On 9th May, 2005, a small news commentary website designed to offer an alternative to the mainstream media was launched. From those humble beginnings, The Huffington Post has grown into one of the most read news sources in the world, and celebrates its tenth birthday next week. To mark the occasion, we’ve come up with 10 things you didn’t know about the platform, all from a marketing and brand perspective.
As of July 2014, HuffPost in the U.S. was attracting 95million unique hits per month- just under 1/3 of all U.S. citizens. By comparison, HuffingonPost.co.uk – which launched in 2011- claimed 11.4million unique hits in March 2015- around 1/6 of the UK population, with the vast majority visiting from social media sites (42.76%).
The Huffington Post saw a year-on-year increase of 12% between 2013 an 2014, the last period for which such statistics have been publicised.
The Huffington Post was acquired by U.S. giant AOL back in 2011, for a cool $315million, and continues to benefit enormously from high AOL search rankings.
If you’re looking to sell-in to a title, you want to know it’s viewed as a credible source. Given The Huffington Post was the first online news outlet in the world to win the coveted Pullitzer Prize for journalism, you can consider it’s reputation relatively well established.
HuffingtonPost.co.uk boasts 11 core channels. These are:
For the majority of brands looking to increase PR reach, the most valuable core channels are Tech, Entertainment, Celebrity and Lifestyle. Each contain several sub-sections:
*Tech- How To – Buyer’s Guides – Gaming – Space – Apple – Innovation
*Entertainment – TV Revolution – TV Soaps – Box Sets Club – Celeb Pics – Culture of Kindness – Baggers Bites – TV Reviews
*Celebrity- TV Revolution – TV Soaps – Box Sets Club – Celeb Pics – Culture of Kindness – Baggers Bites – TV Reviews
*Lifestyle- Dating & Relationships – Women – Diet & Fitness – Health – Food – Travel -Third Metric – Men – Parents – What’s Working – Fitspiration – Style
Who creates the content?
Like most news organisations, The Huffington Post is curated by a professional team in-house. Many of the editors write articles too, and the platform also employs staff writers. However, it also relies on freelance contributors, some of whom are paid, some unpaid, some sourced through the comments they leave on other posts, others through an application process. The best way to try and access these elusive freelancers is by reading their by-line and then searching for them on networks like LinkedIn- chances are they will include HuffPost in their biog.
HuffPost Partner Studios
The Huffington Post earns a significant amount of its overall revenue from sponsored content (advertorials in the old print world). This is done through HuffPost Partner Studios, whereby a dedicated team of writers, editors, designers and strategists will work with any brand to create posts that reflect the company’s overall goals whilst maintaining the standard readers expect from the website.
Product reviews form part of the regular neutral editorial content run on Huffington Post. The most common types of review are mobile tech, food and drink, and household appliances. A word of warning, though, these are real reviews, far removed from the HuffPost Partner Studios offering, and so can be positive or negative depending on the writer’s opinion.
Although you’re more likely to find political, social or cultural posts in the blog section, some Huffington writers focus on emerging trends in digital, public relations and marketing. 10 Things I Learned Reading 70 Digital Marketing Trends, and 10 Things You Should Know About Your Competition being just two examples you may find useful.