Are you looking for a dynamic, traffic-attracting model for a planned blog project? Consider building and publishing an online news magazine site. Fresh, regular content that's presented in a visually appealing and eye-catching way is the key to attracting new visitors and keeping them on site. And that's exactly what an online news magazine is all about. Let's look at this effective blog model:
- How online news magazines differ from blogs
- A few examples of compelling online news magazine sites
- Why WordPress is the ideal CMS for online news magazines
- Choosing the right WordPress theme for a news aggregator site
- Tips for creating a dynamic, high-traffic online news magazine
How online news magazines differ from blogs
Online news magazines vary from traditional, everyday blogs in a few ways. Blogs traditionally feature content that's published and organized in reverse chronological order. Although the content may also be assigned specific categories, you'll find all the content laid out by date, the most recently published post at the top of the page.
On the other hand, the primary defining characteristic for online news magazine sites is the magazine-style layout, with the content organized into various sections. Most online news magazine sites will reflect that organization in their navigation, with many featuring a primary menu of only those top-level section labels at the top of each page, either right beneath or above the header.
Another key difference is that online magazines frequently rely on multiple bloggers, in order to feed the heightened need for quantities of content. Of course any blog can add other bloggers to the team, either on a guest-post or ongoing basis. However, professional online news magazines usually need a lot more content on a regular basis. That means additional writers will be helpful, if not outright necessary, in order to lighten the content-creation load.
Magazine-style sites also generally revolve around a topic or niche. For instance, lifestyle or fashion magazines are especially popular, as are health and fitness-related topics. Alternatively, you can build your magazine around a specific industry or demographic (think about AARP's magazine for people over 50, magazines for new parents or middle-aged women, etc.).
If the magazine site features current or breaking news in a particular niche, it may take advantage of news aggregator technology, by incorporating various RSS feeds from a variety of sources. When a specified source publishes a news item in that feed, it automatically becomes published into the aggregator site. That's a great approach to display additional 3rd party content on a magazine site.
Online news magazines have lower bounce rates
Online magazine sites do one thing in particular really well: they keep new visitors on your site, and they bring past readers back for more. They're traffic magnets, simply put. That's due in part to the image-focused design and a grid-based layout, which turns your content into eye-catching tiles or boxes that compel new readers to click and browse.
Also, in an ordinary blog, eventually you'll have lots of content a new visitor can browse through. You can even help convince that new visitor to try another blog post through related-posts plugins and a powerful call to action button. This can help to reduce the bounce rate of your blog.
But what if you want devoted fans instead of casual readers, super-low bounce rates and through-the-roof average time-on-site stats? In that case you'd have a hard time finding a more effective model than the online news magazine. With catchy, click-inducing headlines and compelling, strong visual images, a news magazine site seduces new readers into clicking and reading “just one more story”. Readers can get lost for hours on a good magazine site, if the material is written well.
A few examples of compelling online news magazine sites
A compelling look at the world of entertainment, Hollywood.com covers music, TV, and more, in addition to American movies, as well as the celebrities who make it all possible.
AskMen.com is a lifestyle and fashion magazine aimed at a clear demographic: men, 18 and up. Note the featured story’s prominent location, and the grid-based layout with image tiles for content pieces below. This is typical for magazine sites, especially from the lifestyle and fashion niche.
BlackBook is a culture, arts, and politics magazine targeted primarily at fairly wealthy, city-dwelling adults. Note the top-level nav menu based on the major magazine sections: Arts+Culture, News+Opinion, and so on. This gives a clear overview of the topics on this magazine size.
A great example of a niche-based news magazine is Wired.com, covering all things digital and tech-related. This is another beautiful example of how a grid-based well organized magazine layout can put your content in spotlight. A professional magazine layout like this can already make a huge difference in comparison to a classic blog. Magazine sites are also beneficial for monetisation.
Why WordPress is the ideal CMS for online news magazines
If you're planning a new online news magazine site, WordPress is the ideal choice. Thanks to its user-friendly interface and short learning curve, you can be up and running in minutes instead of days. Starting a blog or magazine site with WordPress isn't hard. That frees you up to work on the all-important content and promotion tasks that any new site needs if it's going to be successful.
WordPress is the world's most popular CMS (content management system), currently running on more than 28% of all internet sites. That means you'll always have a robust community of users and developers to help you with troubleshooting problems, and keeping your site in optimal shape.
With thousands of WordPress themes, and lots of well-coded plugins, you've got everything to build a seamless, gorgeous online news magazine. WordPress is a choice that definitely makes sense. This is especially true if you're somewhat new to the world of blogging and site management.
You can create an online newspaper or online magazine-style site in WordPress through a number of methods. This includes plugins and a bit of coding. However, we think a far simpler and more efficient approach is to get the right WordPress theme, and let that theme do the heavy lifting.
Choosing the right WordPress theme for a news magazine site
With thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available for you to choose from, it's important to keep in mind your business goals when evaluating potential themes for your online news magazine site. In particular, you'll want to make sure your theme has the following features:
- Mobile-friendliness or responsive design: If your site doesn't render well with a minimum of fuss and adjustment in a user's mobile browser, you'll lose readers.
- Clean, visually dynamic design and presentation of images: With online news magazine sites in particular, you'll want a grid layout that handles images well.
- Support for section-based menu navigation and featured content placement: These visual cues reinforce the idea of your site as a premier destination for news and featured editorial content in your niche. User experience is key, make sure you got it right.
Or you can choose one of our themes, made especially for news magazine sites: MH Magazine WordPress theme. It's a well-coded, gorgeous theme that'll help you build a beautiful, eye-catching online news magazine site and grow a dedicated readership.
MH Magazine WordPress theme gives you all the features you need for a solid, gorgeous online news magazine. For instance, you can see a demo screenshot above that's been configured for a food and cooking magazine (see more demos here). Those image thumbnails, grid-based layout, and featured content blocks help your content attract clicks and readers.
This premium magazine theme uses widgets to create a visually appealing home page. You can also add videos to your content areas which will help you attract and keep even more visitors.
It also comes with that section-based navigational approach, as you can see in the second news-based demo above. You can add levels of navigation through secondary navigation menus beneath the primary one, to help your readers find the content they most want to browse and consume.
MH Magazine is also mobile-friendly and displays cleanly on smartphones and tablets. Google will actually penalize sites that don't display well on mobile devices. But with MH Magazine, that's no problem at all. It's 100% responsive, for the ideal user experience for your visitors.
Tips for creating a dynamic, high-traffic online news magazine
Make the most of your new online news magazine with the following tips:
- Think link bait. Create the most compelling headlines and excerpts you can to feature on your section pages and front page. That's what'll get your visitors to stick around and read for awhile. Effective meta descriptions can increase traffic from search engines as well.
- Encourage sharing with social media and email sharing plugins. You want your visitors to share your editorial content with their friends and connections online to help build your audience. MH Magazine comes already with the most common sharing buttons included.
- Take time to get your section-based organization right from the beginning. It's an important component of a successful online news magazine site.
- Finally, put some effort into promotion. Content is definitely king, especially with magazine sites, but great content alone won't do the trick. You can build it, but that won't make visitors automatically come to your site. Promote your site via social networking, influencer outreach, and email marketing strategies.
Conclusion: Start your own online news magazine
News magazine sites give you flexibility in creating, configuring, and publishing content to your audience. They let you feed the insatiable appetite of your audience for late-breaking and current news, either for general interest or for a niche.
Online news magazine sites do require a commitment to a regular publishing schedule, and you'll have to outsource or create enough pieces of content to keep up with the content demand. But they're a popular choice, especially if you want to monetize with ad revenue.
And when you build your site in WordPress, you'll enjoy the ease and convenience of the world's most popular CMS. Do you have any questions about building a magazine site? Have you created an online news magazine? Share your experience in the comments section below.