The biggest news brand in the world is MailOnline. It has a reputation for being opinionated. My hypothesis: opinions drive traffic. I set out to test this by comparing the homepages of MailOnline, The Guardian, Metro and Buzzfeed, ranking the top 10 articles on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the most…… Continue reading Does opinionated content drive traffic?
My top 5 insights of 2015
1. This mammoth look into current media trends by Michael Wolf. My main takeaway is the prediction that messaging will soon be bigger than social networks. 2. One of the big challenges we face at Metro is getting different teams to work more closely together. This great ThoughtWorks article talks about how they approach it from a UX perspective. 3.…… Continue reading My top 5 insights of 2015
Turning readers into co-creators
Co-creation is on the rise. Facebook, Twitter and Reddit rely on it. For Metro, a more traditional news site, bloggers drive 10% of traffic. What small steps could take a passive reader into a progressively more creative relationship with our news brand? For a small news brand, the “community funnel” might look something like this……… Continue reading Turning readers into co-creators
News: curation meet crowdsourcing
Upworthy recently released it’s new content strategy: “moving from curation to story creation”. For a while i’ve been suggesting that Metro.co.uk tries out an Upworthy-style “Submit link” option. It might just help us pick up interesting stories that we’ve otherwise miss, or even pick up new stories quicker. Now i’m wondering if it would better…… Continue reading News: curation meet crowdsourcing
Driving homepage traffic: does aggregation pay?
At Metro, we like to think that we have the best content on the internet covered. The truth is though, that if we can’t copy it we ignore it. We never have headlines on the homepage that link directly to another site. The truth is that there are a lot of sites that do certain…… Continue reading Driving homepage traffic: does aggregation pay?
7 ways to make your news site a destination
Why should people visit your homepage rather than Facebook? Here are 7 ways to make your news site a destination. 1. Personality trumps publisher. The Facebook generation care more about the personality of their news than who’s published it. If another publisher does a story better, aggregate. (It’s not just social networks doing it, just…… Continue reading 7 ways to make your news site a destination
The secret to how images can transform your site
People love imagery. The “cone of experience” says that images are three times more engaging than text. What is the secret to making the most of images? What can the most successful sites teach us? Looking at MailOnline (the most popular news site in the world) it’s clear that images of people are key. The…… Continue reading The secret to how images can transform your site
How your news brand can reclaim homepage traffic from Facebook
The popularity of Facebook is incredible. A third of the UK population visit the site every day. The average time per visit is 20 minutes. People don’t visit newspaper homepages any more, they visit Facebook instead (especially on mobile). Mark Zuckerburg says Facebook will be “the best personalized newspaper in the world”. What’s even more…… Continue reading How your news brand can reclaim homepage traffic from Facebook
Content volume: what can news learn from Apple and Amazon
The most popular news sites (MailOnline and The Guardian) produce masses of content. It’s good for SEO. Is there anything we can learn from outside the world of news? Platforms The masters of the platform approach are iTunes and Amazon. They curate a few key areas, such as the home page, and they make clever…… Continue reading Content volume: what can news learn from Apple and Amazon
4 lessons from a newsroom hack day
Today we had a newsroom hack (half) day at Metro.co.uk – 3 devs, 2 writers, 1 social media person and 1 pictures person. We published 4 topical articles including a Scotland quiz, a Scotland interactive flowchart, a “click to reveal” about celebrity teeth, and a 9/11 “picture slider”. What did we learn? 1. Having all…… Continue reading 4 lessons from a newsroom hack day
4 lessons from the most successfull news sites
1. The two most popular news sites (MailOnline and The Guardian) have one big thing in common: they both publish massive volumes of content (hundreds of articles a day). 2. MailOnline is more popular then The Guardian. Why? Lots of pictures, especially glamorous/embarassing pictures of celebrities. Also, The Guardian is too intellectual for many people.…… Continue reading 4 lessons from the most successfull news sites