10 Ways to Monetize Content and How People go Wrong!

10 Ways to Monetize Content and How People go Wrong!

Scott D. Renwick

Having run a successful content website for 7 years I picked up many ways on how to monetize content. Let’s look at 10 ways!

In this listicle we’re going to discuss 10 practical ways you can monetize content on your website today.

Certainly they are no secret and the internet is pretty much saturated with ways to turn your text into cash. However with this article we’re going to look at the cons of each one. This will help you understand which ones to focus on.

Furthermore we’re going to discuss the biggest reason monetizing content becomes a thankless job and most people will inevitably get fed up with it.

I’ve also given each one my honest rating and highlighted the one I think is the most valuable and why.

Monetize Content Today!

1. Banner Advertising

Like I said there are no secrets to monetize content and none are more obvious then banner advertising.

The most common is Google Adsense. It’s easy to set up. There are many WordPress plugins to integrate it effortlessly with your website and it is the definition of passive income.

The Adsense user platform is excellent and it’s generally problem free.

Con: Banner ads make your website look cheap. They are often irritating and they discredit your content.

Furthermore, you need millions of visitors per year to make this worth your while even just a little bit. In my experience, you’d want about 1,000,000 visitors per month for this to be considered a legitimate way to earn money. Less than that you’re talking a bit of pocket money.

Rating: 5 out of 10

2. Paid Links

Occasionally if you are doing a good job of creating content and you are appearing on organic searches you will be contacted by people/companies wishing to insert links into your content.

Payment can range from $20 USD per link upwards with no real defined limit.

Often people want paid links on your website to build up their own organic search on Google. This leads us to the con.

Con. These links are usually linked to low quality websites. Ultimately you kill your own Google ranking and cheapen your own content.

Rating: 3 out of 10

3. Affiliate Links / Digital Course Affiliate

There are many websites that have affiliate programs. This means you can sell their product or service through a link placed on your website. Once the customer pays you earn an automated commission.

The biggest one on the internet would be Amazon. I used to sell a lot of books based on my niche through Amazon. Again it wasn’t huge money but it contributed a few hundred dollars per month and the links went to relevant content.

Digital courses, such as online photography courses for example also provide affiliate links. The commission on these is often much more generous and if it fits with your content, it’s defiantly worth your while.

Con. You’re in danger of littering your content with too many links that take people away from your website. This increases your bounce rate, lowers your google ranking and completely discredits your own content.

Ranking: 5 out of 10

4. Paid for Articles

This is similar to paid for link placement. If you are doing an excellent job creating content it’s inevitable that people/companies will contact you to feature an article on your website. Of course with their link going back to their website.

Con. In my experience, the content is usually utterly terrible. It’s often the most generic nonsense you’ve ever read. It will be completely out of sync with your own content and again lower your credibility as a blog/online publisher/niche website.

Rating: 3 out of 10

5. Merchandise

Selling merchandise has come a long way on the good auld internet. There has literally never been a better time to sell merchandise online.

When I sold merchandise I was doing everything by myself in terms of sourcing materials, printing them, and doing the distribution. By today’s standards, this is crazy.

You do not need to do this at all. There are amazing websites out there now whereby you can outsource the entire operation and still present the merchandise like it’s your own. Teespring is one that comes to mind but their are others as well.

All you have to do is pick your product, upload your design set your price and position your product for sale on your website.

Con. Some of these websites have limits before they will produce and distribute your merch, but some do not, so search for one that suits your needs. This is pretty much a win-win situation and if you find the right partner website, it’s difficult to find a con here.

Rating: 7 out of 10

6. Related Articles

If you are generating enough traffic with your content, you can qualify to host related articles on your website. Companies such as Taboola facilate moneitization like this.

Con. The associate articles are often viral clickbait nonsense articles. The payout is super low and unless you have millions of visitors per month, this is so not worth your while.

Rating: 2 out of 10

7. Supporters Club

There are websites such as Patreon which allow you to create added value for your loyal followers, whereby they will pay to get exclusive content.

I see a lot of YouTubers use this and I’ve heard some terrific success stories.

Con. I haven’t done this one myself so I cannot speak on the cons. If you’re willing to work at it and provide real value, you may actually do well.

Be wary of coming across like you’re begging for money.

Rating: 8 out of 10

8. Subscriptions

This is closely related to the supporters club and this is something I did set up on my website. I got mixed results with it, but certainly, it was a step in the right direction. It’s perhaps the one type of monetization I see the most value in as the beautiful thing about subscriptions is that they are recurring and this generates a snowball effect.

Con. Make sure you understand your audience and you are truly offering value in exchange for payment. If you are setting up a subscription model with no value you are killing your brand, credibility, and reputation.

As well, subscribers have to be managed and as you build up your subscribers list you will find you are spending more and more time on customer service and tech support.

Rating: 9 out of 10

9. ebooks

Hopefully, you’ve got a lot of great content. So why not repurpose, regroup, and reformat some of your articles and compile a valuable ebook. This can be done very nicely and while the eBook market has come down drastically in earning potential, people will still buy ebooks.

Con. eBooks have been greatly devalued over the years, with many leading content creators using eBooks as click bait to get people to sign up for mailing lists while giving the ebook away for free.

Of course, while you can take measures to protect the content of your eBook, it is essentially a PDF and can be distributed easily without your permission. This completely devalues your product and it becomes more and more obvious why you should be giving it away for free.

Rating: 4 out of 10

10. Sponsorship Packages

As you build your brand and content up, you’ll hopefully become a magnet for attracting audiences which are a target audience for other businesses.

This creates a fantastic opportunity for you to be creative and put together exclusive packages for businesses to be positioned on your website, social media, and mailing list.

Con. This is not as passive as you may like. It takes real marketing savvy and a strong ability to network and sell.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Which One Wins?

You can see the one that I value the most is number 8. Subscriptions.

If I was doing the content website again, I would prioritize this as the core of the business model.

In order to be successful with subscriptions, you have to thoroughly understand your audience, business, marketing, and the concept of added value.

It’s also the most effective business model as it generates recurring revenue, which you can grow over time. It takes the most work but has the best rewards.

Most people will never generate the level of traffic to make a respectable amount of money from many of the other methods. More often than not it is not worth cheapening your website for and you’re better of staying away from it.

Why Most People Fail to Monetize Content

However, I did promise to tell you why most people are doing it wrong and if you’ve read down this far you deserve to know the secret. So here it is…

People completely devalue their position and content in their role as a host for third-party links, merchandize, paid-for content, and so on.

The reason I know straight away that people devalue their position is that they are allowing people to click on the links straight away.

Get The Micro Commitment

Your job is to first get a micro commitment from a prospective buyer before you give away the goods. This micro commitment often best takes the form of an email address.

If you are not using your content and/or third party content to generate email subscriptions you are basically throwing away money and your potential to earn exponentially.

An Opportunity to Understand

Collecting an email gives you the opportunity to understand your audience more deeply. Along with this, it gives you the ability to build a long term relationship with them and market to them repeatedly.

Positioning yourself in front of a prospective buyer is the key to not only getting the initial sale but also to upsell and get repeat sales.

If all you are doing is allowing people to click and then say goodbye forever your ability to monetize content is dramatically hindered. To the point that you will only ever earn a fraction of what you could potentially earn.

This means your hobby will always remain a hobby and never grow into the business you always dreamed about.

Monetize Content and Move Forward

In conclusion, focus on two or three methods that resonate the most with you and your vision of what you want to achieve. Commit yourself to understand them.

Don’t devalue your position and make people work for those links by giving you their email and build your lists so you can start building long-lasting relationships with your subscriber base.

Would you like to start your own journey and focus on your ability to monetize content with your very own online business?

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Don’t miss this article How To Make Money Online ā€“ 10 Legit Ways To Make Money and Passive Income Online

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