Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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User-generated story leads (blog tips)

If you run a blog that has significant traffic, you really should be leveraging the power of user-generated story tips via your readers. This is how it works: you display a prominent “tips” link above the fold, asking your readers to tip you with interesting stories or content. Then sit back and watch as the user-generated leads roll in.

I blog for a large site that gets upwards of 100+ email tips per day. Another smaller site I run gets as many as 15/day. Some of the biggest stories I’ve run as a blogger came from tipsters, not my RSS feed or offline experiences; stories that drive insane traffic.

The reason is that tipsters can be the source of exclusive or obscure content that no other sites have (read: a major differentiating factor). Always encouraging user-generated stories with proper credit (i.e. “Thanks, Blake! after a post) as a best practice. Then watch your traffic increase through more unique content.