What’s the difference between mobile monetization and desktop monetization? Some marketers and developers wonder which they should focus on if they want to earn more money.

The answer really depends on your profession and what you’re trying to monetize. Because, despite what most people think, you’re not really monetizing “an app” or “a website” or “traffic.”

You’re Really Monetizing Content

Content is a very broad term and encompasses everything from text to images to code or any other form of digital media. How is it useful to know this?

It’s best to think this way because most content is cross-platform. Videos, images, websites, and many apps are available on multiple devices and operating systems.

There are various ways to monetize content: you can sell it, advertise with it, or market with it. Blogs, for instance, can earn money through affiliate links and offers. Apps can earn money from advertisements. Either form of content – apps or writing – can also be packaged and sold.

No matter what you’re monetizing or how you choose to monetize it, you’ll need something that keeps people’s attention. In other words, you need something valuable.

That being said, the medium does make a difference for certain professions. Most notably, this difference affects developers, whose content is medium-dependent.

The Difference Between Desktop and Mobile

If you’re a blogger or a website owner, you only need to worry about the difference between mediums if your website isn’t responsive or performs poorly on mobile devices.

For developers, there’s a bigger difference between desktop and mobile. Choose the wrong platform and you may not make any money. Early in 2014, 30% of traffic came from mobile devices, and that number is only set to grow as smartphones continue to populate the world. So should desktop be the development avenue of choice?

When designing an app, developers should list their priorities, taking into account their interests, personal goals, financial goals, technical inclinations, niche, and so forth. Often, these considerations will make the decision automatically.

Mobile app use will continue to grow, but so will the competition. Therefore, it’s not always useful to base <a ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>monetization decisions on the medium or platform – there’s money in all platforms. And less popular platforms don’t necessarily mean less money, since there’s also less competition.

Monetizing the Multi-Device User

Most people use multiple devices, and monetization opportunities abound, whether you’re considering smartphones, tablets, or desktop devices. However, certain monetization opportunities are more suited to certain devices.

E-Commerce – In general, mobile users don’t convert as well on e-commerce sites. Part of the reason for this is because e-commerce sites have laborious mobile checkout processes. Another reason is that customers tend to view mobile as more transitory. Bigger purchases often require a bigger commitment and more research.

Apps – Certain apps are quickly becoming the domain of mobile devices. Utilitarian or work-related applications may find their way into the workplace, so they may be a good monetization opportunity for developers. Video games could go either way, but, generally speaking, apps are the way to go for mobile monetization.

Digital Content –  As mentioned, if you have content that easily transfers between platforms, such as writing or music, then platform-specific monetization doesn’t matter much. Just ensure that your website is responsive and your content can be viewed easily on any device.

The Multi-Channel Conversion Funnel

Monetization is all about conversion, and marketing is all about funnels.

Your goal, regardless of what type of content you’re monetizing, is to direct people towards your conversion goals. Even if you’re monetizing a mobile app, you will still want a marketing plan that targets users across multiple channels and devices.

In general, there are four stages to a conversion funnel:

  • Awareness – This is the first stage of the funnel, where users become aware of your product, through advertising, blogs, social media, and so forth.
  • Interest – Next, you generate interest in the product, via advertising, marketing, landing pages, and so forth.
  • Desire – During this stage, users actually want to purchase or download your content. You can plant the seeds of desire on landing pages, app store listings, software directory listings, blog articles, and so forth.
  • Action – Calls-to-actions are the conversion goals. Product downloads, advertisement clicks, affiliate links, and email sign-up forms are examples of conversions.

Again, though your final product may only exist on one device, keep in mind that most users are multi-device, multi-channel shoppers. Finding out who your audience is, where they spend their time, and how to advertise to them is key to designing a successful conversion funnel.

Monetization opportunities exist on every device and online media channel, from desktop to mobile devices and wearable technology. The best way to start monetizing is by creating a great product for the device of your choice and studying up on best practices for monetization.