Ever wanted to be like a journalist who provides live coverage of an event? With the power of live blogging, you absolutely can! There are countless ways to cover an event live with your unique perspective. The right combination of equipment and a support team will help you live blog with ease. The goal is to quickly create engaging posts. So, how can you break into live event coverage? Read our article with six simple steps to live blogging success!
- Live blogging is more about the prep than the actual event.
- You can customize your mix or equipment, but always test before you start recording!
- It’s always a good idea to have a live blogging team on hand.
For decades, journalists have covered live events with running commentary. Now, in the age of self published content, live blogging is a powerful yet more accessible alternative to event coverage. It’s a great way to simultaneously promote both an event and a personal brand.
Live blogging can be tricky, especially if you’re used to taking time to write and edit your content. How can you quickly produce a relevant and engaging live blog? Follow these simple steps to live blogging success.
Step 1: Choose Your Platform
Just like journalistic coverage on a TV channel, live blogging includes regular updates and commentary throughout the event. Obviously, you want this content to be immediately released to your followers. The benefit of live blogging is that the blog remains online after the event, which is ideal for generating more coverage and attracting more followers.
Popular live blogging platforms include Sourcefabric’s Live Blog, 24Liveblog, or Arena.fm. However, you can use virtually any platform on which you have a good following. Twitter and Tumblr are popular choices due to their digestible format and great discoverability.
Remember, live blogging is different from live streaming. You’ll want a platform that makes it easy to write and publish, as well as add photos and videos.
Step 2: Choose Your Devices
Once you’ve chosen your platform, decide which devices you’ll use. There’s nothing wrong with a laptop for mobile writing. However, if you’re capturing photos, videos, or audio recording, it can be challenging to find all the devices you need.
Some of the platforms mentioned above make it easy to combine your text and rich media in your posts. Many live bloggers use their smartphones to capture photos and videos, write content, and upload their posts during the event. This is ideal if you’re live tweeting an event and need to quickly create and post your blog.
If you’re not a fast typist, though, or if you need better camera and audio recording equipment, you’ll probably need a combination of tools, including:
- a camera with wireless image transfer capabilities or a cable connection to your laptop
- a shotgun microphone that can be attached to your camera
- compatible devices with wireless sharing e.g. MacOS/iOS with AirDrop or Windows/Android with Nearby Share
- a laptop, or a tablet with a separate keyboard
Always test your equipment combination before attempting to cover an event!
Step 3: Plan Your Coverage
The goal of live blogging is to seem like you’re effortlessly covering an unpredictable event. In reality, you should know as much about the event as possible before going in. Figure out which talking points you’re going to include. If possible, get the event schedule and draft some language ahead of time. Many live bloggers prepare an outline beforehand. This way, they know exactly what they’re going to cover. If anything changes during the event, it’s much easier to tweak an existing plan than to blog from scratch!
Step 4: Recruit Your Followers
There’s little point in live blogging if no one is there to read it. Before the event, let your followers know that you’ll be providing live coverage. Encourage them to log on during the event. If you’re using Twitter or a similar platform, it’s always a good idea to use a branded hashtag (or use the event’s hashtag).
Be sure to let your followers know why they should follow your coverage. Will you be providing insider knowledge? Expert insights? Humorous commentary? Promoting your unique is crucial to success, especially if the event is being covered by other journalists and bloggers as well.
Step 5: Bring In Your Team
While you can do live blogging solo, it’s often better to have several people capturing and writing content. You may need to quickly edit a photo, clip a video, or edit your post’s grammar. If you’re planning to publish lots of content with only a few minutes between each update, you’ll love having a team to help you craft the perfect post fast.
Step 6: Write A Postmortem
The TV cameras eventually turn off and most live bloggers simply call it a night. Stand out from the crowd by writing a post event commentary. This should tie together the main points, include any final photos or footage, and encourage your followers to share the final blog.
Live blogging requires you to think on your feet and quickly create content. However, you can save yourself some mental energy and get better results by prepping in advance as much as possible. Always, always test your equipment before you start. Have a good project plan in place. And be sure to alert your followers about the event!
Happy live blogging!
(Banner image Photo by Tanjir Ahmed Chowdhury on Unsplash)