An Online Journalism Manifesto

* Write the truth.

* Amaze the reader.

* Great content sells itself.

* Not caring whether anyone links to you is like not caring that your article was printed in white ink on white paper.

* If you only chase what people are reading, you’ll never become what they’re talking about.

* If you can’t report, edit, take photos, edit photos, upload photos, shoot video, edit video, upload images, and write your own headline and lede, please get off the internet.

* If you don’t have the resources to moderate your comments section, you don’t deserve a comments section.

* Write for humans and eventually Google will get it.

* But humans (like Google) also like to know what something is about before they read it. Key words in the headlines and the most important word in the story appearing in the first five words helps with that. Tight and bright never died.

* Just because it’s “short” doesn’t instantly make it “shareable.” Just because it’s “long” doesn’t mean no one will read it.

* Traffic audience.

* Metrics matter. How much a story kicks you in the gut is a metric.

* If you need to lower quality to meet quantity, you need to lower quantity.

* No, there actually is a business rationale for having higher standards. Better work = better CPM.

* Make the call. Get the quote. Or the no comment. Get it. Do your job.

* Just sending one email to a general inbox and saying “did not respond to request for comment” is not doing your job.

* That old bromide about how you could get all the hits in the world by posting Britney upskirt shots? Sure, you’ll get traffic, temporarily, but eventually your audience will be worthless.

* Sell ads against content, not content against ads.

* Everyone online has the right to their opinion. Expressing it on your platform is a privilege. Privileges are earned and revocable.

* Only write for your readers.

* Just because it’s got lots of quotes doesn’t mean it’s well-reported. Just because it’s two sentences long doesn’t mean it needs more research.

* Platforms and hot social media tools always change. Great story never does. Specialize in the latter.

* If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.