In this blog post, I will show you exactly how to start a news blog in South Africa. You will also learn the little known secret big news agencies use to attract thousands of eyeballs to their pieces.
But before we get into it, let’s first make sure we are on the same page.
What’s a news blog?
A news blog is a type of website that publishes articles related to current events. It is typically hosted by an individual or organization and can be either professional or personal in nature.
Due to their increasing use and the proliferation of the Internet, many news blogs have become a part of mainstream media. They are often aggregated by newswires, newspapers and other traditional media outlets.
In most cases, news blogs here in South Africa are usually written by professional journalists who write about current events or topics of interest to them.
But as we’ve already mentioned, they may also be run by community members who write about their personal experiences or interests in specific topics such as sports or music.
How to Start a News Blog in South Africa
1). Pick a Niche
The first step to starting a successful news blog is choosing a niche.
Your blog needs to be focused on a specific topic. The niche should be something that you are passionate about and has the potential for a lot of growth in the future.
It is also important that your target audience is clearly defined and you know what type of content they want to read about but more about this in the next step.
At the same time, the reason why you need to pick a niche is that the news industry has a lot of competition from the big corporations. It’s hard for journalists to make a living. So the niche you pick is going to be more relevant and less competitive.
One more thing I would say is that it’s important to study the news business because the money is not in breaking news, or in exclusive stories. The money is in aggregating and selling the most popular stories. So you have to understand how the news business works and then find your niche.
2). Research Your Audience
Once you have identified the right niche for your news blog in South Africa, the next step is to research the audience. By doing this, you are trying to understand what the audience would expect from a blog like yours. And this is the secret to building a successful blog; giving your readers what they want to read.
Here’s an example:
If your niche is local news in Johannesburg, you could research people around the place look for a lot and then start with that in your news blog in South Africa.
Additionally, look into what the competition is doing right and wrong. There is always at least one thing that you are better than the competition and that you should use to your advantage.
3). Choose a Name
The next step to starting a news blog is choosing the right domain name. A good domain name can help you attract more traffic and increase your chances of success.
Choosing the right domain name for your news blog can be daunting but with these tips, you can have it in no time:
- Use a domain name related to your niche and add “news” as the suffix. For example, if you’re writing about jo-burg news, you can use www.joburgnews.co.za.
- Get a logo that incorporates the colours of your chosen domain name and stick with it for branding purposes.
- Make it easy to pronounce and remember. This means also the domain name should be short and sweet.
Once you have picked the right domain name for your news blog in South Africa, the next step is to register it with a reliable domain registrar. And then get a hosting space. This is where your files will live online.
Truehost Africa offers you everything you need to start a news blog in South Africa. Our domain prices are the cheapest in the industry.
You can learn more about domain registration here.
4). Assemble Your Equipment
It is important to have the right equipment when you are starting a news blog in South Africa. It can help you in saving time and money. The tools should also allow you to put together worthy news pieces that your audience will appreciate.
And for this reason, you need to invest in news-related equipment that will allow you to research, record, and put together the news.
Here are some of the tools that will come in handy:
- Hard drives to store your files
- Interview recorders
Remember, you don’t actually need all of this equipment when starting a news blog in South Africa. You can start with a pen and paper and then buy one by one as you grow.
5). Set up Social Media
Your news blog will need traffic. That’s where social media can come in handy.
Social media is a great way to build a following and generate traffic to your blog. It can also help you grow your personal brand.
One of the main benefits of using social media is that it allows you to connect with people on a more personal level. You can share your thoughts, opinions and experiences without having to worry about what others think of you.
Social media has also become an important tool for news bloggers in the digital age.
They use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to share their content with their followers and get feedback from them on how they can improve their posts in order to generate more engagement with their audience.
With that in mind, make sure you have created social media accounts for your news blog in South Africa.
Type of Content a News Blogger Creates
News bloggers are mostly responsible for creating content for their websites. However, they also create other types of content like infographics, slideshows, and more.
The following are some examples of what a news blogger might create:
- Infographics: an infographic is a visual representation of information that uses data visualization to present information in a compelling way. They are created with data from sources like experts, surveys, and statistics
- Slideshows: A slideshow is an interactive presentation that contains images or text synchronized on one or more slideshows, typically on a computer or projector
- Video: A video is a piece of moving visual media that typically lasts for minutes to hours and records events in real-time.
- Articles: an article is a piece of writing meant to provide information on a particular topic
- Current news blogs
- Video tutorials
- Helpful guides concerning recent news or event
- Discussion pieces
- Industry news
- Health updates and news
- Inspirational stories
- Resource blogs
- Problems and solutions
- News quizzes
- Surveys and polls
- Event summaries
How to Write a Quality Headline That Will Drive Readership
The secret to getting people to click and read your news articles is having a perfect headline.
A headline is the first impression your article will make on your audience. It is important to have a catchy and engaging headline that will grab the attention of readers.
The following are some tips on how to write a quality headline:
- Keep It Short, Simple, and to the Point
- Be Clear About Your Main Benefit
- Announce Exciting News (News Your Audience Cares About)
- Questions in the Headline
- Appeal to You Reader’s Hunger for Knowledge
- Tell Your Audience What to Do!