Content Monetization: 11 Ways To Do It Right
In the Golden Age of Information, it is so unbelievably easy to share stories, ideas, and products. Moreover, the digital space makes it possible to bring home the bacon by simply expressing yourself and showing your identity through the content you create.
Content monetization is definitely a golden vein for creative minds, but also it might become a lifesaving choice now, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the one hand, digital content can keep some existing business during the world crisis alive; on the other, in the present context, new ideas may appear to help people cope with those drastic changes.
There are two types of content you can make money on: some people use digital marketing strategies to promote their products, others monetize the content itself. Whatever you chose, it is hard to get started if you know little about your possibilities. We will help you grasp the basics of monetizing digital content 💁🏻♀️
Types of Digital Content 📝
If you are a newbie in content making but have ideas worth sharing, there is some good news: hundreds of possibilities are accessible for you. Let’s dwell on some of the most popular and profitable of them.
Blogs have been holding a significant place on the list of the most popular content marketing platforms for the last decades. It’s fair enough: unlike the other spaces, your blog is totally in your ownership, it is like your little separate world where you can express your ideas, thoughts, and tell about your product or service.
Additionally, blogs are relatively easy to monetize. Your earnings may come from Google hosting ads on your website. There are several ways in which you can attract traffic to your blog, and after you master them, your space will grow and gain status among other websites.
Then, you will have many more possibilities for content monetization. Selling backlinks and promoting other products with a large audience are only a few of them. Begin by figuring out what to blog about and follow the successful blogging templates to get you started.
If you want your business to be successful, you have no right to ignore video content. 96% of customers find video content helpful, which explains why videos have been so popular and impactful these days. Nowadays, technology allows almost every entrepreneur to use the advantages of this type of content.
It is not surprising, though, as people find it more effective to watch a video explanation or a person telling about his or her product and showing it rather than to read pages of text. Let’s be realistic: you will hardly read this post from its beginning to end.
The key to video content monetization is quality. No matter how many tips for attracting viewers you use, you will never reach your audience if your picture is not appealing, or the structure is bad. After that, you can decide about the platform for your videos. On YouTube, for instance, you can monetize the content itself, but also use it to promote your blog.
If you have no idea where to begin, check out video templates - it's a quick and easy way to create high-quality videos as a newcomer.
Social Media Posts 📱
Social media makes a great contribution to the business, as it is the most common and convenient way to reach your target audience. By using Facebook or Instagram, it is easy to find and attract your readers and, what is even more important, communicate with them.
Many businesses use social media both with promotional and informational purposes. It is even possible to sell your products directly through the platforms. However, the main goal is to keep in touch with your customers and make them interested in your persona.
Another way to build a relationship with your audience is by writing an eBook. This is a type of long-form content, so it should contain at least 10 000 words. These books are downloadable in PDF and your readers can easily use a tool such as the PDF Reader for consuming your content.
Also, the most important thing to remember is that the book should provide your readers with some useful information concerning your product or service. It is the case where you actually sell valuable info and knowledge, not the product itself. The latter should be mentioned in less than 10% of the book.
In a nutshell, infographics is a visualized statistics. You basically fit tons of valuable and educational information into one page, supported with images. It is a popular type of content because of its shareability.
Infographics should be engaging and appealing, so don’t hesitate to experiment with bullet lists, prints, and colors. However, don’t make it overwhelming, tend to be minimal.
It is important that the images that you use in your computer science should be of the highest quality and most attractive. In infographics, the main thing is the visual component.
Therefore, if you do not have the necessary photo processing skills, it is recommended to use the services of a photo processing specialist (like this one). In this case, you significantly increase the success of your infographic.
Checklists & Templates 📄
These are the most actionable types of content ever. As a list or step-by-step guide, they are popular among people who need fast solutions, structure, and specific steps to achieve their goal. You can exchange them for a subscription, or use it as an addition to the main content.
GIFs & Memes 👏🏼
If you have a good sense of humor and follow the latest trends, feel free to use it as a part of your content. With a GIF on the page, your blog or social media post will not remain unnoticed.
It is also a perfect way to reach your target audience if you are aiming at generation Z. Memes have become an essential part of popular culture, so you can use them or create a new one, relevant to your product, to keep the readers entertained.
Content Monetization Strategies💰
There is a range of methods you can use to get profit from your digital content. Some of them are suitable for newbies, others are more challenging and may be useful as long-term content monetization strategies. Whatever you need, let’s discover the most efficient ones.
Free Content 🙌🏽
This approach may sound ridiculous when we talk about making money on your content. However, it really works, whether you only start your business or are already a successful entrepreneur.
People love free content of high quality. It is actually rare today, so your readers will fall in love with your brand, or blog, or whatever you do, just because you selflessly share a piece of valuable info with them.
So, it is a nice way to attract your target audience or build a subscription base. Such popular bloggers as Chloe Ting also use this method. With over 14 million subscribers on YouTube, she obviously makes a huge profit on this platform. But the key to her success is her free and effective workout programs as well as her connection with the audience.
The moral of the fable is that you should sometimes be generous to attract thousands and millions of potential customers. Of course, you will support this strategy with other ones, as free content alone will not work in the long run.
Selling Rights 🤔
The most straightforward and also the fastest way to make сoin on your content is to sell exclusive rights; here your content becomes a pure product. It is said that the world of selling rights is small, so it is vital to gain a good status: deal fairly, be trustworthy, and honest.
Concerning terminology, there is a difference between different ways of selling right on your content. If you create a piece and then just sell it on a market, then it is just selling content. If there is someone who rules the process (for instance, tells what you should include) before he or she buys it, then it is freelancing or ghostwriting.
Limited Rights 💁🏼♀️
This is also one option for selling rights on your content. What makes it different from full rights selling is that you are basically “licensing” the rights. The buyer’s actions are limited: he or she can use the content only for a certain period and only in a certain way.
Another difference and at the same time a benefit is that you as a creator can sell limited rights to several buyers.
There are a lot of places where you can sell photos, videos, and illustrations as limited usage. But when it comes to a written piece, you have fewer chances of a successful deal.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 💻
Such search engines as Google use certain algorithms (among them are relevant keywords and phrases) to rank the sites. To cut short, search engine optimization serves your site to increase its visibility.
To earn money in this way, you need to make some investments: buy seo backlinks or hire a copywriter who has experience in optimizing content. When fulfilled sensibly, you may get a geometric growth of your website.
That means, your posts shouldn’t be keyword-overloaded, or a backlink - not a plain advertisement for your brand. Today, people appreciate quality, and it is the most important thing that converts visitors to your leads.
Affiliate Marketing 👀
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing strategies, though still very common today. This concept implies recommending products and services. Basically, you mention a unique affiliate link and get a commission after your readers visit the partner’s site and make a purchase.
One of the most well-known affiliate programs is Amazon’s affiliate program. It demonstrates the main principle: you add a link in your post, your reader uses it and buys a product, and you receive a commission 8 to 10% (in case of Amazon).
However, make sure you don’t simply choose the program with the highest commission greedily. The product or service should be relevant to your topic or brand, only then it will be useful and interesting for the readers, and thus the chances of capitalizing on your content increase.
This type of marketing refers mainly to selling physical products but can also mean any kind of commercial transaction on the Internet. It is a nice way to monetize your goods, content, or service. You may have heard of such marketing terminology:
- Business to Consumer (B2C)
- Business to Business (B2B)
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
- Consumer to Business (C2B)
All of this is eCommerce. But to start, you need to find out what you want to sell, who is your potential customer, and where you want to run your business.
By choosing a subscription or membership model, your customers will pay monthly or yearly for some exclusive, higher quality content, or unlimited access to all the materials. Classical examples for such a content monetization method are newspapers like the Washington Post, New York Times, or Huffington Post.
Generally, there are three main types of paywalls on webpages:
- Immediately presented;
- After a free trial;
- “Metered” paywall.
The third type is the most commonly used by newspapers. It means that people have an opportunity to see some content before buying a subscription. It might be a couple of posts or a few paragraphs of a single article.
If you want to include such paywalls in your marketing strategy, make sure you have unique info, skills, or experience, which is worth other people’s purchasing. It goes without saying that this content should be quality, well-structured, and informative.
Obviously, donations can’t be a fully valuable source of income. In this case, it works best for not-for-profit creators. But we are here to discover ways to profit from your content, and it may also work.
There are two most popular platforms where you can accept donations: PayPal and Patreon. The difference between subscription/membership and donations is that everyone can see your content, and only those who wish to support you will pay for it.
Creators can initiate payments by providing donators with exclusive content, so they have some motivation to communicate commercially.
Video Advertising 📼
If you choose advertising as your main content monetization strategy, you need to know about video ads. It seems to be the most effective promotional content among other types of ads. Here are some quick tips on how to make a video ad that will work:
- Make it shorter (not longer than 15 seconds, ideally).
- Explain clearly and add a call to action (CTA).
- Mobile-friendly video ads should be vertical, as most of the smartphone users hold their gadgets vertically most of the time.
- Silent option in autoplaying ads. In addition, you can create subtitles. Care about your viewers’ comfort.
Video ads are a great way to grab the audience’s attention, as they are both entertaining and informative. When done correctly, they guarantee a large increase in your leads.
Sponsored Content 🤩
Sponsored content is great for a growing business, as it can establish trustworthy connections with both your readers and other companies. In this case, other organizations create content to build awareness through your blog, or another platform.
To promote sponsored content successfully, find the right goods, services, or pages to share with your audience. You need some background knowledge about what your readers might need or be interested in. Also, sponsored content will not look obtrusive if related to your topic.
Altogether, sponsored things should sound or look natural and not stand out too much. Only in this way you can avoid hasty criticism from your readers.
Consulting is an optional way to capitalize on what you create. It is another activity when you communicate with your client one-on-one, and your words cost money.
As a rule, people need your opinion or advice when they want some details about a personalized way to implement information from your blog, channel, etc. For instance, if you create content about nutrition, you can offer a unique plan for a customer based on his particular features or lifestyle.
What Comes Next? 🧐
There are, of course, other methods for content monetization, such as referral marketing, and you do have to use a few of them synchronically to get visible results fast. However, do not take for granted what you have achieved, it is not an engine that only needs to get started.
A successful business requires a lot of work even after the first results. If you want your content to become your main source of income, you need to stay consistent both with creating and marketing.
Here are some mistakes you want to avoid while taking the first steps in digital marketing:
- No goals for your business. It is hard to keep creating if you do not have a clear mission.
- No target audience. You cannot create content for each and every one.
- Content for content’s sake. People respect ideas, not words.
- Poor communication with your audience. Be open to interacting with your readers, create polls and surveys to get feedback.
- Using clickbates or spamming. Just don’t do it.
- No mobile optimization. People use smartphones all the time. Bring some comfort and optimize the site. That will also look more professional.
- Targeting the crowd. Go individual, people like to feel special.
Try to create a rough plan of what you can give your audience, develop it, and always keep in touch with your readers, listeners, or viewers. Follow current trends and apply them from time to time to remain interesting for your audience. Then, you will not get frustrated because of a lack of ideas.
What is even more important - enjoy it. Creating content is not all about money. Remember that you are a creator, which is wonderful and exciting. It is your opportunity to improve, discover, inspire, and get inspired. In light of all of this, money seems to be just a nice bonus.
This post was written by Marie Barnes. Marie is a contributing writer and a reviewer for GearYoda. She is an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs. Follow her on Medium.