Mike McGuff: Blogging Opens Many Doors!

During his recent visit to our COMM 4314 class, Mike McGuff delivered an inspiring lecture on reasons for blogging in the news industry and provided immensely useful tips on tools bloggers need in order to be successful.

Mike McGuff is a successful native Houstonian blogger who blogs about the television industry in Houston. He has been blogging since 2005. Before that, McGuff has been working in the broadcast news industry for more than 20 years. He has worked at KTRK 13 as a producer and web producer, TV reporter at KIAH 39 and social media consultant to KPRC 2.

“I started blogging to get freedom from news producers and the editors, and the whole organizational structure in the broadcast news business,” said Mike.

Mike’s blog gets about one million readers in a year and has earned him several awards in the industry.

“I see it as a public service to write about the broadcasting news industry,” he explained his views on his current work.

Elaborating further his motivations for blogging, McGuff listed several reasons as follows:

  • Blogging opens doors!

In addition to writing in him blog, McGuff also works as a broadcast freelancer for national and international media. He claimed that that’s how news producers learn about his work, by finding his blog. Most recently, he has been working a correspondent for ITV network news based in London show “Good Morning London.” He was initially recruited to report on the Harvey storm from Houston.

“The blog is my resume.”

  • Keep up with the industry!

Mike’s blog covers a niche and a void in the news industry about the broadcasting media. Most local news media have stopped or do not offer in-depth analysis of the local broadcast media, which is a multi-million dollar industry. His blog fills in this niche, by providing information about the most recent developments in the industry.

  • The money!

Even though, he has a large audience and the blog does make some money, Mike claims that it is not nearly enough. The reason for why he has not commercialized his blog further, is his attachment to the journalism industry. He considers himself a journalist above all.

“There are lots of bloggers out there that play out advertisers stuff. As a journalist, I find it weird to get paid for a story,” says Mike. He considers that would compromise his integrity as a reporter and probably close some of the journalism doors as a result. So, he says that a journalist should always ask him/herself :”Does this action block me from doing journalism work? You have to think about this, if you want to continue to work as a journalist.”

  • Allows me to be a stay-at home dad!

When own his father died prematurely from a disease, Mike realized the importance of spending as much time with his own children as possible. He has two children.

Bloggers’ essential tools, by Mike McGuff:

  1. Google Analytics – gives you the digital analytics tools you need to analyze data for a deeper understanding of your audiences.
  2. Google Adsense – is a free, simple way to make money online by placing ads on your website.
  3. Adobe Photoshop – photo editing and manipulation.
  4. WayBackMachine – enables you to capture, manage and search collections of digital content without any technical expertise or hosting facilities.
  5. Feedly Reader – Your central place to organize, read, and share the information you need to stay ahead of the next big trend in your industry.
  6. Google News Alerts – a tool to monitor the web for interesting news content on topics of your choice.
  7. Twitter & Facebook pages – social media sites that help you reach out to potentially large audiences.
  8. Hootsuite – is a social media management platform, created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. The system’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and many more.
  9. Buffer – is an intuitive social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive social media results.
  10. Social Searcher – free social media search engine.
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