How to start, create, make and launch an online news website and blog
If you are curious and seriously keen to own and open your own online newspaper, then spare yourself some 10-15 minute to diligently read through this guideline and learn how to create and launch a successful news website and blog.
One of the hardest truths you might not want to hear or know is the fact that this is a serious venture and you will need to work very hard.
If you don’t treat this idea or business of yours as the usual business entity with required attention, focus, dedication, investment and seriousness, then you better quit now or you are heading for an unsuccessful journey.
From personal experience running and owning my own news website, and quite helping lots of people to launch theirs; I would want to dissect and explain this whole issue from three standpoints of view.
- Technical Requirements
- Action Placement
For easy guide, the three factors you will need to do or execute are:
- Using WordPress to launch the online news website or blog
- Using the power of social media ( Facebook and twitter) to fast track the growth, scale operations and create an engaging audience.
- publishing contents and approaching your site with a unique touch that makes it diferent from others ( I will explain)
Technical Requirements on how to start a news website
To run an efficient online newspaper, you need to be in control of the whole operations. I mean, you need to own the information and not to depend of third party to keep and take care of your data. The basic truth I’m trying to outline is that you will need an open software program called WordPress to start off with this idea of yours.
- 1#. Use WordPress To Make Your Blog/Website
WordPress platform currently powers more than 60% of websites and blogs out there( approximately 30% of the top 10 million websites at at April 2016). Even the mighty new york times and lots of news websites are running on WordPress.
How do you get started?
First, you will need the following:
- A domain name
- A web hosting
- A professional looking newspaper design
Get Domain Name:
Example of domain names includes hubpages.com, rollingstone.com, cnn.com e.t.c. ) the domain name are just those names without the extensions i.e .com, .org)
For example, the domain name of hubpages.com is ‘hubpages’; so practically, you need to search and check for a domain name that fits the overall objective of your mission.
You need to choose a short, unique, concise name; I recommend you use Bluehost search to look for the right name
On getting the right available domain name, I suggest you buy it immediately or else other people that are currently searching for the same might buy it before you.
Once you have cleared the issue of domain name, the next technical step to execute is the hosting of the name.
Chose a Reliable Webhost Provider:
Have you experience a slow loading website? Or a site that crashes intermittently? Or the type that is not always available? The obvious reason is what brought us here.
For people to be able to read your news, gist’s e.t.c. on the web, you will need to host and accommodate the contents you intend to publish on the domain name by renting space from web hosting service providers.
This is technically called web hosting and the service provider I recommend is what I’m using. They are reliable, efficient and security conscious.
I recommend Bluehost; for as low as 3-5USD per month, you can get your website up and running within 3 minutes.
The beauty of using Bluehost webhosting services is numerous and an example is the fact that when you decide to host with them, you will not pay for the domain in the first one year (this is good thereby saving you some few dollars).
The act of hosting a website and installing it is summarily explained in the video below
But trust me, if you can read and write in simple English, you can do this yourself without having to pay thousands of dollars to any website designer to build your site for you!!
Buy and install a professionally looking Website Template
A WordPress template is the skin and body your website needs. Every blog or site in the entire globe is designed and uploaded on the World Wide Web.
Because we are using WordPress platform, and have just hosted the site, the next step is to get premium WordPress themes (templates) that will give us the feel and creative design instinct of what a news website should look like.
I’m recommending premium templates because of technical support advantage, security and an unmatched search engine optimization (SEO) advantage you will get.
Examples of newspaper WordPress theme are shown below:
You can get these premium WordPress themes / templates at the following places:
- Elegant Themes
After making the purchase, download the Zip file to your system and with the help of the above video tutorial, you just need to upload the zip file through your dashboard and activate the theme.
The below pictorial guidelines will also be of help!!
Once you are able to install the theme successfully, I say congratulations. Now, there are some more technical stuffs you need to do before publishing post contents ( news).
- I naturally recommend that you upload the demo from the ZIP file. Doing this will make it easy for you to customize the overall settings, edit/remove and replace some sections/links you don't want.
- Most importantly, it is highly recommend you set up the following page:
To do this, just click on 'page' towards the left hand side of your dashboard and write the required information, then click publish.
3. The next thing to do is to arrange your menus.
4. Some plugins are important to install. I highly encourage you read the earlier mentioned above link on how to install and set up a WordPress Website, from there, you will get to understand how to round up and conclude the technical stuffs.
And to the second point!
Marketing / Promotion - How to launch a news website and blog
When I was just starting out in the world of establishing online business, I use to wonder why the likes of hubpages ( they were initially funded with US$2 million investment from Hummer Winblad) and some other established/successful websites had to borrow money or contact angel investors to start off. Now , I know the answer!!
These successful websites/online business understands the importance of having an audience for their products and they also understand the overall strategic importance of scaling and fast-tracking operations/activities.
I own news websites and I've also helped clients to set up theirs; the secret to a successful online newspaper is to have an ESTABLISHED AUDIENCE and you can only get these audiences from social media ( basically, from Facebook and Twitter).
My proven argument is this:
- Go to Facebook and create a Facebook page in the name of your domain. E.g if domain name is uknews24.com, then the Facebook page should be Facebook.com/uknews24
- Go to Twitter.com and open an account using the same method above i.e twitter.com/uknews24
- Grow the your Twitter account to nothing less than 80-150 thousand followers
- Grow and increase your Facebook likes to at least 500,000 likes
- Don't use twitter Ads because its expensive. Don't buy twitter account because its useless and are full of ghost users. The only option is to grow the followers systematically. I use manageflitterfor my sites and clients ( those who engage my services to help them grow their followers). The other good alternative is tweepi.com
- To grow and get more targeted FB followers, you need to invest some few funds. From my personal experience, if you invest 700-1000USD, you should be able to get a highly targeted 100,000 Facebook likes. How?
- Place an Advert on FB; in your options, target the followers of a leading online newspaper e.g. cnn; then set the location to a specified country. E.g people who loves cnn, new york times and are living in canada.
- Once you are achieve the specified followers above or getting close to them; then you should start publishing contents on your website. Now, lets proceed to the next step on how to handle your news post, automate them and make money!!
To me, this should be the most important step you need to take to build your social media audience first This should be done after securing i.e buying the domain name and hosting ( but without publishing content).
Once you are able to diligently follow the two mentioned steps above, then this next stage is equally important.
Before proceeding, let me share this quote with you: ' Success does not come by prayer and fasting, but by diligence, accurate planning, systemic arrangement, hard work, seeking/implementing innovative advise, prayer!!
What do I mean?
Think about it!!
At this juncture, you need to start posting news, but how?
- Go to different news sources and you can lift or copy out their stories ( at least do this for a start to understand the terrain)
- Write or rewrite each stories and let it be unique.
And one unusual secret!! when I started ( even with my clients), I did not have the time to start writing stories, so what I did is to curate news stories from different stories and then publish them on my site on auto pilot and at the end of each post, I will insert source.
The plugin of interest I used is called Wpematico ( search for this plugin, and install it).
With this plugin, you can pull stories from different souces ( as they are publishing) to your own site without having to sit on the laptop 24 hours. I recommend you give it a try.
Opening a news website and making Money
Below are the honest advice I will share here:
- To be successful, you need to monetize from the very beginning. Don't wait till you start getting 10,000 daily traffic e.t.c.; How do you monetize?
- You can start with PPC Ad services, and the leading PPC service provider is Google Adsense. Sign up for Google Adsense and start displaying their code on your site
- By the time you start getting daily traffic from 10,000 upwards ( it is an advantage, but still go ahead even if you don't get up to that traffic); coupled with your massive twitter and Facebook followers ( audience). Create an advertisement page on your site and you will be surprised that clients will start contacting you.
- Secondly, make a professional advertising proposal and start reaching out to companies for direct advertisement.
Thank you for dilligently reading through this long tutorial. Please share your views, opinions, questions through the comment section below.
And if you find the tutorial informative and interesting, please share it on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks
The below points are references in the course of writing this content. I urge you to check them out for full understanding and implementation of your goals: