Supposing you want to start an online newspaper and make easy profits at the same time, so you are asking yourself: “how do news sites make money?” Lucky for you, we have an answer and this article will specifically tell you how to create a news website that makes money.

When you aim at making money with your news website, you should reflect on new and unique features that you might offer to stand out from other sites. 

Successful monetization requires a functional website with quality content, pleasant design, substantial traffic, and some “zing” to distinguish yourself from other websites.

For your consideration, we picked five best ways to monetize a news site.


1. Display Traditional Banner Ads

One of the oldest ways to make money using your website works surprisingly well even nowadays. You may want to choose the advertisements very carefully in order to select the most relevant offers for your target audience. The amount of advertisement blocks is also a huge factor that needs careful adjustment. 

Ways to monetize a news website diagram

If you place too much ads, they would have a negative impact on your website’s design, usability and user experience.

However, you may employ a widespread practice of offering premium ad-free access to your site for a small fee. This fee may be one-time and result in a permanent upgrade of a user’s account, or it may be charged every year, for example, to provide a year of ad-free experience. 

In addition, if you plan on employing banner ads, you must think of effective methods to deal with anti-advertising software, such as: 

  • Adblock, 
  • Adguard, 
  • Ghostery. 

2. Participate in Pay-per-click Networks

Partnership with trustworthy advertisement companies is how many news media websites make money and raise their own reliability. One of the most simple and popular form of such partnership is Google Adsense, which offers from 51% to 68% revenue share. 

This network connects a large number of advertisers and automatically offers ads, which are most relevant to your content in terms of its topic and media type. You may easily customize what media format and size of advertisements you prefer, as well as their placement on a webpage. However, in this case, you have no control over the content of the ads, as Adsense uses its own algorithms and the “ad auction” principle to select advertisements for your website. 

Overall, if you are a beginner and looking how to monetize a news website, participating in a PPC network would be a wise choice. Keep in mind that there are several networks available besides Google Adsense, including: 

  • Bing Ads, 
  • Facebook Ads, 
  • Bidvertiser, 
  • AdRolls.

3. Publish Paid Articles and Sponsored Links

Perhaps, one the most popular and overall best ways to monetize a news website nowadays, paid articles are also the core method of link building. That is why, this model is widely used in SEO optimization, website promotion and reputation management. 

It is common practice nowadays that online news sites make money by posting articles, preferably on relevant topics, with links to other websites. To make this strategy work, you need experienced copywriters, who can provide believable and persuasive texts optimized for search engines. 

Those articles should promote a certain product but do not turn into phony infomercials, which requires high writing skills. However, this way of monetization is rather risky and may easily harm your website’s reputation, resulting in a drastic drop of visits. It is a common belief that journalism must be unbiased by default, and that experts’ opinion cannot be bought. 

That is why a certain share of visitors would be displeased with any attempt to mix marketing with the news. In order to mitigate readers’ backlash and to maintain your reputation, you should always mark paid articles with such tags as “advertisement”, “news from our partners”, “sponsored content”, and so on.

Our team has enough experience in developing news websites from scratch and making amendments in the existing sites of our clients. So if you want customized and unique features on your news platform like adding tags or popups, or adding new functionality, we are ready to make your site perfect.

4. Use Paid Subscription or “Paywall”

In recent years, the increasing amount of news websites make money by selling full access to their content. Thus, if you have a news site with unique and high quality content, trusty experts as authors, respected untarnished reputation, and large loyal audience, you may employ a paid subscription. In this case, people would have to pay a certain sum in order to access your website or some of its exclusive content. 

However, this method drastically reduces the amount of visitors and, as a consequence, may be detrimental for your standings in search engines. Nevertheless, most reputable online newspapers, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, as well as many others, use paywalls as a form of monetization.

5. Monetize Through Expert Opinion and Reputation

As a rather unobvious example, under some conditions it is possible to monetize your website through other sites with the help of your own writers. This requires an established high reputation and the well-deserved recognition of your authors as experts in their fields. In this case, they may be occasionally invited to share their opinions in the form of an interview or an article for other sites. 

Per employment agreement, the author’s payment for such tasks would be distributed, according to a certain ratio, between the author and your website. This method also allows to further build up your website’s reputation and reference weight, thus, promoting your website in addition to financial profits.

To Sum It Up... 

The variety of monetization methods allows developing the most lucrative strategy to make money for any given news site. Thanks to this article, you not only learned how to start an online newspaper for profit, but may also make an informed decision regarding the best suitable plan for your particular case. 

It is vital that your website should constantly develop in order to keep up with modern trends and technologies, thus, the way of monetization should evolve as well. Naturally, the most versatile solution would be the combination of the discussed ways based on your website’s traffic, content, reputation and other crucial factors. 

Contact us, and Light IT experts will gladly develop the most effective solution to monetize your news website!

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