Online News - End of the Road For Free News Online?

  According to a recent study, we're not overly impressed with Rupert Murdoch's plans to charge for use of his online news sites. Of 2,000 people asked if they would ever pay for online news, 9 out of 10 said 'No!'. Does that mean that Murdoch's decision to charge users to access his news sites is foolish?

I wouldn't pay for news, either, unless...

If I were asked 'would you ever pay for online news?', I would probably say 'no', too. After all, in an age when we can usually read about major events on Twitter before any of the news channels report them, why would we ever want pay for access to their content?

However, I would, and often do, pay for quality and 'luxury' news. I would never pay a penny for one of the shrinking number of free newspapers handed out on my way to work in a morning, but I would pay for a Sunday broadsheet with all its extras and trimmings (even though the chances of me actually reading more than a few pages are extremely small).

I have also been known to sign up to a paid members' area on the website of a certain football team (which shall remain nameless) to gain access to extra content not available on the main website: video interviews and press conferences, highlights of reserve and youth team matches, live radio commentary on match days.

Would I pay to read The Sun online? No. There are usually only about 2 paragraphs in each image-dominated article anyway. It only costs a few pennies to buy the real thing so there wouldn't be much value in using its site. The Times? Maybe, but only if all other quality news outlets starting charging, otherwise I'd just go for the free one.

Using a Credit Card for a 20p Article?

I'm not sure how much Mr Murdoch wants to charge his users to read an article, but I'm guessing there is going to be some sort of account that needs setting up. I certainly couldn't be bothered to get my wallet out every time I wanted to read something and I would be very hesitant to commit to subscribing.

On the other hand, if they had a similar system to iTunes, whereby you just enter your password to gain access to a paid article and your card is billed accordingly, that might make a bit more sense. But, if I had to do that for every major news provider, it would become very tiresome.

Ultimately, they could be shooting themselves in the foot to some extent. If the site makes it harder and less convenient for me to read an article, I'll probably go elsewhere. I would assume that I would always be able to read the news for free on the BBC's website, which would not be good news for the advertising revenue of the Murdoch online empire.


Assuming that I actually wanted to read an article on a paid site so badly that I handed over my credit card details to them, what would stop me 'reporting' on what the article said on my freely available blog? I would imagine it would be very hard for a newspaper group to prevent thousands of bloggers disseminating the information freely to their users who would gain lots of traffic in the process.

Recipe for Success?

The success or failure of paid news is in the method used to charge and engage with users, assuming that the users value the content highly enough to deem it worth paying for. The jury is definitely still out on the entire concept and the chances are that many will try and fail before a profitable system is developed. Until then, we'll have to wait and see.

Using Online News Submissions to Gain Extra Visitors to Your Website

It can be quite hard to compete with other websites when it comes to attracting internet users to a specific website. If the site is in a popular field, like cars for example, then the competition is high due to the amount of Google searches being carried out. However, if a less popular field is being targeted then it's difficult because not many people are searching for that specific field anyway.

It's good to use keywords, meta tags, and other SEO techniques, but what many people forget is how Google ranks certain sites on their search engine. Yes, they do take into account well-optimised content, but many people forget that updated and useful content is being increasingly used as the determining factor. And that's where online news submission comes in.

What Happened?

In the past, a smattering of SEO was enough to get one's website to the top of the list, but with the recent Google Panda updates and the changes to these algorithms, it's the content which is reigning supreme. And that's why online news distribution is the perfect way to get websites to the top of the Google rankings.

The Power of News

It's well-known that millions of people all around the world look to the internet when it comes to finding out about the world and the latest news associated with different parts of it. And, to Google, this is relevant and updated content. This is why online news distribution with a link in a resource box can really drive traffic to a specific website.

But users who decide to take this route must make sure that they strike the balance between relevant news whilst minimising the competition. If it's a major news story then it's going to be carried by news websites all around the world, and that will make it impossible to make any impact on the Google rankings. But if it's not relevant then nobody will be searching for it.

Personal or Directory Submission?

Personal submission is the use of press releases on the website which is attempting to have traffic driven to it. This is one of the best ways to bring traffic to a website, but the only issue is that this can only be used once. If it doesn't work and other sites are considered to be more valuable then this can be a real problem, especially if it's a major news story.

Online news submission to directories, on the other hand, allows users to submit similar press releases or articles to multiple websites. This means that more websites will be pointing to the desired website. Whilst this will certainly increase the Google ranking of a website, the only way to get people on the website is for them to actively decide to click through to that website. This means that people might decide to read the news on an external website but might not decide to click on the inserted link.

How Online News Services Can Increase Business

Everybody is always looking for innovative ways to increase their business, to increase the amount of traffic to their websites and other ways to get their name, their brands, services and products to the consumers that will use them. One of the latest buzz applications in the Internet marketing sector is Online News Submission.

What it basically is, is a company that will take your companies details, list of services, products, what you do, how you do it and where you are. Then they jazz your information up; send it through to the PR department, where a clever writer puts together a sensational, but informative press release about your company. Once you have approved the press release, they go live and upload it to the web, through thousands of internet portals and online news services all over the world and immediately your product has reached millions it wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

Not only do the companies prepare your complete press release, part of their package is Online News Distribution, so without you having to search for platforms about where to release your news article, part of their service is that they do all of that for you. They already have a well connected data base of outlets and an unprecedented ability to reach a diverse sector of journalists, bloggers, online news platforms, potential customers and buyers.

It doesn't matter if you have never written a press release or news article before, you don't have to go and learn how to do that, or employ a copywriter or journalist to do so, an Online News Service Company will do all of that for you. It will be like employing an entire PR company to take on your media and news coverage without having to break the bank,

Social media, express media coverage, SEO submissions and national and international press are all platforms and sectors that a unique service like this will launch your company, services and brand from. By reaching the right people in the right sectors your brand will headline and reach the best people, the people that need to know.

All industries, sectors and professions can benefit from this kind of publicity. Small business and sole proprietors will be able to target audiences around the world, with the launch of a few strategic press releases that will reach a niche target market. Think about how we search for businesses, companies and services today. Do we haul out a service directory; look them up in our local telephone directory? No, we search for them online, using multiple search engines to get a variety of sources.

Once we have made a short list of our preferences we then search social media and social media forums to get the good, the bad and the ugly references and opinions from consumers that have tried and bought and let the world know what it is that they thought. Doesn't it make sense then to use an online news submission type company that will take care of all your PR needs, and then strategically place your information in the right hands using online news distribution methods? Can you actually afford not to?


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