‘Content monetization’ is no longer a terminology alien to us. With all the hype about cultivating fans to secure audience engagement, quality content can help render several monetary benefits and this is where content monetization steps in. While it cannot be denied that quality content is synonymous to winning half the battle, the rest is not as easy as it may seem.
To begin the discussion, it is imperative to understand what website content monetization is before we speculate on the different ways it is done. Online content is defined as anything in the digital format that is delivered by the creator to the prospect over the various platforms offered by internet. Online content, therefore, includes images, video, text, software or even music. The term ‘monetization’ is used to describe a process that is acutely focused at generating revenue from content.
While one half of the puzzle is increasing audience’s engagement leading to more conversions, the other half is thinking of ways to make money while ensuring an enhanced user experience. Content monetization is believed to be one of the leading ways for making money online. As far as the options that a content creator has are concerned, the ones most commonly used are briefly accounted below. The following account also highlights any inherent flaws these options have.
In this method, the website owner restricts access to the Display Advertisingcontent. While one may debatethat this method is against the notion of ‘free internet’, it is an absolutely valid mean to monetize the content on your website. However, this method is no longer popular as most internet users today are smart and they never fail to come up with resources where they can get the same content for free. It is, perhaps, not the most feasible way to go down the road of monetization.
Also known as ‘bulk advertising’, this type of advertising is about translating TV ads to theinternet. A problem associated with this marketing is that most websites do not qualify as publishers because of the lack of traffic. Ad buys are in a very high volume. Also, publishers do not have any control over the advertisement that will be displayed. Ad networks are responsible for making such decisions and they act upon their own interests which often fail to align with that of the publisher.
Sponsorships, for one thing, are not easy to come by, especially when it is desired to target niche audience. Even when a publisher is able to attract a sponsor, conflicts always exist between the publisher’s and sponsor’s interests. If the sponsored website is relevant to the sponsor’s business, any negative comments regarding the services or products can lead to the termination of a sponsor’s deal. Since it implies major loss in revenue, it is a risk most publishers hesitate to take.
A discussion of contextual ads is incomplete without naming the biggest publisher networks like Yahoo! or Google Ad Sense. The idea is to get paid when traffic on your website is routed to some other website. This channeling of traffic takes into consideration the contextual relevancy. This is easily the most feasible approach available. However, a drawback associated with it is that the publisher has no control over the ads that will be displayed on his website. They may be poorly targeted, irrelevant even, and can leave a bad impression of the publisher’s website.
Affiliate marketing was an approach that was specifically designed to cater to niche
publishers. The publisher has the upper hand in this scenario as he gets to choose what and who he advertises and has full control over every single aspect of advertising. Simply put, with affiliate marketing, you generate revenue when a visitor from your website is routed to some other website and makes a purchase. Affiliate marketing is easier said than done. This is because unlike other options, here you will be generating income only if a visitor from your website converts on some other website.
In addition to all the mainstream methods you can use to monetize, a few other ideas to help you make the most out of your website are as follows.
- Use referrals offered by an advertising resource. If you are already using other ways to monetize your website, you must be making use of their referral program one way or the other. This approach allows you to earn money when visitors on your website perform certain actions to go to any links you have incorporated into your content for the sake of referrals.
- Offer paid membership to your website. Websites that are offering membership to visitors are nothing new, yet an effective means to generate income consistently from a single visitor. You can make your membership offer more attractive by adding to it specialized elements like free services or eBooks. This not only attracts more clients, but also encourages them to sign up with you.
- Next on the list are social networks. They can be your key to viral growth and can help you monetize your website well beyond your expectations. This is because social networks allow you to target a larger demographic with little to no investment.
- Last but not the least, monetize your website with blogs. There is a reason blogs are gaining so much popularity. By telling your opinions and expressions, you provide valuable information to your readers on your market niche. This not only help visitors to perceive you as a credible source of information, but also as a vendor any buyer can trust for any of his needs.
In a nut shell, understand that you have to be innovative in order to transform an otherwise ignored website into a money making machine and content monetization is indeed the most viable approach to do it right. Evaluate the different options you have to generate multiple income streams. You never know, with a little effort, you might soon be able to find yourself on the road to success and riches.