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How to Compete with TMZ


Entertainment bloggers have some special challenges they have to face. I blogged about reality television for a few years, and about video games up until December, so I’m no stranger to these problems.

As a small or new entertainment blogger, it doesn’t really matter how specialized your blog is – someone will do it better. It’s frustrating, but few of us have the time and resources to compete with TMZ or any or the other big celebrity sites. A good 99% of the time, any story you report will be reported other places first and you’ll likely not have enough time to post every relevant news story of the day like a large blog with multiple staff members.

Here are my suggestions to combat this problem:

  • Post the most important stories and post them well. You might not have time for 15 stories a day, but you can post the major stories in a thoughtful, intelligent way.
  • Add your opinion and personal flair. If readers can find the same stories elsewhere, why will they come to you? Think about that as you write.
  • Focus on original features. Instead of rehashing news stories, think about evergreen content that will be unique to your site.
  • Dig deeper. If there’s an interesting news story, take the time to do some background research, contact people for quotes, or schedule a full-scale interview with the celebrity in question if possible. If you can do those things, bigger sites while actually link to you!
  • Post a daily round-up. Write what you have time to write and then post a list of links at the end of the day (or week) to stuff you may have missed. Readers will still view your site as comprehensive that way.
  • Get on press release lists. If you blog about a specific show, channel, celebrity, or genre, find out which PR companies release information and email them to get on their press release lists.
  • Go to as many live events as possible. Even if others are posting the same stories, people who can’t attend events (like E3 in the video game world or movie premier red carpet if you’re a film blogger) will read multiple stories about the same thing to get a better feel for what happened. You don’t have to be first as long as you’re at least as timely as possible.
  • Kill for exclusives. Okay, maybe “kill” is a strong word, but do as much as you can to get exclusive coverage of something, even something small, like an exclusive interview with a guest star on the television show you blog about. If you want exclusives, start getting to know the PR people in your niche well.
  • Consider audio/video content. There are literally thousands of celebrity blogs out there, but a very small percentage are doing podcasts or vlogs. If you do audio/video content well, you’ll stand out.
  • Blog with friends. You might not have the money to pay a staff, but you and others who are passionate about the same topic could come together to create a blog. If you have two or three bloggers working on a single site, you’ll be able to cover more news every day.

Are you an entertainment blogger? If so, how do you compete with large sites like TMZ that have huge staffs?

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