Recipe for a great digital newspaper
1. Great Content
A newspaper needs the right PEOPLE to tell the right story in the right way. If you are a journalist you know that if the content is not good, all the rest does not matter. And to create good content you need to know WHERE to find the story and HOW to report it following basic journalistic principles such as truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability.
Images tell thousand words and video million! The multimedia channel is powerful, a right combination of images, text and music can drive a newspaper from few to millions of readers/users. Having said that, you need the right PEOPLE, able to create this magic potion, because creating a good video is crazy difficult. It is a different language, with a different grammar, rules and expressions, make sure you know WHERE and HOW to select or create your multimedia content.
3. Premium Content
You need to know your audience so well that you know what they absolutely will not live without knowing/watching and offer it to them also under shape of premium content or exclusive content. The fact of having access to something most people still do not have access to increases loyalty and involvement.
4. Trends and Influencers
The bread of every day in journalism. It has always existed, just now it is more obvious and explicit thanks to Social Networks. Great newspapers know about trends before they exist, they create trends, they can foresee trends and, in order to do that, they need trustworthy sources and accountable influencers. In fact trends and more secifically the way to predict and launch one should be a discussed objective during daily editorial staff meeting.
5. Social Media & SEO
Social Networks and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are vital for newspapers, there is nothing to do about it. We can like it or not, however the diffusion and exposure that a newspaper gain through social networks and SEO are great. Suddenly if you publish great content you do not need to be the Washington Post to reach out to the world. This is a great news! No wonder that Google created AMP and Facebook Instant Articles... let's see what is next. One thing is clear: to be a great newspaper you need to know how to use Social Networks and SEO.
6. Appealing Look
This digital generation is definitely very aesthetic and in the digital world mobile, Apple, Facebook, etc made a huge difference in the way we perceive the content. There are theories that say that we are so much in a constant rush that we became lazy and we only go through content that is nice at first sight. In Openhost, we believe this is true. A good web design, mobile responsive and user experience based, makes the difference when it comes to newspapers and magazine.
7. Data Analysis
This is another great power of the digital world, and we all know that "with great power comes great responsibility". The digital environment is measurable. Since the very first day of the world wide web data are collectible and analyzable. Tracking, measuring, analysis and strategy cannot be overlooked when you are a digital newspaper. Analysis of data will tell you about your readers, your content, your look and it will offer you the seamless opportunity of knowing what works and what does not, so that you can grow and change together with your audience.
8. Ads Strategy
The topic most users will say they do not like and most publishers will say they would not survive without: advertising! So what is it? Angel or Devil? Well it all depends as usual from who does what, when and how. Advertising can be delivered or proposed in a non invasive and nice way or not, can contain relevant information for the audience or not. One thing we do know: it is the first monetization option for a newspaper. And it seems very useful to build a great newspaper, however the newspaper director will have to make sure that ads do not jeopardize the content strategy and once again will have to analyze data to see what works and what does not.
9. Stable and Secure Infrastructure
Now we are finally getting to the behind the scene part of the recipe to make a great newspaper. There is no much talk about what is needed to maintain a newspaper online 24/7 and how the content magically appears in there and stays in there. There are many discussions about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is great because it makes easier to find an article if you look for it. But what do a newspaper need to be online? It needs a domain, it needs storage space, it needs hosting services, it needs for this services to be secure and stable. Secure means that no virus can attack and spread through it. Stable means that it has to be available all the time from anywhere and any devices, therefore it means that it needs to be stored in a cloud or physical server that has the service guaranteed 24/7.
10. Easy to use Content Management System
Last but not least: how do I get great content, multimedia, premium content, ads, articles, opinions, images, etc online on my web site? I need a Content Management System (CMS). And I need a CMS that has been designed to manage and embed the 9 points above. Creating a great newspaper is a big challenge, technology needs to be easy. If a director or journalist on top of strategy, audience, content, multimedia, social media and monetization needs to worry also about technology it may become too big of a challenge to create and grow a newspaper into a great newspaper. Here is where we come in help!
We will take care of all the technology, from web design to hosting and domain creation, so that you can focus only on the creation of content.