In this article, you will learn how to create a website like WorldStarHipHop and turn it into a huge successful video sharing community.
In case you didn’t know, Worldstarhiphop was founded in 2005 by the late Lee ‘Q’ O’Denat who originally started the website as a platform for launching mixtapes. Soon after, hackers destroyed his website so he instead turned it into a video content aggregator.
As they say, the rest is history.
Owning a site like WSHH is a huge cash cow and you can earn thousands of dollars per day if you upload good content, keep your visitors engaged and scale your traffic into the millions.
Before you cash those big checks, you need to know the basics of getting a domain name, uploading content, driving traffic and finally monetizing that traffic into stacks of cash.
If you’re ready to make some serious dough, then keep reading as I walk you through step by step how to create a video sharing website like Worldstarhiphop and make millions! Let’s go 🙂
Step 1 – Market Research
Before you make a website similar to Worldstarhiphop, I recommend doing some market research to understand who your target audience is and how to engage them.
My first suggestion is to study the WorldStarHipHop’s Alexa page. You can find key stats & research to help you narrow down your audience. Here’s a screenshot of WorldStarHipHop’s target audience:
WSSH’s audience is made up of younger females who browse the website at school. I would build a demographic profile of:
- 18 to 24
- In School
I bet you already knew this because WorldStar publishes videos targeted to a very young demographic. However, I would have never guessed the audience is majority female!
Here’s a few things to consider when planning your website:
- Who is my ideal visitor?
- What kind of content do they like?
- How will I market to them?
- How do I post videos to make them go viral?
I will discuss marketing techniques later in this article. These are some ideas to get you thinking and planning your site.
Step 2 – Get a Domain
You will need to acquire a short yet brandable domain name for your new website. Brainstorm a bunch of domains then try to select a domain that is:
- Easy to Remember
- Avoids any trademarks
- .COM extension (or a country level domain if you want to target a certain country)
Best Domain Search Tools
I recommend using these tools to find some good domains for your business:
Domain Name: $9.95 per year
I use Godaddy for all my domain needs. Every website needs a good domain name from a reliable company. I’ve registered my domains with Godaddy ever since I got started back in 2006. They offer the best pricing and deals for repeat customers. You can also get private domain registration for an extra $3 per year. It’s the best investment if you want to keep your identity secret to the public.
Get your domain name now on Godaddy
What if my desired domain name is unavailable?
Type your desired domain in your web browser to see if it’s available. If you land on a blank internet service page, then the domain is available. If not, then you can either choose another domain or buy the domain name from someone else.
Get a custom logo
Every website needs a custom logo to establish their brand. If you are on a limited budget, get a cheap logo from Fiverr for $5. If you have a bigger budget, I recommend 99designs.
Get your logo from Fiverr
Step 3 – Find Scalable Dedicated Hosting
Running a website like WorldStarHipHop takes a lot of hosting power and resources. Hosting is very important because video files take up a lot of space.
Important: Do not underestimate the amount of diskspace and bandwidth a popular video website consumes.
You’d be shocked and if you don’t have a powerful server, your site will crash! Or worse, your web host will charge you for extra bandwidth and you end up with a massive hosting bill 🙁
Don’t let this happen…you gotta think ahead and plan long term. Get enough resources upfront so you can grow organically.
Here are my recommendations for your video based website:
Get a VPS, Cloud or Dedicated Server
Cloud hosting is the overall cheapest option for hosting a high traffic video site. I personally use Siteground cloud hosting and it only costs me $80 per month.
Dedicated Hosting is a bit more expensive, but gives you the control, scalability and power of having your own personal web server.
Video websites take up a lot of bandwidth and disk space. You need powerful web hosting environment to keep you website up and running during traffic spikes and unexpected events.
The problem with cheaper hosting plans is that you share a server with other websites. If one site goes down, your site will not work either. Investing in a good server is the best decision for your growing video sharing community.
Get lots of Disk Space & Bandwidth
How much disk space & bandwidth do you need for your video website? It depends. Let’s use a few examples to estimate your server needs:
WSHH uploads around 30 videos per day. Here are your approx. number of videos sorted by date:
- 30 videos per day
- 210 videos per week
- 900 videos per month
- 10,800 videos per year
If you upload an average sized 5 min video, then here are your disk space needs:
- 100 GB disc space: 580 videos
- 500 GB disc space: 2940 videos
- 1000 GB disc space: 5880 videos
- 2000 GB disc space: 11760 videos
For your bandwidth needs, here is a general estimate:
- Traffic limit 1 TB: 147.000 possible downloads/views
- Traffic limit 2 TB: 294.000 possible downloads/views
- Traffic limit 4 TB: 588.000 possible downloads/views
- Traffic limit 5 TB: 735.000 possible downloads/views
- Traffic limit 10 TB: 1.470.000 possible downloads/views
Again, these are only theoretical benchmarks that shall help to find an approximate figure of your estimated traffic.
Using the number above, I have calculated an estimate of your disk space and bandwidth needs:
900 videos (per month) X 17MB (per video) = 155 GB
900 videos (per month) x 10,000 views (per video) = 61 TB
Which Hosting is best for a website like WorldStarHipHop?
Due to the extremely high resource needs for video websites, I recommend a cloud server to give you more power, control, and security for your website.
Bluehost is my recommended web hosting company for building a video sharing website. They are one of the cheapest web hosting companies in terms of price, customer service & server capacity.
If you bought your domain through Godaddy, you may be tempted to get hosting, too. I wouldn’t recommend it as I’ve spent countless hours arguing with Godaddy’s web hosting team about downtime and slow performance.
Don’t say it didn’t warn ya!
Get your web hosting from Siteground
Step 4 – Use a Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is one of the best way to improve website performance.
Unlike normal web hosting, where your content is housed on a single server, a CDN takes the website’s static content and replicates it through hundreds of servers around the world instead of a single host at one location.
This technology makes sure each visitor to your site gets their data from the city closest to them. By bringing your content closer to your readers’ connection point, your website will have much quicker load times, superior scalability, and guaranteed uptime.
Clouflare is the best Free CDN Network
Cloudfare is an excellent CDN that offers a free plan under most web hosts. If you sign up for Siteground hosting, you can setup a free Cloudfare CDN account in just minutes.
If you need more features, you can upgrade to the Cloudfare Plus plan for a bit more money.
Step 5 – Collect Emails
When people visit your website, you don’t want them to bounce then never return. Collecting emails will help your video website grow much faster because you simply email your subscribers whenever you post new videos.
Mailing List Service: $50 per month
Converkit is my favorite email marketing company for people who want to build a website similar to WorldStarHipHop.
Convertkit pricing start at $29 per month and goes up to $2,999 per month depending on how many people are on your list. I have more than that so it cost me even more.
It’s 7 times harder to acquire a new visitor than to market to an existing one. Place a simple signup form on your website to collect your visitor’s emails. You can also use this subscriber list to generate revenue from advertisers and sponsors in the future.
Start building your email list with Convertkit
Step 6 – Buy a Video Sharing CMS Script
WSHH uses a robust video sharing CMS to upload and share videos with their audience. You need to purchase the right website script to build a website like Worldstarhiphop. A good video CMS website script has the following features:
- Allows users to upload a large amount of videos
- Easily scalable to handle millions of visitors
- Loads your site fast in both mobile and desktop browsers
- Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors along with SEO friendly page titles
- Social Media Friendly
Here’s a list of video CMS scripts that will help you build your very own website like WSHH:
WorldstarHiphop WordPress Themes
PHP video CMS Scripts
Each of these scripts is highly customizable to mimic the feel of Worldstarhiphop. Simply change the default format from “category” to “date” to recreate the WSHH feel of a daily video blog.
Step 7 – Upload Videos to Your Website
WSHH became so popular because their content is engaging, viral and gets people talking and sharing the videos with their friends. When you start your website, focus on posting the best videos you can find.
It’s also important to choose videos surrounding a certain niche. Using WSHH as an example, they post videos related to hip hop and music. Keep your videos related to a specific focus to keep your visitors returning back to your website on a regular basis.
Frequently updating your website is important as well. As of date, WSHH posts 43 videos per day. Posting videos regularly will increase your return visits as well as attract new visitors to your site.
How to Download Videos from Youtube
When I ran a video based website in the past, I used DownloadHelper to grab Youtube videos and save them to my desktop.
Use Jetpack Video Hosting or Host Them on Your Own Server
A lot of people consider hosting their content on Youtube but it’s not the best long term strategy in my opinion. There are several reasons why you should host your content on your own server:
- Better Control Over Your Content – If you post a controversial video on Youtube, then Youtube reserves the right to delete your video or entire Youtube account. This could shutdown your business overnight.
- Lower Bounce Rate – Youtube’s video player is designed to send traffic back to Youtube’s website. If you host your own content, then you keep people on your site longer.
You can upload the videos to your own server or use Jetpack video hosting if you built your site using WordPress.
Hire Staff or Outsourcers to Upload your videos – $500 per month
At some point, you may consider hiring staff or outsourcing the video uploading process. Perhaps, you dreamed about the The 4 Hour Workweek lifestyle?
It’s really important to focus on promoting and engaging your visitors when you launch your website. Hiring other people to help you will increase your efficiency and allow you to scale quicker.
Screen your employees well to make sure they upload only the best content and understand the mission of your website. Avoid hiring staff that only cares about making money or having a job. Build a team of employees that is dedicated to your vision. They will go the extra mile by uploading the best videos and help you market the website much better.
Here’s a few ways to find employees or outsources to help you manage your video website:
Step 8 – Setup your social networking profiles
Social media is a really important factor in website traffic so be sure to create social media profiles at the following sites:
- Facebook Fan Page
Facebook is a huge source of traffic for websites because nearly everyone has a FB account. If you want to get the most social media traffic, you need to create an attractive FB page and update it regularly.
Post links to your videos on your FB daily to send people from your page to your website. You can do it manually or use a free tool called Buffer to schedule FB posts in advance. This tool is a huge timesaver and lets you automated your Facebook marketing. Best of all, it’s free!
Step 9 – Drive Traffic to your website
Before you begin driving traffic to your website, make sure you have plenty of good content hosting and are able to support a flood of traffic. Your website should be able to handle a viral spike in traffic because it happens when you least expect it.
The best ways to drive traffic are:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
For starters, each image post should have a clear title with a working URL. Post every piece of content to your social media networks including tags.
Facebook Advertising: $100+ per month
Consider starting a cheap Facebook Ads campaign to attract visitors to your website. Start with a small budget then see if you can increase your Facebook likes. Facebook Fanpages can send you a TON of traffic forever.
Step 10 – Monetize Your Website
Once you have some decent traffic, then it’s time to think about monetization. The owners of Worldstarhiphop are making millions of dollars every year with all that traffic.
In this section, I’ll give you some important tips for increasing your site income so you can scale your earnings into the millions.
Monetization should always add value to the user, not take away from the browsing experience.
Here are some recommended revenue sources:
- Google Adsense
- CPM Networks
For most websites like Worldstarhiphop, your main revenue generators will be banner ads, sponsorships, products and subscriptions. Check out the screenshot below showing how much WSHH charges for advertising:
Here’s a bunch of recommendations based on WSHH’s current business model:
- Sell Sponsored Videos on the homepage to advertisers for a fixed price
- Place Banner Ads on your website using Google Adsense and other popular CPM Networks
- Show Native ads from Revcontent, Content.ad and Outbrain
- Sell product merchandise like t-shirts, clothing and shoes with your brand logo on them
- Allow users to subscribe to a monthly subscription to unlock special access and bonuses
There are many more ways to generate revenue from a popular video website. Most likely, people will find you first when you start to gain major attention online.
Place a contact form above the fold on every page to make it easy for advertisers to get in touch with you.
Costs & Expenses: How Much Money Do You Need in the Beginning?
How much does it cost to create a website like WorldstarHipHop?
It will cost you a little bit over $2,000 to start your video website. That includes domain name, dedicated hosting, CDN, outsourcers, email marketing, website template, logo and Facebook advertising.
If you want to bootstrap your site without outsourcing much, you can follow my tutorial above and get started from less than $250. Of course, you will be doing everything from logo design to server management. If you want fast results without getting a headache dealing with web servers and graphic art, then hire someone to help you out.
Click Here to Start Your Own Video Sharing Website with Bluehost
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Tarik Pierce is a 15 year WordPress veteran. He writes about blogging, SEO, and personal finance.