In this world of fast moving events you can pick up news about anything from everywhere. Major newspapers and broadcasters have websites pumping out constant updates, not just on what’s happening in the world politically but covering business, technology, culture, sport, lifestyle and much more.
The questions you should ask are: how reliable is the information you are receiving? Is there bias in the way things are reported? Are you getting the whole picture?
Creating a news website that is reliable is more straightforward than you might think. You don’t have to be a super-techie as there are plenty of pre-programmed tools and scripts that can be embedded to customize a basic site and you just need a little time to develop your own professional news website.
Targeting your content
Newspapers and broadcasters have their own journalists creating new content all the time, but they also rely on news agencies for much of their information. You could easily set up a site that just took agency reports to channel to readers, but so can anyone else and that doesn’t give you a USP.
Targeted content is more likely to get you hits on your site because then you are offering something that readers can’t easily find elsewhere. When you are looking to target a business, design or tech audience, offering inspiration with what you provide, you can use a pre-filtered RSS feed – Really Simple Syndication – and define what you want by specific interest. That cuts out what is unlikely to be of interest to specialist readers, simply drawing information originally posted somewhere else to your site.
It’s not complicated and you can use website tools, such as those provided by WordPress and other programs, to embed the feed onto your site.
Helping readers understand the information
Information on its own just gives information, but not necessarily context. You can read a story that is a factual report of what has happened, say the launch of a new app or a crash in the value of a currency, but if there is no real context it can be hard to give your readers a wider perspective.
The general media has opinion writers and presenters and can give extra background to news being received. When you’re setting up a reliable news website you can help your readers make sense of the information by setting up a blog. Do some research into unbiased news, such as BAEdaily.com, to get a feel for what you could do.
Designing the site
First, be sure about what you want your website to do. When that’s clear, aim for simplicity so that a classy minimalist design will load quickly. The days of dial-up are long gone and your readers expect an almost instantaneous response when they access your site. A quick load will help you achieve a high search engine ranking and remember that people can quickly search somewhere else if they don’t get the speed they expect.
Your site navigation also needs to be easy. Nobody wants to wade through vivid graphics, zillions of dropdown menus and impenetrable articles. Keep it simple but attractive. Don’t use too many colors and make sure that text is easily readable and that pictures have good resolution (and the right captions) and that videos are not too long.
Design for the mobile world
Increasingly people are using tablets and smartphones to access the Internet so your website design has to take this into account. If you design for these devices you are far more likely to drive traffic to your site and improve your opportunities to make money from it.
Is content king?
Yes it is. If the content you provide through your website is poor then you won’t get the clicks. If you are setting up a blog that you are going to write yourself then you need to be sure that you are going to provide high quality, well-written content, illustrated effectively and laid out on pages that look good and can be easily navigated. If you’re not going to provide the content yourself, bring in specialists who will give your site the quality of writing and image placement that will draw in your audience. Professional writers can bring a lot to your business.
Remember that the main elements of setting up a reliable news site are the inclusion of a means of targeting the audience you need to reach and ensuring that any feed into your site is always in context, and developing a design that is fast and easy to navigate.