Let me share my perspective as the CEO of PR Distribution™ and as someone whose operated several news websites in the past that monetized using Google Adsense.
My response will make a few assumptions about your goal:
- You will be using the content as your source (and make sure you cite the source), and not verbatim copying or rephrasing a few words (both is plagiarism and will get you into trouble)
- You want to drive traffic to your news site and build an audience
- You want to monetize your news website, whether it’d be through Google Ads, ads from direct relationships with businesses, sponsored posts, etc.
First of all, register your news website as a Google News Publisher and Bing News PubHub, so your news gets pulled into Google News and Bing News, which will be a game changer in terms of how much traffic your news site will get—which will translate into revenue.
Let’s now explore the different ways you can find new content for your news website. I will also break down some of the drawbacks of each option, given your goal.
Mainstream Media – The problem with using mainstream news as your source is by the time you are posting about it, so have several hundred other people and websites. Your efforts will not be rewarded because the more established media outlets will always outrank you.
Investigative Journalism – This will indeed produce high quality content. The problem with investigative journalism, conducting interviews, etc., is that it is insanely time and resource intensive.
Social Media Monitoring & Google Alerts – As Vahe Arabian from Quora have mentioned, this can be great tool for identifying current events, especially as it relates to a particular niche or keyword.
Press Releases – This is by far my favorite source for content. My response is biased, but let me explain the reasoning, and you can decide for yourself the over weighing benefits of using press releases for your news website.
- Direct From Source – Press releases are sent by the companies, non-profits and organizations or their media relations team, so you are getting your news directly from the organizations themselves. Press releases are primary sources rather than secondary.
- Better Monetization – Most press releases come from businesses, which mean that the topics discussed have commercial viability. This means advertisers on the Google Ads platform (for advertisers) are generally willing to pay more money for those clicks, and Google in turn will pay you more for those clicks through their Google Adsense platform (for publishers).
- Original News – Because you have millions of companies out there doing all sorts of things, and thousands of PRs released each day, your chances of finding an original news story is much higher than in Google News, social media and other echo-chambers.
- Consistency – There’s a plethora of news releases that come in daily so you’re never short on news. Best of all, you don’t have to be actively on the hunt for news such as with investigative journalism or scouring social media.
- Win Win – The organizations that release the PRs want the media outlets (you) to pick up their news stories. You want news. Interests are aligned. It is a win win!
Even Mainstream Media uses press releases as their source!
Take a look at a few of these examples with the news website’s news article on the left and the original press release source on the right: