In this article, you will learn how to create a website like WorldStarHipHop and turn it into a huge successful video sharing community. Learn more about finding a niche, getting a domain, choosing web hosting, uploading videos, and making money with your website.
Step 1 – Market Research
Before you make a website similar to Worldstarhiphop, I recommend doing some market research to understand who your target audience is and how to engage them.
My first suggestion is to study the WorldStarHipHop’s Alexa page. You can find key stats & research to help you narrow down your audience. Here’s a screenshot of WorldStarHipHop’s target audience:
WSSH’s audience is made up of younger females who browse the website at school. I would build a demographic profile of:
- 18 to 24
- In School
I bet you already knew this because WorldStar publishes videos targeted to a very young demographic. However, I would have never guessed the audience is majority female!
Here’s a few things to consider when planning your website:
- Who is my ideal visitor?
- What kind of content do they like?
- How will I market to them?
- How do I post videos to make them go viral?
I will discuss marketing techniques later in this article. These are some ideas to get you thinking and planning your site.
Step 2 – Get a Domain
You will need to acquire a short yet brandable domain name for your new website. Brainstorm a bunch of domains then try to select a domain that is:
- Easy to Remember
- Avoids any trademarks
- .COM extension (or a country level domain if you want to target a certain country)
Domain Name: $9.95 per year
I use Godaddy for all my domain needs. Every website needs a good domain name from a reliable company. I’ve registered my domains with Godaddy ever since I got started back in 2006. They offer the best pricing and deals for repeat customers. You can also get private domain registration for an extra $3 per year. It’s the best investment if you want to keep your identity secret to the public.
What if my domain name is unavailable?
Type your desired domain in your web browser to see if it’s available. If you land on a blank internet service page, then the domain is available.
If not, then you can either choose another domain or buy the domain name from someone else.
Get a custom logo
Step 3 – Find Scalable Dedicated Hosting
Running a website like WorldStarHipHop takes a lot of hosting power and resources. Hosting is very important because video files take up a lot of space.
Here are my recommendations for your video based website:
Get a Dedicated Server
Dedicated Hosting is a bit more expensive, but gives you the control, scalability and power of having your own personal web server. Video websites take up a lot of bandwidth and disk space. You need a private web hosting environment to keep you website up and running during traffic spikes and unexpected events.
The problem with cheaper hosting plans is that you share a server with other websites. If one site goes down, your site will not work either. Investing in a dedicated server is the best decision for your growing video sharing community.
Get lots of Disk Space & Bandwidth
How much disk space & bandwidth do you need for your video website? It depends. Let’s use a few examples to estimate your server needs:
WSHH uploads around 30 videos per day. Here are your approx. number of videos sorted by date:
- 30 videos per day
- 210 videos per week
- 900 videos per month
- 10,800 videos per year
If you upload an average sized 5 min video, then here are your disk space needs:
- 100 GB disc space: 580 videos
- 500 GB disc space: 2940 videos
- 1000 GB disc space: 5880 videos
- 2000 GB disc space: 11760 videos
For your bandwidth needs, here is a general estimate:
- Traffic limit 1 TB: 147.000 possible downloads/views
- Traffic limit 2 TB: 294.000 possible downloads/views
- Traffic limit 4 TB: 588.000 possible downloads/views
- Traffic limit 5 TB: 735.000 possible downloads/views
- Traffic limit 10 TB: 1.470.000 possible downloads/views
Again, these are only theoretical benchmarks that shall help to find an approximate figure of your estimated traffic.
Using the number above, I have calculated an estimate of your disk space and bandwidth needs:
900 videos (per month) X 17MB (per video) = 155 GB
900 videos (per month) x 10,000 views (per video) = 61 TB
Which Hosting is best for a website like WorldStarHipHop?
Due to the extremely high resource needs for video websites, I recommend a dedicated server to give you more power, control, and security for your website.
The traditional dedicated server offers the best performance and most security.
Hostgator Entry Server – $109 per month
HostGator is my recommended shared web hosting company. They are a 12 year old company based out of Houston, TX USA and provide world class hosting at a bargain price.
Hostgator’s Business plan is perfect for your room booking startup. It comes with:
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Disk Space & Bandwidth
- Private SSL certificate to accept credit cards securely
- Free Toll Free Number
- 99.9% Uptime
- 24/7 Phone Support
Hostgator 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 your website script on your server.
Step 4 – Use a Content Delivery Network
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.
Content Delivery Network: $20 per month
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.
Step 5 – Collect Emails
When people visit your website, you don’t want them to bounce then never return. Collecting emails will help your video website grow much faster because you simply email your subscribers whenever you post new videos.
Mailing List Service: $250 per month
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.
Step 6 – Buy a Video Sharing CMS Script
WSHH uses a robust video sharing CMS to upload and share videos with their audience. You need to purchase the right website script to build a website like Worldstarhiphop. A good video CMS website script has the following features:
- Allows users to upload a large amount of videos
- Easily scalable to handle millions of visitors
- Loads your site fast in both mobile and desktop browsers
- Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors along with SEO friendly page titles
- Social Media Friendly
Here’s a list of video CMS scripts that will help you build your very own website like WSHH:
WorldstarHiphop WordPress Themes
PHP video CMS Scripts
Each of these scripts is highly customizable to mimic the feel of Worldstarhiphop. Simply change the default format from “category” to “date” to recreate the WSHH feel of a daily video blog.
Step 7 – Upload Videos to Your Website
WSHH became so popular because their content is engaging, viral and gets people talking and sharing the videos with their friends. When you start your website, focus on posting the best videos you can find.
It’s also important to choose videos surrounding a certain niche. Using WSHH as an example, they post videos related to hip hop and music. Keep your videos related to a specific focus to keep your visitors returning back to your website on a regular basis.
Frequently updating your website is important as well. As of date, WSHH posts 43 videos per day. Posting videos regularly will increase your return visits as well as attract new visitors to your site.
How to Download Videos from Youtube
When I ran a video based website in the past, I used DownloadHelper to grab Youtube videos and save them to my desktop.
Hire Staff or Outsourcers to Upload your videos – $500 per month
At some point, you may consider hiring staff or outsourcing the video uploading process. Perhaps, you dreamed about the The 4 Hour Workweek lifestyle?
It’s really important to focus on promoting and engaging your visitors when you launch your website. Hiring other people to help you will increase your efficiency and allow you to scale quicker.
Screen your employees well to make sure they upload only the best content and understand the mission of your website. Avoid hiring staff that only cares about making money or having a job. Build a team of employees that is dedicated to your vision. They will go the extra mile by uploading the best videos and help you market the website much better.
Here’s a few ways to find employees or outsources to help you manage your video website:
Step 8 – Setup your social networking profiles
Social media is a really important factor in website traffic so be sure to create social media profiles at the following sites:
- Facebook Fan Page
- Google+ Page
Step 9 – Drive Traffic to your website
Before you begin driving traffic to your website, make sure you have plenty of good content hosting and are able to support a flood of traffic. Your website should be able to handle a viral spike in traffic because it happens when you least expect it.
The best ways to drive traffic are:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
For starters, each image post should have a clear title with a working URL. Post every piece of content to your social media networks including tags.
Facebook Advertising: $100 per month
Consider starting a cheap Facebook Ads campaign to attract visitors to your website. Start with a small budget then see if you can increase your Facebook likes. Facebook Fanpages can send you a TON of traffic forever.
Step 10 – Monetize Your Website
Once you have some decent traffic, then it’s time to think about monetization. Monetization should always add value to the user, not take away from the browsing experience. Here are some recommended revenue sources:
- Google Adsense
- CPM Networks
For most websites like Worldstarhiphop, your main revenue generators will be banner ads, sponsorships, products and subscriptions. Check out the screenshot below showing how much WSHH charges for advertising:
Here’s a bunch of recommendations based on WSHH’s current business model:
- Sell Sponsored Videos on the homepage to advertisers for a fixed price
- Place Banner Ads on your website using Google Adsense and other popular CPM Networks
- Sell product merchandise like t-shirts, clothing and shoes with your brand logo on them
- Allow users to subscribe to a monthly subscription to unlock special access and bonuses
There are many more ways to generate revenue from a popular video website. Most likely, people will find you first when you start to gain major attention online. Place a contact form above the fold on every page to make it easy for advertisers to get in touch with you.
Total Cost: $1,315 per Month
How much does it cost to create a website like WorldstarHipHop?
It will cost you a little bit over $1,000 to start your video website. That includes domain name, dedicated hosting, CDN, outsourcers, email marketing, website template, logo and Facebook advertising.
That’s it! You have enough information to start your very own video sharing website like WSHH. Let’s quickly recap everything:
- Conduct Market Research
- Get a Domain Name
- Get Dedicated Hosting
- Use a Content Delivery Network
- Collect Emails
- Buy a Custom Video Sharing Script
- Uploads Videos
- Step Up Social Networking Accounts
- Drive Traffic
- Make Money