Are you now at a place where you feel you have connected all the pieces to your content puzzle? Everything has come together, including your content plan or strategy, a robust content library, and delivery of your content is scheduled throughout the year. If this is the case, your next big step is to generate content monetization.
Here you find ways to leverage your unique business value proposition—to drive people to your sales funnel through the content you have prepared. If you have gained critical mass with your views and followers, you could put your content to work for you and turn it into revenue.
Allow Display Ads
Display ads appear on blog pages and generate revenue by charging for that space. If you are getting thousands of views a day for your blog, you can introduce advertising opportunities to companies that value your audience. The most common display models are either pay-per-click (PPC) and the pay-per-impression (PPI). PPC charges for visitor clicks; PPI charges based on the number of times a visitor views the ad.
Display ads require a partnership with networks that find advertisers suited to your audience. You get paid through the network, but these companies also determine which ads appear on your pages. Be sure you work with an advertising network like AdSense, which won’t tarnish your brand by placing less than appealing ads on your pages
Affiliate marketing is a little more subtle and uses links within your content to send people to various brand sites where they can buy items. It is a less intrusive option because it doesn’t interfere with reader enjoyment, and it can also generate more revenue. In this case, you help promote third-party products using links to affiliate sites. Each click is tracked using a unique code specific to your blog pages. If your click leads to sales, you get a percentage of the revenue. The trick is learning how to tie product mentions to content that works with your brand.
One of the biggest affiliate sites is Amazon Associates. Working with more than two million affiliates, this site provides many opportunities to find products that work with your brand. You just need to search for products in the affiliate networks to find those that make sense. You will have to mention you make money from the links, and when sticking to products you understand, you can write more engaging, useful content that ties into those items.
Sponsored Blog Posts
If you’ve started to make a name for yourself, you might find opportunities to charge brands for a mention in your posts. Although a lucrative option, it also takes a lot more time and effort. Unless you’ve already had brands asking to sponsor content, you must sell yourself to brands and entice them to pay for your sponsorship opportunity. This option requires research, and you’ll also have to prove you’ve established yourself enough to warrant payment for the honor. The right match can prove beneficial both financially and by extending your reach to other readers, but it has to be brand appropriate to work for you.
If you reach expert/influencer level popularity, you can look at selling exclusive content covering topics relevant to your niche. You basically provide exclusive content to people willing to pay for it using your name as the value-added service. There are many written pieces you can consider from e-books to blog posts, to online courses and podcast appearances. Content exclusivity isn’t going to work for everyone because you need a strong online presence and following for people to seek you out and be willing to pay for your content.
Other content monetization ideas include creating membership fees to access premium content, selling merchandise, or asking for donations (depending on the nature of your blog).