News websites can benefit from a solid and free Content Management System. WordPress news themes, and a host of plugins, allow for a full-featured and socially integrated website that users will enjoy using.
Most news websites practice what has been called “content curating”. That is, they simply report what has already been reported without adding anything new to the story. Most websites, even social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow for this sort of content ‘re-publishing’ to a certain extent. While republishing news stories has been the basis of many website’s success (hackaday.com, for example) those same websites also publish relevant material that is original, engaging, and interesting.
Content curating, then is a means, not an end, to audience engagement. It can only take a website so far. It is important to do things and report on original content that is interesting and important to the readers of a website. When an author leverages personal experience and goes out on a limb it can often be worth their investment of time and the risks involved.
While it is important to do original things and report on them it is also important to stay relevant to the purpose of the website. Using Hack a Day again as an example: they post occasional hacking videos that are both relevant and interesting to the audience. If they posted about a fashion show that would cease to be relevant and therefore interesting to the normal readers.
That being said: businesses that report things that they are doing, both internally and for customers, clients, etc. will always be relevant to their readership and customers. It is when those same businesses move away from what it is they do that customers and readers are alienated.
A person will have certain desires and needs when they access a particular website. It is important to consider this when building a website and creating content. Knowing where people are coming from, what their mindset is and what it is they desires are when they are accessing pages on a website can allow content to positioned to receive and treat the needs of the readers specifically. Doing so will create a useful and pleasant user experience. A user who does not find what they are looking for will leave almost immediately.
For news websites consistently fresh content is a must. As news websites are focused on the browsing reader instead of the reader who is in need of a solution or question answered. WordPress and other CMS platforms allow for content to published via a scheduler. An editor needs to be careful so that the scheduler doesn’t break. The author of this article has run into multiple plugins for WordPress that break the auto-posting feature. Test the auto-post before relying on it completely.
A consistent stream of content will build a community of repeat visitors. When Hack a Day sold recently to a new owner the published statistics showed that most of the visitors to the website at a given time were repeat visitors (more than 2/3).
Auto-publishing will also allow the editor/author of a website is that it allows them to be more sane simply because they know what they have set to post will be posted allowing for their attention to be turned else-where.
The above examples could be called the biggest mistakes of news websites, or they could be called solutions to the common mistakes of news websites. If you have any questions or comments we’d love to hear your views and opinions on this issue.