While the similarities between offline commerce and eCommerce are vast, most online money making strategies require using a different mindset to offline modes of business. This is especially true of website monetisation.
When your product isn’t something physical — when it’s just the website itself — you have to get creative with how you make money from it. This is where internet advertising and an array of other website monetization techniques can help.
Internet Advertising :
It’s the oldest website monetisation model around. Since 1994, internet advertising has helped to fund the internet, while also being a nuisance for many users. This is largely due to bad advertising, but it’s because internet advertising is continuing to improve that the internet advert is now old enough to drive, drink and smoke cigarettes.
Even as the internet moves to mobile, internet advertising spend continues to increase. 2017 marked the first year when money spent on internet advertising surpassed money spent on television advertising. However, as mentioned above, not all internet advertising is created equal.
The is why affiliate networks are so important to internet advertising. By using hard data, affiliate networks make sure that the right adverts get placed on the right websites. For website owners, signing up to an affiliate network is the best way to make money through internet advertising instantly.
All you need to do is sign up to a network, place the code on your website and watch the revenue roll in. The best affiliate networks can guarantee the highest quality of adverts, so be sure to shop around.
Merchandise Sales :
What was once a secondary stream of income for musicians is now the primary source of income for some musicians. If it works for pop stars, why can’t it work for website owners?
If you have a blog and a big enough following, you too are a brand that can be marketed and attached to merchandise. You may not have created your internet following because of hats and t-shirts, but hats and t-shirts could be the secret to turning your internet following into a revenue stream.
The more you look for sponsorship online, the more you find it. Whether it’s helping to fund The Guardian, YouTubers like Wendover Productions, or bloggers like Nomadasaurus, sponsorship is popular.
More than that, sponsorship works. It can be a harder deal to acquire than an internet advertising one, and it does mean putting all of your eggs in one basket. However, the upside is that you get to work with a particular brand on a more personal level.
Make people pay to access your website. It shouldn’t be such a strange idea. After all, it’s how everything else is monetized. Your website is your product, so people should pay for it.
Of course, it’s not as easy as all that. Putting a wall between you and your fans can be hard, especially when they’ve been accessing all your content for free up until now. Some paywalls make more money than others, and not all kinds of paywalls are successful, but the basic principle is simple enough that it’s easy to scale.
Paywalls work best when the content you have is genuinely exclusive — hence why the Wall Street Journal and Netflix have both thrived behind paywalls. The former offers exclusive insight into the goings on of Wall Street (as it has done for years) and the latter offers exclusive television and film content.
If you can convince your current users to start paying for something which they have been consuming for free up until that point, and if you can guarantee that the content you produce can’t be found anywhere else, paywalls could be the way forward. They are a hard model to implement, perhaps even a gamble, but no-one is going to become the next Netflix by doing things the easy way.
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