10 Ways To Monetize Your Online Content
10 Ways To Monetize Your Online Content
Perhaps you’re a dedicated marketing content writer with a venerable library of blog posts under your belt. Maybe you have been creating content as a way to build awareness of your brand but need a writer who can deliver high-quality work as your readership grows. In both scenarios, you’re likely overlooking a few smart strategies to monetize your content. Implementing just a few of these 10 ideas can help you turn the time you spend carefully crafting stories, posts and articles into real financial value.
1. Access the Power of Affiliate Sales
When you successfully expand the readership of your content, you unlock opportunities to work with brands that want to sell their products or services to audiences like yours. With affiliate marketing, you agree to promote partner brands on your blog in exchange for a percentage of sales that come from your page. This strategy is one of the most common modern monetization methods for online content. With the help of a great marketing content writer, you can seamlessly add affiliate links without distracting your readers from the high-quality information you provide.
Whether you work directly with brands you admire to request an affiliate partnership or rely on an online affiliate marketplace, make sure the item you’re helping to sell truly offers value to your readers. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your company’s credibility and authority, both cornerstones of reader trust. Be selective about the products you promote, look for partnerships that fall solidly within your industry niche, and be sure to disclose all affiliate links as advertising or risk running afoul of Federal Trade Commission regulations.
As long as you have quality content within your niche and a healthy readership, you can get the ball rolling with affiliate marketing. Some of the most popular and proven platforms include:
- The Amazon affiliate program
- eBay’s partner network
- Rakuten Marketing
2. Offer Consulting Services
You already have a successful blog, business and brand, so you obviously possess expertise in at least one specialty area. Give your readers the opportunity to learn from you one-on-one by offering personalized coaching and consulting sessions. Maybe you own a catering business and have already gained some ground by monetizing your blog and publishing a recipe e-book.
Expand your empire with personal Zoom or Skype cooking classes. Because consulting is a low-volume enterprise, dedicating just a few hours a week can quickly create another stream of income from your content. You can also get started by utilizing a marketing content writer even when you have only a few hundred followers.
Do you have event planning experience? Consider hosting conferences and workshops. Love speaking in front of an audience? Offer yourself for paid public engagements for a person within your niche. Search Engine Journal recommends boosting engagement by promoting the talk, posting online videos and encouraging social shares with a designated hashtag.
If you think your industry doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the coaching model, you might be surprised. In 2019, Forbes reported that the fastest-growing areas for one-on-one coaching include employee satisfaction, female empowerment, sales, sexuality and gender, and chronic illness management.
3. Turn Existing Content Assets Into E-Books
If you’ve already published extensively online, you should do a thorough review of your content assets. Group them by topic and then hire a writer to turn each separate topic into a short e-book. Even 10 blog posts can become a 10,000-word guide your readers can use to address a pain point, solve a problem or gain insight into a complex area. What’s more, publishing a book instantly adds cachet to your brand’s credibility. You can sell the e-book directly on your website or rely on a sales platform designed for this purpose. Either way, selling 100 copies of an e-book for $12 each provides a healthy $1,200 profit from content you already created.
E-books represent a serious growth area within content marketing. According to data from Statista, 25% of users report that they have read an e-book in the past month. The e-book industry will earn a projected $7.895 million in U.S. revenue by 2024. As a bonus, websites and blogs that publish e-books tend to see a significant increase in their SEO rankings.
4. Provide Premium Content at a Price
When you hire a marketing content writer to produce high-value long-form content, consider offering these labor-intensive items on a membership basis. If you have specialized expertise, skills or experience in a niche area, others within that area will gladly pay a premium for access to your knowledge. Examples include a series of videos, a tutorial or course, or a subscription-based newsletter.
Premium content can also come in the form of one-time digital downloads. Examples include trackers, templates, checklists and other actionable resources that solve a problem or address a pain point for your audience.
Some blogs also create monetization with a private, members-only site that houses premium content. Your readers can pay a monthly or annual subscription fee for access to discounts, directories, private discussion boards and forums, podcasts, webinars, course content, and even small group consulting sessions. This model creates the benefit of recurring revenue; Kinsta reported that 46% of online users have at least one premium subscription, so it’s also a well-established market.
5. Add Ads to Your Site
If you have a following of several thousand readers, placing ads on your blog or website could be quite lucrative. Content creators can choose from a few different payment structures when it comes to online ads:
- Personal sale: A brand pays you a lump sum to place their ad on your site for a specific amount of time.
- Pay per action: You receive a specified amount whenever someone uses the ad on your site to ask for a quote, purchase a product or complete another action as agreed.
- Cost per mille (CPM): The brand pays you a flat fee every time the ad reaches 1,000 impressions.
- Pay per click (PPC): The brand pays you for every click, which is the model used by Google AdSense.
As with affiliate marketing, avoid damaging the trust of your audience by posting unsightly, irrelevant or spammy ads. Many brands decide to dip their toe into the water with PPC ads on Google AdSense. After setting up your account, you just add the provided code to your website. The service will select relevant ads and even put them in the ideal spots on your site for user engagement.
While banner ads sometimes get a bad rap, the Kinsta blog notes that they often provide the fastest route to a profitable blog, largely because of the hands-off approach. In fact, some marketing content writers start with Google AdSense to create a passive income stream while they work on additional monetization strategies.
6. Syndicate Your Content
Once you build a significant blog following, you can sell your content to other industry sites within your wheelhouse. With this monetization model, you license content assets to these publications in exchange for an agreed-upon payment. In addition to the financial benefit of syndication, you also get the chance to reach a wider audience (and further improve your bottom line). Check out Neil Patel’s guide to syndicating your blog content without causing your own site to drop in the search rankings.
7. Request Donations
By now, we’ve all seen sites use the Wikipedia model of asking — but not requiring — readers to financially contribute to their content. When you have a regular readership, you can quietly test the waters by adding small calls-to-action for donations through a site like Patreon or PayPal. You can even provide an incentive for readers who donate, whether that’s a sticker advertising your brand or a coupon code for access to your paid resources.
Search Engine Journal uses clinical psychologist and marketing content writer Jordan Peterson as an example of how to use this model to your advantage. While it’s free of charge to sign up for Peterson’s newsletter, he includes an online form where subscribers can choose a one-time, monthly or quarterly amount to donate.
8. Develop Online Courses
You’re an expert in your area, so monetize your blog by sharing your knowledge with the world. An online learning course can combine traditional reading, discussion boards, video conferencing, webinars, pre-recorded material and other content assets. You can hire a writer who has experience with educational materials to help you create a cohesive course. Survey your audience about their biggest challenges or address the most common client questions you receive to ensure that your course offers value and fills an unanswered niche.
Statista projects that by 2022, the online learning industry will be worth nearly $2.5 billion in the United States. You may be compelled to place a low price on your course content, but hear us out. In 2018, Podia found that the average price for an online course is $182.59 and recommends that a new content creator charge between $50 and $150 for an online course, on the higher end for those who have a sizable audience and reputation. Podia’s survey also found many short courses available for less than $50, as well as extensive learning content starting as high as $1,500 for a single course.
If you have an existing website, you can easily host your own online course. WordPress offers courseware plug-ins such as LearnDash and LearnPress, but standalone options can also meet your needs if you blog on a different platform.
A successful line of online courses can quickly become a certification program within your niche. This model can increase the cachet of your brand and command a higher price for your services, provided that you have established yourself as a trustworthy authority whose words have weight in your field. Copyblogger’s certification program for freelance writers is a prime example of this type of strategy.
9. Seek Sponsors
A marketing content writer can work with sponsors to create everything from short blog posts to white papers, reviews, podcasts, videos and multimedia content. Though sponsored content is similar to affiliate content in that both promote a product, you rely on clicks to get paid with the latter. With sponsored content, on the other hand, you get paid to create and publish the content regardless of whether it drives clicks and sales.
As with other forms of blog advertising, disclosure to your readers when a post or piece of content has a sponsor is a must. Doing so ensures that you stay in line with FTC regulations and remain a genuine source of trustworthy information for your readership. The sponsorship avenue could potentially be quite lucrative for your brand. Influencer Marketing Hub data showed that companies spent about $6.5 billion on sponsored content in 2019, representing a 41% increase over 2018 numbers.
In 2020, the Fitnancials blog reported sponsored content revenue of $3,000 per month. The publisher recommends that content creators charge at least $250 for every sponsored post; high-traffic influencers report earnings of $3,000 to $5,000 for an average sponsored post. Fitnancials highlights the importance of reaching out to target brands directly as well as using sponsorship sites such as Social Stars, Pollinate, IZEA and Clever.
10. Sell Your Blog
Are you thinking of moving on to a new niche or otherwise expanding your horizons? If you have a blog with great content, an impressive number of followers, and a good reputation and SEO ranking, you can sell your domain to someone else in the industry who wants the benefits of blogging without the labor and the learning curve. Flipping a website can result in revenue in the five figures when you are able to display impressive numbers for social media followers, conversion rates, search engine placement, traffic and ratio of revenue to expenses. Your specific niche also plays a role in the valuation of your website.
Get the Most Out of Your Blog With a Marketing Content Writer
The magic of content marketing lies in the ability to develop multiple income streams that feed off one another to accelerate your passive income. Unless you spend most of your time writing, producing and publishing content, however, you’ll need a writer to help you take full advantage of these monetization strategies. Reach out to BKA Content and learn more about how our dedicated team can help.