There are many ways in which an online property could gain new traffic and better utilize (monetize) its existing traffic. Some examples of tried and true methods are as follows:

Investments:

All of the following marketing strategies rely on the assumption that one is growing and maintaining its user base. The most effective and low cost method of accomplishing this is in the form of investment into online media growth. Specifically, running Facebook ad campaigns targeted towards increasing page likes, as there is a direct correlation between the number of followers and the amount of organic reach that one gets on their social profiles when they disseminate content. More likes = everything you do reaches a larger audience.

Revenue Streams:

  • Affiliate links:
    1. One could, for example, create a new portion of their website which is dedicated solely to reviewing products in a specific vertical which can be purchased on Amazon. Examples would be books pertaining to the target audience, devices, tools etc. In the review a link to purchase the product is added with a unique referrer code that places a cookie on the user’s computer which enables you to claim 4% of ANYTHING that user purchases from Amazon over the next 24 hours, whether it is related to what you linked to or not.
      1. Additionally, this opens up one’s user base to an expanded demographic who may not be interested in just industry news for example, but also feedback and authoritative opinions regarding specific products of interest to this demographic.
  • Ad networks:
    1. Separate from native banner ads which you can charge for directly, one other popular and profitable method of advertising is in the form of inline/embedded ads linked to from within a websites articles/content. When the user mouses over specific words, a small ad displays above it and you get paid per impression or click. When you have a lot of people viewing a specific article, you can make a good chunk of change just from people who accidentally mouse over the ads for example, as well as from those who click them intentionally.
  • Native Advertising:
    1. This would be banner ads for companies which you reach out to or who seek you out and wish to pay you directly to display their banner ads on your digital property.
  • Ecommerce
    1. Anytime someone has a targeted group of individuals viewing their property, it opens up the ability to market physical items directly to them that may be of interest and which pertain to the vertical you are serving content to. Examples would be the direct sales of t-shirts which can be done on a drop-ship basis, thus requiring no initial investment and also no ongoing costs for storing inventory on-premise. Another popular seller (especially around election time) is bumper stickers with slogans that your target demographic may resonate with. These are low overhead, high margin items which are also light and therefore can be shipped cheaply.
    2. Being transparent about your success
      1. Another principle that serves the interest of increasing profitability is to always be open and transparent regarding how much traffic your site is getting, who the demographic is that visits it, and how your advertisers could benefit from the fact that you have seized this group’s attention. Additionally, it is important to emphasize that you are an influencer/authoritative voice in this space, such that those who seek to partner with you are likely to see a positive return should they elect to advertise to your audience.
  • Email list growth
    1. Even with all the recent changes in the digital landscape, email lists remain the #1 converting asset a company can utilize. Companies with a large list of attentive consumers has the opportunity to sell “one time blasts” to advertisers, where you make mention of (or even endorse) their product to your targeted list.

It is with these core principles that virtually all digital properties find success. Identify the target demographic, become an authority in that vertical and use their trust as a reason to convince advertisers to buy ad space with you. It is also of note that one should take a data driven approach to the constant refinement of the web property to separate the wheat from the chafe and identify what is working so you can do more of it, and cut anything which is not performing. Plan, execute, measure, refine, and repeat.

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