More money? No problem! Here’s how you can increase your publication’s profits.
The dictum “publish or perish” might be most commonly associated with academia — but as anyone who runs an online publication knows, it’s hard to bring in regular revenue without a strict content marketing calendar.
Of course, just because you’re producing a steady stream of quality content doesn’t mean you’re turning a profit. With that in mind, here are a few tips for turning your publication (and its audience) into a long-term, sustainable source of revenue:
1. Provide Premium Content
Your content is a commodity — so why shouldn’t you be compensated for it? Putting your work behind a paywall is one way to ensure that your publication will bring in a consistent cash flow, assuming you have a solid marketing strategy in place.
That being said, all of your content shouldn’t be pay to play — after all, if you don’t give new readers the opportunity to access your work, they’ll have no idea what they’re missing. But if you give them a taste of high-quality, in-depth material, chances are your readership will be more than willing to pay a subscription fee to access the good stuff.
2. Sell Your Own Advertising
Rather than relying on a third-party site to serve your ads, earn extra revenue by selling your own ad space. This might require a little creativity: from interactive takeovers to pushdown, banner, and gravity ads, these paid placements can come in all shapes and sizes.
To simplify the process of finding advertisers, create a media kit that tells potential advertisers about your audience and the types of ads you offer. That way, you can reach out to a wide range of advertisers at once, thereby maximizing your efforts.
3. Find Sponsorship
Plenty of companies are willing to pay a pretty penny to have their product featured in a successful publication. Feel free to contact businesses that you think might be interested in your content; chances are, they’ll at least be willing to sponsor a post or two. If you’re lucky, they’ll offer to sponsor your site, emails, webinars, events — you name it!
4. Build an Email Database
Whether you want to start a subscription-based newsletter, or simply give readers access to great gated content, a solid email database is content marketing gold.
Once you’ve collected readers’ emails, you have the opportunity to really nurture your relationship with them. In turn, this enables you to explain how your product or service can help them in a much more personal manner.
5. Use Banner Ads
Banner advertisements are easy money, since you’re earning simply by displaying ads on your publication. The only downside? Regardless of the ad service you use (Google AdSense, etc.), you’re unlikely to rake in cash this way.
Even still, banner ads are a good source of revenue, especially if you’re publishing content that brings in a lot of pageviews. Be sure to promote your publication properly, and pay attention to your metrics — that way, you’ll know exactly what kind of content brings home the big bucks.
Longneck and Thunderfoot offer digital strategy services, including website branding, style guides, persona development, and audience segmentation. We’re a partner in making content work for your business. Learn more about digital strategy here.