How to Start a News Website in 5 Steps

Woman sitting at a table in a cafe working on computer to update her news website.

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Creating a news site can open doors to sources of new income and give you a sense of satisfaction as you share important information. You will need a page logo, a news focus, social media accounts, and perhaps some affiliate advertisement. Depending on how large you grow, you may one day also need to add a staff of reporters and writers.

Your Media Logo

Begin with your media logo. Your logo will say a lot about the quality of your site and the integrity of your news content. It's not something you want to slap together in 30 minutes or change in a month. Design a media logo that you're happy with from the start before you open your site to visitors.

Design Your News Site

Your website's layout is just as important as your site's content. You want your site to be visually appealing and easy to navigate. You want your website to be sticky so that visitors hang around.

You can find plenty of free news website templates on the Internet to give you a basic website layout in minutes. As you design your website and put every sidebar and widget in place, just make sure you're not committing these website design deadly sins or your site's success will be hindered.

Decide on Your Revenue Stream

Do you want to make money with your news site or will this be your personal hobby? Decide on a revenue stream, whether you're looking to hire a full staff of news writers you need to pay or you simply want to cover the bandwidth costs of running your site. There are many ways to make money with your media site. From paywalls to selling online ads, you can choose multiple variations to best suit your personal goals for your news site.

Establish Your Social Media Accounts

Although you still need great SEO in your content, you can't rely on SEO alone to put your site on the map anymore. You need active social media accounts to succeed. Don't choose one social media platform over the other either. It's easy to battle with the question of Twitter Vs. Facebook Vs. Google+ but the truth is, you need them all and they can work hand in hand to drive your audience to your news site.

With solid social media writing skills, you can build an instant, loyal audience through social media. But if you feel like you're being pulled in too many different directions and your social media activity begins to suffer, hire a social media manager to handle your social media accounts for you. The investment will be worth it.

Hire Your News Team

You've got your logo, your design, your social media accounts and you're ready to fill your site with content. Now's the time to hire your web content writers. An experienced web content writer knows how to write great headlines for the web for every time while also making sure every story has an impact on the readers, regardless of what you're covering.

Ask for writing samples and accept writers on a trial basis to make sure their skills match up with the goals you have for your news site. Remember, your site is only as good as the team you have backing you.

When you put the pieces together, your site should offer something unique. You'll find it much easier to build your brand if you stand for something — crime news, stories for parents, a business journal. Make a simple identity for yourself, then advertise your product using a few easy steps.