You’ve got killer content. That’s great – but it’ll only get you so far. You can’t build a business by giving your content away. In other words, the name of the game is content monetization.
But what’s the best way to monetize your content? What strategy should you use? For people just starting out – and even for experienced creators – there’s a lot of trial and error involved.
I want to save you some of that trial and error. Here are 7 smart content monetization strategies for you to try right now.
#1: Video Ad Space
You probably already know (and use) Google AdSense to monetize your website. What you may not know is that, if you post videos on your website, you can monetize them with ads, too.
Considering that videos get a higher engagement rate than any other kind of content, it makes sense to monetize videos on your site. Of course, you can also monetize them on YouTube.
No videos on your site? Now’s the time to start making them. Research shows that 82% of consumers prefer to learn about companies and products by watching a video. With today’s technology and accessible video creation tools, there’s really no excuse for not embracing video as a monetization method.
#2: Native Advertising
Native advertising doesn’t look like advertising, and that’s what makes it profitable. You’ve probably seen native ads and had the experience of gradually realizing that what you were reading was sponsored.
It’s not as hard to monetize your site with native advertising as you might think. For example, Apester is a site that describes itself as providing “the tools that enable the creation, distribution and monetization of the interactive, visual, fun content experiences consumers love.”
By employing native advertising on your site, you can inform your followers about products and brands they might enjoy while earning revenue. It’s a win/win and a monetization strategy that works for many online publishers.
#3: Subscription Services
Do you regularly create the kind of content that people are willing to pay for? If you do, then you may want to consider providing a subscription service to your customers and readers.
The key to monetizing with a subscription is having a model in place that ensures you’ll deliver worthwhile, valuable content regularly. If you can do that, then selling subscriptions can be a terrific source of recurring income for you.
You can sweeten the pot by offering your subscribers content and perks they can’t get anywhere else. Ultimately, people like feeling that they’re getting something unique. A subscription service can provide it.
#4: Accept Donations
The next monetization strategy might seem controversial at first, but it can absolutely work for you. Have you considered accepting donations on your website?
Let’s look at an example of a site that accepts donations and keeps itself afloat doing so. Wikipedia is a publicly-sourced online encyclopedia. Once or twice a year, they ask their readers to make a donation to help them keep the site running.
You may have noticed that some bloggers have a donation link on their blogs. If you’re not comfortable with that, you may want to consider using a site such as Patreon, which allows people to donate money to support your creative endeavors. It’s the usual practice to provide Patreon supporters with unique content as a way of thanking them for their donations.
#5: Start a Podcast
Podcasting has never been more popular. According to Podcast Insights, there are more than 700,000 active podcasts in the United States and that number is growing all the time. If you’re comfortable with the thought of creating a podcast, you may want to do it now.
The great thing about podcasts is that, despite their popularity, you will probably have fewer competitors than you would with blogging. You can charge a subscription fee, run ads, or even host the podcast on your own site and monetize it with display or audio ads.
#6: Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing isn’t new but it’s still one of the best monetization strategies to try. In case you’re unfamiliar with the model, affiliate marketing involves marketing and selling products created by other people in return for a commission.
There are many ways to sell affiliate products. You can create dedicated sales pages for the products you sell. A lot of affiliate marketers do that. Another option is to include affiliate links in your blog posts or on your social media pages.
Keep in mind that the evaluation process is extremely important for affiliate products. ClickBank is an enormous affiliate product marketplace that provides detailed statistics on the products listed. If you choose wisely, the products you market can earn you a lot of money in commissions.
#7: Online Courses
One of my favorite ways to monetize content is to create online courses to sell. They can be a lot of work to create, but there are shortcuts you can use. For example, if you have multiple blog posts that relate to the same topic, you can combine them into a course.
One of the things that I like about creating online courses is that they can be evergreen sources of income. Once you create a course and list it for sale, you can earn money from it indefinitely. Courses can consist of written content, videos, audio recordings and slide shows – or any combination of these.
Best of all, there are many options online for you to sell your courses. There’s the obvious choice of selling a course on your own website, but I suggest trying Udemy, Thinkific, or Teachable. You’ll pay a percentage of the purchase price as a fee, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of their huge SEO advantage.
Content monetization is the key to building an online business. The 7 monetization strategies I’ve listed here are all proven to generate income if you use them properly. I suggest getting one income stream set up and working before you move on to the next. Having multiple income streams will protect you even if one stream runs dry.
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