Best Blogs: News or Opinion?

Filed as Features on February 5, 2008 8:46 am

As the blogosphere continues to develop, I notice that there are really two main types of blogs: opinion and news. You are primarily one or the other. News blogs include sites like TechCrunch, while Freelance Switch is based around the various bloggers opinions.

While both types of blogs have huge audiences, it got me wondering which type are “better”. I define better as able to grow faster, easier, and monetize better. News sites seem to depend on either being first to report on something, or being known as covering everything in a niche. Opinion blogs depend on the expertise of the writers involved to share their thoughts, advice, and sometimes their own personal takes on news effecting their niche.

Opinion based sites don’t have to be the first to report on something, as people go to their sites to see the personal thoughts of the individual or small group. For a single author site, I have to lean towards opinion based blogs being the better choice. News sites require connections, a strong connection to the niche you are covering, and the ability to jump on a story before anyone else hits publish. This can be quite difficult for most bloggers, and require resources that they may not have. The ceiling on news sites seems higher though, bringing me back to the question in the title of this post. Which do you think is better, news or opinion blogs?

I have written many blogs that are news style, opinion style, and tried to mix the two as often as possible, but I have found that people that come to a site in hopes of finding factual news, don’t like having a heavy dose of personal opinion, while those looking for opinion hated when I just reported the facts. So please, when commenting, don’t say a mix of the two is the best answer, unless you are willing to explain your response.

Have your say in the comments below.

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  1. By Guillermo posted on February 5, 2008 at 9:48 am
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    There’s no one better than the other. It all depends on your niche and what you want to. In my particular case, my readers want to read my experiences and opinions and do not care about any news post I may have added sometime.

    On the other side, we already have media for the news. We, as bloggers, should exploit the benefit of speaking up our minds through our own sites.

    And that’s all I have to say about it.

    Reply

  2. By Webomatica posted on February 5, 2008 at 11:38 am
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    As someone who is lightly involved in both – doing the news is higher profile and you get a lot more quick traffic, but that traffic is transient, as it fades quickly once your news is old. The other harder part about doing news is the constant pressure to stay on top of your subject and react quickly.

    I would say the longer I’m at the blogging thing, I prefer to write and read opinion. There are only so many ways to break news and the average blogger just can’t compete with that. I find it uninteresting to read twenty blogs that just report the facts of the same story. But I’ll read 20 opinions on that same story.

    Opinion also does better for the “long tail” and long term traffic, and is less stressful to write.

    How you want to run your blog – as a high traffic, but high stress, quick money making endeavor or a long term, sustainable hobby. I’m going with the latter.

    Reply

  3. By GoingLikeSixty posted on February 5, 2008 at 11:38 am
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    Where does this leave us who just blog for the fun of it? I guess that’s opinion?
    We’re always overlooked because few are A listers, but there are millions of us just having a ball writing junk and commenting on each others junk.

    Reply

  4. By Steven Finch posted on February 5, 2008 at 12:00 pm
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    David, Great post. My site http://crenk.com i try to provide both sections, news and opinions. I think even different types of news sites have their own style and thats why they are appealing. For example, Techcrunch is only up there cause of Arrington, Read/Write Web has real indepth analysis, Mashable just provide the basics but provide a lot of it. But there arent many news based that actually provide really good opinions that actually help readers, designers, promgrammers and VC alike. This is a gap in the market im trying to provide.

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  5. By Andy Merrett posted on February 5, 2008 at 12:39 pm
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    I prefer blogs which mix both. A lot of sites I read report news but also offer up opinion, either in the same piece, or in a separate article.

    It’s how newspapers and many specialist magazines work, so why not blogs?

    If you report news but also opine, then you don’t absolutely have to be first to break a story. If you provide some thoughtful analysis as well as timely reporting, then I think you can gain a following.

    Also, some niches it’s not so important to break a story the minute it happens. It may be so for tech, but some stories can wait and “brew” a little. You’ll still often find readers.

    Bear in mind that a lot of readers aren’t on the cutting edge of tech, either, and won’t know or care how to get up-to-the-second news. The general populous is made of up a myriad of different breeds, often quite distinct from bloggers who have learned how to find news in their niche quickly.

    Think how many TV news programmes you’ve watched about a gadget that’s been reported on Engadget or the like a week earlier.

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  6. By Steven Snell posted on February 5, 2008 at 6:42 pm
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    As you pointed out, it’s just not realistic for a one-person blog to be competitive at breaking news. On the other hand, it is very possible to make a difference with an opinion blog.

    Reply

  7. By Daniel posted on February 6, 2008 at 8:56 pm
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    In my particular case trying to compete with the main stream media outlets is just about impossible. I run a blog on AFL Football (Australian Rules Football) and I started out just reporting the current news as it happened which was quite time consuming and sitting on my RSS Reader all day doesn’t really appeal that much, So I decided to change tact a bit a pull out 1 or 2 topics and throw a heavy opinion in at that seems to work better for me.

    Reply

  8. By Quality Link Directory posted on February 6, 2008 at 9:53 pm
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    Blogs are originally meant to be online journals. It has evolved ever since.

    I personally believe in the power of blogging for reaching the right audience for specific niches. It can be a very powerful marketing tool.

    Reply

  9. By Dean posted on April 22, 2008 at 4:04 am
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    Hey Daniel,

    I am in the same boat as you in that I ma trying to compete with the Aussie Football (Soccer) media with my site. Things havent been too bad so far but its quite hard keeping up with all the news that comes out almost daily.

    Reply

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