journalism. Take advantage of the trend and get your name out there by not only blogging, but submitting your news to citizen journalism websites.
  4. Online Journalism Blog: This content-heavy blog will give you any and all information you could possibly ever need to know about being a journalist in the online community. This site is a serious resource you’ll want to bookmark for knowledge and inspiration.
  5. Editorialiste : A blog that’s specifically dedicated to online journalism and blogging likens being a blogger to working in an online sweatshop. Get ready for some serious elbow grease.
  6. MediaBistro: It costs about $50 a year, but a membership to MediaBistro will pay itself off in a day. You will want to read up on all the city blogs, as well as check out the “How to Pitch” section to see how you can best attract the attention of some major editors.
  7. Project for Excellence in Journalism : The PEJ may be a bit serious for those of you simply wanting to write about celebrity infants and shoes, but for those wanting to take their craft a bit further, and perhaps mix in some real-world content, the PEJ is a great resource that can help you perfect your craft.
  8. Newsvine: This article is titled “How to Be a Professional Journalist with No Prior Experience.” If this is you in a nutshell, start reading.
  9. MSNBC : MSNBC has an entire section of its website dedicated to citizen journalists, so try submitting your content to generate a wider audience.
  10. Online Journalism Review : The OJR says you can be a better journalist by “unlearning” traditional journalism rules and moving your business online.

General Tips and Resources

  1. Tips for New Bloggers : This blog claims to be the dummies guide for all things blog-related. Read up for step by step instructions on making your blog the best.
  2. RSS Specifications : To truly be successful, you will need to give your readers the opportunity to download your content straight to their RSS feed, so they can truly keep up with your genius posts. Figure out how you can make your blog compatible with this technology with this handy resource.
  3. Seth Godin : Marketing guru Seth Godin has written a brilliant and helpful guide on his own blog about how you can attract people to your blog and build a strong audience.
  4. SEO : Matt Cutts is going to help you get discovered by readers without even trying. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the trick for getting innocent web surfers to stumble upon your blog. Make sure that you’re the first person to pop up on a Google search with this article.
  5. Generating Conversation: Since celebrity news is in and of itself rather sensational stuff, generating conversation will probably not be an issue for you. But nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to read this article about how to make your blog as compelling as it can be.
  6. Blendworx: This is a simple list of 51 tips all bloggers should follow in order to be successful.
  7. Journalism Tips for Bloggers: Don’t just futz around with your bad grammar and badly structured blog posts. Be taken as seriously as a New York Times reporter by following these simple journalistic rules.
  8. time Management: Blogging can be a stressful job with constant deadlines and the pressure to stay on top of the competition. These tools for time management will help remove some of the tension from your day-to-day.
  9. Health Tips : Afraid your foray into blogging is going to turn you into a chubby computer-addict with bad skin? It could easily happen to anyone spending that much time behind their laptop. Here are a few health tips to keep you in tip-top shape.
  10. Productivity : An article outlining tips to keep you uber-productive and on top of your game.

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