The challenge of monetising content has been a difficult process over the years. It is a well-known fact that creating unique and new content attracts more visitors, but they would rather not pay a subscription for it. So, publishers need to find effective strategies to keep their business sustainable and profitable and understand the market better in what their consumers are willing to pay for it, but how do they go about doing this?

Diversifying is fundamental to generating a revenue flow. Statistics have shown that online digital advertising spend has overtaken TV ad spending, so a whole different market opened up for publishers but relying on advertising has become troublesome and very volatile.

Many sports teams such as English Premier League clubs, have ceased on the opportunity and expanded their revenue streams by delving into different areas. Now, clubs don’t just sell match tickets, they also sell apparel with their branding, souvenirs such as keyrings and mugs and clubs also generate revenue from tv deals nationally and globally.

As a publisher, you may not have as many avenues as sports teams up your sleeve to raise income, but there are smart opportunities available for online publishers to generate income without focusing on just banner ads.

Introduction of Paywalls

Online publishers have been assessing the efficiency of charging consumers to ingest content for the last 20 to 30 years. Some companies started off by implementing a paywall that required consumers to log in if they wanted to access content. Experts in the industry were concerned that prioritising subscription model over advertising slots were coming at the cost of online traffic.

However, times have changed, Vanity Fair and New Statesman have toyed around with metered paywalls which enable readers to read a fixed number of articles per month before asking the reader to subscribe with a payment if they want to carry on using the site. The introduction of a paywall seems to have helped with generating revenue for both publications and even though they had teething problems on the way, they have learnt from what works and what doesn’t to maintain their audience.

Effectively Adding Affiliate links

Using affiliate links is not necessarily a new method. Furnish Home, an online blogging site, are able to produce articles customers want to read about home decor and interior design and including affiliate URL links without the approach coming off as too overwhelming.

An example of this is, a possible article about new bathroom products would still have a journalistic assessment, yet it would link only to products that the site wants to directly promote to its readers. It's a good illustration of service writing associating efficiently with e-commerce. That model can be repeated by a number of other sites, particularly in the home and lifestyle category.

E-commerce Expanding Rapidly

Slate has begun investigating a paid membership that permits customers early access to some of its content. The achievement of this plan remains to be realised, but it's worth keeping an eye on as a potential model to follow.

This monetization option can be used in many ways, including selling DVD classes and email marketing. One of the big positives of using this approach is that small tests can be done to see if consumers like it and if they are willing to pay for extensive content.

At a time when advertisers have an ever-growing collection of places online to put their money, producers need to be inventive and test with various revenue bases in order to continue and succeed. With new platforms and technology budding every day, the path to triumph in monetisation will be an accurate and clear data strategy run by detailed analytics to help companies achieve their targets.