Producing quality content requires a lot of time, effort, and resources. Building an audience for it even more. But after achieving that, publishers face another big challenge: monetizing their websites. This is the fine art of understanding your audience and leveraging their trust to make your publishing profitable and therefore sustainable and scalable.
In this piece, we will review some of the best methods and tools to monetize your publishing website:
1. Embed Apester’s engaging content units on your site
Users don’t visit websites only to read but also to experience. To take part in the conversation. This type of involvement, in addition to the rising popularity of video and audio content, contributes to the growth of social media platforms. Apester’s unique interactive content platforms, including stories, quizzes, and polls, allow publishers to bring the social media experience home to their websites.
The platforms improve engagement massively, resulting in a 400% higher share rate and 20% CTR. The high performance rate provides opportunities for monetization as it is extremely attractive for advertisers.
The most straightforward means of monetization, ads, can come in many forms. The best advice for publishers is to test until you find the right combination for your website. And, of course, follow the money. That’s where arrows point toward programmatic advertising, with more than 155$ billion being spent annually.
Apester provides both the foundation for effective advertising (user engagement, capturing data) and real estate and technology for programmatic display and video ads. Available in companion, side, or in-unit formats, the ads are a part of engaging content units, demonstrating a creative way of generating revenue while upgrading your site’s user experience.
3. Affiliate marketing
High-quality traffic to your website is a hotbed for potential affiliate activity, a marketing vertical that is constantly growing. You can collaborate directly with brands or enroll in existing programs such as Amazon Associates, eBay Partner Network, and more. Affiliate marketing goes hand in hand with brand building, as it is strongly based on trust. Your ability to promote certain products effectively means you are seen as an authority in the field.
A good step in that direction would be embedding interactive content on your site, diversifying the opportunities for affiliate marketing. For example, having an Instagram story content unit offers great conversion opportunities using the “swipe up” feature. The increased types of content, such as polls, quizzes, and videos, allow you to offer different affiliate partnership models and sponsored content.
4. Subscription models
Another way to monetize your site is simply charging money from your readers. You know, just like in the (not so) old days of print, when people paid cash to buy a newspaper or a magazine. Digital publishing offers a lot of maneuvering space when it comes to subscriptions, ranging from hard paywalls to soft ones, such as freemium, dynamic, time-based, and metered. The latter took the New York Times from the brink of bankruptcy to major financial success. Another solution is the guilt paywall, famously helping The Guardian keep its content free while gaining a million paying members in 2021.
If you think that the answer is either/or when it comes to subscriptions vs. ads, think again. Free registrations build an audience for newsletters, which can provide you with opportunities for sponsored content and increase traffic, resulting in better ad revenue. On top of that, the data you gain from subscriptions will be valuable for optimizing your ad strategy.
5. Thinking long term
The main key to sustainable website monetization is finding the fine line between maximizing ROI and improving your reader’s experience. Competition for attention and readership is huge, meaning that as a publisher, finding creative ways to generate revenue while maintaining user trust is key. Keep your finger on both the traffic and income pulses and remember that quality engagement is the connecting line between the two.