Creating great content for your website can produce more than high SEO rankings. Content monetization allows you to leverage your content so when the user consumes it, you get paid. There are several ways you can use to make your content produce revenue. You can be paid directly by the user or a third party.

In this article, we will cover these methods and break down how you can use them. We’ll also cover the examples of monetization platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

How does Content Monetization Works?

Surely you have heard of content marketing. Content monetization is the other side of content marketing. Content marketing focuses on creating valuable content to acquire more customers, while content monetization, on the other hand, has the goal of profiting from them. It gives publishers and content creators the possibility of earning money from the content they create. So, monetization can give you a way to profit even if you are not selling your content.

How does it work? It will depend on the method you choose. Still, the basic premise is that every time the user or website visitor consumes content, performing an activity, for example, subscribing, clicking on an ad or affiliate link, you get paid.

But before starting to look into monetization methods, you should ask if content monetization is right for you.

Is your content worth monetizing?

Before starting to monetize your content, you should ensure you’re producing the best content for your audience.  After all, all monetization strategies require that you create high-quality content if you want it to work.

High-quality content can help to build the audience you require to generate a revenue stream with monetization. So what are the characteristics of fantastic content?

  1. Is unique: Your content should be original and different from other options available for your audience. The uniqueness will help you rank higher in search engines, give your audience more value and increase their engagement.
  2. Has high quality: The work should be impeccable, well researched, and without grammar or spelling mistakes.
  3. Is consistent: The best content in the world won’t help if it is not consistent. You should regularly engage with your audience. That way, they will know when to expect new content from you. And you’ll build a loyal audience of followers.

 Besides, when you want to start monetizing through a platform or ad network, you will have to meet some requirements to benefit from it. You should consider monetizing your content if you:

  • Are an expert in your niche.
  • Already have a content platform, blog, YouTube channel with a steady flow of followers.
  • Get a lot of engagement from your followers, and you see their numbers grow.
  • Can spend time working on improving your content.

8 ways to Monetize your Content

Whether you have a blog, a podcast, or you publish YouTube videos, you can use most of the following strategies to make money:

1. Sell exclusive rights

In this agreement, you relinquish all rights to the work. That includes copyright and royalties exchanging your content for money.

There are many ways to approach selling your content rights. For instance, freelancers and ghostwriters do it when producing content exclusively for a brand. Another option is producing the content first and then selling it as is (in a marketplace or to a publisher).

Regardless of what option you choose, the core is the same, you exchange your piece of content for money and give away all rights to the buyer.

Selling content is becoming a popular strategy, according to this HubSpot Infographic:

Content Monetization Infographic

2. Limited usage rights

This is also a broad category. Whether you produce the content for a buyer according to specifications or you sell a ready-made piece, you may choose to limit the usage rights to it.

You, as the content creator, may choose to allow the content to be used in print only, for example, or for non-commercial use. To put it simply, you offer a license for using your content. You can also allow your content to be redistributed.

Here you have an example of how an images company, VectorStock, manages the licensing for their illustrations.

License Content

This approach doesn’t work so well for written content because of the lack of originality. But, when you come to visual content, images, illustrations, or videos, there are many places that sell stock content with limited usage rights.

3. Affiliate sales

With this monetization method, you have an audience, a blog, or a website and are willing to promote other people’s products or services. Maybe monetizing your email newsletter by promoting a product via an affiliate link. You can also recommend items via product reviews to your blog readers.

In all cases, you include a trackable link. When a visitor clicks on the link or makes a purchase from it, you get paid.

How do you get into affiliate sales? There are marketplaces for affiliate marketing. You can also work directly with sellers.

There are many platforms and ways for affiliate marketing. If you want to know more about this monetization strategy, check our Monetization Guide for Beginners.

Want to read more? Learn How to Make Money With Google AdSense

4. Premium content

When you sell premium content your audience can access exclusive content they are not getting elsewhere.

This model has become popular in the last few years. Main publications like the Harvard Business Review and Entrepreneur give readers a limited number of free articles and then the paywall for premium content.

See, for instance, the HBR tiers:

User type   Text
Anonymous Free articles
Registered user (registration is free-of-charge articles sample
HBR Subscriber monetization subscriber

5. Subscriptions

If you have unique knowledge or are an expert in a subject, your audience may pay you to get regular access to that.

This method allows you to get a steady stream of revenue by offering more in-depth content on a subscription basis. Examples may include in-depth or specialized content. You can also offer regular content via a newsletter like e-books or guides that are available only for subscribers.

If you’re going the subscription or membership route, be creative and mix the type of content you offer your subscribers. A premium video series, for instance, or a webinar can be a good idea.

Or you can give members access to a range of content with the subscription. Examples of this are sports program memberships. You might offer a course or a library of assets that people can refer to as long as they are subscribed.

An example of this type of monetization is For $5 a month, you get unlimited access to all the content published on the platform.

medium for monetization

6. Monetize with ads

You can sell your audience to advertisers. That means you display advertisements on your blog or website, and every time a visitor clicks on the ad, you get paid.

monetize with ads

There are different ways to monetize with ads:

  1. You can use a monetization platform like CodeFuel. The platform serves ads based on user intent, ensuring maximum engagement. This has the advantage of simplifying monetization with ads.
  2. You can deal with advertisers yourself by selling ad space. Here you have several options on how to charge. You may charge a fixed rate or a rate per a thousand impressions (CPM)
  3. You can also monetize with an ad network like AdSense. The downside of these large ad networks is that they tend to be very general and not very suitable for niche companies. In addition, the pay is usually low.

Monetizing with ads is a good strategy for website owners, publishers, and bloggers. The catch? Your content needs to be popular and on target for your audience. If not, you may risk spending more in tactics to drive traffic than what you get in ad revenue.