Your brand creates great content. Whether it’s riveting articles or fun videos, you offer something people want to see.
The only problem is that you’re not making any money.
Digital content monetization is a buzzword in today’s online space. Click To Tweet But you need it if you want your content to generate a direct income.
There are loads of platforms out there. These include the following:
Each platform has its own features. But there are general pros and cons to using a content monetization platform.
Let’s look at the positives first. A good content monetization platform provides the following:
Consistent Income. This is particularly true for the subscription model. You charge users a monthly or annual fee in return for your content. You know exactly how much you’re going to receive from each. The only variance comes from your subscription numbers.
However, other platforms provide consistency too. Ad networks may pay you based on a number of people who see the ads on your site. As long as your traffic stays stable, you generate a consistent income.
One-off payments and microtransactions are less reliable though. In the case of microtransactions, you must offer something that users want. Otherwise, they’ll refuse to spend money on it.
You Build Authority. Think about all of the dozens of websites you’ve visited over the years. Which did you think have the most authority? Is it the free sites, which generate content through unpaid contributors? Or is it the paid sites that provide quality content from an experienced team?
I bet it’s the latter. A content monetization platform shows you have confidence in your content. Users are willing to pay by virtue of the fact that you think it’s worth money. That paywall must hide quality content, otherwise you couldn’t charge for it.
Automating Monetization. Think about all the hoops you must jump through to monetize your content manually. You have to call partners to advertise, and submit your content to relevant websites.
A good content monetization platform handles that for you. If you have a video, the right platform will upload it and ensure it generates ad revenue. Instead of building your own advertising network, you can rely on the platform to do it for you.
As useful as these platforms are to digital content monetization, there are some downsides:
Platform Restrictions. Every content monetization platform has its restrictions. For example, you may not receive as wide a selection of ad partners as you might like. Or, you have to stick to a certain type of subscription model.
These restrictions become major issues if you don’t research the platform beforehand. Know what you’re getting into, and you’ll be okay. However, the growth of your brand may also lead to you outgrowing your platform.
Some Customers Don’t Want to Pay. It’s a simple issue, but one that affects every content creator with a paywall. Many of your customers don’t want to pay for your content. There’s so much free content out there that you really have to stand out to part people from their money.
This becomes a major issue if you supplied content for free before. Making the switch to a subscription model or paywall could alienate your existing user base. Happily, some platforms don’t require money directly from your users. For example, ad networks and survey platforms generate money from partnered businesses.
You Must Maintain Quality. If somebody’s paying for your content, you must offer quality. If you go through a rough patch, your numbers will fall. Worse yet, you can’t win those fallen subscribers back directly because they don’t want to pay for your content.
Unfortunately, few content monetization platforms conduct checks on quality. You can access data to determine how a piece performs. However, it’s up to you to fix the problem if your numbers drop.
Content monetization platforms, and the idea of content monetization, aren’t perfect. On one hand, they’re the best way to earn money from your digital content. On the other, you’re placing a barrier between your brand and your users.
You must put serious thought into the platform you choose. Opting for a paywall for low quality content leads to fewer users and no money. However, combining ads with a paywall may alienate users who feel like their fees should allow them to escape ads.
It’s a balancing act, and you can’t rely on your platform alone for success. It takes constant management of your content strategy to reap the benefits.
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