How to monetise great content

One of the things I love about working at Bruce Clay Australia is the fact that the organisation really does foster an entrepreneurial spirit amongst its employees. Several of the great people (Mr Awesome, Google Gal, War Hammer etc) I work with have their own ventures that they work on during their own time and I am no different. I have an editorial content site (I would never shamelessly plug a link, mainly because the site isn’t ready) but as with all great content the clincher is monetising it. An interesting thought occurred to me; if I am having trouble figuring it out, some of you might also, so I did a bit of research and here are some of the best methods I came up with for monetising a great content website.

How to monetise great content

Photo by depone via Creative Commons

Advertising and affiliates

This can be a big winner especially if you have a great site/blog whose focus is around high paying keywords (insurance, loans etc). However it is also the most likely method that will irritate your visitors to the point that they leave your site. Like everything in life, moderation is key; pick and choose your advertising and affiliates by doing some research and select only those with the best reputations and best creative’s; Google Adsense is not the be all and end all. Then do some research into the best practices for ad placement and once again be prudent – dont overload your visitors with massive, kitschy ads or you will see an alarming slide in visitor numbers. Personally I would use affiliates if your destination is at the very end of the consumer buying process i.e. just before the person is ready to purchase a product, this will enhance conversions and ultimately your profits. I generally use a CPC model as, unless you are getting hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, a CPM model will make you less than peanuts. The main thing to keep in mind is that the products you advertise needs to have a pretty strong tie-in with the content on your site.


Ebooks are flying high at the moment with their popularity soaring. They are a great way of making some money if you have loads of great content. Their disadvantage is the initial time and effort that goes into creating the ebook. You will have to spend countless hours creating original useful content, designing an ebook cover and creating a sales page. Some people become daunted by the amount of work ahead of them but if you can do it correctly and your ebook starts to sell like hotcakes then passive income dreamland is just around the corner. One last caveat here is that if you are going to sell your ebook it has to be not good but brilliant or word will surely get out that you have a less than fantastic product and sales will be no more. Another interesting way of selling an ebook I heard about recently is burning it to a CD and selling it on eBay and Amazon; I would use this method if you are finding it difficult to get exposure for your selling page.

Sponsored blogs/ donations

If you already have a fairly popular blog that is making some decent revenue a way to increase your income would be write a sponsored post. A sponsored blog post is where you get paid to review (normally positively) a product or service. This may seem like selling your soul but if you can do this in an ethical way that doesn’t rub your visitors the wrong way, it is a good way to increase your income streams.

An old-school way of monetising your site would be to ask for donations in exchange for a valuable service or product that you are offering. This seems to be happening less and less as people are looking for tangible, reportable returns of their investment of time and effort.

If you think that making tons of moula by blogging is as real as the fairies at the bottom of the garden, have a quick look at the best paid bloggers in the world list, Problogger also has a breakdown on how he makes money on his blog.

Whatever kind of blog/site monetisation you try, you will make little if any money if you dont implement certain SEO measures to gain visitors. A blog/site with the best content will still be viewed by very few visitors if you don’t use some kind of search engine optimisation measures. If you have any further suggestions of monetisation methods to add please let me know I would be delighted to hear about them.

P.S. if anybody need a Ferrari 430 reviewed in a blog please dont hesitate to call, I will see if I can fit you into my busy schedule.

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“Google Adsense is not the be all and end all”
This is true. There are so many other options out there, its just that the newbies still learning the ropes are overcome with so much ‘marketing’ that it makes it very difficult to focus and find good monetisation strategies to make it worth it.


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