Over the last couple of years there has been a lot in the news about fake news and fake news sites. While they are a great way to make money, once banned by Google and Facebook they often fade quickly away. However, there is another great source for generating traffic and having some fun writing as well. That is writing about outrageous news.
There are plenty of news stories that are over the top, but true. From the funny to the bizarre, the grotesque to the truly tragic there are plenty of stories to be reported that fall out of the standard news cycle for whatever reason, or never show up beyond the local areas where they occur. So how do you start blogging about outrageous news in 2018? Here are some tips.
Come Up with a Clever Domain Name
Fake news sites are really good at doing this. From the Denver Guardian (a non-existent newspaper) to washingtonpost the ways to find and even steal traffic abound. While you don’t want to stoop to dishonesty, finding a clever domain name that attracts the interest of readers is a great way to start.
There are a number of ways to come up with a cool name. You may want to brainstorm with some other bloggers or people that you trust, and have an online search window open so you can determine if the domain name you want is still available. Try things using your location or the niche of news you want to report on. Alternatively, you can just come up with a clever spoof on an existing site.
However you choose your name, just be sure you are not infringing on anyone’s copyright or trademarks, and that your name is distinct enough to be told apart from other sites so you don’t accidentally attract the wrong kind of traffic. For instance if your name is close to that of a serious news site or a porn site, you might get accidental traffic, but it won’t earn you trust or good site reviews.
Find Sources of News
How are you going to find your news? If it never hits the mainstream media, how will you find it yourself? Well, short of scouring the net for hours in hundreds of areas, there are some things you can do for yourself.
- Set Google Alerts: You can set Google Alerts for some unusual types of events and crimes and get notified when those things happen by the search engine itself.
- Scour lesser known news sources: Other than the main news services, there are many other local and regional ones. Learn to scan these on a daily basis for funny or outrageous stories.
- Get Some informants: Let some others know what you’re looking for who might be on the web and searching anyway, and have them report unusual things to you via email or message.
- Reddit and Other Forums: Scan Reddit and other forums and follow odd news hashtags and conversations. Check these daily as well so you can populate your site with odd and interesting stories.
Finding the sources for your news may be the hardest part of this journey, but the more experience you get the easier it will be.
Recruit Other Writers
The truth is an outrageous news site is the product of many hands, and many hands make for light work and more fun along with more traffic and a larger fan base. While you might be able to get started on your own, it is unlikely that will be sustainable for long.
This means you will need to recruit more writers. How do you incentivize them to write for your site? Well, that is easier said than done, but here are some common methods.
- Exposure: Some younger writers and journalists who are just starting out will write simply to build their audience and gain exposure. Free content and usually good writing follows.
- SEO and Link Building: SEO companies are often looking for places to put content and link to their clients. Let them, as long as they have good writing and great stories. Sometimes they will even pay you for placing their articles.
- Ad Share Revenue: If your site is monetized with ads, you can offer to share some of the ad revenue from the page where the author posts with them, usually a percentage. The more views they get, the more ad money they make, so this also encourages them to share their stories.
- Pay Them: Once you get to a point where your site is making money, you may be able to pay for feature pieces and even other smaller articles. This will give you great content, loyal writers, and usually a good reader following as well.
It takes a village to build a great site, and if you recruit writers well, you will have plenty of members who will also have an interest in your site’s success and will help you generate more interest and a larger audience.
Reporting on outrageous news is fun and doing so can help you make some great money to if you use your site correctly. Follow these steps to start blogging about outrageous news in 2018.