Launching a successful news website and blog 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 news website, whether you are in India, The USA, UK, Germany, Nigeria e.t.c.
Are you a journalist and you’ve been thinking about how to open, launch and set up a blog. By the way, you are inspired by the likes of New York Times, ABC news, Reuters e.t.c. And/or probably, you are not satisfied with how online journalism is practiced and thinking of setting up your own website!!
The good news is that it is not a rocket science and owning your news site will probably take you less than 20 minutes to launch and set up.
As far as I know and understand, notable questions like legal requirements and implications for regions like India, USA, UK 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/news, then no problem
- However, if you are recycling or typically borrowing some text/words or news 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 of the news.
- Doing this is better to avoid litigation problems
- 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.
Before reading ahead; first, get a free domain name and a huge discount (USD3.34) on your monthly blog hosting. Domain name typically costs around 30USD yearly, but with my link below at Bluehost, you will get it free and a great discount ( it is usually 7.89 per month without discount). After this, send me a mail through my contact page and I will help you set up everything.
Ready, click here: Get your free domain name and discounted monthly web host at Bluehost
I launched a new news website called rsadaily.com last month ( and it is doing well)- the model and principle I used is what I am trying to teach you with this tutorial.
Requirements on how to create a news website
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:
- Skill’s requirements
The skill’s requirement is the foundation and the most important factor when thinking of starting a successful news blog. In this internet age, anybody can wake up and decide to launch his/her own version of Huffington post or new York times news 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 news
- Start off strong
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# How to start a successful news blog – Importance of a Niche
Starting 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 from a niche focused point of view. 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.
Recommended to read:
- Read this if you wish to launch your own fashion blogging career
- 7 Ways to launch a successful blog in Entertainment Niche
- Practical Guidelines to launch your own Political Blogging Niche
Most small scale successful bloggers usually start with niches e.g. technology news blog, celebrity news blog, political news 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 news 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. At the beginning of his online blog, he would simply subscribe to the news 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 news blog; simply look for the people, company, brand, celebrities e.t.c. in your niches, subscribe directly to either their tweets, website news, get updates 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 a news blog to make quick money, you will fail!! ( that’s the honest truth). To succeed with your news blog 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 news blog if I did not recoup my initial investment after one year? will the blog be online 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 news site from the beginning ( this is very important!!), I highly recommended you read:
- 5# Excellent grammatical expression
Nobody wants to come to a news 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 your news
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 online 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 news, then be the best news 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 ( not only in the news niche) 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 news blog ( 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 news 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 or technical requirements
Before anybody would be able to type and access your news blog on the internet, you need the following:
- A domain name
- A web host
- A news blog or site design
- Email subscription Form ( Email marketing services for your readers)
I strongly recommend you read this post first on setting up your blog
Allow me to explain the whole process in brief;
- Domain name
E.g. for New York times online site, their domain name is nytimes.com; for this blog, its bloggingconsult; so come up and chose wisely.
Recommendation: Search first if available and buy at Bluehost
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: Buy a web space and host your Website
- Excellent News template/ for the website design
I recommend you build your news 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 news website designs:
You can check out the complete recommended templates at Top 30 Best Newspaper WordPress Themes and Website Templates
- 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 news. 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, 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 starting a Food blog.
And the final step!!
- Ways to promote, market and 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 news blog, and further resource materials to read:
- Add your news blog to Google webmaster and verify it
- Add your news site to Bing and verify it
- Install Google Analytics plugin
- Add your news site to Google News ( this is mostly important, please, make sure you submit it)
- Create a page on Google+ , Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
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)
From the category above, you will be able to read and check some of the following posts:
- How to get links to your website the Google way
- 5 safe ways to build and get backlinks to a new blog
- Links from Google penalty blogs-5 ways to know healthy backlinks
- 11 bad backlinks to avoid that decrease your google search rankings
How to create and start a news Aggregator Website
I help launched and set up a powerful News aggregator site for a client of mine. The name of the site is madailygist.com ( though, he has moved into a full-blown news website. You can also check the homepage for a list of clients I’ve done similar project for)
I can boldly tell you that the site is so successful and the guy is making quality money from Adsense in four figures every month!!
The same process of starting and having a successful news site as explained above also applies to running an aggregation website in the news niche, but with some slight difference and configuration.
So, if you want to set up a news aggregator website just like the above, follow the following simple steps:
- In case of aggregator, you are simply getting the summary ( preferably 120-150 word count) of the story/news and then linking back to the original source
- You are still going to make use of the Wpematico plugin ( earlier mentioned). However, you are not going to pull in full contents but only the summary/excerpt. The below settings will be of great help.
- Create nothing less than 10 categories e.g World, Local, Celebrity, Business, Finance e.t.c. ( you will need to instruct each campaign to either publish or in draft mode to specific category e.g. feeds from finance should be done under finance campaign and set to publish under finance category)
- And most importantly, one vital ingredient to your success is to use SEO optimized news aggregator website templates ( also called WordPress themes).
You can get these aggregator templates ( premium) at:
Want to set up and start a news website, the overall summary is stated below:
- Go low on your budget, sign up for a good hosting ( with free domain name) on Bluehost ( do it now!!)
- 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!!
Allow me to help you FREE OF CHARGE!!
I have helped close to 30 people in setting up their website and blog. If you are serious about owning a site or blog based on the power of WordPress, the good news is that I will help you set it up FREE. But to get this free service,
- Make sure you have registered the domain and obtain the hosting through my Link
- Make sure you have purchased a premium website or blog template from either Mythemeshop, Genesis ( Studiopress) and or Elegant Themes
After this, send me a mail through my contact page, mentioning the domain name and hosting you’ve registered. I will set up your site/blog with the best SEO practices including:
- Installing all necessary plugins
- Fine-tuning and setting up the entire permalinks and /Menu settings
- Setting up the Search Engine optimization settings ( very important)
Conclusion and feedback
Thank you for taking your time to read through this blog post on best practices on how to create and set up a successful news website. Please, share your views and input through the comment section.
If you need my help to set up, install and launch your blog/site at an affordable rate; Please, feel free to contact me!!