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In today’s digital world, everything is a money-making opportunity if you have the eye for it. Have you heard the adage, if you’re good at something, never do it for free? That’s the drive behind the concept of web monetization. In basic terms, web monetization is the art of making money from your website. You convert the traffic and the time users spend on your website into revenue.
Your business may have a great website with the most interesting content. Now that it has visibility, you can turn the traffic into dollars using the wealth of web monetizing platforms like Ezoic. But is that always such a good idea? Business is all about good sense. Before you begin, weigh the costs and benefits of web content monetization to make an informed decision.
Costs of Web Content Monetization
Digital content monetization seems like a good strategy, for it makes money. What can be so bad about that? Apparently, quite a lot!
You Might Lose Traffic
Whether your website has blogs, articles, or news, there will always be an alternative content source, and that too, for free. Over the years, users have built the perception that digital content is and should be free of cost. They don’t accept that they have to pay for content online. A user will ditch your website in search for free online content.
You might be ready to solidify your web content monetization plans after seeing that 68% of Americans read the online news. But do you know that only 13% of people actually pay for digital editorial content? While there may be a demand for online content, hardly any users are willing to spend money to access it. Additionally, the percentage of paid online news subscribers has reduced by 2% since 2017. The main reason cited behind this is the wealth of free online content.
When users see that they need to pay to access your content, they will not only refuse to pay but may also stop visiting your website altogether. This holds especially true if you supplied free content earlier. Using a digital paywall or subscription model will put off visitors. This drop in web traffic can prove very costly for any business.
Constant Need to Keep Up
Providing a steady stream of free web content is easy. A visitor might follow your website for exciting blogs but till when? Everyone loves free digital content to cite in an academic paper or while sipping their morning cup of Joe, but what about when it’s paid? If anyone is paying for your content, it must be of top-notch quality.
Unfortunately, there is no one definition of quality when it comes to digital content. Businesses are quick to monetize their web content, but they fail to adapt their monetization tactics to online recipients’ fast-changing media consumption demands. If you fail to match up to their expectations, numbers will fall, and you will lose out on revenue. Paid subscribers might unsubscribe, and winning them back can be very hard. Quality checks are crucial to ensuring you don’t lose the subscriber list and viewership you have managed to build.
Aside from the apparent competition from free online web content, you also have to work doubly hard as customers display hesitation in paying for paid online content. Research shows that they would much rather pay for its physical equivalent. Print news and other editions significantly outperform other formats like web when it comes to the consumer’s paying intent. This makes the need to produce high-quality content a compulsion.
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It Might Tamper with the User’s Experience
There are several web monetization strategies, one of which is placing display ads on your website. While you might be minting money off advertisers, your viewers might be getting annoyed. Whether a user is reading an article, watching a video, or listing to music, the last thing they want to see is an unsolicited ad disrupting their experience. There is a general consensus that display ads are a nuisance, as evident by the table below.
Just 10% of respondents claimed they don’t find digital ads annoying, which is a critically small number. Most users will stop visiting your website, significantly dropping your web traffic. Advertisers might pull out without sufficient organic traffic and lead generation, and you will lose revenue.
Pros of Web Content Monetization
While there are challenges to web content monetization, the benefits significantly outweigh the costs. You can achieve web content monetization through digital paywalls, display ads networks, and subscription models.
Generates a Steady Income Stream
All the methods mentioned above will generate a steady income stream (here’s our more in-depth article on proven ways to monetize your website), which you can then use to improve various aspects of your business. You can charge users a fixed monthly or yearly income to access your content. Since you know how much you will get from each user, you can easily estimate the revenue you’ll receive in a month or year. The only variation is the number of subscribers. The subscription economy index has risen more than 400% in the last ten years, which reeks of great potential.
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However, the fact that most users subscribe to more than one digital content websites stresses on the need to produce high-quality content. Similarly, display ad networks also provide you a consistent income based on the number of views on an ad. The cost per click (CPC) will vary depending on the industry in which you operate.
Builds Exclusivity and Authority
While it is true that people much rather use free digital content, there is no substitute for high-quality paid content. Think about it. As a user, would you value a website that provides easy and free content accessible to everyone or a website that allows exclusive access to excellent content for a set fee? The answer is no doubt the latter. Content behind subscriptions and paywalls creates an air of exclusivity.
It builds into a user’s perception that if you have to pay for content, it must be of great quality. A user’s willingness to pay for online content depends on the perceived benefits of said content. Now it’s up to you to uphold that perception through the content you produce. Once you consistently produce excellent content, users will consider your website as a trusted source.
Similarly, while ads may be a nuisance for some, others might view them differently. If your website is supported and sponsored by trusted companies, it will solidify and establish your website’s authority in the eyes of the viewer.
Tap into Users’ Perception of You
Anyone can visit a website for its free content, but few would be willing to pay until they hold the content or the website in high regard. You can assess what people think of your content through the number of paid subscribers you get. Once you generate steady revenue through this mode, you can expand your monetization options.
Readers will only subscribe if they have loyalty to your brand. This also increases the chances of word-of-mouth advertising. A paid subscriber might recommend your content to a friend or family member or share it on their social media platforms, further boosting visibility.
Consistency in paid users and renewal of subscriptions allows you to seek out sponsors for ads. This will further increase your revenue. Knowing what users think of you and your digital content will allow you to expand your horizons and tap into new opportunities.
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Monetizing your web content using platforms like Ezoic helps you build a relationship with your customer or reader. When you continue to produce content they like, a user is likelier to trust you. These platforms also pave the way for an enhanced user experience by generating reports and responding to how visitors react to everything on your website. This helps improve metrics like engagement rates, ultimately increasing revenue.
Moreover, taking ads increases the chances of building healthy relations with sponsors. When you enjoy a steady influx of visitors, your relations with existing sponsors improve as they get visibility, precisely what they are paying you for. Seeing this, other sponsors might also approach you, increasing revenue and expanding your business network.
Is Web Content Monetization Worth It?
Web content monetization has its share of costs and benefits. What you gain from website monetization depends on how you approach this matter. There are several content monetization strategies, but using the right tactic will dictate your success.
Since manual web content monetization can be challenging, you can make your job easier using reliable content monetization platforms like Ezoic that know just what to do. Ezoic not only enhances the user experience but also provides features like a testing suite to boost traffic and pageviews. Once you understand the drill, content monetization can be a goldmine! In order to balance things out, don’t slack on the quality of web content. Consistent production of high-quality content will ensure you maintain a steady stream of paid subscribers, boost customer relations and attract high-end sponsors to generate a steady income and increase your website’s business scope.
If you want to place ads on your website, make more money with Ezoic! Ezoic taps into multiple ad networks while using machine learning to maximize your site’s earning potential. It’s free to join and there’s no traffic minimum requirement, too.