This report is part of a series of articles on some of the sessions presented at Denver WordCamp 2013, held Nov.16-17 at the PPA Event Center. The event offered two parallel tracks — one for “Bloggers, Business and Beginning Users” and one for “Developers and Designers.” This session, called "When Journalism and Blogging Collide," was presented by Christian Toto as part of the bloggers track. For more session reports, see the index at right. → → →

Journalism vs. Blogging:
Tips to keep your audience growing

Christian Toto

Christian Toto


his session, part of the “Bloggers, Business and Beginning Users” track, focused on the tricky subject of journalism versus blogging.

The advent of the Web has made it easy for virtually anyone to reach a broad audience. What was once the exclusive turf of newspapers and broadcasters is now open to anyone with a PC and an Internet connection. But with information now coming at us from all directions, how do we discern the truth?

Christian Toto has worked on both sides of the fence. A former writer for newspapers in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, he now writes for Big Hollywood, a part of the website founded by the late conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart. He also provides movie reviews for “The Mike Rosen Show” and “The Dennis Miller Show.”

In his presentation, he offered some sound advice to current and would-be bloggers seeking to build a following.

Number one on his list is trust. Imparting verifiable information, he says, can make all the difference in attracting loyal readers. Use reputable sources and cite them specifically, he advises, and check your facts more than once.

Some other Toto tips:

  • Avoid the temptation to shock; “manufactured outrage” will ultimately turn readers off.
  • Be open about products and sponsors; acknowledging such relationships will build credibility.
  • Be accountable; correct your mistakes quickly and openly.
  • Keep it clean; a PG-13 approach will project a professional image.
  • Don’t pick fights with fellow bloggers.
  • Use snappy lede paragraphs and “killer” headlines that pull readers in.
  • Share quality information, and “serve the reader.”

If you want to have a look at the teacher’s own work, you can find Toto’s work at Big Hollywood and Daddylibrium, a blog in which he offers “tips on balancing fatherhood, marriage and leisure time.”