How to start a News Website using WordPress

WordPress & Blogging

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Starting your own website is a dream of almost everyone as we all know how profitable this can become in the long run. News Websites always attract hundreds and thousands of eyeballs and can help make a lot of money for the website owner. So, taking this in mind, let us see how to start your website news website using WordPress.

I want to make one thing clear at the starting itself. There is absolutely no need to install any specialized plugins or news themes etc in order to start a news website using WordPress. All plugins and theme, included, is just to make the site look pretty and to extend certain functionality. WordPress makes it easy to start any type of website with just a few basic customizations. 

Before you read further, please understand that there are a lot of news websites these days and the success rate has decreased if you compare it to how it was like 2 years ago (2019 and earlier). Maybe when you read this post the situation is different. But this does not mean that a news website cannot make you money. It can, for sure.

I have been working on news-related websites for a long time now and in this post, I will share with you all the knowledge that I have accumulated in this time period.

Niche News Website

To start a news website is easy but to maintain it is a difficult task. We always get tempted by all the various content we see on a daily basis on the internet and then want to incorporate it all on our own website/blog. Is it the right thing to do? Hmmm… I will say no, in most cases.

Just like any other topic, a news website can have so many different categories. Take for example the case of Indiatimes or the New York Times. Both are well-established news portals and have so many categories to cover with so many writers. Can you do the same? if yes, then go ahead and give them proper competition, but if no, then start small.

Pick a niche for your news website. Start writing on fashion news, sports news, things happening in India, cryptocurrency news, and so on. I highly suggest that you pick only 1 topic. But if you really want to go beyond that then choose 2-3 more topics but related to the main niche topic of your news website. The more you diversify the more you can write BUT there will be lesser content in each category.

Choose a Domain 

Now that you have chosen a niche for your news website, now is the time to think about the name that you want to go with. To be frank, these days domain name does not matter as much as it used to, you can keep anything you want, but in the case of a news website, it is better to keep something related to the news. Adding ‘news’ to the latter half of the selected name highlights that you are running a news website.

These days the cost of domains has also gone down and you can easily book your domain from any registrar, like NameCheap.

Choose the best Web Hosting

Web Hosting, other than a domain name, is most important to run any kind of website. Sure you can start a website using free services, like Blogger or Tumblr. But a free service is always a free service and with it comes a whole list of terms & conditions. There is absolutely no certainty that they will let you run your website/blog or will shut it down without any reason. It has happened to many people.

You don’t have to invest in a dedicated server to start a news website, but a good and reliable web host is necessary. I highly recommend, BlueHost, for this. I have personally used the services of both these companies on my own websites and also on the websites of my clients.

Start a News Website with WordPress

You will find so many options to start your website, news, or anything else, using free software like Joomla, Nucleus, and many more. But the best option is without any doubt, WordPress. Gone are the days when it was used for making blogs. Now robust websites are being made using it. You will be surprised to know that huge – big websites use WordPress on their websites.

Rainboz also runs on WordPress. WordPress is free, but it is one of the most powerful pieces of software that you will ever find. Hundreds of developers all around the world support this platform.

If you want to learn more about why you should choose WordPress then click here.

When you purchase a domain and web hosting, then you have to install WordPress in order to start working on your website, adding content, and so on.

You can download WordPress from its official website, here.

Pick a suitable News Website Theme

Frankly speaking, this doesn’t matter much now. But to pick a theme that is responsive in nature and smartphone compatible is more important. 99.9% of website visitors will come to your website using their mobile phones. A very few percentages of people will actually come to the website using a desktop computer. But that does not mean that you should have an ugly website theme.

You can obviously buy paid WordPress themes from marketplaces like Envato, but I do not recommend doing so when you start a new website. If you already have a paid theme then it is a different story. NEVER go for pirated paid themes as there is a 100% chance of getting hacked. So always keep this in mind.

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In the Appearances section of WordPress, you’ll find hundreds of free themes ready to be installed on your WordPress-powered website. Please go with a theme that has at least 2000 installs. More than that is even better. Pick any theme you like and adjust the layout as per your liking.

If you want to know how how to install a WordPress theme and which mistakes to avoid, then you must read this for sure. Click Here to do so.

Use Plugins to extend the functionality

Again, don’t get overwhelmed by looking at the plugins section of your website. Hundreds and thousands of plugins are available for WordPress, both paid and free.

I have seen so many people installing a lot of plugins to add all sorts of features to their website. Do not use a plugin unless it is most important. Try to use as little as possible. Click here to see a list of the most important plugins that you can use on your website.

Also, do not keep unused plugins installed on your website, and also, update regularly.

Final Steps to start a News Website

Now that you have completed all the above steps, we should see what else you have to do in order to start your news website.

  1. Categories – Now is the time to create categories on the website. As I said earlier, keep as few as possible.
  2. Posts – Start writing news posts on the topics that you selected. You can obviously take help of the news items on other websites, but just don’t rewrite or worse, copy-paste them. Try to be a little bit more creative and add something extra, like your own opinion, or embed related Tweets, YouTube videos, etc.
  3. Tags – Use tags on your website (news posts). But again, don’t overdo them. Use as little as possible.

How many news posts to post every day?

Well, it all depends on you. But on a normal news website, I recommend posting at least 5 posts every single day. Anything less than that will make your website look stale. Also, choose the timing of your posts. Sprinkle it throughout the 24 hours time period. Again, it all depends on the niche of your website. If you want to post news as it happens then it is a 24-hour job and you need to post the news as it happens. So I don’t recommend such a website to be frank. At least in the starting phase.

What else to do? How to get traffic to a news website?

You will get more traffic to your website mainly through Facebook and Twitter. Other than that, from Google too. Though as of today that is a difficult task. Yes! That’s true.

Create a Facebook and Twitter page and post news items there. Keep your followers entertained with other things too, like photos, polls, and videos. Posting just links from your website won’t get you much reach as the Facebook algorithm now ignores most of these. So mix your post content with other things like photos.

Tell your friends about your website. Share links of a news item in your WhatsApp or Telegram groups.

Don’t spam, but a little bit is actually required.

How to make money from a news website?

A news website mainly relies on banner/link advertising. For this, Google Adsense is still the number one source of income. Other than that you can have contextual ads on your website. One of the best is AdNow. This particular network can actually make you much more money than Adsense itself. Yes, you read that right!

Other than ads on your pages, you can sells items from Amazon. Pick a topic as per your website and write posts according to that and incorporate Amazon product links in it for people to buy. This can also make you a good amount of money.

For a small website, direct ads or sponsorships are difficult in the starting phase, but once your website starts getting a decent amount of traffic then you can approach companies directly.

Conclusion

So here it is. See how easy it is to start a news website. It does require a good amount of work and dedication. Never ever use automatic news plugins on your website to pull news from other websites. Google will ban your website at any time and also will freeze your Adsense account. Keep this in mind.

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions and experiences. Do comment below.

Thanks.

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