You can improve your blog in a variety of ways by tying your posts into the news. This keeps your content timely and relevant to current events. It also drives additional traffic to your site as people, searching for articles on these hot topics, find your posts and click through to your blog.
By news I mean anything from Super Storm Sandy to Thanksgiving to the wildfires in Colorado to the Oscars. Anything trending in the news or making the headlines is fair game if it relates to your book’s topic or if you can make it relate in some way. (Here’s a post I wrote about using the Super Bowl as subject matter for blog posts.)
Even a blogged book can be tied into the news. I used to take a one-day hiatus from my book blogging when I was writing How to Blog a Book if I found a news angle to cover. (Sometimes this might simply be to write about some book blogging statistics I discovered or a blogger who received a new book deal.) Or I would keep a list of news-related articles or topics I could link to later in posts I knew I would write as I blogged my manuscript. You can go back and add a sentence or two or a whole paragraph related to a news event in an existing blog post (and add a link to a news story) if you feel it is relevant to part of your manuscript you have blogged already.
How Tying into the News Helps Your Blog or Blogged Book
Each time you tie your blog posts into the news or some trending story, you place in your posts the same keywords being used by journalists and bloggers writing about these hot topics. If you write a relevant piece with many of the same keywords, or similar ones, your post may show up on the first or second page of Google—especially if your blog post gets some good traffic. Of course, the higher up in the search engine results pages (SERPs) your post rises, the more traffic you will get.
You can help this happen by sharing your blog post on all your social networks and on such sites as Digg and Stumble Upon. If you describe your post using appropriate keywords (such as Oscars, Super Storm Sandy or Super Bowl), your post will gain some momentum. Not only will your blog have a boost from the links provided by your sharing the post in so many places (and others sharing it as well, you hope), but the keywords you have used in the post and in its description help as well.
Of course, if you normally write about some of these trending topics, you will already have a good SERP status, and writing about the news stories will simply add to that.
Tying into the news by analyzing it or offering your expert opinion on it increases your expert status, too. If you can interpret what is happening in the world, you will be seen as a thought leader or authority.
How and Where to Find News for Your Blog
To find breaking or trending news stories, first start with Google Alerts. These are found by simply Goggling “Google Alerts” or clicking here. Then set up alerts for whatever keywords relate to your blogged book. If news breaks that relates to your book, you’ll get an email notification.
You also can keep an eye on Google Trends. This will tell you what the most people are talking about on the Internet. This may not necessarily be breaking news, but tying your stories into the latest online trends can also prove effective.
You also may want to do some simple research by visiting the top news sites, like CNN.com, CBS.com, NBC.com, or Huffingtonpost.com. Discover what the journalists and editors there are covering. Then follow suit.
Even Twitter shows trending stories, although these often are not breaking news. You can find them in the section called “Trends.” A variety of search engine toolbars also offer the latest news or trends and can make it quite easy to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world by simply opening up your internet browser.