With the introduction of the blog, creation of a community driven, local, online, news website is made so much easier than it was using a conventional website.
Install WordPress in your new domain or a subdomain of your existing domain. A new domain for your community driven, local, online, news website is preferable for indexing, ranking and ease of search purposes.
Choose and install a WordPress theme, suitable for your community driven, local, online, news website, from the thousands freely available on the internet.
Design your header and customize the appearance of your community driven, local, online, news website.
At the most basic level, your new community driven, local, online, news website is now ready to roll.
Of course, there’s much search engine optimization (SEO) work that can be done to improve your indexing and ranking. At the very least, you’ll need to get a link from a page somewhere on the net that gets regularly spidered, so that the search engines can find your new community driven, local, online, news website.
A link from your own home page will do the trick.
Alternatively you can join one or several of the blogging, social networks and submit your online, news website. Submitting your community driven, local, online, news website URL to several directories would also be helpful. These submissions of your community driven, news website will not only get you indexed but the backlinks will increase your SEO score and thus help with your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
So, with this much development work done, your local, online, news website is ready to be spidered, indexed and ranked in the the SEs when you you begin publishing community driven, news items from your local area.
WordPress comes with one post titled Hello World and one comment on this post. Delete both of these and start afresh.
Apart from writing your own news stories, there are two main sources of community news:
* Press releases.
* Community group submissions.
In Australia there are three levels of government: local, state and federal. Each will issue frequent press releases. State and federal government press releases will come, not only from the respective government websites, but also from the different party’s websites and the particular politician’s websites.
Pay attention to the press releases of your local member, both state and federal, whether in the government, opposition, a minor party or an independent. Also regularly check out the press releases of government ministers with responsibility for portfolios of interest to your readers or fitting in with your editorial slant.
There will probably be various business and industrial concerns in your local area as well as special interest groups such as environmental lobby groups, that issue press releases.
Community Group Submissions
Obtaining community group submissions for your local, online, news website is much more work. But these will have the most interest for your readers and the contact established with local people will build your readership. And, of course, community group news submissions are at the heart of your stated objective of providing a community driven, on line news service.
Locate a directory of local sport and community groups. E-mail the groups if e-mail addresses are provided. They probably won’t be.
Write to them by snail mail if need be. Your e-mail address for news submissions will be in front of them, cutting down the chances of errors.
Speak personally to community group secretaries, giving them a business card or flyer with your e-mail address.
Phoning community groups is the least valuable option because of the difficulties for them in finding your community driven, local, online, news website on the net or getting your e-mail address right.
Decide whether you’ll publish at set time intervals, say once or twice a week, or if you’ll publish news stories as they come to hand. One advantage of an online news service over a print newspaper is the ability to update the current news as it comes to hand. The older news stories will slip off the bottom of the home page, and the news at the top of your community driven, local, online, news website will always be the latest available.
Publishing your Opening Edition
At first it may be necessary to publish only press releases, in order to build up some level of credibility as an online news source. When your community driven, local, online, news website has sufficient content to be seen by the community as viable, it’s time to start your community group submission campaign.
It will be disappointing at first to be publishing an online news service that nobody reads. So get some posters up around town and don’t procrastinate too long before you get going with your community group submission campaign.