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Review Tips for Entertainment Bloggers

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Little known fact about Alli: Long before I worked for BlogWorld Expo, even before I worked for b5Media or Binge Gamer, I was an entertainment blogger. I ran a blog called Reality on Bravo, which was all about those formulaic reality shows on Bravo, like Top Chef and The Real Housewives of Orange County. Back in my day, circa 2006, Bravo wasn’t getting much attention, except with Project Runway, and although there was definitely a fan base, finding traffic was, at times, like finding a needle in a haystack.* People who were interested generally went straight to the Bravo website, so I didn’t see much traffic.

Except for review days. Review days were my bread and butter* as far as blogging traffic went. Doing a review of some form of entertainment, like a television show or movie (or even live events, like a concert) is a bit different from reviewing products and services. Yes, you should still be honest, and you should certainly cover both good and bad points, but as an entertainment blogger, you should keep the following in mind as well:

  • Post your review ASAP. As soon as show is over or a movie is released, people are online reading reviews. You have a lot of competition, no matter what you specific topic within the entertainment niche, and one of the ways to drive traffic is to be the first one with a review posted. If you’re consistently first, especially for those of you who review TV shows, fan will soon realize that your blog is the place to be for immediate dishing, and they’ll before regular readers.
  • Talk like you’re gossiping with a girlfriend. Men, use your imagination here. Everyone has their own writing style, but if you just write a run-down of what happened on the show…meh. And I hate the word “meh,” but there’s no other way to describe it. It’s not that it’s bad; it’s just boring. Give your opinion, and do so in a conversational tone. Don’t be afraid to get emotional with your writing, especially if you were surprised by a plot twist, outraged at a reality show outcome, etc.
  • Use “Spoiler Alert” generously. I seriously can’t believe the number of entertainment bloggers who don’t warn when they post spoilers in reviews. Hell, I’ve even seen some entertainment bloggers give away spoilers in their titles. It’s a courtesy that needs to be the rule on your blog, unless you want to lose the respect of your readers.
  • Consider live blogging the show/movie/event/etc. Few bloggers have time to live blog all the time, but it’s something you can consider for a season premier/finale, an awards show, a televised concert, or something else unique related to your niche. If you don’t want to live blog, consider tweeting throughout the event – just warn people first so your non-entertainment followers can ignore your billion tweets until the event is over.
  • Don’t forget to recap. When you review a product, you include specs, like the length of a book or the retail price of the hairdryer. If you’re reviewing something in the entertainment world, don’t forget the “specs” – in this case, a short recap. Sometimes, I don’t have the time to see a movie or watch a TV show, so bloggers bring me up to speed with what happened. If you post a review without a recap, I’m going to move on to another blogger. Your opinions don’t mean much if I have no clue what happened in the first place.
  • Be honest, but be classy. Believe it or not, celebrities, directors, producers, and others in the entertainment industry actually read blogs. Would you be ashamed if the star of a movie read a comment you made about him? Don’t hold back your opinions, but be aware that even big-name celebrities might see what you wrote. Rather than attack a person, attack the performance, and be constructive by saying what was wrong or how it could have been better, instead of just bashing people with insult after insult.

If you’re an entertainment blogger and not doing reviews, you’re missing out on tons of traffic. Seasoned entertainment bloggers – what are your best review tips?

*God, I love overused, corny cliches.
**See?

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. Do not judge her for her love of Real Housewives marathons.

Image credit: sxc.hu

Keeping Your Entertainment Blog Entertaining

Author:

Prior to my role as Managing Editor here at BlogWorld, I was a full-time entertainment blogger for b5media. I ran Prison Break Buff, Approaching Lost, The Hilton Files, 24 Headquarters, and Junior Celebs. In fact, I still run a teen celeb spin-off with my co-blogger at modOration. So I’m pretty well versed in the art of running a blog focused on music, television, movies, and celebrities.

With a niche entertainment blog, you’re stuck with a varied amount of news content and images coming your way. If your celebrity lands in jail for a month (Paris Hilton) or if your show goes off the air (Prison Break), you very quickly find yourself with a lack of new content to keep your readers engaged. Since I found myself in this situation often throughout the years, I have some tips up my sleeve for keeping your entertainment blog entertaining!

  • Create Biography Pages: This works for all genres of entertainment blogs. Create a biography page for a celebrity, their family members, their ex’s, etc. Create a biography page for the actors and characters in your television show or movie. Create bio pages for the members of your bands. Continue to expand on these, and use keyword linking to link to these pages in future posts, to increase your SEO and pagerank.
  • Create Timelines: You can easily create timelines for a vast amount of items for your niche. Whether it’s a plotline for the television show, venues where an artist has played, or the lovelife of a celebrity – you can create dynamic timelines that even link back to your older posts regarding those topics. You can even write recaps of the episodes of your show and organize them in order of their air date.
  • Create Galleries: With a lull in news and photos, it’s time to start organizing the pictures you do have! Put your image into galleries (by episode, by season, by event, by fashion season, etc). Then you can have higher level pages that drill down to these galleries, for easy finding by your readers. You can even create polls to have them choose their favorite.
  • Create Games: In order to keep your audience coming back, you need to keep them engaged and continue to post new content. One way I did this during the season breaks on my television shows, was to create games. I would conduct playoff style polls to see which character they liked the best, use quotes to have them guess which character said it and in which episode it was said, and ask trivia questions based on the show.
  • Interact With Your Community: Have your loyal readers write guest posts with differing opinions than you have on your topic. Perhaps you’ll spark some interesting conversations.

By keeping your audience engaged during your niche topic downtime, you keep them around for when news does start cropping up again. In fact, by using these ideas, you can pre-post and not always have to be on top of the latest, breaking news (which, believe me, can be very exhausting!)

What are your tips for keeping your entertainment blog entertaining?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Source: SXC

Fan Blog or Gossip Blog?

Author:

As a celebrity and entertainment blogger I’ve run both fan blogs and gossip blogs – and they’ve both been fun to write. A fan blog will gush about the celebrity, show off their latest magazine scans, and steer clear (for the most part) of all romantic gossip. Alternately, a gossip blog dishes on all the rumors, picks apart fashion and career choices, and may even make fun of the celebrity. Both can bring in a lot of page views. Both can have a large following. But how do you choose the direction of your celebrity blog?

  1. What Does Your Gut Say? (i.e. how do YOU feel about the celebrity?) If you’re not a fan, you probably won’t run a fan site very well. You’ll want to make too many snarky comments! But if you truly love the celebrity and want to drool over the latest interview in minute detail with HD screenshots, that’s the route you should take.
  2. What Is Your Goal? As with any blog, you have to determine your reason for writing on the topic. Do you want to have fun and get your water-cooler gossip online? Or do you want a place to meet new like-minded fans.
  3. What Is Your Voice? Analyze your writing style to see if you fall more into the snarky, critique, Perez-type category – or the gushing, polite, fan category. It will be easier to blog on a consistent basis if you follow your style. >What Can You See Yourself Writing in 2 Years? Whatever style you go with, you’ve got to stick with it. Even if your celebrity doesn’t. If you run a fan site and your celebrity does something bad – chances are your followers will still support them. So you will need to as well (or risk losing your audience). Same if your celeb changes from a party-crashing socialite to a do-gooder.

Whatever type of celebrity blog you choose, my biggest advice is to blog consistently and blog often. It’s a tough genre to break into and very news-driven. You want to be one of the first people to get information up, or you won’t be the blog that a reader follows.

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

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