How to start a News Website in 5 easy steps

How to start a News Website in 5 easy steps

In the world of information, it is important to let people know about various happenings. It is one thing to start a news website and it is completely another ball game to keep a sustainable and build for the long run. Here are five steps to get your News website running in a sustainable manner.

Identify your target segment

The first step is to identify the cause you are creating your website for and the target segment you looking to give this news to. It is important to look for the volume of people who are interested in the news you are generating and value of the news you are generating. Tools like Google Keyword planner or SME rush can help you in identifying the right target audience. They give you a context in terms of whether people are searching for your cause and how many people are there.

In case you are looking to have a geographic specific local news website or channel, they give you options for identify the search volume and people in a geography.

Look for Competition and identify your unique identity

The next step is to identify website and news portal which are having similar news content. This includes similar sounding web sites and website which are having similar keywords such as yourself. You can also use websites like Similar Web or Similar Site to identify more of these websites and see how they are doing. Once you have analyzed your competition, it is important to create yourself a unique identity for you audience. This involves a great sounding brand name , logo and taglines. You can book your domain names with service providers like Go Daddy or Big Rock. You can use free tools like Google Draw or outsource your design to freelancer networks like Freelancer.com or Fiverr. With this you are ready for your first baby step into the world of online publishing.

Create a Content Strategy and your Team

The most important step in your pursuit to create the destination of choice for your readers is to create awesome, engaging and regular content. The best way to stay ahead of competition is to create original content. That said, depending on News agencies to give wide reach of topics will be helpful. In today's world it is also important to stay wired to what is happening in Social media, tools like Hoot Suite and Mention allows you to monitor your social media at one place. With tools used in systems like Hocalwire CMS you can also customize your social intelligence specifically tailored for your Newsroom.

Once you identify your sources, creating a content strategy and how often you deliver this content to your audience is very important. This depends on how easy you get content from your sources, how fast you can fact check and curate this content and how well you can write this content.

Choose your CMS & Distribution Strategy

Our you know what to publish and who will publish, the next thing is how to publish. This predominantly boils down to choosing a content management system (CMS) platform based on the scale of your operations. You may have to consider your budget in making this decision. Basic features are available with ease in system like Wordpress and Drupal CMS, which are open source platforms. Although this is self-serve it will be best if you have someone with a knowledge about the features helping you out. In case, you are building the system for scale it is important you reach out to people who have done successful websites in News media. You can also explore ready tools like Quint Type, Super Desk or Hocalwire.

A system like Hocalwire, gives you all the necessary tools in an easy to use platform and will also be soft on the budget front. It is important to also plan for social media distribution tools which are in built into Hocalwire system. The alternatives here include Hoot Suite. With a good CMS, you would be able to plan, create and distribute content with ease. When choosing your CMS , do look into the kind of support the team gives and the ability for the system to enable new features for your audience in a short turn around time.


Build your Revenue Streams & Check your Costs

The most important part of running a sustainable News house is to look at it like a sustainable business. Account for your costs and keep them under check, your biggest costs will include your team's remuneration, sourcing costs and technology cost. It is important to keep them as a fixed or variable cost based on the scale of your operations. You can use free tools like Wave Apps, to keep a tab of all your monthly costs.

Simultaneously it is important to generate revenue stream for building your operations. The money inflow for a News media is mainly in the form of Advertisement revenues, Donations ( both online and offline), Events and other paid promotions. For a starter, the low hanging fruits or advertisements and Donations. In the online world the advertisement revenue comes from partnering with ad networks or sourcing ads from the market directly. In both the cases it is important to have a back end system which will track and deliver the numbers required by your clients. Even though you may not be able to get directly into Google Adsense, it is easy to look for alternates which can give you a steady revenue streams. You can also partner with local ad agencies in monetizing your inventory.




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