News roundups: own your niche, learn and link when starting any content creation

It's a roundup: Cowboys and pickup trucks push the herd of buffalo across Lame Johnny Road during Monday morning's Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park on Monday. (Kristina Barker/Journal staff)

This fall, I started doing something on the Back on My Feet blog that should probably be the first step of every community news site ever: a weekly aggregated roundup of existing news on homelessness.

It’s something I advocate to any content creator in which I am involved.

A primary rule of anyone with mission today is to share content related to that mission, as you probably can pretty easily beat bigger media on issues relevant to your work.

But the specific virtue of a simple roundup can be profound. It follows any number of rules of the web today.

  • Do what you do best and link to the rest — You probably aren’t yet a content creator, so link to those who are. It’s only in the past year or so, that we’ve seen most progressive news outlets following this long-held logic.
  • Cover greater ground — There are more content creators today, not fewer, so don’t duplicate that work, just push your audience to those already doing it.
  • Build your own audience — Beyond PR or updates on your organization, build an audience of people who care about your work and they probably are the ones most likely to support you in other ways.
  • Learn — Educating yourself and your staff of issues around your mission is never a bad thing, so curating that conversation is a fine start.
  • Own your niche — Most importantly, you want to be able to tell your audience that anything that falls into your coverage area (or mission) can be found on your site or blog. You won’t cover or break it all, so push to those who have.

At Technically Philly, we run some sort of roundup every day of the week: events on Mondays, venture capital on Tuesdays, startups on Wednesdays, Comcast on Thursdays and general links of community interest on Fridays.

So this is an obvious starter for nonprofits, niche news sites and bigger players. Own your niche.

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