Celebrity gossip is the currently the hottest thing going in the online writing world. There is plenty of it going into newscasts, newspapers and magazines, but the majority of it is being done online. Thanks to the quick fame and money coming to the most popular gossip blogs, seemingly everyone wants to get into this form of writing. Here's how to do it if you think you'd like to get into the game:
- Know your gossip targets. In the celebrity gossip world, anyone is fair game. But the targets that everyone wants to read about will change every few months. At one point, it might be all about the starlets out partying. Then it may change to the actors of a certain TV series. Keep on top of what everyone is reading and talking about by reading a few gossip blogs yourself. But don't limit yourself to blogs--these days even the front page of CNN.com has celebrity gossip on it.
- After reading blogs and finding out who the hot celebrities are, take a look at the most popular search engine searches. Most of them are usually celebrities about whom gossip is demanded. If you can fill that need, you will guarantee some readership.
- Develop your own hook. The most successful celebrity gossips go in with one main hook to brand their site and keep readers coming back. One famous blog writer made a name for himself by outing gay actors. One blog found its way by gossiping about the celebrities with the worst fashion taste. Whatever your hook is, exploit it. Play it up, and don't worry about going over the top. Even the famous gay-outer admits that some of the people he says are gay aren't really--he just does it for the publicity. And it works.
- Keep it accurate. There are a lot of gossips that will declare someone to be pregnant, gay, separated, or otherwise in possession of a secret they don't want revealed. Unless you are certain that the allegations are true, never say for a fact they are. Tabloids and blogs are rarely sued, but that doesn't mean it never happens. And that doesn't mean it won't start happening more often. If you are not reasonably sure of something, make sure to point out that the item is only an opinion. You may want to carry that at the top of your column or at the bottom of every page of your website. You might also want to use phrases such as "the rumors are that..." or "some people believe..." These won't stop a lawsuit from happening, but they can stop a celebrity from winning one.
- Keep it opinionated. To make a name for yourself as a gossip, you need strong opinions and even stronger words. No one cares if a dress is unflattering. They do care if the dress makes the actress look like an overstuffed sausage.
Celebrity gossips also should keep a good storehouse of information in their heads. If one celebrity is photographed with another, it's helpful to be able to remember that last year one of them called the other a warthog.