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Jun 22 / Joel Cordes

Internship Insider: Writers’ FAQ, Part 2

In addition to Bleacher Report’s publication FAQ section, Greg Pearl and I developed a similar “how to write” resource for our interns.

Keep this series around as a quick-reference resource. You can find Part 1 here.

How do I effectively use keywords?
Use your headline as assigned, it has already been optimized for search engines by your assigning editor. When crafting your own, the more keywords you can reasonably fit into a headline, the better, including the biggest available player, team or event. Full-name keywords will greatly increase the article’s online searchability.

B/R and online journalism protocol require use of a player/team’s full name the first time it appears in the body of the article/slide, even if it already appeared in the article/slide headline. Give people what they’re searching for = your article!

What is happening when my headline gets changed by an editor?

Articles that make it to a front page will often be given a “cosmetic” change.  These alterations often drop keywords on the surface and strive for a “creative” hook, but only as the headline appears on the site’s front page.

The article’s original title actually stays the same as it is viewed via search engines and/or once someone actually opens the article.  Thus, the keywords are still at work for you outside of B/R.

What’s more important, hitting my deadline or having completely clean copy?

When it comes to prioritizing your energies for an article, attempt whatever you can do well.  Where time is an issue, a list might be a little shorter and your analysis more concise (not shallow), but make sure that it’s something you can present professionally.

Remember that editing can be done after publication too.  So, if you have to publish by a certain time, do the best you can, THEN go back and fine-tooth-comb it after you’ve hit your deadline.

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Next week, let’s talk about rumors, citing sources, comments and proofreading.

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Joel C. Cordes is Bleacher Report’s Sportswriting Internship Program Feedback Editor. Along with fellow editor Greg Pearl, he develops B/R interns by providing feedback and mentoring, the highlights of which are shared with the B/R Blog here.