My Personal Experience with News Bloggers
One of the grave mistakes which newcomers commit is that they never choose a niche for their website. Once a friend of mine asked me how to increase traffic on my news website. I asked him about the niche, he said and I quote, “I write news for global audience and it competes with that of New York Times and Economist”! I asked him, “What is your traffic?”. He said, “Around 100 daily”. I burst into laugh😁😁. The problem with news bloggers is that they think that they can make an alternative of New York Times and Economist.
Let me narrate another interesting incident. Once a friend of mine said that his boss wants me to do SEO of their news website called Today’s Statement. I went there and the person told me that he had spent some ₹95,00,000 on that website and their monthly traffic was still 1500 😂😂 (after 2 years of “rigorous work). Then he proudly told me that they earned $18 in a year from Adsense!
I was like, “Whattttt?”
I then met with their so called “developers” and “SEO Experts” and had a small chat with them and I understood how they managed to squeeze such amount from him. I recommended them to choose a niche and make some small changes (like using Google Trends etc.). But they said that we can’t change our strategy and ask me to do some magic so that traffic may become die-heart fan of their site. I knew they cannot grow and thus refused to work with them. After 3 months, someone told me that they closed them office forever.
I narrated these two stories to reveal two main reasons which lead to failure in news niche. First is that people become so optimistic that they want to create an alternative of a global level brand. Second is that people do not have a mindset of accepting change. They think that they are right and fail ultimately.
Today there are hundreds of thousands news websites in the world and hundreds coming up everyday. So writing about anything and everything will always lead to failure because we cannot compete with brands and we must accept this.
Questions to Choose A Niche for Your News Website
When you think of launching a website, try answering these questions:
- What niche are you going to choose? Without niche, you cannot grow. e.g. The Cognate focuses on Muslims in India, TheWire.in is a serious kind of news website, Alt News is a fact check website and so on. Try finding an area which you have a good expertise of.
- Who exactly your audience is? This is one of the primary questions which you must answer. Audience can be youngsters, girls, boys, government employees, entrepreneurs, students, politics lover etc. When we do the audience research, we also know what they like to read, how long they like to read etc. So, try making a rough list of your audience and their probable interests etc.
- How mature they would be? Maturity determines taste. A young person is more interested in thrilling news, sensitive content etc. An old person is more interested in reading serious type of content (TheWire.in is mostly read by those who are politically mature).
- What would be the average length of your content? After finding niche, the next important step is to understand what is the ideal word-length for news. Some news articles can be upto 2000 words long while some others can be completed in 60 words (Inshorts became popular because of its extremely precise content).
- What medium you will use? A news website can never grow without social media. So, try finding all the platforms which are used by your audience. e.g youtube, facebook, instagram, twitter, dailymotion, tiktok, anchor.fm, pinterest and even new platforms like voice.com etc.
- What kind of content you will produce? A news website is not just a collection of written articles. It can have videos, podcasts, gif, images, infographics, embedded content, quizzes, polls etc. More interactive your content is, more engagement you will get.
- Who are your competitors? A research is incomplete without knowing your competitors. But, by competitors, I never mean big brands. You need to find those sites which are small and less traffic and see what kind of articles they write, from which platforms, they get traffic etc (We have covered this in another lesson in detail).
- What kind of content you will write? It can be evergreen, seasonal and even viral. Understanding the type of content is important because we need a mix of different types of content to get more traffic.
- What sources you will use to get topic ideas? It can be twitter, instagram, Google Trends, TV etc.
Try answering these questions and do as much research as possible before purchasing your domain.
What are the Possible Niches of a News Website?
There is no limit. There are literally thousands of niches and new ones coming every day. However, I will list some of them for you to get an idea and find one for your news website.
- City News Website (Covering everything about your city)
- News About Different Educational Institutions (Covering important notifications, dates and other info about institutions of your city/province/state)
- News About An Ideology (Corporatism, Communism, Democracy,
- News About Search Engines
- News About Social Media Platforms
- News on Education
- News on Movies/Serials/Actos-Actresses etc
- News on Health (covering latest updates)
- News on a specific disease/pandemic
- News in local language
- News on domains
- News on climate changes
- News on women cause
- News on lesbians
- News on social cause (gender/class/caste/religion/sect etc)
- News on online game(s) (PUBG, GTA, Free Fire etc)
- News on pollution
- Legal News (an awareness type website along with latest updates)
- News on Computer Languages (updates, new tricks, and tips, careers and opportunities, etc)
- News on Political Leaders (covering their movements, meetings, speeches, etc)
- News related to famous programs (100s of sites and youtube channels got famous because of Turkish Serial Dirilish Ertugrul) and so on.
Take your time to find a niche for your website. once done, we will move onto the next step.