If you put your heart and soul into the content that you produce for your website, whatever form it might be in, then it is only natural to want to be compensated for it in some way. If your content is good enough to attract a sizeable audience, then there are plenty of ways that you can make money from it. Whether you are looking to make enough money to cover your operating costs or you want to quit your job and create content full time, identifying the appropriate monetization method is essential.
Below are some of the most common and effective monetization methods out there. These are things that any content creator can take advantage of, irrespective of the type of content they are creating or the media they are working in.
Selling Exclusive Rights
The easiest way of monetizing content is simply to sell it to someone who wants it. If you are able to write engaging and high-quality copy, but you don’t have a very big audience to put it in front of, it often makes sense to work with other websites and publishers who do. Of course, it is going to be easier to make arrangements beforehand, so you know exactly what you will be writing and, more importantly, that there will be a buyer waiting for it when it is done. Writing content that you think will be of interest and then trying to sell it can also work but is more of a gamble.
This is how freelance writers and ghostwriters make most of their money. Remember, though, that selling the exclusive rights to your work usually means that it will be published under someone else’s name. As a result, you will not be able to benefit from the boost to your professional reputation that comes with having your name next to your work.
Limited Usage Rights
Selling your work with limited usage rights is similar to the process outlined above, with the key difference that you will not be giving up ownership of the work in perpetuity. When you sell limited rights, you grant the buyer the right to use and publish your work, but only within parameters set out in your agreement. These parameters might include time limits, or they may stipulate that you still have some rights to sell the content to other parties.
The main advantage of selling your work on this basis is that you can potentially monetize it again and again.
Under an affiliate arrangement, you will receive a cut of any sales of someone else’s products or services made because of your content. For example, if you write an article that contains a link to an affiliate product, then every time a reader clicks on that link and then goes on to make a purchase, you will receive some of the money from the sale. Your consent doesn’t necessarily have to be focused around the product that your affiliate sells, and you can link back to their website in any way you like. As long as the buyers are coming from your website to your affiliate, you will be in line for some of the money from the sale.
The links that your affiliate provides will be trackable. This means that if someone clicks on the affiliate link in your content and then visits several other pages on your affiliate website before they make a purchase, your affiliate will still know that they were referred by you.
Subscription and Membership Content
Once you have a sizable audience, you might find that people are willing to pay money in order to gain access to exclusive content. You can then sell subscriptions and memberships to your audience that enable them to access parts of your website that aren’t available to the public. This can be done in the form of a flat charge that people must pay for access, or you can offer different tiers and membership packages.
If you produce content in multiple different types of media, you can use a system like this in order to give your audience the option of paying to access the type of content they like the most. So, if you are producing game reviews, for example, and you have both written reviews and video reviews, you could offer the written reviews for free while requiring a membership to view the video reviews.
Asking your audience to pay to access content can be a risky proposition, especially if that content was previously available to them for free. However, many content creators online have found great success by turning to the donation model. Under this model, you simply provide your audience with a way of sending money to you if they think that your content is worth it.
It is easy to be cynical about this proposition and assume that no one is going to give you money if they don’t have to. However, while many people are initially skeptical about using donations to fund their activities, it’s actually a much more viable strategy than you might think. For one thing, donations enable your audience to send you what they consider to be a small amount of money. Even if you are only getting a couple of dollars in most cases, if you have thousands of people reading your website, it can quickly add up.
Combining donations with some of the other monetization methods that we have outlined on this page is the most effective approach.
For many content creators, the thought of making a full-time living from their content would be a dream come true. Making money from your content is much easier than you might think, but it does require you to first establish a reasonable audience. Without a loyal and devoted audience of fans, you are going to find it difficult to make much money from your content. However, once you have that in place, all you need to do is find the right method.