For anyone who owns or runs a website the questions that is invariably on their lips is, “How do I make it profitable?” Sadly, there is no simple answer to this question. If there was then everybody would be doing it and it doesn’t take much experience to know that digital publishing is not the pathway to instant wealth.
The real key is in driving user numbers. The bigger the audience size the more you can do. It really is that simple. Because each page that is viewed is worth a few cents, the publisher needs to get as many pages viewed (which works best with a big audience), and they need to ensure that there are as many avenues for income per page as possible.
Here are a few ideas to help you get your strategy sorted.
This is the staple of any publishing business. The sad reality of digital is that the supply of advertising impressions far outstrips the demand for advertising. As such the price that advertisers need to pay to reach their target audience is very low. A smart publisher needs to make sure that the CPM rates they are getting are balanced effectively with the fill rate. In other words, it is easy to fill all the ad spots on your site if you are giving them away for next to nothing. It is better to charge more and have spare inventory. But you need to get that balance right. Speak to a Google ads provider to help you get that balance right.
There are a number of platforms like OutBrain and Taboola and others who are best described as content recommendation platforms. People looking to drive traffic to their websites will pay to appear on the platform – they generally use click bait type stories – and the publisher who hosts the links receives a payment each time traffic is referred. This is often described as native advertising as it tends to blend seamlessly into the site, and for many, it can be a very good source of revenue.
If you site has been around for a while and produces quality copy for a solid audience, you will probably find that you start to receive approaches from companies looking to build links for their clients. In short, to help with SEO, people will pay to have content with links back to their website appear on another platform. There can be good money in this, but it is often very content specific. For example, a site that covers sport will do well because betting companies love to place link here. But always better to consults about it with an search engine optimization company. If you in Australia and need such company, you can search in Google for “Seo company in Sydney” and get in touch with them.
Don’t be shy to charge.
If you feel that your platform is offering a very good service, then don’t be shy to either erect a paywall or to ask for payment. Massive sites like Wikipedia and The Guardian ask shamelessly for donations on a regular basis and there really is nothing wrong with that. If you are a regular visitor and you feel they are bringing value to your life, then making a contribution to their running expenses seems like the least that you can, or should, do.