Huffington Post is a top 100 website in the world that publishes breaking news and opinion articles. Some people consider Huffington Post the largest blog on the planet.
In this article, you will learn how to create a website like Huffington Post and turn it into a successful news portal.
Huffington Post caters to a specific demographic of readers that want late breaking news updates from all over the world. Let’s take a look at Huffington Post’s demographics:
I can tell from the image above that Huff Post is mostly:
- Average Education
- Reading from School and Work
Looking at these numbers will help you decide to build a competitor to Huffington Post or choose a different niche like sports (ESPN), entertainment (TMZ), or niche news (NewsOne).
Either way, try to understand who you are building this site for and what your audience wants to read about.
WordPress Theme: $49
Huffington Post is basically a blog website so I recommend using WordPress to make your website. I found the best WordPress theme for a website similar to Huff Post. It’s called WPHuffingtonPost.
WPHuffington Post is the perfect theme for developers. Develop a high quality news portal with striking features and a clean, fresh look to grab the eyeballs of your visitors.
The template design is based on the fixed layout, with numerous widgets for posting current news and updates. Breaking news headlines as one-liners, delivery of latest news reports wit h images, separate widgets for Featured post and recent post, Facebook comment option for each news post, search field for quick search for related news are standout features of the WPHuffington post template. The theme contemplates to monetize with a separate widget for posting ads. Facebook widget and facebook and twitter icons enables social share.
Download | Demo
Dedicated Web Hosting: $279 per month
LiquidWeb is my recommended dedicated server hosting company. Their clients include: MTV, ESPN, Michigan State University, Audi and Home Depot. LiquidWeb’s Intel Dual Process Dedicated server is the best web hosting for Pinterest-like websites. The Intel Dual Xeon E5-2603 v2 comes with:
- 8 Cores Total @ 1.8 GHz
- 8 GB RAM (DDR3)
- 250 GB SSD MLC, RAID 1 (Primary Drive)
- 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA (Backup Drive)
- 5 TB Outbound & FREE Incoming Bandwidth
The server is fully managed. LiquidWeb takes care of everything so you don’t need a degree in Computer Science to get started. Don’t worry about server administration because they have 24/7 phone customer support and will even help you install the SocialPinBoard script on your server.
Email Marketing: $250 per month
Aweber is my favorite email marketing company for people who want to build a website similar to WorldStarHipHop.
Aweber pricing start at $19 per month (get your 1st month for $1) and goes up to $149 per month if you have 10,001 to 25,000 names on your list. I have more than that so it cost me even more. The reason I estimate $250 per month is because your list will likely grow fast if you post good videos on your site.
It’s 7 times harder to acquire a new visitor than to market to an existing one. Place a simple signup form on your website to collect your visitor’s emails. You can also use this subscriber list to generate revenue from advertisers and sponsors in the future.
Content Delivery Network: $100 per month
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is one of the best way to improve website performance. Unlike normal web hosting, where your content is housed on a single server, a CDN takes the website’s static content and replicates it through hundreds of servers around the world instead of a single host at one location. This technology makes sure each visitor to your site gets their data from the city closest to them. By bringing your content closer to your readers’ connection point, your website will have much quicker load times, superior scalability, and guaranteed uptime.
My recommended content delivery is handled by MaxCDN, one of the biggest CDN providers on the Internet. MaxCDN is the content delivery provider for Mashable, Template Monster, BuySellAds and many other big sites.
MaxCDN charges on a pay as you go plan with no long term contract. The first 1,000GB of data transfer cost $39.95 (normal price is $99). After that, you pay 9.9 cents per gig.
Find Staff Writers : $1,000 per month
At some point, you need a team of writers to outsource your content needs. Doing everything is almost impossible in the news business because your content is the most important key to your success. My favorite method for hiring list post writers is TextBroker.
TextBroker is perfect for news portal websites. Here’s how you do it:
- Create a Textbroker Account
- Add Funds
- Create a Project
- Project gets accepted and writer starts working
- Writer sends you the final draft for your review
- Submit any changes and you’re done!
Another strategy is to create a team of writers in Textbroker. Potential candidates will submit to you a writing sample plus reasons why you should let them join. Once you build a team, you can submit projects to team members and one of them will complete it for you.
HuffingtonPost generates revenue with banner ads, contextual ads and CPC traffic. They blend ads around content to make money with obstructing their articles.
If you are just starting out, I recommend Google Adsense for CPC/CPM advertising. For contextual ads, I recommend RevContent.
Total Project Cost: $1,500 per month
$1,500 is a rough estimate of how much it will cost to build a website like Huffington Post. That’s enough to get started with hosting, WordPress theme, email marketing, and a team of staff writers.
If you want to scale, then increase these numbers gradually while focusing on maximizing your CPM rates.