How to start a news website in 6 easy steps
Are you excited to create a news website? There are over 1 billion sites across the world – 1,179,448,021 to be precise, according to Netcraft’s survey (October 2021). To say that there are enough might be an understatement but there’s always room for good content on the internet.
News websites have democratized the creation, distribution, and monetization of news. With the global reach, immigrants can now subscribe to local dailies without any hassle. The unlimited space to write and create multi-layered complex stories has enabled the fast-moving world to access news anywhere and everywhere.
Creating news website: Where to start
If you’re new to the digital world, welcome. The possibilities are endless on the digital platform however to get started you need the basics.
- Authentic content
- Most importantly, a newspaper CMS.
When creating a news website, the first thing to start hunting for is a newspaper CMS. It’s a content management system, a software that allows you to create, manage, distribute and monetize your content online. This is the center of your newsroom. All the content is submitted onto the CMS and delivered through it. For you to have a good digital publishing experience, you need a content management tool that’s tried and tested.
6 Easy steps to create a news website
Not sure where to start? Once you’ve got your basics in place, it’s time to dive deeper into the realm of digital publishing. This is a space where you need to invest in the right tools and plugins to get maximum output. This also means that you’ll have to do market research and sit through demos to get a feel of what the industry trends are and what fits your specific brand. Here are a few easy steps you can follow to set up your news website.
The number of netizens is overflowing. There are 4.4 million smartphones being bought every day across the world. For you to stand out to an audience, you need to pick your target audience. While having a global approach is every media houses’ goal, it’s important to focus on your niche and have a defined target audience. This will help you build your content, invest in the right tools, and scale efficiently.
Posting content on the internet will only bring you money if you start to monetize your content. This can be done in many ways. You need to treat your content as the product. Give the audience a tease and then save your quality pieces for those who will pay. You’ll need a monetization tool for this.
As you start off, you may want to experiment with different models of monetization to reach the most profitable space with your target audience. Accesstype is a good example of a flexible monetization tool. You can try premium subscriptions, hybrid, or even layered subscriptions. Find a monetization tool that will eradicate friction during subscriptions. Don’t hold back from experimenting with different monetization plans – the digital publishing space allows you to change your rates effortlessly!
3. Choosing your channels
The internet is available on various platforms today. It’s important to know which channels you will be focusing on. We’ve noticed a lot of publishers lean towards mobile-first users. This is a trend as most netizens access information from their smartphones. According to your reader behavior, you can decide on your channels of distribution and prioritize the ones that are the most popular.
Choosing a platform will also enable effective content creation. You can create content and use multimedia to cater to your most prioritized channel. This will ensure that you provide the best user experience on your website/app.
4. CMS platform
A CMS is going to be the most important tool you invest in for your news website. Your content management system is going to help you set the newsroom standard through creation and distribution. While we recommend you to have a headless CMS, there is a wide array of CMSs available in the market today. It’s important to have your CMS needs in place to land on the perfect platform for your website.
You might want a CMS that is easy to maintain, allows collaboration, updates as per the latest industry needs, fits your budget, works as a central system for all your content, and most importantly – one that allows you to do as many functions as needed.
5. Newsroom dynamics
The first hurdle to creating good content is acquiring the right content creators. How many people do you have on your team? Do you have photographers? Is it a small team that you hope to grow over time? Is it collaborative work or would you prefer a personalized experience?
In order to land on the right CMS, you need to know what your newsroom needs. Finding platforms built to support journalists can be tricky but the first step is to know your priorities. This can help set the right expectations. You can emphasize the need for scalability, collaborativeness, mobile-friendly CMS, and more.
A headless CMS by itself allows you to create content by adding layers to it. To enhance its performance, we often use plugins. If your CMS is easy to work with, you should have no trouble managing the plugins. From video streaming providers to social media, through plugins, you can ensure that your CMSs’ functions are further extended.
There’s no right way to start big projects, but there are many small steps you can take to ensure that your efforts reap the benefits. This is where research and blogs like these come in handy. We hope you have a good digital publishing experience.