How to Start a News Blog
A Step by Step Dummy Proof Guide
How does it feel to own a media outlet? How does it feel to be a one man media outlet? Blogging has changed the way we receive news. Long ago, we used to rely on newspapers to break the news for us. Then came radio and TV both which were owned by big companies.
Today, blogging has revolutionized how news is broken. With just a smartphone, you can inform the entire world as events happen. Starting a news blog is perhaps the limelight of your blogging career. Unlike other forms of blogging, news blogs require constant blogging. News blogs are involving since you must report constantly as news unfold otherwise you will be left out.
If I was asked, I would say a news blogging is the epitome of blogging. One, your visitors are literate people who are hungry for news. Most of the times, they already know the story, but are just looking for another dimension to the story. This in mind, you don’t have room for mistakes.
In this article, I have given you an easy to follow guide on how you can start your own news blog. I have divided this guide into two sections; a 3-step text guide and a step-by-step video tutorial. You don’t need to have prior knowledge in programming or web design to create your own blog so brace yourself and get the microphone… you have a story break…
How to start your own News Blog in 3 Easy Steps
This text guide is as easy as it can get. I only need you to spare twenty minutes to carefully go through it and by the time you are done, you will have a blog up and running.
1. Choose and Buy your domain
A domain or URL is the actual web address to your blog site. In most cases, the domain name will be your blog name and thus your brand. You should be very careful when choosing a domain name. Make it short, easy to remember and most preferably with a .net or .com prefix, since they are easier to remember.
You may opt to buy a domain name or you can go for a free domain just by purchasing a hosting package from BlueHost. I will talk all about hosting next.
2. Sign up for Hosting
A web host is a server where all the contents of your blog site reside. When a visitor points their browser to your url or clicks on a link to your website, they access the server hosting your website. For faster retrieval, you need a web host that is fast and reliable. I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because:
1. It is so easy to use
2. Signing up takes just moments
3. You get a free domain once you purchase a hosting package
4. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed
5. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your news blog up and running.
[Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.
3. Install WordPress On your BlueHost control Panel
Finally, you need to install WordPress. WordPress will be the brains that do all the magic for your blog. It is a flexible, powerful, and easily customizable web software with thousands of “addicts” working to develop numerous plug-ins and themes. Installing WordPress on your BlueHost is just a one click affair…
If you need a visual step by step guide to creating your own news blog, I’ve created a simple video that will walk you through each of these steps so you can see how it is done yourself. Watch this video, and then follow the link, which will bring you to BlueHost where you can purchase your domain and hosting.
Tips for the News Blogger
Having your domain name and hosting setup is just but the beginning of blogging. You have now completed the technical part of creating your news blog, now this other part is a proving ground for talent and ambition. To set you on the right track, here are a few tips…
- Be Unique, and have original content
Well news will always be the same. But there are people who see the glass as half full while others see it as half empty. Still, others wonder why you didn’t use a smaller glass instead. There are loads of news blogs out there and if you are hoping to get some visitors, you will have to give them what they are getting else in a way that they are not getting it.
- Get the facts directly from sources
If you want to really make it in news blogging, you should strive to either be the source of news or get the news from the source. Since you can’t go collecting news on the field as a beginner, the best option is to subscribe to the feeds of major news outlets. On getting the feeds, then publish them on your blog after tweaking them to your customer’s needs.
- Be passionate, be committed and think of sustenance
News blogging is about passion and consistency. Patience will be a virtue here. If you don’t love what you are doing, it means you will fizzle out within the first few months; are you passionate about news blogging? Are you ready for the challenges? Have a long term plan anchored on sustenance. You need to think of how the blog will be sustained financially and content wise.
- Excellent grammatical expression
This is the first rule of blogging. Your grammar must be top notch and your spelling must be on point. Before hitting the publish button from your dashboard, make sure you proofread your content very well.
- Curate your news
Being the first person to publish the news is great. However, since this is not entirely possible for every news article, then you should strive to publish the best aggregate information from different sources. Get your news from different sources and curve out the third side of the story that nobody reported.
Best Free & Paid WordPress Themes for your News blog
Ideally, a WordPress theme is the skin of your blog site. However, it is more than just a skin. A WordPress theme provides all of the front end styling of your WordPress site. Including:
- the design or style of your site;
- the layout and fonts;
- colors schemes;
- page templates;
- styles for blog posts and blog archives;
- additional stylistic details;
I have compiled my favourite list of news related themes you can use on your blog.
Cost: $69 (bundled)
eNews is an exercise in crispness and subtlety. This elegant and professional news theme is great for anyone looking display a lot of content in a clean and user friendly manner.
Gadgetry is a simple and minimalist WordPress theme you can use for free. This theme was designed to provide a quick and easy solution for people who want to create a professional-looking online magazine portal but on a tight budget. It is very easy to set up and manage.
BresponZive is a free WordPress magazine theme loaded with features that are mostly found on premium website templates. It comes with a fully responsive layout and design perfect for a magazine website. BresponZive is built based on a sophisticated framework that comes with tons of advanced features and functions.
This theme provides a great website template for magazines, portals and online news websites. This theme got the best theme features that you need in creating an incredible magazine website. It provides sliders, powerful theme options, 12 widget areas, custom menus, 404 page, supports featured images, built-in author box to feature your authors and a lot more.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for News Blogs
A WordPress plugin is a small application that adds features to your blog site. It is a nice tool to compensate for what the theme left out or to increase customization of your website. I have compiled a list of five plugins that will help promote your blog, increase search engine ranking and improve user experience.
- Comment Reply Notification
You receive an email if you get a reply to a comment you left. Never miss a chance to interact with other like-minded bloggers.
- WordPress SEO by Yost
It helps improve your search engine ranking. I can never find enough terms to describe the importance of SEO.
This is your one stop shop to social media integration. It lets you share your posts to all your configured social media accounts.
- WP Super Cache
If your blog has so many images and apps, this plugin will cache the images so that the website can be accessed faster the next time the specific device visits the site
- UBillboard 3
This plugin adds a highlights slider on your homepage. This feature is available with most themes, but in case you fell in love with a theme that doesn’t have this feature, then, you are good to go with this plugin.
Great News Blogs to Network With and Be Inspired By
News Blogging has no rules. Well, you don’t have to follow what I have told you to the letter. You can change anything if you feel it is in your best interest. I hope this guide has been of help. I hope I have inspired you and ignited a burning passion for having your own news blog.
The step-by-step guide on this site should give you everything you need, but if you run into some issues, or just want some personalized advice, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Blogging is my passion, and I would love to talk with you about it!
It is a wrap for now, but if you want to stay up to date with all my latest tips and tricks about blogging in general, as well as news specific blogging, please consider signing up for my free newsletter. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive occasional emails with valuable information.