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Scoop Blogging

Nikon-D200-Tm-1Sometimes it is really fun to be a small time blogger because it can free you up to do things that a lot of the bigger websites in your niche are unable to do.

For example – my Digital Camera site is one of my bigger blogs – yet in comparison to some of the biggest digicam website our there it’s very small. This doesn’t mean I can’t occasionally beat the big sites at their own game though. Today is an example of this.

This afternoon I had an email from a reader with ‘connections’ who gave me information on a digital camera (the Nikon D200) which has been rumored to be coming out for 12 months now. It’s a camera that everyone has hypothesized about but which there have been few firm details on. So when I got a picture and specifications (still unconfirmed but looking pretty solid) as well as a few other facts that indicate the information is reliable I posted about it on a Nikon D200 page.

The cool thing about this is that because I’m a smaller site and am not seen as a major player by the major digital camera manufacturers I do not have any of the non disclosure agreements with them that most of the other bigger sites have. I know that most of these sites will have information on this new camera days before it’s announced – but that legally they are bound not to mention it on their sites until the official release date (rumored to be 1 September).

This means I have a scoop of sorts and am reaping the rewards of something that is somewhat exclusive (there are other sites posting it – but they are mainly smaller than mine). One of the benefits is that other significant sites are linking to mine (example 1, example 2 and example 3). It also gives me a few days head start to get indexed by Google and other search engines. As a result on the day of the official release I’ll be well positioned to receive significant traffic and hopefully will be established at the top of the search engines for the term for some time. (update: we’re already #3 in Google on it – with a few more links we could hit #1 – feel free to link up!).

This is part of the fun of blogging for me – the thrill of chasing down a story and the satisfaction of a plan coming together nicely.

My blog will never compete at the very top of this niche on all related keywords – there is just too much competition – but I’m happy to buzz around the edges and take a little ground where I can.

I guess the take home tip is to keep your eye open for the scoop and be ready to mobilize and act fast to take advantage of things when they fall into your lap.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Darren, this is the Joe Vitale method of getting to #1. It usually works :-)

  2. maruthi says:

    Wow, this sounds fun and cool. You have beaten the “big boys”. Congrats.

  3. Tim Flight says:

    This is quite similar to what happened to me shortly after I started a GPS reviews site. I obtained information about the new Garmin Rino 520 and 530 GPS before they were announced. When the rest of the world found out about the device my page was already indexed by the search engines and I was on top for a couple of days.

    Quite nice on a site that was only a few days old at the time!

    Just because you don’t have a signed NDA doesn’t mean you are always out of the water. Don’t forget the trouble Apple Insider is in after Apple’s lawyers attacked them when they published information about not yet released products. Most companies are not as aggressive as Apple when it comes to protecting secrets though.

  4. james says:

    The strangest and most successful scoop I’ve had was by checking out a company that was advertising using a google ad on my site (not by clicking through… this can cause grief with the Google folks).

    It was a little electric scooter that looked cool, so I ran a story that was picked up by Gizmodo and Engadget. Congrats Darren, it’s tough to do. I hope you have many more like it.

  5. Matt says:

    Darren, it’s cool that you got some early info. And I think you’re within bounds publishing. Given the current situation with Mr. Wall, are you concerned that you may be sued over this (I haven’t read it to see if anything seriously proprietary is in there)? I am in agreement with Tim that just because you’ve not signed anything, you’re certainly not safe. In fact, this post here may be evidence for the company that you are aware that you’re publishing something that you shouldn’t be and therefore culpable. But, I don’t really know anything at all about anything. I just don’t want you to get into any legal hot water, despite the positive effect it might have on your readership levels.

  6. Darren … good on you. I don’t think there’s a problem here – actually Nikon would no doubt love the little publicity buzz coming from it. And I don’t think Nikon would be stupid enough to go down that bad Public Relations road – they’re too big and smart for that.

    Secondly, you’ve hit on a tactic that many don’t give much thought to but can be really powerful: writing about something that wil be happening in the future earlier than most. Obviously, if it’s a real exclusive then you run with it but for most of us we should simply look at what is/may be happening many months ahead almost like looking into a crystal ball.

    For exampe: I got a lot of hits when I started writing about ie7 early on. Now that it’s coming closer to release and more people are interested in it, I’ve got a backlog of well linked-to posts and articles.

    Another example that’s Australian-specific was when the GST (it’s a tax, like VAT) was introduced in 2000. Everyone knew it was coming so I started writing about it 6-12 months beforehand. And when it finally came I had a massive influx of visitors for most of late-2000 and early 2001 (of course, this was before the days of blogging).

    That’s why us bloggers we’re more like investigative journlaists then we realise – we’re all looking for that next litle scoop.

  7. Martin, that’s good stuff. Note taken :-)

  8. Miha says:

    Already No. 2 on Google for “nikon d200″.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 5. Scoop stuff – Getting a scoop is another fast track to readership. Break a big story and have the right A-list blog link to you and you’ll find not only a lot of traffic come directly from them but indirectly from the many smaller blogs that will link up as a result. The other benefit of it beyond the initial traffic and inbound links is the respect and street credibility that can come from breaking a big story. I find that once you break one story you often get others broken directly to you by ’sources’. Once this happen the snowball effect takes over and you can build a reputation for being someone in the know. More on Scoop Blogging. [...]