Last updated: March 22nd, 2014
Liveblogging is hard work, with a million little tasks to tackle at once. You have to be able to compose your posts as you go, snapping photos and capturing video along the way, all while paying enough attention at the event and giving due respect to the speakers and your surrounding participants. You have to be able to brainstorm, compose, and edit on the fly. There is so much to do and so little time.
This quick guide will help you establish a plan of action to ensure that your liveblogging experience is as efficient and effective as possible. This plan will include your schedule, your coverage angle, even your tech toolkit. Forgetting a single cellphone charger can create significant complications. Planning is everything.
1. Identify Your Publishing Venues
Where is your audience? Who has the audience that you want to attract? Consider where you will be publishing your updates. Your blog is will probably serve as the primary destination for your more substantial posts, videos, and photos, but it is always smart to branch out to capture people who may be following the event from outside of your network – for example, on social networks or photo sharing websites.
Get your accounts setup well ahead of time, and make a few practice updates to make sure you know where all the settings and functions are hiding. Speed and efficiency are essential!
2. Research Relevant Keywords
Which hash-tags are the other livebloggers going to use? Which speakers/performers are getting the most attention this year? Keep an ear open to try to discover which event-related topics are trending so you can please those readers with coverage aimed directly toward their needs. Consider keeping a Q&A stream open during the event to stay on top of reader buzz as it develops.
You already use smart targeted keywords to help readers find relevant blog posts, so try to figure out which keywords will lead interested readers to your liveblogging coverage. Your existing audience definitely takes first priority but those people who are searching for event details will definitely appreciate the help.
3. Promote Your Efforts
Make a list of the notable event attendees and speakers so your readers can get excited. Publish your event schedule so that readers know when to tune in. Let your audience know exactly what to expect –give them a few good reasons to watch your coverage of the event. Post links to your liveblogging feeds, your photo streams and other publishing platforms, so that they know where else to look for you.
Start promoting your liveblogging efforts the moment you book your event tickets. Consider writing a few guest posts for other blogs in your niche, both to spread the word about the event and to snag new readers. Connect with other bloggers so that you know who to talk trade tips with once you get there.
4. Create a Smart Packing List
A laptop with long battery life is the preferred choice for many livebloggers especially when it comes to editing photos, videos, and large blocks of text before publication. Most bloggers have a cellphone on hand at all times, which really comes in handy between keynotes and events. A small pocket camcorder is nice but make sure you have a suitable microphone to go along with it. Don’t forget the power cords and chargers, maybe even a few extra battery packs just in case!
5. Practice Your Liveblogging Plan
Blogging in real time is radically different from most blogger’s everyday publishing routine. It helps to conduct a practice session, covering anything you like. You could try liveblogging your favorite television program or a backyard soccer match between the kids. You’ll notice all sorts of small ways to refine the process, and you’ll have a chance to address any bottlenecks before the big day.
Here is a common example: liveblogging does not provide much time to transfer from the camera to the computer and finally to an online photo stream. Those minutes are precious! Instead, we would suggest checking out a software company like MacPhun for top photography tools and apps for your phone or tablet for push-button editing and publishing. Cut out as many unnecessary encumbrances as you can.
Liveblogging is a big job but the results are incredibly rewarding. You will be able to offer a fresh, one-of-a-kind perspective that other bloggers just cannot offer. You will be providing your readers with the information they want most and can’t find anywhere else. You’ll learn and grow as a blogger, and you’ll definitely have fun. Are you getting excited yet? Start building your liveblogging plan today!