How to Monetize your Browser Extension: 9 Proven Tips to Make Money

How to Monetize your Browser Extension: 9 Proven Tips to Make Money

Browser extensions make your work easier and quicker. That’s why there is an extension for almost everything under the sun. There are currently over 188 thousand extensions on the Chrome Web Store. Creating a browser extension can be a steady source of income if you monetize it right. In this post, we’ll show you ways to monetize your browser extension.

What can you find in this post?

How Browser Extensions Make Money?

Browser Extensions

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Digital products help you get more exposure for your brand while generating a revenue stream. Creating a browser extension gives you a product you can market to your current clients and target audience. Since extensions are meant to make work easier and solve problems, they enhance the user experience and build loyalty to your brand.

Generally speaking, extensions make money from selling the extension, adding advertising, or affiliate marketing. The right monetization method will depend on your target audience. Before choosing a monetization method ask yourself these questions:

  • What problem does the extension solve?
  • How people will use the extension?
  • What is the target audience demographics?
  • Which browser do they use the most and for what purposes?

Keep in mind that some people may use a browser on their personal devices and another one for work purposes. According to what your extension is for, you should align the extension to the browser your users are on.

Once you know who is your user and how will they use the extension you can plan how to make money from it.

Below you can find some ideas for how to monetize your extension.

How Does Mozilla Make Money?

Maybe you have heard about Mozilla. It is the parent company of the Firefox browser. The company was started in 2003 as an alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Having add-ons and extensions was one of the reasons Mozilla had 26% of the browser market in 2008 and, by 2009, surpassed IE as the most popular browser. 

Since Mozilla Firefox is open-source and distributed freely, how do they make money?

How Does Firefox Make Money?

Most of the revenue generated by the company comes from search royalties through search partnerships and distribution deals. That means the percentage of advertising profit Mozilla receives when someone uses the built-in search engine. They also earn money through sponsored tab tiles and donations. 

For publishers, developing a Firefox add-on can generate revenue through selling advertising space, bundling with other downloads, and more.

How Does Chrome Make Money?

Google’s main source of income is by showing ads on Google’s search results page. For Chrome, Google uses a similar business model to Mozilla Firefox but with a twist. Instead of paying out search royalties, Google transfers the money received from advertisers to the Chrome part of Google. Additionally, Chrome collects user data that is used to target personalized ads.  

If you add your extension to Chrome, you can monetize it by adding advertising, offering in-app payments, paid features, and other methods we’ll explore. 

So, let’s start. Below you can find some ideas for how to monetize your extension.

Top 9 Tips To Monetize a Chrome or Firefox Extension

Firefox Extension

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If you did your homework, you’ll know by now what browser you should use for your extension. Let’s explore some ideas for extension monetization:

1. Sell Advertising

This is one of the most common ways to monetize your extension. It involves displaying ads when the user uses the extension. You can sell space on your extension. Also, instead o selling space for static ads, you can rotate the ads, maximizing your revenue potential. This enables also them to reach other potential customers.

Display advertising is one of the most common methods to integrate ads into your extension. It includes displaying different types of ads, such as interactive, pop-up, video, and interstitial ads.

If you want to add adverts to your extension, you have two options: you can look for the advertisers yourself or you can sign up for a service. Looking for your own advertisers requires a lot of marketing efforts, negotiating the rates, and type of ads.

A monetization platform like CodeFuel is much easier since it gives you access to a large range of ad networks. The service displays relevant ads according to the user intent, maximizing the chances for conversions. This also increases your opportunity for selling more ads and gain access to high-paying advertisers.

2. Charge for the Extension

Your browser can be a source of income by itself. Charging a small fee for it can generate a lot of income by selling many copies of your extension. While most extensions in the Chrome Store are free, don’t be discouraged. Instead, you can use a freemium.

Freemium is a monetization method where you encourage downloads by offering the extension for free for a period of time. If you want to go this route, you have a couple of options here.

  • Offer a free trial of the whole extension for a month or two weeks.
  • Offer a free version with limited features

Keep in mind that Google is discontinuing paid Chrome extensions. That means developers can no longer charge for the extensions via Chrome Web Store payments.

3. Offer subscriptions

Instead of charging a one-time fee for your extension, you can offer it for a monthly fee. For this to work you will need to offer more value. For example, the VPN extension I use has a basic free package but if you want full service, you paid the subscription. Other examples are productivity extensions, like Grammarly which offers a basic free service and a premium paid option.

Be sure to include the best premium features into the paid package and improving the extension along the line. This will help justify the subscription expense to the user.

4. In-app payments

With this method, you offer the extension for free but there are certain features you charge for. In this case, the user can choose which feature wants to add. This is very common with gaming extensions that offer in-app purchases.

5. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing

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This method is very popular and involves earning a commission by promoting other companies’ products. Extensions can display banners or ads that direct the user to the advertiser’s product or landing page. You get paid a commission when a user completes a purchase using the link displayed in your extension. 

Although popular, this method can put off users if the banners are not related to the extension’s features. Displaying contextual ads can solve this problem. Since they blend with the extension, they enhance the user experience rather than interrupting it.

6. Paid features

You can offer your extension for free and reserve some features to sell individually. That way your users can purchase.  If you are working with a donation scheme, you can unlock certain features after the user donated a certain amount via PayPal.

7. Search advertising

This strategy places ads on search engine results. Search advertising is not interruption marketing, therefore is less intrusive for the user experience. Search ads can be customized according to user intent, thus the ads are relevant to what they are searching for.

How does this work for an extension? This is one of the most popular methods for monetizing extensions since it generates revenue while enhancing the user experience.

8. Bundling

Bundling

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When users download your browser extension, you can take advantage and offer related apps or other software. If you have several apps, you can promote your own products to increase your sales. You can also promote other companies’ applications. In this case, you can charge a flat fee for advertisements or a commission for every download.

Ensure the products you bundle relate to your extension, so they increase the value of the offering. Besides being selective, don’t overwhelm your users with more than a few apps. More than three would be too many.

9. Ask for donations

Donations

Donation is a strategy that has become popular in the last few years. While not what you typically expect from monetizing, it can be effective. Asking for donations gives your customers the choice to pay for your extension. Sure, you risk giving away the extension for free.

In reality, when people have the choice to make a donation, they tend not only to pay but pay more than the minimum. That’s why asking for donations appeals to people’s emotions. Asking for donations may not make millions of dollars in revenue, but you can have extra money while increasing your exposure.

Optimize your Extension Monetization with CodeFuel 

CodeFuel

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CodeFuel is a complete monetization platform that offers intent-based monetization for your digital properties, including app, search engine, or browser extension. By leveraging the power of search monetization, your users get served shopping and text ads customized according to their intent. It works with large ad networks including Bing and Google AdSense.

The free platform has an easy setup and integrates smoothly with existing software. You can keep your monetization efforts on track with our BI and detailed reports. Start monetizing the smart way with CodeFuel today.

Enhance Your Visitors’ Experience With Premium News

Enhance Your Visitors’ Experience With Premium News

The COVID-19 pandemic had people around the world consuming more media than ever. According to a global survey published by Statista, 67% of respondents worldwide admitted following the news more than before. People want to keep on top of the latest developments and as a result, media consumption, including reading newspapers and magazines, is on the rise.

But even without having a pandemic around, people consume news for a variety of reasons. They want to understand the conflicting information they are constantly bombarded with, they want information put into context, and they want to know if current events may have implications on their lives. 

Digital publishers can answer this demand by providing visitors with quality news right on their website or extension. Read on for a primer on how to leverage the power of premium news without the hassle and expense of having to set the service up from scratch.

Where Do People Get Their News Nowadays?

News sources transformed with the times. Printed newspapers and magazines gave way to laptops, mobile phones, and smart devices. New devices and more connectivity shifted the user’s preference to online sources. In the United States, as much as 81% of people look online for news.

Users get their news nowadays through secondary sources that take visitors to primary news sources. Examples of secondary sources include:

Search engines

They are the first place a user goes when looking for news, so search engines are critical in sourcing news content. A good news section on a search results page (SERP) should include news articles grouped according to topic, showing the latest on the top, instead of relying on SEO. 

Social media

Most internet users see the breaking stories on their social media feed. The convenience of finding the news in one place increases the user’s engagement for the social media channel.

Websites and Browser extensions newsfeeds

Users prefer convenience, and having the news right there on their favorite website or browser extension is a plus. They are more likely to go back to these pages and consume more content and services while they are there. This is why more companies offer curated news on their sites to increase their reach and engage their audience.

Why Users Prefer Premium News Sources?

When you search for news, the first question you ask is: may I trust this source?. Once you are reading, the content’s quality engages you or drives you away from the site. The key factors making a reader choose a news source are:

Reliable sources – Readers prefer news from premium and reputable sources. Despite the appearance of an array of digital news sources, traditional newspapers (albeit online) are the most trusted news sources. An excellent reputation attracts the reader to the site.

Quality content – This is the key to user engagement. A reader may find a site only to leave it a few seconds later because of the poor quality of the content. Users look for quality content on topics they care about, even if they have to pay for it. In the age of free content, readers will pay to subscribe to top publications, such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Top Benefits of Having Premium News Sources in your Website or Extension

Content is King. We have seen this phrase over and over. Low-quality content makes visitors flee, page ranking sink, and ultimately hurt your business. Here are some benefits of adding premium news content on your website:

Rank Higher on Search Engines

Two of the factors Google uses to rank websites in its SERPs are relevance and quality. The algorithm identifies how well the page answers the query; this makes the page more or less relevant for Google. It then uses quality to arrange the best results at the top.

What is quality for Search Engines?

Quality evaluators rate organic results according to set standards and guidelines. The features that make a site rise or sink differ according to the website. Legal, financial, e-commerce, and health sites have the strictest standards. That means that if your website sells online, you are judged more strictly on the quality of your content.

Factors such as expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the website also determine the site’s quality. If you have quality content from reputable sources, such as top news publications, your page ranking will rise.

Improve Your User Experience

Your visitors want to find the answer to their search on your site as quickly as possible. For that, your content needs to apply to what the visitors are looking for. Fresh and original content will help visitors in their customer journey, providing excellent user experience. And happy visitors turn into happy customers.

Increasing Dwell Time

Dwell time measures how long a visitor spends on a website before returning to the Search Results Page (SERP). The length of the time spent on the page can show if the visitor consumed the content on it. Search engines reward sites that show longer dwell times with higher ranks in the SERPs, since it shows the content is relevant to the users.

Engage Visitors by Adding NewsFuel to Your Website

At CodeFuel, we offer publishers and extension developers all the benefits of adding a premium service to their site/pages, without the associated high cost and the hassle. How are we able to do so? Our NewsFuel service is based on our partnership with MSN, offering news from global renown premium brands from over 140 countries. Curated content is available in various topics, and readers can filter the news feed by favorite topics. The best part is that you can monetize the service and that you don’t need to build the service from scratch, saving you both the technical resources otherwise required and the content rights negotiations involved.   

Start today! Give your visitors an excuse to spend time on your website by giving them fresh premium news on the topics they care for. Got questions about our NewsFuel service? Drop us a line.