As a publisher you should always be thinking about how you are monetizing your site. Working closely with everyone from first time bloggers to large multi-site companies has given us the opportunity to see what works for all sizes of developers. Last fall we teamed up with our friends Netpop, Viglink, and Tapinfluence to bring you the Publisher Roundtable Monetization Report. Together we surveyed 427 publishers about their opinions and tactics regarding monetization. It is difficult to summarize something that covers so much but by just skimming the report you can tell that as your website grows and changes so must your monetization strategies. We want you to succeed in every stage of your sites life so here are some tips on how you can reach that next level of monetization whether you are big or small.
Take the most recent Publisher Roundtable Survey here, and you will be among the first to receive the free downloadable report.
Small Publishers Tend To Focus On Social Sharing
One of the more daunting tasks of a new publisher is bringing in new traffic. You may know how we love to talk about engagement but traffic is just as important when you are starting out. When we asked publishers what monetization tactics they prioritized, the smaller sites (<10,000 monthly uniques) that were controlled by a single person mostly answered Social Sharing and Affiliate content.
It may seem basic but a great way to spread the word is to just start sharing! You shouldn’t relentlessly spam your links around the web but if your content can answer a question or further the conversation then don’t hesitate to share.
Your readers are going to be your publicists when you start out. They have the potential to connect your site to anyone in the world and all you have to do is produce quality content that is easy to share. If they find value in your site they will want to share it with the world so streamline the process. You want them to read your article and then immediately be able to share it on any of the major social networks. The more time it takes to share, the less motivated they will be to follow through.
Larger Publisher Emphasize Ad Network Prioritization
It may seem odd for us to advise the use of other ad networks but having multiple advertising partners is essential to reaching your desirable revenue. You can see from our study that selecting and prioritizing ad networks is considered the most important monetization strategy amongst publishers. It’s important for publishers of all sizes but the larger you become the more impact it will have on revenue. Since programmatic advertising is fueled by companies bidding to buy each impression you want to increase the value of each impression. By using multiple ad networks you have increased competition while giving you access to more supple which means bigger bids. Experiment with how you prioritize your sites to see what order leads to the best payout.
Smaller Publishers Take Full Advantage Of Content Syndication & Affiliates
Personal bloggers make up a decent amount of our network and the internet in general. If you have a Forming relationships with other publishers in your industry can lead to new friends and free promotion. Writing guest posts for other sites brings your writing to a new audience and hosting guest pieces can bring them directly to you. The blogging community can be incredibly supportive so don’t be afraid to reach out. Publishers that have already grown their site can be mentors and can provide guidance through experience. If a publisher is at the same point in developing their site as you then you can work together to help each other grow.
Larger Publishers Invest In Direct Deals
Direct deals may be restricted to the larger publishers but they will be your most valuable ad inventory. This is why few publishers say direct sales are the most important but those that do have been around for awhile.
Since you are working directly with the brand you can voice your opinion on what the CPM should be and what the the actual ad is. This also opens the door for new types of ads to be delivered. Page takeovers pay big and can actually make your site seem more official. Having a popular brand present on your site can cause positive association but having a popular brand PAY to be the skin of your site proves that you are big.
This only scratches the surface of what the Publisher Roundtable report offers so if you want to learn more you can download the full report.
If you’re interested in learning more about how other publishers are using the metric of reader engagement to drive their content strategies, you can take this year’s Publisher Roundtable Survey and be among the first to receive the downloadable report.