Around the Wire: Quartz Goes Home, Facebook’s Good News for Journalists & Tips for Blogging Blues

Welcome to the latest installment of Around the Wire, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging, and freelancing stories from the past week.

Screenshot of the redesigned Quartz homepage

Screenshot of the redesigned Quartz homepage

1. Maybe the Homepage is Alive After All: Quartz is Trying a New Twist on the Traditional Website Front Door (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Quartz, which previously heralded “The homepage is dead, and the social web has won,” dramatically shifted its website strategy this week. Previous visits to would take you to the site’s top story with scrolling navigation between articles.

However, the new homepage design now features a tailored summary of news modeled after their email newsletter. The goal: like other news sites’ homepages, to encourage return visits and build loyalty instead of depending solely on inbound traffic from social media.

2. Make Sure You Understand the Psychology of Pricing When Setting Your Freelance Rates (The Freelancer)

The question of “how much?” is one that sends many freelancers into a state of panic. As Charlie Kasov writes on Contently’s The Freelancer blog, “Too high and clients turn us down. Too low and we diminish the value of what we do.” Fortunately, there are a few psychological tricks freelancers can employ to squeeze the most out of their rates.

3. Still Debating the Merits of Taking Facebook Seriously As a Journalist? (David Higgerson)

Facebook rolled out another adjustment to its feed algorithm this week. The latest change rewards content that people spend time reading, instead of link-baiting to content that doesn’t deliver on a post’s promise.

David Higgerson, digital publishing director for Trinity Mirror’s regional sites, argues this is a great step for the media: “Facebook is reminding publishers to treat the Facebook audience with respect. It’s a bit stick and carrot but it’s good news for journalism – those who make the effort to build communities on Facebook will be rewarded.”

4. Down on Blogging? How to Beat the Blogging Blues (DailyBlogTips)

You’ve been blogging for a while and have run out of ideas. Or you’re overwhelmed by other things going on in your life and you don’t have the energy to blog. Or maybe you’re just bored. A lot of bloggers quit when they hit these “blogging blues.” Before you give up, try the four techniques in this blog post and get your blogging groove back.

5. Timeless Storytelling Tips from Former PR Newswire Features Editor Fred Ferguson (Beyond PR)

Fred FergusonWe were sad to hear news this week of the passing of former Features Manager Fred Ferguson. A veteran newsman who began his career as a Pacific Stars and Stripes stringer during the Korean War, Fred worked as a copyboy, reporter, editor, and regional executive for United Press International.

Later in his career, Fred used his experience as an award-winning features writer to counsel PR Newswire clients on how to incorporate feature news writing in their campaigns.

We remember Fred with these timeless storytelling tips he once shared and are signing off this week’s Around the Wire with his signature shorthand “outa pkt.”

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Amanda Hicken is a media relations manager with PR Newswire for Journalists. Follow her at @ADHicken for tweets about the media, comic books, and her love of Cleveland.

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