As we mentioned in our review of the Huffington Post, the Huffington Post offers all of the content on their website for free. So, then, how do they make money? There are two main sources, which we will discuss below.
1. Advertising revenue
Like many Internet services that offer their content for free (and many newspapers in general), Huffington Post partially supports itself by selling advertising space on its website. The fact that the Huffington Post operates as a news aggregator — meaning that they bring in content from other websites as much as (or more than) they create their own — makes it particularly attractive for advertising. Bringing in more and different content quickly like this means the ability to attract more and different people to the website quickly to read it. This, in turn, puts the advertisements of companies who buy space on the website in front of their potential target audience quickly and en masse. At least, that’s how the theory goes.
2. Corporate investment
This is another strategy that Internet companies who offer their services for free (at least initially) rely on to make money, and it goes hand-in-hand with the first strategy we mentioned. By making their features and/or content free to access, they can attract more visitors to their website. This, in turn, lets potential investors speculate on how valuable it would be to control the website, in terms of collecting revenue from selling advertising space.
Apparently, America Online (A.O.L.) thought that there was enough of this value in the Huffington Post, as they purchased the company for $315 million U.S. in 2011.
That’s a bit of information on how the Huffington Post makes money!
Now that we've told you a bit about what the Huffington Post is in our introductory articles, we're going to give you a quick tour of the website.
You can create an account for the website, but it only allows you to follow other contributors, create a public profile, and post and track comments that you make on articles. The last function can be done with a Facebook account anyway, which we'll discuss during our tour.
Using the Huffington Post Website
Go to www.huffingtonpost.com in your web browser. Based on your computer's Internet address, you should be taken to a version of the Huffington Post that corresponds to the country and/or region in which you live. If you want to change what country or region for which you're viewing the Huffington post, click Edition or Region (if available) in the top-left corner, and select an option from the drop-down menu.
Across the top menu are options for different sections of your current edition of the Huffington Post. You can click on one to view more stories for that section, or you can simply move your mouse cursor over it to view stories and other sub-sections. Click on a story or sub-section to go right to it.
If you're looking for something specific on the Huffington Post, click inside the box labelled "Search the Huffington Post" and type in some key words that you want to find. Then click the magnifying glass beside the box.
Opinion and editorial pieces on the Huffington Post are usually organized in the left column, while syndicated news stories are organized in the middle column. The right column is usually content (they may be news stories OR editorials) that the Huffington Post thinks that you'll be interested in, based on what you've viewed previously.
To view a piece of content, simply click on its name or cover picture. You can also click Comments to skip right to what other people have said about this piece (sometimes, there will be a number here showing how many comments this piece has), or click the other option here to view content related to this piece in some way.
Once you're reading a piece, you can click the buttons below the title to:
– "Like" this piece on Facebook
– Share a link to this piece on Facebook
– Share a link to this piece on Twitter
– Share a link to this piece on Google Plus
– Share a link to this piece on LinkedIn
– Share a link to this piece on Pinterest
– Comment on the piece through Facebook
(Note that you must log into — or be logged into — the respective services in order to complete these actions.)
You can also click the three icons above Print to share the piece on Reddit, StumbleUpon, or Tumblr, respectively. (Again, you must log into — or be logged into — these services to do so.)
Clicking Print will allow you to select a printer with which to print out this piece. Each printer's settings are somewhat different, so consult your operating manual if you need help.
If you are logged into Facebook or your Huffington Post account, you can also leave a comment on the piece, or reply to someone else's comment. Our commenting system here at Techboomers is run by Facebook, too, so leaving a comment on the Huffington Post works almost identically.
Click in the box labelled "Add a Comment" and type in what you want to say about the piece that you're currently reading. If you want your comment to also show up on your Facebook timeline, make sure that the box labelled "Also Post to Facebook" is checked (click on it to mark or unmark it). Then click Post.
Click the drop-down menu beside "Sort By" to sort comments by ones with the most "Likes", ones posted most recently, or ones posted least recently.
Below a person's comment, click Like to show appreciation for their comment (or click Unlike to retract your appreciation), or click Reply to address your comment directly to that person. The process is identical to posting an independent comment.
That concludes our tour of the Huffington Post! Enjoy your reading!