Blogs help Los Angeles Times achieve record traffic levels

This won’t come as a surprise to some, but a good blogging community can dramatically help boost traffic as a piece on Nieman Journalism Lab about the Los Angeles Times website highlights.

In the last few months the latimes.com has seen record traffic numbers and it is putting that down to its growth in use of breaking news blogs.

In March the latimes.com had over 160 million pageviews and this jumped to 189 million in May.

“That doesn’t mean the L.A. Times is going to lap The New York Times or the Huffington Post when it comes to reader counts. But the numbers are still impressive, and more so when you consider the secret sauce at the heart of it all: a full embrace of blogging that adds voice in some corners, emphasizes timeliness in others, and has opened new doors for reader engagement. On latimes.com, news is geting the blog treatment and blogs are getting the news treatment. ‘Most of our blogs are reported stories,’ said Jimmy Orr, managing editor/online for the Times. ‘What we’re seeing is big increases in our blogs, and that’s where a lot of the breaking news is’.”

Turning blogs into news experiments is being led by its LA Now blog, which has become a driver for breaking news or live blogging.

I’ve written before how the future of digital journalism is live blogging and we’ve seen more evidence of that recently these last few months with the hacking scandal as papers like the Guardian and the Telegraph have put together great live blogs. And Brand Republic too has been live blogging at it and we were really pleased with how our efforts at the height of the hacking scandal.

For the Latimes.com blogs have become the platform, which is seen increasingly by many media groups as an easier way to write and publish news because of the flexibility it offers over a traditional news story in terms of updating fast moving and breaking stories.

“Orr attributes that to the high posting frequency from the blogs’ writers, as well as their writing style. It’s writing that has voice and knowledge, but is also reported out, Orr said. So when you read an item on Politics Now about the Iowa straw poll, say, or an item about Pixar on Hero Complex, those posts are actually more akin to article-length stories,” Nieman reports.

Read the full post on Nieman Journalism Lab