In the age of social media, it is now easier than ever to share stories and access information from across the globe. This has led to the rise in popularity of publisher sites - sites that provide topical information in the form of articles or blogs. Due to the huge range of appeal of such websites, they generate a large amount of traffic daily, attracting users with up-to-date and relevant articles. With this in mind, business models have been developed to generate the vast numbers of ‘clicks’ (users visiting the site) into revenue without impeding on the user experience of readers - and it has never been easier.
There are multiple avenues to explore to begin generating profit from a publisher site, the most common and straightforward of which is advertising. With high traffic comes opportunity - opportunity for advertisers to promote their products to a large audience; and opportunity for the site owner to demand a high price to promote through their business. These ads come in a range of forms, namely paid hyperlinks and banners. Whilst many deals will be done with an upfront fee for the ads to be featured on a site, more and more large companies are using Pay-Per-Click (PPC), in which the advertiser pays based on the traffic to their own site gained through their ads. This is how Google Ads, and many similar companies, now operate.
However, if ads are employed onto a website, care must be taken that advertisements do not become intrusive to a visitor’s user experience. By using an effective strategy and appropriate boundaries, though, advertising can generate huge amounts of revenue with little-to-no effort once automated.
With the production of higher-quality articles, websites have begun to demand a subscription fee to gain access to the full array of content. Much like a paper magazine requires payment to read, these websites believe content should come at a premium. Understandably, this is usually met with less traffic and lower Click-Through Rates, as not everyone is willing to pay for online articles. This is used by some larger corporations, but is usually met with negative responses when paywalls are used by smaller publishers.
Another possible avenue is to use the brand you have built through content creation to develop products for sale. These products are usually successful in the demographic your content appeals to, as it is common for fans to want to use things associated with their favourite brands. This can be a fantastic method of providing income for a business, and allows for branching of the brand into more than publishing.
With more international fanbases becoming common as a result of social media campaigns and the global reach of the internet, some companies have begun to organise meetups and events. With enough fans in the chosen area, these events can gain a large amount of publicity, increasing the influence of that brand in a specific area. It is a great way to promote the business, increase the interaction between customers and staff, and generate revenue through the sale of the tickets - all whilst being easily the most fun!
These are simply the basics of profiting from a publishing business, as the industry is forever growing. Here at Ansta we work with publishing companies, and have seen the benefits of these strategies first-hand during the time we have been working with them.
With this ever-expanding industry, it is certain new and inventive techniques will be employed to monetise these high-traffic sites, and it is possibly the most exciting market at present.