Arianna Huffington is doing it, Oprah Winfrey is renowned for it as is Martha Stewart and Tina Brown is playing with new forms of it. All of these women have built successful media empires within a traditionally male dominated medium. Encouragingly, there are lots of other savvy young, midlife and post midlife women creating their own media juggernauts. From the newly identified demographic of mummy bloggers, to tweeters, Facebook fans, Pinterest or YouTubers, women are emerging as significant content creators in the digital realm.
In a study of female driven media startups many women expressed dissatisfaction with traditional media. They felt traditional media overlooked the benefits of using new media such as video, social sharing, forums, comments, follow-up articles and personalised stories. Women wanted more community engagement and a focus on smaller events and felt that these were ignored in preference for sports news, political bickering and celebrity gossip.
If you are thinking of starting your own media empire you need little more than a computer, an internet connection and a lot of enthusiasm. You can write about your children, crafts, books, movies, physical activity, relationships, community news, reviews, shopping, technology, education, environment, current events, health, spiritual, social and economic issues with fresh insight and debate.
On the downside, whilst it is easy to create a new media venture it will not necessarily attract readers. Building an audience takes time, effort and no guarantee it will stand out from the millions already online.
Be selective in reading or asking for advice. There are plenty of online sources that offer suggestions and resources. Many of these recommend using social media by constructing LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Pages and commenting on other blogs to build your brand. However, you might just as easily be wasting your time. A well written blog post is more empowering than chasing a 100 likes for a Facebook fan page.
I believe it is best to start small especially if you are on your own or only have a couple of writers. I recommend using Twitter, have a subscriber option on your site and sign up for Google Analytics and Bing. Google and Bing provide excellent tools to measure visitor traffic and identify popular articles, keywords and audience engagement. The rest you can leave till you have the resources and time to devote to a broader social media presence.
Can you make a living? Some people earn an income through sponsored posts and advertising but this is not viable for everyone. I suggest you don’t give up your day job just yet.
- Use image providers if you are not a photographer such as Big Stock, Guggenheim Images and Istockphoto.
- Learn an image manipulation package like Photoshop or Gimp and video editing skills.
- Establish an RSS feed through FeedBurner and FeedFury.
- Write, write, write
- Add social media sharing buttons to your site.
- Invest the time to understand SEO (I use Yoast) which will help you with keywords and improve your site ranking
- Have an interesting life. After all, if you want something to write about then you need to do something interesting. Travel, change jobs, move to the country, return to study, take up a sport, write about a new relationship, cultivate a garden, keep pets, discuss ideas, give advice etc… I’m sure there are endless amounts of things you can do.
Follow your passion and you might be rewarded in unexpected ways.
Blogs as Alternative Websites
J Labs New Media Entrepreneurs