You’ve been writing for AC from Yahoo!, maybe even other online publishers. You want to localize your content. Making it local may even be a requirement for your writing online. Here are eight ways you can add local color and attract attention from those nearby–and beyond–to your piece.
What’s going on around you is only going on around you, right where you are at the moment. You have a unique perspective. Report what you experience and what you see. You are the eyes of the world right where you are.
Search the web. When your topic is general, see what the folks nearby have to say on the subject. Key in your subject and your location, be it the neighborhood, town, city, state, or region. Voila! The search result that you get is what’s local.
There’s nothing like checking in with your personal network. Friends, neighbors, and nearby relatives make good points of local opinion and content. There’s nobody better than the locals around you for what’s going on.
You know those mailbox stuffers you throw out without even looking? They’re full of local news, shopping, advertising, business, events, police, community and matters of importance to folks in the area. A scan before tossing will give you a sense of local goings on.
Radio talk shows with local origination broadcast the best of local happenings and thought. Tune in while driving to the corner drugstore or break down and buy a radio for the house. While computers have replaced older technologies, the old standbys are still good at local.
Here, I’m talking about publicly accessible bulletin boards in supermarkets, community centers, even notices posted on telephone poles or trees. They are full of local announcements (e.g., billionaire dead at 89, estate sale tomorrow), inquiries (e.g., lost dog, have you seen Rex?), events (e.g., handmade pottery closeouts, Sat. 9-5), politics (e.g., emergency meeting on city budget overruns, 7 pm, school parking lot), employment (e.g., computer nerd needs job, house calls free). A plethora of local conditions and sentiment is posted in public view.
Every town has a local luncheonette. In cities, it’s Starbucks. Go on and have breakfast in one of these local joints and listen to what’s being said. If folks are speaking too softly for you to overhear or they’re just not awake yet, strike up a casual conversation with a stranger. What’s on local minds will come out.
Be the first
Being among the first to publish online is a prize winner. Important local events, such as earthquakes, extreme weather, disasters, tragedies, crime, and other unique events are magnets for the rest of the world when reported right away. When you are the one to bring it out first, your local writing will grab the world’s attention.
So, give it a try. See how these work for you. Be the local writer in-the-know. Then let me know how you did.