For anyone interested in starting their own blog and trying to make a living out of it, it is a good idea to look at some of the best in the business and examine how they got to that stage. There aren’t many more successful blogs out there than the HuffPost, which now has an estimated monthly revenue of approximately $14 million. So how did the site founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005 become such a global phenomenon?
When the internet came to the mainstream in the late 1990s, it brought about a number of new industries and careers that had never existed before. People who took the initiative in the early days reaped the rewards soon after. The concept of blogging only came about around 1999, and at that time people didn’t quite realise the powerful effect that the online world would have on spreading messages around. When HuffPost was launched by Huffington, Andrew Breitbart, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti in 2005, it was originally called The Huffington Post. The name was designed to reflect its newspaper-like qualities.
In the early days, the blog was offered as an alternative to news outlets like the Drudge Report. It included up to date reports and commentary and encouraged community interaction. This was the site’s blog niche, and the fact that there were few others doing the same thing improved its chances of being successful. Anyone thinking of starting their own blog would be wise to look for gaps in the market, see what types of blog are lacking from the mainstream, and fill those gaps.
One of the major contributing factors to The Huffington Post’s success was the emergence of social media sites like MySpace and Facebook. These revolutionary ideas gave The Huffington Post a platform on which it was able to reach thousands of people easily. Articles were designed to be shareable, and also featured the type of headline that users wanted to click on and read more about. It didn’t take long for the page to expand, and by 2007 there were local editions including HuffPost Chicago and HuffPost New York.
A few years later, the social media-savvy blog went international. In 2011, the company set up HuffPost Canada and the Huffington Post UK. At this point, the site branched out and began to include more content. It still had a focus on American politics but also featured content from a wide pool of other bloggers about various global issues and news stories. In doing this, the company was able to save money by not having to pay as many people to write for them.
HuffPost was fortunate that it came about just at the right time, before everyone was trying to make money from blogging. It also made good use of crowdsourcing content, and expanded into numerous other territories to attract more readers. Of course, taking advantage of social media platforms like Facebook also worked greatly in HuffPost’s favour.