You’ve Built an Audience, Now What?
It’s no small feat to consistently produce content that people want to consume and to generate a base of readers among millions of content sources. If you’ve gotten this far, congratulations, it’s a huge accomplishment!
It’s also an accomplishment that you should be compensated for.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some options you might consider when thinking about your content monetization strategy, specifically via reader revenue.
Where to start?
The simplest, and most risk-free way to start monetizing your reader base is with a plea for financial contributions. It’s a super easy implementation that doesn’t require a financial investment on your part or much in the way of time and technical expertise. It also won’t affect your traffic levels or restrict access to any of your content. It’s simply a message to your readers who are enjoying your content, asking them to support your hard work.
Contributions are more and more common on sites of all sizes, from bloggers to local publishers to large operations like The Guardian, and they are successfully turning a profit with the help of reader contributions.
Ready to take it a step further?
If asking for contributions is an option that seems too passive for you, or if you’ve tried it and are ready to take it a step further, we suggest that you consider the habits of your visitors to derive a strategy that will be most effective for your particular website.
You may want to test a few or all of these options to determine what works best but, as a starting point, answer this:
Are your visitors mostly unique?
Do your visitors tend to visit once and not come back to your site? There’s nothing wrong with uniques, but your reader monetization strategy should take this into account.
Access to single articles or timed access
If your visitors are unique your best options would be to gate all - or at least some - of your content and sell the visitor access to single articles, that way they can pay a-la carte for what they consume.
Time passes are also a good option, allowing visitors to browse all of your content in their visit for a set time-period. For uniques we would suggest time passes between 1 to 24 hours. We like to compare this option to buying a single issue of a magazine or a newspaper.
Are your visitors mostly repeat visitors?
On the other hand, if you have a lot of return traffic, you would monetize differently.
A subscription offering may make best sense here. This is especially true if you have a high volume of content and visitors return to your site regularly. Your repeat visitors will find value in having continuous access to your content and you can lock in paying users long term.
If a subscription commitment is not something you think your repeat visitors would be attracted to, we suggest selling access to articles or time passes on a ‘read now, pay later’ basis. The process is super easy for your visitor, who agrees to pay a small amount later in return for immediate access. As they continue to browse or return to the site and consume $5 or more of content they will then have to settle their tab. It’s not only a great user experience without a commitment of a subscription for your visitor, it also raises your conversion rates.
Let us help!
You can implement any of the above options or any combination of these options very easily. Whether you just want to experiment with contributions, take the plunge into subscriptions, or even try something less conventional like our ‘pay later’ feature, we are here to help. There is no risk, fees or commitment to sign up or implement our solution; we simply get paid a small percentage of your sales. In other words, we only make money when you make money.
Sign up for a free merchant account and get started today.