What the heck is a newsjack post?

Imagine you're at a party, and everyone’s buzzing about the latest news. You join the conversation, adding your unique perspective. Suddenly, people are paying attention to you, and you become part of the buzz. That’s newsjacking in a nutshell.

Newsjacking involves leveraging current events to promote your brand. It's about inserting your ideas or products into a breaking news story to attract attention. By aligning your content with trending news, you can capture the public’s interest and ride the wave of a story that’s already gaining traction.

Introduction to Writing a Newsjacking Blog Post

Newsjacking is the art of inserting your ideas into breaking news stories to gain attention.

This guide will help you understand how to leverage current events to boost your brand visibility.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to identify relevant news stories for your niche.
  • Steps to create engaging content quickly.
  • Strategies to distribute your newsjacked content effectively.

Let's get writing your newsjack post!

Step 1: Monitoring News

To excel at newsjacking, staying informed about current events is essential. This involves keeping a close watch on the latest news that could resonate with your audience and industry. Here’s how to do it effectively:

Utilise News Monitoring Tools

Several tools can help you stay updated:

  • Google Alerts: Set up alerts for keywords relevant to your industry. For example, if you run a tech blog, create alerts for terms like “tech breakthroughs,” “technology news,” and “tech controversies.” Google will send you notifications whenever these keywords appear in news articles, blogs, or other online content.
  • Twitter Trends: Twitter is a fast-paced platform where news breaks in real time. Follow hashtags related to your field and keep an eye on trending topics. If you manage a fashion blog, for instance, monitor hashtags like #FashionWeek, #RunwayTrends, and #FashionNews.
  • RSS Feeds: RSS feeds aggregate updates from multiple news sources in one place. Use a reader like Feedly to subscribe to feeds from your favourite news websites, blogs, and industry publications. This way, you can quickly scan headlines and identify stories worth exploring further.
  • Local Gossip: Never underestimate local gossip when it comes to newsjacking. We found out about Amy Winehouse's death as a friend was there (in the area) when it happened. Local Facebook groups often know about whats happening locally and something you know will blow up into national things.

Choose Relevant Stories

Focus on stories that will engage your audience and tie into your brand’s message. When I had Birds on the Blog our audience was women, so we looked for incidents that impacted women. When Kenneth Tong declared all women about a US size 2 mortally obese we knew women would be interested. We knew mothers of daughters would be outraged, those women with eating disorders would be angry, and we knew we could do some good after that pillock had sucked the oxygen from the room.  Here are a few tips:

  • Know Your Audience: Understand the interests and concerns of your readers. If your audience is interested in environmental issues, keep an eye out for major environmental news or policies that could impact them.
  • Industry Relevance: Pick stories that align with your industry. For a finance blog, for example, major economic events, stock market shifts, or new regulations could be perfect newsjacking opportunities.

Example of Effective News Monitoring

Imagine you run a health and wellness blog. By setting up Google Alerts for terms like “health trends,” “wellness news,” and “fitness updates,” you'll receive timely updates on relevant topics. When a new study on the benefits of a particular diet is published, you can quickly write a post discussing the study's findings, how they relate to your audience, and tips for implementing the diet.

Why use RSS feed over Social Media for Newsjacking?

It's about being ahead of the curve and choosing the right story for your audience. The stories that are trending may not be able to be newsjacked for your business / field of expertise. This doesn't mean ignoring social media, it does mean not being distracted from your goal – more website traffic.

Step 2: Timing is Everything

When it comes to newsjacking, timing is absolutely crucial. The speed at which you react to breaking news can determine the success of your content. When we pipped The Guardian for the “dyke on a Bike” scandal, we had an insider who'd drafted an article as the incident was unfolding, and then published. The same with our Amy Winehouse tribute, we had it in place ready to go because if you're writing after the event you miss out on thousands of visitors.  Here’s how to master the timing element:

Act Quickly

Speed is the essence of effective newsjacking. The faster you can create and publish your content, the higher your chances of gaining traction. Aim to produce and share your newsjacking piece within hours of the news breaking. This ensures that your content is fresh and relevant when your audience is actively seeking information on the topic.

Example: Reacting to a Major Tech Announcement

Imagine a major tech company announces a groundbreaking new product. If you run a tech blog, aim to have your analysis, opinions, or insights published within the first few hours. This immediate reaction places your content at the forefront of the discussion, increasing visibility and engagement.

Tips for Speedy Content Creation

To achieve the necessary speed, consider these practical tips:

  • Prepare Templates: Have pre-designed content templates ready. These can be easily customised to fit the specifics of the breaking news. This preparation can save valuable time.
  • Stay Informed: Use news monitoring tools to get real-time updates. Google Alerts, X (Twitter) trends, and RSS feeds can alert you the moment a relevant story breaks.
  • Streamline Approval Processes: If your content needs approval from multiple stakeholders, streamline this process. Ensure that everyone involved understands the importance of quick turnaround times for newsjacking.

Leverage Your Team

If you work with a team, assign roles to handle different aspects of newsjacking. For instance, one person can monitor news, another can handle writing, and someone else can manage the visuals. This division of labour allows for faster content creation. This is how it worked on Birds on the Blog. We worked together to scoop the mainstream news.

Example: Team Coordination for Newsjacking

Consider a health and wellness blog with a small team. When a new health study is released, the team can quickly mobilise. The writer drafts the article, the graphic designer creates relevant images, and the social media manager prepares the promotional posts. Coordinated efforts like this can significantly speed up the process.

Be Ready to Pivot

Sometimes, the initial news angle might not work as expected. Be flexible and ready to pivot to a different aspect of the story if needed. This adaptability can help maintain the relevance and appeal of your content.

Example: Adapting to New Information

Suppose you run a finance blog and a major economic report is released. Initially, you might focus on market reactions. However, if new details emerge about the report's long-term implications, be ready to update your content to reflect this new information.

Maintain Quality

While speed is vital, don’t sacrifice quality. Your content should still be well-researched, accurate, and valuable to your audience. Quick does not mean sloppy; ensure your piece maintains high standards.

Example: Balancing Speed and Quality

If a significant sports event concludes and you’re running a sports blog for your business, quickly publish an article summarising the event. However, ensure your summary includes accurate details, insightful analysis, and engaging commentary to provide real value to your readers.

Final Tips on Speedy Newsjacking

  • Set Alerts: Use tools like Google Alerts to stay updated. This way, you can act immediately when news breaks.
  • Optimise Workflow: Develop a streamlined workflow for newsjacking. Clear roles and responsibilities can help your team work efficiently.
  • Prioritise Accuracy: While being quick is important, accuracy is non-negotiable. Double-check facts before publishing.

By mastering the timing element, you can ensure that your newsjacking efforts are timely, relevant, and engaging, capturing the attention of your audience when it matters most.

Step 3: Adding Value To Your Post

When it comes to newsjacking, merely repeating the news isn’t enough. That's plagiarism, and you may as well share the article. To make your content stand out, you must add unique value. This involves offering insights, incorporating humour, or providing expert opinions. The late, great writer Suzan St Maur was writing about Amy Winehouse and the angle she spun the story from? Amy is now a member of the 27 club, where famous singers and musicians died too young at 27.  Here’s how to ensure your content is both engaging and informative:

Offer Unique Insights

When news breaks, countless sources will report the basic facts. To differentiate your content, dig deeper and offer unique insights that others might overlook.

  • Expert Analysis: Provide expert commentary or analysis on the news. For instance, if a celebrity endorses a new gadget, discuss its potential impact on the market. What does this endorsement mean for the brand? How might it influence consumer behaviour? Providing a well-rounded analysis can position you as an authority in your field.
  • Historical Context: Place the news within a broader context. How does this event compare to similar occurrences in the past? What lessons can be learned? This approach not only adds depth to your content but also helps your audience understand the significance of the news.
  • Your Own Experiences: As I type this Diddy is in the news, Videos of him brutally beating his former girlfriend Cassie have been shared online. If you're involved in Domestic Violence support, or, a women's shelter you can share your experiences (if it's not triggering) and show empathy for women like Cassie. When you have your own experiences the newsjacked content takes a new life of its own, and you can actually use it to generate your own PR. If you do this, please do not exploit yourself or your team.

Example: Analysing a Celebrity Endorsement

Imagine a famous actor endorses a new tech gadget. While many will report the endorsement, you can dig into its implications. Discuss how previous endorsements by this celebrity have impacted sales, or analyse the choice of this particular product for their brand image. This adds value by providing readers with a deeper understanding of the situation.

Incorporate Humour

Humour can make your content more engaging and memorable. A witty take on a news story can set your piece apart and make it more shareable.

  • Relatable Jokes: Use humour that your audience will appreciate. For example, if a new technology is causing a buzz, a light-hearted comparison to an everyday struggle can resonate well.
  • Visual Humour: Incorporate humorous images or memes that complement your text. A well-placed meme can enhance the entertainment value of your content and increase its appeal.

Example: Adding Humour to Tech News

Suppose there's a buzz about a new smartphone with an incredibly high price tag. A humorous angle might be, “For the cost of this new phone, you could buy a small car – or at least the tyres!” Such a quip adds a playful element that can make your content more engaging.

Provide Practical Tips

Adding practical tips or actionable advice can significantly enhance the value of your content. Readers appreciate content that not only informs but also helps them apply the information in real life.

  • Step-by-Step Guides: Offer step-by-step instructions related to the news. If there’s a new social media trend, guide your readers on how to participate effectively.
  • Pro Tips: Share insider tips or hacks that aren’t commonly known. This can be particularly valuable if the news involves complex topics.

Example: Practical Advice on Social Media Trends

If a new social media challenge is trending, provide a guide on how to participate. Explain the steps, offer tips for creating engaging posts, and suggest ways to leverage the trend for increased visibility. This practical approach adds significant value to your content.

Use Data and Research

Supporting your content with data and research enhances its credibility and value.

  • Statistics: Incorporate relevant statistics to back up your points. For example, if discussing a new market trend, include data on recent market performance.
  • Case Studies: Use case studies to illustrate your points. This not only provides concrete examples but also adds depth to your analysis.

Example: Data-Driven Insights on Market Trends

When writing about a new financial regulation, include recent market data to show its potential impact. Discuss how similar regulations have affected the market in the past and use case studies to provide concrete examples. This data-driven approach makes your content more informative and authoritative.

Final Tips

  • Stay Authentic: Ensure your insights are genuine and reflect your unique perspective. Authenticity resonates with readers and builds trust.
  • Engage Your Audience: Encourage readers to share their thoughts and insights. This engagement can add further value and create a sense of community.
  • Consistent Quality: Maintain high-quality writing standards. Clear, concise, and well-structured content is always appreciated.

By adding value through unique insights, humour, practical tips, and data, you can ensure your newsjacking efforts are not only timely but also highly engaging and valuable to your audience.

Step 4: Creating Engaging Content

Crafting engaging content is key to successful newsjacking. Your content must capture attention and encourage sharing. Here’s how to make your content compelling:

Use Catchy Headlines

A strong headline is crucial. It’s the first thing your audience sees and can determine whether they click on your content.

  • Be Clear and Direct: Ensure your headline clearly conveys the main point of your content. Avoid vague or misleading titles.
  • Incorporate Keywords: Use relevant keywords that your audience is likely to search for. This improves SEO and increases visibility.
  • Evoke Curiosity: Pique your readers' interest with headlines that spark curiosity. For example, “5 Surprising Benefits of the New iPhone” is more intriguing than “New iPhone Released.”

Example: Catchy Headlines

If you’re writing about a new environmental regulation, a headline like “How the New Environmental Law Could Save You Money” combines clarity with curiosity, encouraging readers to learn more.

Utilise Appealing Visuals

Visuals can significantly enhance your content’s appeal and shareability.

  • High-Quality Images: Use high-resolution images that are relevant to your content. Avoid generic stock photos that don’t add value.
  • Infographics: Create infographics to simplify complex information. Visual data representation can make your content more digestible and engaging.
  • Videos: Incorporate short videos to illustrate your points. Videos are highly shareable and can increase engagement.

Example: Effective Use of Visuals

For a blog post about a new diet trend, include before-and-after images, a video of someone preparing a diet-friendly meal, and an infographic summarising the diet’s benefits. These visuals make the content more attractive and easier to understand.

Deliver a Clear, Concise Message

Your message should be straightforward and easy to grasp. Avoid unnecessary jargon and complex sentences.

  • Focus on Key Points: Stick to the main points you want to convey. Avoid straying into unrelated topics.
  • Short Sentences: Use short, simple sentences to maintain clarity. This makes your content more readable and engaging.
  • Call to Action: End with a clear call to action, encouraging readers to engage further. This could be sharing the post, leaving a comment, or exploring related content.

Example: Clear Messaging

If discussing a new financial policy, clearly explain its impact on consumers in simple terms. Avoid technical jargon and break down the information into easily digestible sections.

Engage with Your Audience

Interaction with your audience enhances engagement and builds a community around your content.

  • Ask Questions: Encourage readers to share their opinions or experiences related to the topic.
  • Respond to Comments: Engage with readers in the comments section. Acknowledge their insights and answer their questions.
  • Social Media Interaction: Share your content on social media and participate in discussions. This increases visibility and fosters a sense of community.

Example: Audience Engagement

For a travel blog post about a new tourist destination, ask readers to share their favourite travel experiences in the comments. Respond to their stories and share your own experiences to create a lively discussion.

Final Tips for Engaging Content:

  • Optimise for Mobile: Ensure your content is mobile-friendly. Many users access content on their phones, so readability on smaller screens is essential.
  • Proofread: Carefully proofread your content to avoid errors. Well-written content reflects professionalism and credibility.
  • Monitor Analytics: Use analytics tools to track your content’s performance. This can provide insights into what works and help refine your strategy.

By focusing on catchy headlines, appealing visuals, clear messaging, and audience engagement, you can create content that is not only timely but also compelling and shareable.

Step 5: Leveraging Social Media

Social media is your most powerful tool in the world of newsjacking. Sharing your content across various platforms can amplify its reach and engagement. Here’s how to make the most of social media for your newsjacking efforts:

Share Across All Platforms

Each social media platform has its own strengths. To maximise your content’s reach, share it on all the platforms where your audience is active.

  • Facebook: Ideal for detailed posts with images and videos. Use engaging captions to draw readers in.
  • Twitter: Perfect for quick updates and links. Use succinct messages and relevant hashtags.
  • Instagram: Great for visual content. Pair striking images with concise, compelling captions.
  • LinkedIn: Best for professional content. Share in-depth articles and industry insights.

Example: Multi-Platform Sharing

Suppose you’ve written an article about a new tech gadget. On Facebook, share the link with a brief overview and a high-quality image. On Twitter, post a snappy tweet with relevant hashtags. On Instagram, share a photo of the gadget with a caption highlighting its unique features. On LinkedIn, write a post discussing the gadget’s impact on the tech industry.

Use Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags increase the visibility of your posts, helping you reach a broader audience interested in similar topics.

  • Trending Hashtags: Use hashtags that are currently trending to tap into larger conversations.
  • Industry-Specific Hashtags: Include hashtags relevant to your industry to attract a more targeted audience.
  • Branded Hashtags: Create unique hashtags for your brand or campaign to encourage user-generated content and brand recognition.

Example: Effective Hashtag Use

If you’re posting about a new fitness trend, use hashtags like #Fitness, #Health, and #Workout. If there’s a trending hashtag like #NewYearNewMe, incorporate it to increase visibility. Creating a branded hashtag like #YourBrandFitness can help build a community around your content.

Tag Influencers and Journalists

Engaging with influencers and journalists can significantly boost your content’s reach. Tagging them in your posts can attract their attention and possibly get your content shared with their followers.

  • Identify Relevant Influencers: Find influencers who are relevant to your industry or topic.
  • Craft Personalised Messages: When tagging them, add a personalised message explaining why your content might interest them.
  • Engage with Their Content: Engage with their posts by liking, commenting, and sharing. Building a relationship increases the likelihood of reciprocation.

Example: Tagging Influencers

If you’ve written an article on sustainable fashion, tag influential fashion bloggers and journalists who cover eco-friendly topics. A message like “@InfluencerName, we think you’ll find our latest piece on sustainable fashion trends insightful!” can pique their interest.

Schedule Your Posts

Timing your posts can enhance their effectiveness. Use social media management tools to schedule your posts for times when your audience is most active.

  • Peak Times: Identify when your audience is most engaged on each platform and schedule your posts accordingly.
  • Consistent Posting: Maintain a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and anticipate your content.

Example: Scheduling for Maximum Impact

For a global audience, you might schedule your posts for early mornings and late evenings when people are more likely to be online. Use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to manage your posting schedule efficiently.

Monitor and Engage

After sharing your content, monitor its performance and engage with your audience. Respond to comments, thank people for sharing, and participate in discussions sparked by your post.

  • Track Engagement: Use analytics tools to track likes, shares, comments, and overall engagement.
  • Respond Promptly: Engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages quickly. This shows that you value their input and keeps the conversation going.
  • Adjust Your Strategy: Based on the engagement data, tweak your strategy to improve future posts.

Example: Active Engagement

If your post about a new tech gadget receives comments and questions, promptly respond with informative answers. If someone shares your post, thank them and encourage further discussion.

Final Tips for Leveraging Social Media for Newjacking

  • Optimise for Each Platform: Tailor your content to fit the style and audience of each social media platform.
  • Visual Appeal: Use high-quality visuals to make your posts more attractive and shareable.
  • Stay Consistent: Regularly update your social media profiles to keep your audience engaged.

By leveraging social media effectively, you can amplify the reach of your newsjacking content, engage a wider audience, and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

Step 6: SEO Optimisation

To ensure your newsjacking content reaches a wide audience, it must be SEO-friendly. Properly optimised content can rank higher in search engine results, increasing visibility when people search for information on trending topics. Here’s how to effectively optimise your newsjacking content for SEO:

Use Relevant Keywords

Incorporate keywords related to both the news story and your niche. This helps search engines understand the context of your content and match it with relevant search queries.

  • Primary Keywords: Identify primary keywords that align with the trending news and your industry. Use tools like RankAtom or Ahrefs to find the most relevant and high-traffic keywords.
  • Secondary Keywords: Include secondary keywords and synonyms to cover a broader range of search queries. This ensures your content can be discovered through various search terms.

Example: Keyword Optimisation

If you’re writing about a new environmental regulation, your primary keyword might be “new environmental law 2024.” Secondary keywords could include “climate change regulation,” “environmental policy update,” and “sustainable law.”

Optimise Your Headings and Subheadings

Use headings and subheadings effectively to structure your content. This not only improves readability but also signals to search engines what your content is about.

  • Include Keywords: Place primary keywords in your headings and subheadings. This helps search engines identify the main topics of your content.
  • Use H1, H2, and H3 Tags: Properly use H1 for your main title, H2 for major sections, and H3 for subsections. This hierarchical structure is favoured by search engines.

Example: Structuring Content with Headings

For an article on a tech gadget endorsement, your H1 might be “Celebrity Endorses New Tech Gadget,” an H2 could be “Impact on the Market,” and an H3 might be “Consumer Reactions.”

Enhance Meta Descriptions

Your meta description is a brief summary of your content that appears in search engine results. An engaging and keyword-rich meta description can increase click-through rates.

  • Keep It Concise: Aim for 150-160 characters to ensure the full description is visible in search results.
  • Incorporate Keywords: Include primary and secondary keywords naturally within the description.
  • Make It Compelling: Write a compelling summary that entices users to click on your link.

Example: Crafting a Meta Description

For a blog post about a new fitness trend: “Discover how the latest fitness trend can transform your workout routine. Expert tips, benefits, and celebrity insights included.”

Use Internal and External Links

Linking to other relevant content on your site (internal links) and to reputable external sources can improve your content’s SEO and credibility.

  • Internal Links: Link to other relevant articles or pages on your website. This keeps readers engaged and improves site navigation.
  • External Links: Cite reputable external sources to back up your claims. This adds credibility and context to your content.

Example: Effective Linking

In an article on a financial update, link to previous articles on related financial topics and include links to authoritative sources like government reports or industry analysis.

Optimise Images

Images can enhance your content but need to be optimised for SEO.

  • Use Descriptive File Names: Rename image files to include relevant keywords before uploading them.
  • Alt Text: Add alt text to images describing their content with keywords. This helps search engines index your images.
  • Compress Images: Ensure images are compressed to improve page load speed without compromising quality.

Example: Image Optimisation

For a post about a new fashion trend, name your image file “2024-summer-fashion-trends.jpg” and use alt text like “2024 summer fashion trends showcase.”

Monitor and Adjust

SEO is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor your content’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console. Adjust your strategy based on what works and what doesn’t.

  • Track Keywords: Monitor how your targeted keywords are performing. Adjust content and keywords based on trends.
  • Analyse Traffic: Look at which pieces of content are driving the most traffic and engagement. Use this data to inform future content strategies.

Example: Monitoring Performance

If you notice a particular type of newsjacked content consistently drives high traffic, such as celebrity endorsements, focus more on that niche while continuing to explore other relevant topics.

Final Tips for Optimising Newsjacked Content

  • Avoid Over-Optimisation: While it’s important to include keywords, avoid keyword stuffing. Content should read naturally and provide value to the reader.
  • Balance Content Types: Remember that newsjacked content has a short shelf life. Balance it with evergreen content to maintain consistent traffic.
  • Stay Updated: SEO best practices evolve. Keep learning and adapting to new SEO trends to ensure your content remains relevant.

By focusing on SEO optimisation, you can ensure that your newsjacking content not only reaches a wide audience quickly but also sustains its visibility and impact over time.

Examples of Successful Newsjacking

  1. Oreo's Super Bowl Tweet: When the lights went out during the Super Bowl, Oreo tweeted “You can still dunk in the dark.” This quick, witty response gained massive traction.
  2. Nike’s Kaepernick Ad: Nike leveraged the controversy around Colin Kaepernick to create a powerful, memorable campaign.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Jumping on the Wrong Story: Not all news stories are suitable for newsjacking. Avoid controversial or sensitive topics that could backfire.
  2. Being Too Slow: Speed is critical. If you take too long, the story will lose its impact.
  3. Lack of Value: Simply sharing the news without adding unique insights won’t capture attention.

Key Takeaways:

Newsjacking can elevate your brand’s visibility when done correctly.

In this guide, we covered:

  • How to identify and monitor relevant news.
  • Quick content creation tips.
  • Effective content distribution strategies.

Now, go out there and catch the next big story!

Sarah x


Sarah Arrow

With over 20 years of experience, Sarah Arrow (me!) knows the ins and outs of effective blog writing, which is why she makes her excellent at website copywriting, or, as a blog copywriter. My expertise ensures your blog will captivate readers and deliver your message effectively. Experience? This spans various industries, giving me a unique perspective and a wealth of knowledge to draw upon. This extensive background means she can adapt her writing to fit your specific needs and audience.

Ready to elevate your website or blog? I am the writer you need. My experience, skill, and passion for online writing make me the perfect choice for your blog copywriting needs. Contact me today and see the difference a professional content writer can make.

What Sets Me Apart?
Human Touch: My writing resonates on a personal level. I understand human psychology and use this to create content that connects.
Attention to Detail: Every post is detailed. Grammar, style, and accuracy are important in my work.
Consistency: I deliver high-quality content consistently, ensuring your website blog remains fresh and engaging.

If you're ready to get started join the free blogging challenge and do it yourself, or call me on 07816 528421 to do it for you.

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