Starting, creating or making a news website blog using WordPress to showcase trending live stories, news or the latest report is not difficult. Please know likewise that running such a successful niche is not rocket science.
Please know that to start a news website business, your success is dependent on hard-work, your-self dedication, commitment and a sound fiscal/action plan. You should be ready to make the initial sacrifices to attain long term success with this project because having the passion alone is not enough!!.
Get ready for an interesting tutorial on how you can make and run a self-sustaining website, whether you are in India, The USA, UK, Germany, Nigeria e.t.c.
News Blog Vs News Websites
A blog is much more of a personal touch, meaning that it is run as a one man show and the contents are basically a reflection of the thoughts/analysis of the publisher.
However, the website version is much more multidimensional . It s usually on a large scale, with lots of columnists and contributors on the site. To run such a site is a little bit expensive because you need to invest on social media seriously ( Facebook and twitter especially), hire writers e.t.c.
Typically, most physical companies in this niche are the ones running accompanying website whereas individuals/independents usually start out with a blog. The model of setting up either model is the same with WordPress.
For anyone wanting to venture in this niche, I strongly advise that you start with the blog niche and gradually grow/scale up everything into becoming a full fledged website ( I started with this model and still using the model, I average the sum of USD200 per day from Google Adsense earnings ).
As far as I know and understand, notable questions like legal requirements and implications for regions like India, USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia e.t.c. should not deter you. There is no legal law stopping you from running and opening your own news website. However, what I have discovered from my own experience and from clients likewise is:
- Unless you are running your own original content with your own written stories, then no problem
- However, if you are recycling or typically borrowing some text/words or stories from the original source, it is mandatory to always quote the source of the story either in the middle of the story or at the end. More than 75% of viral websites like Buzzfeed, Viralnova embraces this model ( Check this out on how you can set up your own viral sites)
- Doing this is better to avoid litigation problems
- On the issue of image and content copyright infringement ( one of my readers on Linkedin asked this question). First is to always use free images ( You can get them here) and secondly, if you copy other people new’s content ( verbatim i.e word for word, then you need to include the source at the end of the post)
- Again, if you are accepting payments ( advertisement) from companies/corporate entities, it is important to be tax compliance, especially if they are making the payment to you either through bank transfer or to your registered company/business name. To be on a safe side, you might consider using this online company for collecting your payment in USD ( American dollars) if you are not resident in USA ( you will have a USA bank account and also a mastercard).
To create a news website, I have categorized the steps required into three: the skill’s requirement, web requirements, and promotion/marketing, now let me explain:
- The Skill’s Requirements
The skill’s requirement is the foundation and the most important factor when thinking of starting successfully. In this internet age, anybody can wake up and decide to launch his/her own version of Huffington post or new York times portal; however, the long-term success of your aspiration is determined to a large extent on the following valid points.
- Choose a niche
- Get facts directly from sources
- Be passionate, be committed and think of sustenance
- Excellent grammatical expression
- Be Unique, and have original content
- Curate or simply aggregate your stories or trending /latest deveopments
- Start off strong
I launched a story based ( similar to rollingstone) website called madailygist.com ( and it is doing well)- the model and principle I used is what I am trying to teach you with this tutorial.
With the above summary, the following is a brief explanation on each, I’m of the view that you need proper information before you can get started.
- 1# Start with a local news website
Starting and launching a general news blog is not advisable for a starter, except if you have the budget to fund it. My candid advice is that you start local.
For example, wanting to start something like the new York times or the Huffington post can be a great daunting task because of the wider horizon involved, except if you are ready to: hire writers, work optimally 10 hours a day, commit meaningful budget, hire SEO experts for increased traffic and social media optimization.
The fundamentals on how to start a local news website is so easy and also, the start up capital is small; after launching out, you can then scale up your growth projections with hard work, re-investing your capital and keep moving with the vision!!
Most small scale successful bloggers usually start with niches e.g. technology , celebrity , political blog or even an ordinary local news blog. Starting a blog is easy, but maintaining it and achieving monetary success over a long period of time is tough if you do not set the right purpose in motion at the beginning.
Recommendation: Start from a small focused niche first
- 2# Be Unique and have original content
Please, you must have it at the back of your mind that there are similar and lots of site out there, so what is going to make yours unique? To succeed entails that you provide a unique and original content to the satisfaction of the readers and also to the integrity of the search engines ( mostly Google). You need to be unique in your approach with the new blog and let your readers feel your touch. Share your opinions, either controversial e.t.c.; however, it should be one that calls for action from your readers, either through the comment section, sharing on social media e.t.c.
Recommendation: Strive to have unique and original content ( this is one of the single, most important factors to rank high and be on Google first page)
- 3# Get facts directly from sources
My very good friend ( http://africaoilgasreport.com/), started from a humble and wise beginning. When he started , he would simply subscribe to the latest update section/portal of leading oil and service companies, and get fresh, undiluted stories directly from the horse’s mouth. On getting these information’s, he would then publish them on his blog ( he has now gone global, and travel the world over and rarely does this any longer). This simple and effective idea should be implemented if you want to start a successful website in this niche; simply look for the people, company, brand, celebrities e.t.c. in your niches, subscribe directly to either their tweets, latest updates from their site from them directly. And to even spice it up, you can edit the information and add related details to their press releases
Recommendation: Do this, and you are on your way to success
- 4# Be passionate, be committed and think of sustenance
If you just want to start this business to make quick money, you will fail!! ( that’s the honest truth). To succeed involves patience, commitment, and an unwavering passion. If you don’t love what you are doing, it means you will fizzle out within 1 year; are you passionate about this dream and goal? will you be committed to the challenges?
Another vital point to note is sustenance. You should have a plan, for the short term and long term; and these plans should be anchored on sustenance. Ask yourself some questions like, ‘”will I be able to run and manage this website if I did not recoup my initial investment after one year” ? will the blog be functioning if I did not make a profit after 6 months to 1 year? you need to think of how the site will be sustained financially!!. Simple solution to this is to monetize the site from the beginning ( this is very important!!), I highly recommend you read this proven ways to achieve it and earn four figures every month.
- 5# Excellent grammatical expression
Nobody wants to come to your blog and read nonsense, poorly written English words and expression. You just have to be a thorough and professional blogger and web publisher. Before hitting the publish button from your dashboard, make sure you proofread your content very well.
- 6# Curate or simply aggregate
Being the first person to break a news is golden and you should strive to get to this point. However, if you don’t, that does not mean you are not a good journalist of a sort. What most people does now is to curate and aggregate information from different sources, publish on their blog and place a link to the original source. If you cannot report a fresh update, then be the best aggregator for your niche.
Recommendation: Be the best aggregator!! From my personal experience ( Read more below), the best aggregator plugin is wpematico, ( https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpematico/)
- 7# Have a strong business model
If you are a business minded personality like me, then it is important you have a solid business model in place. For a start, you can do all the things yourself, but as you grow in readership, organic visitors, influence and in revenue generation; you will soon begin to realize that you need help and support. Make initial provisions for an assistant ( probably Virtual Assistants). However, the most important aspect as earlier mentioned is to have a business model with adequate attention on advertising. Check out your competitors and study the sort of advertisement they have. The purpose behind this is that you will be able to contact those advertisers directly yourself. But before that, make sure you have an edge over your competitors ( you can study their organic traffic, download their advertisement notice/study their terms e.t.c.), then come up with your proposal to targeted advertisers.
Lesson learn: To start, launch and create a successful news website and blog; establish a strong business model and stick to it!!
- 8# Start off professionally and strong
I know of so many bloggers that started so well and they maintained that tempo till date. Start off by being consistent in your publications, contents e.t.c. And of course, have a professionally looking blog design!!
- 9# Use Social Media to your advantage
Social media has become and is, in fact, the leading force to the success of any website ( no matter the niche). Spend quality time and money ( by automating most tasks). Now, I need to tell you some deep honest truth. I remembered when I helped a client to launch and make her site ( http://skynews24.com) about 6 months ago. At present ( as at April 21, 2016, when I checked), she has altered some settings which are not good at all. I told her then that the major success of this venture is to treat it as a business, I specifically told her ( the owner) to invest in social media ( basically Facebook and twitter) which she did not.
“Friends, you need to invest money, time and little manual labour on FB and twitter to realize success. How?
Open an account in the name of your blog and join the following sites:
- Facebook ( create a Facebook page)
Once done, grow and increase the twitter followers to nothing less than 100k ( its tough but this is the sacrifice you need to DO!!). Secondly, make use of Facebook Ads to promote your new FB Page. From personal experience on helping clients like naij.com (https://www.facebook.com/naijcom), rsadaily.com ( https://www.facebook.com/rsadaily/) e.t.c.; you can invest USD5 a day to get between 300-500 likes every day. On the part of twitter, don’t use twitter Ads because it is crazily expensive, but one major tool I use is Manageflitter. Though it is not free, it cost anything between 11USD-29USD per month.
I am currently using this tool to get targeted, highly engaging 250-400 twitter followers per day. Check out some of my clients like https://twitter.com/RSADaily, https://twitter.com/MaDailyGist, https://twitter.com/magbedu, https://twitter.com/CassperNyovest Now, to the second requirements!!
- The Web Requirements
Before anybody would be able to type and access your site on the internet, you need the following:
- A domain name
- A web host
- A professional looking design
- Email subscription Form ( you can get it at https://www.getresponse.com/)
First check out this recommend tutorial on how you can set up your blog ( must read). Allow me to explain the whole process in brief;
- Get Domain name
E.g. for New York times website site, their domain name is nytimes.com; for this blog, it is bloggingconsult; so come up and chose wisely.
Recommendation: Search first if available and buy at Bluehost ( Image link above)
- Get A WebHost
You need to buy a space on web server to be able to house your content, this is technically called hosting; Choosing a web host provider is very important, and so, I will only recommend the best to you ( it is the best option for starters, but as you and progress, you can proceed to a much more expensive host).
Recommendation: ( See the link to buy the web space/hosting and my free offer to help below)
- Install Excellent template/ for the website design
I recommend you build your blog on WordPress platform. Most especially if you don’t want to pay thousands of dollars to a web designer” , you can make use of customized website templates/WP themes.
To this end, I recommend: The following are examples of professional designs:
You can check out the above themes/template and other recommended ones at Top 30 Best News WordPress Themes and Website Templates
Again, if you are going to make use of Google Adsense as a form of making money, it is highly recommended you get the website templates that have been specially made for them. I recommend you check out these high ctr WordPress themes.
- Install Email marketing and subscription plugin
This is important to be able to have data and details of your readers by giving them the option to subscribe to your stories/latest updates. It is also needed if you want to send custom emails to your subscribers. I recommend that you use GetResponse Email marketing and subscription services.
Recommendation: Sign up for their free trial now ( getresponse.com) , and experiment with their awesome and reliable services.
- Post-Installation Settings
I recommend you read my guidelines on what to do and the plugins to install immediately after your blog is now live. This detailed guidelines can be found towards the tail end of my earlier content on the guidelines to starting a blog that matters, I encourage you to check it out.. And the final step!!
Set Up / Configuration
All the above explanation might look difficult, but honestly, it is extremely easy to set up, configure and launch. To understand how to go about this little technical details, I recommend you read the following detailed tutorial.
- How to set up a website/blog using WordPress
- The below video tutorials
And this second video tutorial:
After reading through, come back to this post and conclude everything. ( if you need help, do not hesitate to send me an email).
How To Curate Or Aggregate News Website
This is written if you are considering either aggregating/curating your contents. One thing you should know is that the same process of starting and having a successful site as explained above also applies to running an aggregation website in the this niche, but with some slight difference and configuration.
We are going to make use of WordPress aggregator plugin ( wpematico) ; but before downloading and installing the plugin, there are some few things you need to put in place.
- Arrange your categories rightly
Some known categories for this type of niche website includes: World, Local, Celebrity, Business, Finance ( read how to set up a personal finance blog here), entertainment e.t.c. The reason for this is because if you want to aggregate sport stories / updates from another sports website or sport news from the sports category of another website; you are going to make of their feed and you should segment into the sports category on your own site.
- Step 1
Download the plugin from ( https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpematico/); upload and install the ZIP file
- Step 2
Since we are using the feed /RSS of the websites we are targeting. For example, I want the finance story from the website abcde.com. Therefore the feed will be abcde.com/feed or abcde.com/rss. However, for better and fast results, it is better to just go straight to the category. In our case, we are probably looking at abcde.com/category/finance, then the assumed feed should be abcde.com/category/finance/feed or abcde.com/category/finance/rss.
- Step 3
Copy this feed and test/check wheter it works. If it is okay, the concerned box will turn green. And since you have created the finance category on your own site, you simply instruct/set the plugin to aggregate this finance story feed to finance category.
- Step 4
Please note that is the excerpt/summary you should select and if its the full contents you want, then you will have to buy the premium version.
Set the plugin on Autopilot and make sure the site is active by publishing relevant stories everyday.
You can watch the below video / pictures/images for more understanding.
Want to set up and open a news website, the overall summary is stated below:
- Go low on your budget, sign up for a good hosting ( with free domain name)
- Write down on a notepad where you will be getting your new sources from; please, note they will be in form of RSS or atom feeds
- Check these sources e.g. nytimes.com e.t.c whether they have RSS on their site; if they have, copy the link of the RSS feeds
- Go and install these plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpematico/ , get it activated
- Use the plugin to set up your site where you will be guided on how to set it up
- Create a campaign and set up the feeds in the right channel, auto -activate auto publishing
- Good Luck!!
Ways To Make It Successful
The success of any site, and blog is for people to know about it, search for it easily and visits on a regular basis; and this is where you need to work hard. I will list out steps you need to take for the promotion of your blog, and further resource materials to read:
- Network:This is an important step to take. People that have launched local news website embraces this model and they are practically doing well. If you want to start locally, you need to join related clubs/associations both on the internet and offline.
One powerful weapon is to get associated with many news stations and extend your hands to local vendors e.t.c . By doing this, you stand a very good chance of getting latest press releases from all these sources, which you can then publish on your site.
- Add your blog to Google webmaster ( https://www.google.com/webmasters/)and verify it
- Add your site to Bing and verify it
- Install Google Analytics plugin ( https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/)
- Add your site to Google News ( this is mostly important, please, make sure you submit it)
- Create a page on Google+ , Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
And the most important of all, invest massively on your Facebook page to get likes ( followers/audience) and do the same for twitter)
Learn to start creating backlinks; to do that, read the below resource links ( it is a category and from here, you will see the entire post ( below)
Practical Guidelines To Set up A News Website
I have decided to share and discuss this important technical step on how you can set up your own news website business.
As earlier discussed, getting a premium website template like the ones above and this particular template I am using for this practical tutorial has a lot of advantage and part of it is the fact that you are presented with a complete demo. This means after setting up your blog from the host provider ( Bluehost), all you have to do is to upload the demo of the template you have purchased through the dashboard and your site will look exactly like the demo.
For this tutorial, I am using the Newspaper template from Mythemeshop below:
And a look at the footer below:
After setting up the blog from the host, you should be able to login to your website using this link ( real live example)
https://nameofyourdomain/wp-admin/ or https://nameofyourdomain/wp-login/
Once you are able to login, then you will be presented with your WordPress dashboard like the one below:
No matter the design or template you purchased, for a news website, the following elements are needed:
- Posts ( otherwise known as articles, news stories e.t.c).
For categories, the following are popular categories; local news, general, politics, business, relationship, metro, jobs, entertainment, finance etc.
Setting up your categories, pages and posts all starts from the dashboard as seen below.
This is the main section where a particular story/news will be published e.g stories on politics should come under the political category etc. To create your categories, follow the step below:
Go to your dashboard as seen above, locate posts, then under the post, you will see ‘category, click on category, then follow the below guidelines ( pictures).
Follow the above procedures for all the various categories you want to have for your site.
Do not worry on how the website looks at the moment, just follow this procedures and at the end of the day, you will adjust everything. Please know that every news you are publishing should come under a particular category!!
You can check out other newspaper sites and check out their dmca pages and use that one to craft your own. Now, in creating your own page, follow the guideline below:
On the same dashboard, locate ‘ Pages’ and click on ‘Add new” ( you will see something like this below)
Give it a title, fill it up with unique posts ( about 350 words) and publish it.
Once done, the next step is a bit technical:
Import the demo
If you want your news website to look like the above or the template you bought, all you have to do is to import the demo.
Go to your dashboard, then import; on some themes, you will see the theme options by the left of the dashboard and then you can import the demo settings.
However, the most important guideline to actually setting up the site professionally is:
- Following the guidelines from the theme developer ( it is usually by the right of the dashboard, sometimes under theme settings or options)
- Configuring the site from the widgets ( the most important tool)
To locate the widgets, go to the dashboard, then under ‘appearance; you will see ‘widgets’, click on it and you be presented with the main engine and setting platform of the entire site. ( an example is shown below).
The widgets contains drag and drop features, it has the basic and advance settings to turn your site into anything you want. From here, you can adjust the sidebars, the homepage settings, subscription box, your footer settings etc.
Now, after all these factors, the following are essential things that needs to be implemented going by the three sections of a website which are:
For the purpose of our tutorial, the header is the top of the site and it is the same throughout the pages and posts of the site. The header usually contains the Menu ( header), the logo, the advertisements etc.
The menu contains the navigation and it is one of the most important settings that both users and the search engines cares about a lot. The menu contains essential pages and categories and most times, depending on the type of themes, it can also contain primary and secondary menu settings.
From the dashboard, right hand side, locate ‘Appearance’, then ‘ Menus’; and from here, you can then set up your menus as seen below:
Any changes you make and you want to see the changes, just save the changes and refresh the page ( CTRL5).
In your own case, the menu will be empty, just click on ‘ create new menu ( give it any name), but determine whether it would be the primary or secondary menu. most primary menus are usually displayed under the website name/logo.
Once done with this section, another important and vital step/tool to use is the customizer. You will see the customizer under the ‘appearance’; From the customizer, you can easily set up the settings, name of the site, logo, colour etc.
If you need further assistance, get your domain name and hosting, then reach out to me for further assistance. Cheers.
MY PROPOSAL TO YOU
I can assist you to configure and get your blog and website set up. The only thing you have to do is to:
- Get your domain name and hosting registration through my Link here at Bluehost
- Purchase your website template/WordPress theme at either Mythemeshop
Conclusion and feedback
Thank you for taking your time to read through this blog post . Please, share your views and input through the comment section.
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Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, I am an affiliate marketer for Bluehost and this post contains an affiliate link of the company. I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Bluehost and other recommended products. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.