Of late, we have seen the birth of so many online news publications. This makes the industry more competitive than ever before. Still more, there are other people who are still interested in establishing their own news website after seeing the opportunities the online news industry has to offer. However, they are failing to break the market. The market is too tight to penetrate because there are other publications that have already made a name.

So, in this blog post I have compiled a list of few tips that can help you be successful with your online publication and stand out from the crowd.

1. Know your objective

It’s a common trend that many people just start a news publication just because others are doing well or just for the sake of starting it. They don’t have a single problem they want to solve. Believe me, you can’t survive if you don’t know your main objectives of going online. You have to sit and write down the main objective of your publication. What problem you are solving?

2. Know Your Target Audience

It is also important to know your audience well before you launch your publication. This is because different people love different things. We all have different stuff we like. So, if your publication is about everyone, you will fail miserably. Therefore, you need to ask yourself questions like; Whom am I targeting? From where? What do they like to do on daily basis? What’s their age range? What about their knowledge in terms of computers or internet? What’s their education level? Again, knowing your audience can as well help you get right advertisers who are in that field.

3. Be Unique. Why you?

As said, there are now hundreds of online publications not forgetting blogs. But you can’t tell me that you visit all of them. There is one only which you like and visit very often to check what’s new. Why is it that? Why do you always visit this website? There is something unique. This is what we call value proposition or unique value.

Why you? Why should people bookmark your website? What is it that you are publishing that others are not? Are you authentic or you are those type of people who just copy and paste stories from other popular websites? Again, sit down, come up with something unique that nobody is offering on the market. It can be same things that other people are posting but how can you make yours unique?

Doing this, will even help you to get advertisers or sponsors. Because if you go there, the advertisers will ask you, why should we advertise on your website? Why should we opt for you over the other publications? And you can only be able to convince them if you know your value proposition.

4. Be Consistent

This is a common problem among many online publications in Malawi. If you want to be successful online, make sure you stick to your posting schedule. Are you a daily news, weekly or monthly? Let people know and stick to it. It doesn’t make sense for a daily publication to be posting news just once in a week. You will keep your followers away because nobody can bookmark a site which doesn’t publish often. So, stick to your schedule, keep on posting regularly. Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing also like websites that have got fresh content always, which is another huge boost for you in terms of rankings.

5. Clear Business Model

We have to be honest here. This is business unless if your publication is about humanitarian stories. But either way, you will need money to run it and make it successful. This is why there is need for you to come up with a clear business model. After having listed your target audience, it is important to know who is your paying customer. To do this, you need to segment — mere users and your paying customers.

However, you need to validate it first. Ask your target paying customers if they will be willing to sponsor or advertise on your website. You can do these through random interviews or any other methodology you think can work for you. Don’t start the publication if you are not sure where money will be coming from. So, make sure you validate that you have customers who is willing to pay, very often and at a price you have set.

6. Content

They say content is a king and that’s very true. If you dream to be successful with your news publication, you have to make sure that you are writing articles that can provoke someone’s mind. Something that can draw attention and make people comment and or share with their friends. The pictures should be of high quality and relevant. Before you write any article or a news story, ask yourself as to why that article is worth reading. What action do you want your readers to take or what informed decision do you want them to make at the end of reading the article? Be creative! Don’t just write anyhow.

This goes hand in hand with the title or the headline of your story. Make sure your headlines are catchy to make people click to read your stories.

There are so many things you can do to make your online news publication a success and these were just a few among those. So, if you are our website monthly subscriber you can always get in touch with us for one-on-one strategy.

Meanwhile, let’s hear your views below.

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