This is Kiki. Kiki blogs about her experiences as the corner’s foremost lemonade distributor in a three block radius. Kiki is going to help take us on a journey to understand how bloggers like her can make money from their content.
Publishers like Kiki are crafty by nature, so it’s no wonder that publishers across the board are finding new and exciting ways to monetize their thought capital. This guide aims to outline some of the channels that publishers, like Kiki, are using to monetize on their site.
As you read, keep in mind that this guide doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all approach. The best path to monetization is not the same for every publisher. A healthy mix of these different tactics will help achieve maximum value for your site.
The most frequent way that publishers make money on their website is through digital advertising. This path to monetization is filled with many players, and to get a full understanding of the entire marketplace, our blog is full of great content about the industry and how to monetize on your site.
Essentially, a publisher makes space available on their website for the ads to be served by third-party ad exchanges, like Sovrn, to connect with the brands looking to fill that space. The importance here is picking the right partners in your ad stack.
Working with multiple advertising partners is commonly referred to as an ad stack. No matter the size, all publishers gain value from programmatic advertising when aligning with quality, publisher- focused ad networks.
The image above shows that by working with multiple ad networks, you’re able to leverage their collective scale to further benefit your ad performance. Said another way, each ad exchange has hundreds of advertisers that bid for the chance to show an ad on your website each time a page is loaded. This allows you to get the highest possible price for each ad that is served on your website. The more partners you work with, the more competition for your inventory, and the higher your revenue.
Affiliate marketing pays publishers for links to their products or services. A publisher will write the content as part of their typical routine, but then link to the products that were talked about. When a visitor
clicks on the link and buys the product, the publisher gets a small commission of the sale.
Publishers get paid per click or by action when a user fully converts to buy the linked product. Some top affiliate programs include Amazon Associates, Commission Junction, Clickbank, and Rakuten.
Dubbed the “Next Big Thing” by AdWeek in 2015, influencer marketing focuses on using key thought leaders to drive a brand’s message to the market. Another commonly used term for influencer marketing is “sponsored posts”.
Here’s how it works. A consumer brand like Big Lemons wants to promote their product to a hyper-relevant audience. This brand then commissions a food blogger to promote Big Lemons, instead of any generic lemon brand, in their new drink recipe.
Sponsored posts should be done infrequently, but can generate anywhere from $250 to $1,000 per post depending on the amount of traffic to your website.
You can pitch sponsored post deals directly to brands that are relevant to your site, or you can work with an influencer marketing company like TapInfluence, which connects publishers with brands and handles all payment and other logistics.
Another way to make money on your site is to sell products or services directly related to your visitors. These products can be physical goods that fit within your readers target market, or digital products, such as eBooks, online courses/workshops, or images and video content. You can also sell services, such as consulting with your expertise on certain topics, or set up speaking engagements for yourself.
Recurring payments via subscriptions is a less common way to make money for your blog or site. By building a subscription relationship with your customers, you are creating something much more valuable than a one-time purchase.
By running a subscription model, you can be less reliant on other monetization methods that can take away from user experience and focus on maintaining a clean, simple and content rich experience for your readers.
Many publishers that run on a subscription model allow readers to access a limited amount of content each month – usually 3-5 articles/month – before requiring that they pay to subscribe.
There are many tools that you can use to help manage your subscription payments. We found Paypal, and Zuora to be some of the best in class to get you up and running with recurring payments.
Online content and communities are beginning to gain support from micropayments as a form of payment to pay for online goods and services. Many publishers are using this to have consumers who want to view gated content use these micropayments. There are many creative ways to implement this, and a good strategy could pay big dividends over a period of time.
Each of the items above are only possible with great, engaging content. The use of different formats for content is the best way to make money from your site. It’s possible to monetize each of the following types of content by applying the above techniques for monetization. Whether or not you create these types of content, is up to you.
Build your email list, write great emails, drive traffic to your site.
Get all of your customers in one place.
Not everyone loves reading long pages of text, many prefer video.
Create a timely podcast that will engage readers.
Establish yourself as a thought leader and host a virtual event.
Related Content Widgets
Offer your visitors related content that continues to spread your message. Hint: The content doesn’t always need to be your own!
You have the lemons, let Sovrn help you make the lemonade. To get started, sign up for our publisher platform, Meridian.