If blogs are popular, news blogs have taken the world by storm. There are thousands of them around, each vying for reader attention and mindshare. How does one start a news blog and what steps do they take to remain on top of mind of the reader?
One of the first things to do before you open a news blog is to position your product in the market. Which segment of the blogs market would be most comfortable and attractive for you? Are you going to be somewhat like the daily newspaper – a little of everything or the Financial Express, focusing major part of your resources on one topic. Would you like to deal with contemporary issues like war on terrorism and Iraq war or tackle topics like child abuse, scams and environment? Are you going to be satirical or simply funny? Answering these issues frankly and without prejudice will help you get more focused on the feel of your news blog and appear more professional.
The best way to go about this is to delve in something which you know best and feel most comfortable with. This could be the area where you are likely to shine most. If you like everything about news, so long it makes news, go for it, but be cautious – you may not be able to find any niche in the blogosphere. The next step is to find a host and a relevant package. Typepad, WordPress are two of the many companies who offer a variety of service packages for beginners as well as pros. Then, pick a name for your news blog. Remember a name says everything – especially when you thing of SEO. Renowned journalists can sell just by adding their name to a news blog, but for not-so-lucky news blog sites, an attractive name can do half the magic. You could choose a wacky name or a name that spells what it is all about – War Watch or First Day First Show for a movie news blog and so on.
The next thing is to create the look and feel of your blog. Remember since this is a news blog you have to retain some semblance of being ‘newsy’ if you want to be taken seriously. Also remember to make your site easy to navigate for the reader. The blogroll is the place where visitors leave their comments – make sure it is easy to access and browse. The next most important thing is to feed your blog to the appropriate sources. This way, when visitors search Technorati or Google Blog Search, to look for posts on a particular news topic, your news blog should be on the top few.
Make acquaintances in the blogspehere as this is the best way to spread the word around about the existence of your news blog. You ought to visit other blogs and post your comments there with a link to your own blog. Similarly make a blogroll in your blog linking other blog sites which you like. The track back feature can be used when you take quotations from other bloggers and take readers to your blog.
Keeping a tab on the statistical information about your news blog visitors is important. Once you know which links are being clicked most frequently, you can adjust and modify your content accordingly.