Once you have identified your niche, the subjects about which you can produce the most compelling content, and you have partnered up with some other individuals who either share your passion or are able to bring their own ideas to the table, you have all the pieces in place to start a news website. A news website, especially one that caters to a relatively specialized audience, can cultivate a dedicated fan base with relative ease. However, if you want your news website to generate an appreciable income for you, then it will take a little extra work.
Content Comes First
Regardless of anything else, your news website needs to be packed to the brim with excellent content. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you generate or how effectively you advertise your website, if users arrive at a website with poorly written and laid out content, they won’t be sticking around long. Monetizing your website effectively requires that you generate repeat traffic and build a loyal following of users.
The primary concern should be in ensuring that any articles that you post to your website are well written and that everything goes through a proof-reading and editing process. This will help to ensure that all the articles that are ultimately uploaded are up to a good standard and will ensure that you catch any mistakes, which might make your organization look unprofessional, long before they make it to your website. Check out this article about the saber tooth kitten from Council Chronicle for an example of a well written and edited news article.
Implement a Paywall
This is one of the most important decisions that you will have to make. A paywall is the quickest and easiest way of monetizing your website, but it can often prove controversial. Many internet users have an expectation of receiving their news content for free and are put off reading sites that hide content behind a paywall. Implementing a paywall can drastically reduce the number of visitors to your website, and this can have a detrimental impact on your ability to monetize further.
Before going down the paywall route, you need to make sure that you have cultivated a strong following who will be willing to part with their hard-earned cash in order to access news from your website.
Google ads are a common feature on many different websites and you have almost certainly seen them when browsing the internet. They are easy to set up and customize, they eliminate a huge amount of the usual work required to implement a monetized advertising platform on your website. However, you need to be aware that in order to make an appreciable income from Google Ads, you will need to be generating a significant amount of traffic.
Donations are an effective way of monetizing a website and because they aren’t in any way forceful, they are, therefore, much less likely to put off visitors. If you have a loyal following who turn to your site as their main source of news, then you will find that many of them will be willing to donate to ensure that you can keep operating.
A news website can generate a reasonable, even good, amount of money for its owner. So long as you are smart with your monetization opportunities, then a news website can be just as profitable as any other.