Kathy Wallace Web Journalist for Seattle's Dlist Magazine

(Posted 6/17/2011) - For the last 4 years daughter Kathy has been a regular feature writer for Seattle based DlistMagazine. Her column is called "Details" with topics running the gamut, from tips on dating etiquette to a survey of current artificial intelligence projects.

Recently her magazine employers have approached her with the suggestion that she also do a web journal linked from the magazine's website dlistmagazine.com .

I have read most of Kathy's articles in DlistMagazine and have no doubt she is an accomplished writer, who can research any topic and provide an entertaining and thought provoking 2000 word treat for readers. She engages and exercises the mind, while seasoning her writing with friendly and sometimes self-deprecating snark.

But a key question to be answered is how does one best transition from writing a feature section in a monthly print magazine to a weekly online journal? How does Kathy make DlistMagazine readers aware of her new web-based activity and how can she motivate them to follow her online?

I think this pie-chart may hold an answer: You can click on it to enlarge the image. It basically states that two necessary conditions need to be satisfied to get lot's of page-views:

  • People must be drawn (via link from somewhere they already regularly visit) to your content.
  • Once they view your content it must stand up and grab 'em so they are engaged and return time and again.
Now the former can be done most easily by having your content identified (linked) from within some online content that has already drawn the potential reader. For example DlistMagazine's website has at least 9K fans that periodically visit the web site to see what is happening in Seattle. If Kathy's web-journal is clearly linked from their homepage she will get significant traffic most likely.

It is also possible to take the approach espoused by the creater of the pie chart, Ramit Sethi, who believes that the most powerful way for a new web journalist to attract readers is to submit articles (referred to as guest posts) that are published in other more established blogger's sites.

This is the life's blood of web-journalism -- the bootstrapping of new writers by established writers through the simple act of giving them opportunities to guest post. It is networking at light speed.

Take a look at Ramit's suggestions (here) for how to successfully guest post. I think he has hit the nail squarely -- one must lead the horse to the water before there is even the possibility of the horse drinking!